Category Archives: collaborators

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day

28th May is Menstrual Hygiene DayIt was initiated by WASH United and announced at the SMCR‘s Making Menstruation Matter Conference last year. WASH United are joined by over 100 partners around the world to make May 28th “a global platform for partners across all sectors to engage in action, advocacy and knowledge-sharing around menstrual hygiene management.”  You can find loads of resources and research at the link.

Since I’ve spent the past year undertaking menstruation education research, and the previous nine years engaging in comedy activism, I’ll be taking part today in a combination of ways, some silly, some sensible, all in the name of action, advocacy and knowledge-sharing.

Here’s what I’ll be doing, and you would be very welcome to join in:

This morning, I’m starting up this here Adventures in Menstruating blog again, because I have completed my MA in Education! It was an amazing experience, and I can’t stop reading academic papers. I am also launching www.periodpositive.com today because I am starting to disseminate findings from my research with suggestions for Period Positive Schools.  My top ten tips will be tweeted from my @periodpositive  account (please follow!) and shared on Facebook throughout today and will be going up on the website at the end of the day.

periodpositivesquare

I’ll be following and posting on Twitter all day from @chellaquint and @periodpositive, and using the #periodpositive hashtag. I’ll also be retweeting and joining in with some of the many excellent projects and discussions taking place around the world all day. The Menstrual Hygiene Day hashtag is  #MenstruationMatters. Some recent discussions I participated in have also used #periodtalk if you would like to follow the conversations.

Later today, I will be returning the Victorian Lady Bags which I may have ‘borrowed’ a number of days ago from my university toilets with the blessing of some of the staff,  and disseminated among audiences at some comedy shows and science communication events. A Victorian attitude to menstruation is not  what we’re looking for, so I decided to modernise these ladies with the help of some #periodpositive speech bubbles provided by some science-loving pals.  I can only imagine that Queen Victoria would not be amused.

victorian lady

If you are amused, and if these bags are a familiar sight where you work or study, you can join in!  Simply take them out, add  a #periodpositive message (and the hashtag) about why #MenstruationMatters, and put them back. I’ll be tweeting the best ones throughout the day. If you find one, share it!

Speaking of amused, I’m pleased to share that STAINS™ is becoming an exceedingly on trend logo and fashion forward brand.

leak chic square

Like I always say, you don’t need to use real blood to reclaim. You can join in the fun by downloading your own stain at the link above or finding your stain if you picked one up at a show or a workshop, and wearing it today! Just make sure you follow the brand identity guidelines.

On a more serious note, I’ll be speaking about the history of advertising messages about Menstrual Hygiene Management and its effects on mainstream attitudes to menstruation in the UK this evening. If you’re nearby, please come along to this event at the University of Sheffield with Irise International, which is hosted by Friends of Irise.  I’ll be deconstructing this advert from 1926:

1926 ad

You can click to enlarge and read the eye-opening fine print. I’d also invite you to explore the wonderful Ad*Access Archive for many more vintage ads from the 1920s through the 1950s.

It is great to be back. In the coming weeks I’ll be analysing all the ads I missed, revisiting some new and improved disposable packaging, and tracking the recent history of reclaiming stains.

Stay in touch and come back soon!

 

 

New Year, New Blood.

Tonight, the amazing Chris Bobel is reading from New Blood,  her book about 3rd wave feminism and menstrual activism, at Bluestockings Books in NYC! The event details are here.  If you can possibly get yourself there, I highly recommend it. I was one of the people she interviewed for the book, and she’s a funny, inspiring writer and researcher with some amazing insights.

Moving pictures

Last November we were invited to perform at the DIY Outspoken Showcase at Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds. My short film, The FU Story was also screened, and I got to be part of a very cool panel with Josie Long, Scout Niblett and Katie Harkin. Rosie Stoker has made a short doc of the day. You can see it here!  If you’d like to catch Adventures in Menstruating or Josie Long at the Fringe, we’re on the Ladyfest Edinburgh Cabaret tomorrow night from 8  – 11 at Leith Circle of Friends, Leith Walk. Josie’s on at the Pleasance Dome every night at 7, but tickets are selling out fast so grab them soon! (I have learned this from experience.)

Right – back to the fringe!

Chella

Call for contributors

Hello! It’s time I started putting together issue #6. If you’d like to contribute a funny period article, get in touch.

I’m also still looking for one or two more comics for the comic book special issue.  A5 portrait size, period positive and funny – full page panel or multi-panel. Email something over or make contact to discuss it further.  All contributors receive a copy of the zine.

Cheers,

Chella

Reading List

A poem I wrote for Adventures in Menstruating #2, To The Leaking Girl, will be published in an issue of Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal next month. There’s some excellent stuff in there from the Menstruati and the whole thing is well worth a read.

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is holding its next conference this June in Pittsburgh. Details can be found here.

Leeds Part 1

I’m very excited to be doing a zine workshop in Leeds with Sarah later today (or tomorrow, in my head, once I’ve gone to bed and woken up again). After that we’ll be putting in a little open mic action at the Chemic for Riot Grrl.  If you’re in the area, you’d be very welcome.  

I’ve just stayed up far too late to watch Day of the Dead, so I may be speaking in zombie metaphors tomorrow. It’s pretty much par for the course at this time of year though. Before I get into a one-woman menstrual zombie representation debate, I’ll just say Annual Halloween party breakdown will go up Sunday, followed by a veritable opus of overdue posts.

Props to Leeds Uni Femsoc for hosting us again. We love those guys.

-Chella

Stranded

“If there’s one thing my ol’ ma taught me, it’s that when life gives you volcanoes, make magazines.” -Andrew Losowsky.

So, as our families, most of our friends, and quite a few of our fans already know, Sarah and I were stranded by the ash cloud during what I have taken to calling ‘The Bad, Bad Volcano Time’ (which my mate Bruce originally thought was a menstrual euphemism). We spent an extra eight days in New York with little cash and diminishing good will radiating from my rather put-upon but extremely understanding family. 

My friend Parker looked after us – took us to karaoke bars, talked Doctor Who, watched the Barcelona match with us – and told us about this call for contributors to this magazine he’d heard about. You had to be a strandee to be involved, and the also-stranded editor, Andrew Losowsky, gave out real assignments suited to each writer or artist. It was great – it gave us something to do while we were on hold. The magazine’s out now – a very cool one-shot edition that we hope will never need to have a sequel.  We’re big fans of physics, though, and you never know what’s around the tectonic corner, so please don’t quote us on that.

We can vouch for the total awesomeness of Stranded Magazine, however.  It’s got an amazing layout, beautiful graphics, and talented contributors. If not for the volcano, we’d never have gotten to work with them, and we’re indebted to Andrew for having the idea in the first place, followed by the wherewithal to complete the project. Among lots of other stuff, Stranded contains an article about karaoke from me, cocktails Sarah and I invented on a volcanic theme (complete with paper airplane), and you even get to see a photo of my childhood bedroom and the massive mural my dad painted on my wall when I was five. 

It’s printed by magcloud, which is a print-on-demand service, it’s also got a zillion pages (official count), and $5 of each purchase goes to a refugee charity. That makes it pretty expensive,  particularly to us zine types who tend to spend £3 or less on self-published type things, but here’s why you should still get it:

It’s a very cool piece of recent history – it puts the art in artefact. Think of it as the coffee table book of the magazine world. It will last ages as long as you don’t read it in the bath or turn the pages with buttery and toast crumby fingers at the breakfast table. It’s a lot cheaper-sounding once you convert the price into pounds sterling. There are no profits – that’s literally the cost of production plus $5 to charity. And finally, you’ll have something to read in case you ever find yourself stranded.

You can order it here.

-Chella

March, March, March

March birthdays are like blog posts – you wait around for ages and then three come along at once. So here’s a big long birthday postscript-post  to make up for the lack of  updates lately.

On Sunday I got bagel-coffee-and-cupcaked by my lovely wife, who also further enabled my chart-loving geekitude by getting me this awesome piece of work:

and Sarah’s mom, whose birthday is the day before mine, posted me this amazing Shipping Forecast* t-shirt:

which I wore to bed Sunday night, and may well wear at a gig sometime soon. See, I like all kinds of charts – not just menstrual cycle ones. (I’m also a big fan of the Venn diagram.)

We digested the birthday breakfast and read the charts on the way down to Oxford for the lit fest, where we met this lovely gentleman. (Our mission for the day was to give away free zines, and we ended up working out a trade for some whiskey, so that was awesome, too. Those who know me know I’m always up for zine trades, and now…those who don’t know me know it as well.) Anyway, this kind fellow was working for the festival and I offered him a zine. He thanked me and stuck it in his pocket, with the title showing, which was pretty darn cool. I asked him if he’d mind if I took a picture for my blog, and he said, “I have three daughters. There is nothing about menstruation that freaks me out.”

Word, my friend. Word.

We had fun times all round (most likely due to the zine-whiskey trading) and I had four zines left as we all headed to the train station, so I decided to deposit the last four in various bike baskets among those at the rafts and rafts of awesome bicycles at the station bike racks.

I figured cycles…cycles…whatevs. That was the sum total of my thought process. Sorry. Whiskey.

Anyway, if you received a zine at the festival, or if you found one in your bike basket, hello! I’m Chella, and I’ll be your weird secret zine santa today. Hope you stick around!

In other news, I was lucky enough to have two pieces of my writing published around the internets on my birthday.

Here’s the Menstruation for Sale article at Girlfuture.com (it’s a brand new webzine for right-on teens that happened to have launched on my bday).

And I also had a  review up on Feminist Review blog. Speaking of FR, it was also Mandy Van Deven’s birthday this week. She edits Feminist Review, as well as writing like a demon everywhere else that’s cool and feminist. Her birthday appeal goes a long way to explaining what she’s achieved with FR, and I was really psyched when she invited me to write for FR after my zines were reviewed on the site. If you can spare some cash to help them/us out, that’d be grand. More details can be found at the I ♥ FR Campaign.

Today’s link (rather than recaps from earlier in the week like a lame clips episode of your favourite ’80s sitcom)  is a shout out to Travel Queeries on a Danish blog that’s new to me and looks pretty cool. Birthe, the editor of Feminine Moments, saw the review on Feminist Review and contacted me to see if she could quote it. So, ya see? Valuable resource right there is all I’m sayin’.

Right, it’s all gone a bit meta so I’m gonna say goodnight. Thanks, as always, for all the support.

xChella

*You can listen to the Shipping Forecast here. It is just as useful a navigational tool if you are literally at sea as if you are metaphorically at sea.

The Ultimate Sci-Fi

Hello! Today is my wife Sarah’s birthday. Sarah tells me that it’s also Einstein’s birthday, Billy Crystal’s birthday, and Pi Day (because the date in the US is 3.14…tenuous but cute). In the UK, where we do the date with the month second, it’s Mother’s Day.

Readers of Issue 1 of Adventures in Menstruating (which is now long out of print – sorry) may remember the intro where I mentioned I might one day do the ‘ultimate sci-fi and regenerate or spawn an army of likenesses from one cell of my own DNA, not unlike the Daleks on Doctor Who.’

That’s still in the future, but, for now, if you’re a funny genius mum,  or if you’re pregnant and your circumference is expanding proportionately to your diameter, or you’re an awesome performance poet birthday girl (or are somewhere in the Venn of all of the above), hope you had a great day.

Every Day is International Women’s Day

Especially when you’ve partied all weekend and slept through the real one. Does it count that I partied in a foreign country? (The savvy readers among you will remember that I live  in a foreign country, so don’t answer that one too quickly.)

Anyway, here’s a great little piece from the Onion that popped up on our facebooks yesterday.

Girl Welcomed to Womanhood With Four-Page Pamphlet

from The Onion

Cheers to all the new facebook fans and new readers from over on Belle’s blog – you may notice that I don’t take a whole lot seriously.

But, in all seriousness, US readers should check out Elissa Stein and her book Flow on The View today. It is about time she got some more recognition!

Those of you who appreciate baking-related humour may love (or loathe, but they say that’s the same emotion, right?) this Cakewrecks feature. I’m giving that a not-menstrual-but-should be.

And finally, if you’re making yourself a stain for our Stains TM campaign, please send in a pic. We’ll post a few on here!

Happy day-after-international-women’s-day, particularly to all the awesome international women I know.

-Chella