Tag Archives: periods

We Were There: The Period Shop

The Period Shop

Friday, May 13th, 2016

138 5th Avenue, New York, NY

When I was a little girl, there came a point where I was just waiting to hear a person me behind gasp over my first period stain. Even before I started having my period, I knew that it would be something that would be messy and embarrassing. My first period arrived when I was in the privacy of my own home, but I still didn’t want anyone to know about it. Now at age 35, I don’t care who knows I’m on my period and wished everyone felt the same way about what I like to refer to as my lady-time-of-the-month. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s why I was so excited to see a period pop-up shop.

It’s not that I like capitalism. Trust me, I wish it wasn’t a “shop,” but I do like the point college student Sarah M. was trying to make when she blogged about her idea for the shop, saying that if there can be stores that specialize in different flavors of hot sauce or types of shaving cream for men, why can’t there be a “space where women can feel comfortable, safe, respected and revered while shopping for their period.” The shop succeeded in its mission and it feels worth noting that all proceeds went to Susan’s Place, a transitional residence for homeless women in New York City. Continue reading

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Bloodlines: No Wave Performance Task Force’s PERIOD PIECE Traces the Lineage of Menstrual Art

In the past year or so, something has shifted in our culture in how we’re talking about periods. We recently saw women responding to Donald Trump’s misogynistic comments about news anchor Megan Kelly by live-tweeting their periods at him, and artist Sarah Levy created a portrait of Trump in menstrual blood, and both of these items got a good amount of mainstream media coverage. Over the summer, the story of Kiran Gandhi, a woman who ran the London Marathon while bleeding freely, was being shared widely online, and earlier this year there was some uproar about artist Rupi Kaur’s images of herself with period stains being removed from Instagram. The Atlantic did that piece about why women hide their tampons, and we’ve seen menstrual product marketers playing into women’s interest in more “real” period talk for a while now. And of course there’s the fact that every time I’m in the subway, I see ads for “underwear for women with periods,” which, as far as subway ads go, makes my commute feel kinda like a surreal feminist utopia.

Not to say that we don’t still have a long way to go to undo our culture’s widespread period shame mentality, but lately it feels like menstruation is getting talked about more openly and honestly than ever before. Maybe we’re lashing out at an administration that’s waging a war on women’s reproductive rights. Or maybe this new cultural shift toward period positivity is just another example of how feminism has been recently more accepted (co-opted, even?) by the mainstream media. Whatever the reason, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that periods have been having somewhat of a renaissance on the internet—and it’s about time.

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Soy Emo, Hemorragia: A bilingual guide to bleeding properly (Part I)

Image By Rupi Kaur

Image By Rupi Kaur

To my first menarche party I brought strawberries and red paper plates found in the forgotten Valentine’s corner at Walgreens. Everyone was instructed to bring some blood-themed food to commemorate eggs falling un-inseminated out of our vaginas, so on the table where red brownies, cherry pie, lollipops, beet salad, red wine, red chips, salsa, tapatío, red rice, red chicken, etc. You get the point.

The lead facilitator wore a red wig and a red shirt with MENSTRUATION IS BEAUTIFUL, Coca-Cola style across the boobs. It was supposed to be evocative. We sat in a circle passing around diva cups, small tampons, regular tampons, big tampons, home-made pads, Kotex pads, douches, and any other possible menstruation product now available at Walgreens. The girl who brought the home-made pads explained how wonderful they were, how the textile softly touched her pussy, how old-school, how anti-capitalist, how pro-femme, how her mama even sewed her one! How she washed them in hot water at night and boom you got yourself another pad without supporting the white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy. Everyone nodded. It seemed all the “natural” home-made products were winning in this game. Tampons were shamed, diva cups exalted.  There is no way a piece of your mama’s cloth is gonna resist the avalanche that comes out of this pussy, I thought. Give me my extra-large tampons back and blessed art thou Kotex and the Colombian equivalent, Nosotras. Muchas gracias reinita pero no.

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