Category Archives: comedy

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

Zines and Gigs

We’ve been invited to perform in Edinburgh a part of Femstruation week, and it starts tomorrow!   A reading at Forest Cafe on the 13th and our full show – Here’s The Science Bit at The Big Red Door on Valentine’s Day.

We had a great time performing in Sheffield the other week and the Sheffield Fems have put up some photos of our tampon crafts.

The zines are now also back in stock at their usual UK distro, Marching Stars, and are finally back in stock at Microcosm and also at Sweet Candy Distro in Georgia, USA. Sweet Candy is run by my good friend Sage, who put on our very firt ever show back in Philly in 2005.

The iPad: File under ‘Not menstrual but should be’.

I’m not this guy.  Neither is my wife Sarah. And as long as women aren’t the punchline, and menstruation doesn’t mean ‘bad’ , the iPad jokes are cool by us. See below to find out who that guy is, though.

I must report on my friends’ (and the world’s) first reactions to the iPad by placing it firmly under the heading ‘not menstrual but should be.’  I would dearly, dearly love one made for me in flannel with wings that have little snaps on them.  And please, folks, for the sake of the environment,  consider using an iMenstrualcup. Think of all that landfill you’d save if you used reusables.

Right, those are the first ones I came up with off the top of my head, but there are plenty more to be had all over the internets. Including a gamut-running list on Feministing, Jezebel’s user-created photo manips, comments and round up, and NPR’s blog feature.

Interestingly, though, a gentleman named Ryan at untoldentertainment has, I think erroneously, gone on the defensive offensive by staging a general intervention for us iPad jokers (and this is a brand new addiction, folks, which surely does not need an intervention just yet), telling us:

But if you’re new to humour, here’s a hot tip: jokes about menstruation aren’t particularly funny. They’re actually kinda sleazy. Women, generally, don’t like them. And more evolved men don’t tend to enjoy them either.

Now we obviously disagree with that, and we welcome all you 24-hour-old menstural jokers to the club, but I think what he’s trying to do may have honourable intentions toward Apple (although working as a flash designer might make one a bit cross about a new piece of hardware that doesn’t support flash), and probably toward women, men, and menstrual comedy as well. He’s even made good on his threat to put all male  ‘offenders’ in a hall of fame, and all women who make the irresistable a reality will end up in his ‘honourary hall of fame’.  So I’m looking forward to appearing on that blog shortly. Hi!

We don’t need a moratorium, though. Periods are funny. Gross out humour is great! See our sidebar for our very well-thought-out list of reasons why. Ryan at untoldentertainment.com seems to not want to offend women, though, which is fair enough (although we can own that ourselves, thanks) and so we can suggest some guidelines.

Menstrual jokes can be funny in all the ways other bodily function jokes are funny. They have a time and a place and an audience. Recall’s always fun, puns are nice, observational humour if you must, and parody is win + cake. But…menstrual jokes are not cool (although they may still make you laugh, if you’re a jerk) when women are the butt of the joke.  A major multinational corporation to whom all publicity is good publicity and who clearly put a lot of thought into this and still came up with ‘the iPad’? They can be the butt of the joke for a change. And so can maxipads!

Ryan also, worryingly, names and shames period joke tellers in the image above. We ain’t them. And we don’t need stifling. Queef Free, anyone?

Edited to add: This just in! Ryan Henson Creighton and I have exchanged a couple of emails today that were pretty funny in and of themselves. He didn’t mean to “incite the ire of the Menstruati”.  I am still curious  about what position of authority he’s imposed his moritorium and granted  our amnesty from, but we have, indeed, been reprieved from the “Unfunny iPad/Menstrual Pad Joke-Telling Douchebag Hall of Fame”.  So the upshot at the moment is:  Apple have a dubiously effective new product, and we got a prize!  And remember, kids, douche is bad for you!

Our facebook is still scrolling with lots of ‘Really, Apple?’ pad jokes, and my mind is reeling with what the inevitable nano version will be called…say it with us…the iPon, one assumes.

Edited to add: The New York Times tech blog got in on it with a comedy nod, although the comments belittle the ‘Bits’ section even further by insulting writer Claire Cain Miller, assuming all things menstrual are automatically perjorative, and ‘expecting more from the Times’ in equal measure. A few bright and sensible sparks shine through, though, so it’s worth a brief perusal. “Cringe” is the wrong word for it though, unless you’re not cringing about periods but Apple’s silliness. Who’d wanna keep the same company as the femcare industry – a bunch of multinationals who like to aggressively pursuade us that we NEED their product…oh, wait.

Thank you to our good friend James Parker for reminding me about Mad TV’s 2nd-place-award-winning zeitgeist-predictor.

And thank you to Apple, for this unintentional* period comedy moment. Menstruation is usually only discussed publicly with indifference or distaste, and pads are fair game. Keep the jokes coming!

-Chella

*Or is it…intentional? Have Apple’s marketing teams tapped into the period comedy vibe and just decided to go for it? Nah…

A Song For Sesame Street

googly eyes

‘Everything I know about x I learned from y‘ is a snowclone we’re gonna borrow in honour of Sesame Street’s 40th birthday.  Seriously, though –  Sesame Street introduced me to the alphabet, Spanish, opposites, how stuff’s made, sign language, Johnny Cash, sketch comedy that’s funny on two levels, the conventions of live news reporting, parody, super heroes, music videos, documentay filmmaking, diy animation, women can fix televisions, monsters are people too, The Beatles…not to mention how much I learned about advertising techniques from all those segments designed to ‘advertize letters and numbers to kids’ based on the original premise for the show. I still like and do all that stuff, and Sesame Street seems to have, most importantly, been my first media studies class.  Audience, Marketing, Representation – it’s all there.

Anyway, we’re gonna be on Leeds University Radio again today with a birthday tribute to Sesame Street. We reckon being  period positive can start at any age, and figured if Sesame Street did a segment on periods, we know  how it would go. Tune in live or listen to the podcast to find out.

Thanks to Sarah’s old school friend  Ben at Naivety Succeeds for making our amateur recording skills sound a little less ‘amateur’ and a little more ‘skills’.

And, happy birthday, Sesame Street – my favourite show ever!

-Chella

PS How cute are Google’s Sesame doodles?

Happy Hall-oh wait that was yesterday…

If  you’ll allow me to riff on the A-Team saying of old, I love it when menstruation and zombies come together, and boy did they for me this weekend. I promised Leeds Uni radio’s Femme Fatale show listeners that I’d post more details of our Halloween Party, and I also had another radio-themed surprise this weekend when I tuned into the podcast for NPR’s comedy quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

But first, I should explain that my retort to anyone who likes horror movies but cringes at menstruation is, “Why are zombies eating brains ok, but if they start menstruating, it’s gross?!  Blood and guts are blood and guts.”  So part of our show is the film trailer and pitch for my menstrual zombie comedy movie. You know,  “In a world where…etc. etc.”    Some of you have heard it already, and I’m happy to pitch it to anyone else who wants to know between now and our next gig. In any case, we are so annoyed that the title ’28 days Later’ is already taken…

So, that’s the backstory to my costume for our annual Halloween party that we host for our friends. We get really competitive with ourselves, and it’s kind of a mini comedy installation each year. This year’s theme was the International Undead Convention, and guests were invited to invent a cause or lobbying group that they would represent, as an undead individual.  Then I created parody logos for each of them.

Sarah co-hosted on behalf of the Vampire Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. (The GLAAD logo looks amazingly like blood when you give it a re-colour, and the ‘a’ and ‘d’ are particularly blood-droplet-reminiscent as well!) I love GLAAD, and I hope they don’t mind my parody. They get a ‘not menstrual but should be’  tag.

vlaad

I was a member of Menstrual Zombie Actors’ Equity (again – it should go without saying that I respect and support what Equity does). I had a huge red bloodstain printed onto the bottom of the back of a tshirt. I’m telling ya – one day I am gonna start my Stains TM fashion line (Ha! I have now actually done this: www.stainstm.com! -Chella). Red is the new black.

We put signs up around the house to make it look like each room was a different conference venue, and created parody logos for each of the guests as well…I’ll do a gallery later on.zombie equity

Meanwhile – over on US radio, we were delighted when we listened to the Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! podcast today and heard the intro by host Peter Sagal:

“In honor of Halloween we’re talking zombies with legendary movie director George Romero — how to recognize them, how to defend against them, and — since this is Public Radio — how to try to reason with them, and come to mutual understanding and respect.”

The whole show was great, as usual, but I really got a kick out of the festive theme, and I love zombies. For George Romero’s bit, he had to answer a question. The answer to the question will lead you to this link, so you may want to listen before you read on. (Is it appropriate to announce spoilers for a radio quiz show?)

Spoilers:

Romero gets the answer right (and the video itself is pretty good until it veers off into questionable territory after about minute six or so – further analysis from me will follow in Issue #5 of Adventures in Menstruating).  Other than a smattering of groans from the audience (a mild response for this crowd – they have shown much more disgust much more vocally for more appropriate targets in the past, so I’m not complaining), periods were part of the comedy.

Menses even made it back at the end of the show for some recall about an earlier panel topic –

Peter asked for a prediction: “In reference to the first inter-gender golf match, how will President Obama show that he is all about the ladies?”

Panelist Amy Dickinson immediately fired back: “In solidarity to the women on the staff, President Obama is going to adjust his own hormonal cycle so they will all menstruate at the same time.”

Again, good-natured fun, and women were not the butt of the jokes, which means that Wait Wait wins a Second Place Award.  I may need to create a new category for menstruating!Obama.

And, now that periods and the undead have shared radio air-time twice in one day on two continents, and even if I’m the only person who noticed or cared, I think menstrual zombie movies are officially on the table.

So, George…can I pencil you in for a storymeeting?

-Chella

Snub THIS.

the anti periodicalWe got to talking about this again today (don’t miss the comments), and Sarah and I have put together our own response. She hit upon the inspired title and volunteered to be the cover girl. (And by ‘volunteered’, I mean ‘chose posing over stealing an image off the internet’.)

It seems really bizarre to us that a whole host of women had to write, edit and lay out that anti-periodical’s non-review, and it still made it to press. We get particularly irked when period shame is around under the guise of  ‘vehemently over it and will say so to anyone who’ll listen’.

My grandma used to read that magazine (you know which one we’re talking about). I remember seeing a bunch of back issues sitting in the magazine rack next to her sofa while I interviewed her about attitudes to periods on the lower east side in the 1920s.  Readers of Adventures in Menstruating #2 will know that my grandma was more enlightened then than Bledbook is now.     -Chella

PS  Just a quick edit to add that Bust has picked up…Snubgate? Shall we call it Snubgate?

Blogworship.

Ok, first of all, The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research just helped my viral campaign take one of its first baby viral steps with this blog post by the always awesome Chris Bobel.

Second of all, they alerted those of us already on red alert about a certain US women’s magazine (Elizabeth Kisslingof SMCR calls them, ladymags) that encouraged women to snub a cool looking new book. Stay tuned for a review and interview with the authors.

And third of all, in our annual Halloween run up I’m posting this year’s first offering from Tampon Crafts.

Imagine a world where we use reusable, eco friendly feminine hygiene products most of the time, and tampons become these things that are just sort of…you know…kicking around because they’re handy now and again, or some people still use them, or you never threw out that last box and it’s still there next to some  out-of-date vitamin C, and you only noticed it when you took down the box of Sesame Street band-aids.

Ok, are you picturing that?  If it helps, your band-aid has Ernie and Bert on it.

So here’s something to do with those tampons.

ghost

How cute is that?

Full instructions for the ghost (and a bat!) are available at the above link.

Chella