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Check out www.periodpositive.com

periodpositivesquareThis blog is lots of fun but is mostly on hiatus right now to give Chella time to work on research and policy advocacy for #periodpositive. To keep up with our news and events, please follow this link to periodpositive.com. This here blog will be updated when the new issue of Adventures in Menstruating is out!

Cheers,

Chella

You guys, what a year!

You guys! I can’t even. This year has been a real adventure in menstruating, let me tell you! I have been terrible about blogging about it all, but expect some updates very soon, as soon as I catch up with myself. They’re calling this year the year of the period!  If that’s the case, please help me make 2016 the year of #periodpositive education. Go to www.periodpositive.com for more details, and follow @chellaquint and @periodpositive on Twitter. All the best, thanks to everyone who helped make 2015 so awesome, and see you in the new year!

Let's make 2016 the year of #periodpositivemenstruation education. join @chellaquint's #periodpositive campaign!www.periodpositive.com

Audience responses and the STAINS™ #flashblob!

You guys – only two shows left!

And the #flashblob! www.stainstm.com is gaining hella momentum. (Also, Chella momentum.) We are going to demolish leakage fear once and for all you guys!

Things to say to acknowledge stains and reject the narrative of ‘leakage horror’:

Leaks happen. Just like other bodily functions happen.

I meant to do that. 

Leak chic. 

Red is the new black. 

It’s clot couture.

My cup (pad/tampon/sea sponge) runneth over! But you do not need to run over in a panic and tell me about it cos it’s totes fine and I’m just gonna you know… change my clothes when I get a chance.

Don’t you wish your bloodstain was hot like me?

I keep bleeding. I keep bleeding, love. – Leona Lewis (hat tip to Kate Fox for pointing this out in poetry form) 

Had a great review which really endorsed the comedy AND the #periodpositive campaign!

“This shouldn’t just be at the Fringe, it should be on the curriculum.” –  **** Three Weeks

And check out my  audience responses! 

uni leeds alumnae

“Chella manages to both inform and entertain at the same time.”

“She’s incredibly warm and make the audience feel utterly relaxed.”

“I really appreciated this show. It’s important that people don’t feel ashamed of periods. Keep it up!”

“I had so much fun – Thank you!”

“Chella is super funny and makes periods less of a taboo. Talking about it in a less serious light makes me feel more comfortable.”

“Brilliant show!”

“Awesome show!”

“Great show! I learned a lot today and Chella made the learning fun and exciting.”

“Delightful! Very upbeat, relaxed and informative!”

“Brill show! Funny and educational! Kids will love it too.”

“Really interesting.”

“Funny! Informative! Feminist! Inclusive! Engaging!”

“I wish you had done this show when I was a teenager 50 years ago!”

Adventures in Menstruating!

You guys, I’m back. And boy am I back. I went from research hiatus to 10th anniversary zine and comedy show special, taking my first full run to the Fringe.  If you’re in or near Edinburgh, come along – it’s free – but if not you can still join in. 

square pic show (3)

I can’t believe I’ve been writing and editing Adventures in Menstruating for 10 years. The celebrations have already started, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research threw me a zine birthday party and Leeds Zine Fest shared all my films and did a Skype chat with me just last week.

Stay tuned in the Autumn for details about the anthology I want to put together about all the zines so far and join in with some #periodpositive activism at home while I’m in Edinburgh.

Periods have really been in the news lately. Have you seen it? 

It started with a new zine on the block by friend-of-a-friend Soofiya. Bloody hell – another UK-based intersectional and trans-inclusive period zine! The Indigogo campaign for it has ended, but you can still find out details here

The other week, London marathon runner Kirin Ghandi revealed that she decided to do the race free bleeding to avoid chaffing and aim for a personal best. She is a menstrual superhero. (And is totally up for supporting STAINS™!)

And just a few days ago, the US and then international media finally realised that it’s not okay to make fun of someone by saying they menstruate. Whatever Donald Trump meant, it’s nice to know that the shame is on him and not on menstruators, even if for some people periods can be a pain in the “whatever”.  It amazes me about no one’s made more fuss about this getting him ejected for the Red State Convention.

Keep track of more frequent updates here and up to the minute info on twitter @chellaquint and @periodpositive.  I think the best way to resolve all this stuff is to take all the #periodpositive stuff global as a benchmark for excellent provision of menstruation education and management – a way to show that we’re serious about the sustainability of menstruation education and management locally and globally. How about a #periodpositive network, set up to award a benchmark to best practice, like the Fair Trade logo?  I hope you will join me  to help make this possible, and have a laugh along the way. 

Cause once we sort out period taboos and reproductive health, we can go back to talking about how cool dinosaurs and outer space are, right?

Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go.

So my 24 Hour Zine Thing got a little out of hand. I may need to finish it during NaNoWriMo. It’s not a novel, though it’s approaching book length rather than zine length. It’s the kids’ version of my zine!

Last year’s 24 Hour Zine got a bit out of hand, too – it was more like a 48 hour zine, It’s Not You, I Just Need Space. (Interplanetary Letters of Love and Rejection.), which is also a Tumblr, and what I was performing from at the Fringe. I do love a quick deadline though- it’s my extreme sport of choice. Although I was disappointed about not completing the 24 Hour Zine challenge in time, I did contribute to a Pussy Riot poetry anthology that the awesome editors put together in a day, for reals, and I just did a zine with a 2-day turnaround for Do It Thissen this week, and it was loads of fun. I got to interview Martin X Russian, Sheffield’s most well known zine writer who covered the post punk scene here in 25 issues of the very old school and quite sarcastic NMX. He also prints my zine, and it’s a total honour. For the zine we did together, I interviewed Martin at his print shop, designed and typed it, and he set it and printed 100 copies for the exhibition. They’re free and there are a few left. It’s about how he went from zine writing to starting his own print business. We get into the relevance of zines, and whether print is a luxury or a necessity. More about that later. For now, after going on so much about 24 Hour zines in the past, I thought I ought to do a status report. Look out for My First Adventures in Menstruating soon.

Video

Chella Quint – Adventures in Menstruating: Don’t Use Shame to Sell

My TEDxSheffield video is up. Please share if you’d like to continue the conversation.

-Chella x

Femcare doesn’t care, Part 2.

So, what’s the endgame, Femfresh? Are the ads still going to rely on coy euphemism to sell an unnecessary product? Or is there going to be some kind of response to the Facebook, Twitter and blog comments?

Frankly, I’m with Kermit in The Muppets Take Manhattan:

Here’s another Zonite ad from 1950. Seriously – it’s a real ad. You can check out more at the excellent Ad*Access online archive at Duke University.

Image

Fear sells, huh? I don’t buy it.

Here’s one from the archive (2010) for all the new StainsTM recruits from TEDx Sheffield. 😀 Let’s continue the two way conversation with femcare companies.

Since the beginning of the feminine hygiene industry, companies have tried to sell their products to us by using the fear of leaking blood through our clothes, leaving a huge stain and even huger shame.

From ‘certain-safe’ Modess pledging to protect us from ‘striking through’ in 1935, to today’s LeakLock®, Four Walled Protection®, Clean SorbTM Cover, and the physics-defying Always Infinity®, fear has always been a factor.

Today, companies are taking it a step further from reality by giving their products names that sound like clothes to ensure that we’ve got leaking on our minds from the start. SkirtsTM, PearlsTM, BraidsTM, SilkTM? It’s as if without these products we’ll be naked, and be forced to pay attention to our bodies.

But we say: enough of the subliminal sabotage. Today, Adventures in Menstruating is gonna go one better. We’ve got a way to undermine this sort of feminine hygiene ad once and for all. We’re gonna debunk, demystify and disempower leakage fear by turning the stain into an object of desire.

An object of beauty.

High fashion.

Clot couture.

Too gross? Ok don’t panic. We don’t believe you need to use real blood to reclaim.

Let’s call it Leak Chic.

Introducing…StainsTM. A removable stain to wear on your own clothing as you see fit. A fashion statement that really says something, and that something is, ‘Screw you, Madison Avenue. I’m taking this one back. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve and my blood on my pants. I’m gonna reclaim the stain, reclaim my blood, and reclaim my period.’ Because people, I’m telling you red is the new black.

Introducing our new fashion line (and possibly the only fashion line ever brought out by a zine) featuring the only logo no other company will try to steal.

So, doesn’t matter what gender you are or whether you menstruate or not – just for goofs. Goofs and solidarity, please join us by adding a stain to your stylings. Copy or download the pattern above, affix to your clothing in any medium you like (iron-on, felt cut-out, screen print, stencil…) and remember that the best defence against leaks and stains is a healthy dose of shamelessness.

It’s time to move on from Advertising 101.

So, TEDx Sheffield and Docfest were amazing! I had a great time, met more awesome people than I can count on both hands and feet, saw fascinating talks and outstanding films.  I really enjoyed sharing my femcare advertising  deconstructions in a new setting, and collected exactly two more of those visceral reactions to people hearing the name of the zine.  Then, last night, someone mentioned the most recent Femfresh campaign.

The latest Femfresh ad campaign (slogan: Whatever you call it, love it.) uses euphemisms for your vagina and tells you that if you know what’s good for you (it?) you’ll buy their stuff. That loving it (yourself?) means using their product.

Now, I’ve said in the zine, on here, and live: we’re self-cleaning, like ovens, so we don’t need this stuff, and if we really loved ourselves, we wouldn’t accept these messages from advertisers. But that hasn’t stopped them using the same techniques in the Femfresh campaign (which you can look up online – I’m loath to link it here and send web traffic  toward a femcare company, although their Facebook page is rife with rebuttals and is actually being rather amusingly hijacked, if you care to check it out) over sixty years after this ad…

Zonite, 1950, from the Ad*Access archive.

Now. This Zonite ad, from the Duke University Ad*Access archive in the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, is one of the first ads I deconstructed in Adventures in Menstruating #1, and the first I showed in the Pecha Kucha and TEDx talks. Same messages as the Femfresh ad: euphemisms instead of grown-up words, buy their stuff to sort it out ASAP, and creating the solution for an imaginary problem that they’ve also, conveniently, hyped up.

That was 1950. This is 2012. It’s time to move on.

What I did on my summer vacation.

This has been one heck of a summer. It’s been very busy, and very exciting. I’m going to put up some photos with captions and tell you all about it. I was a speaker at a Pecha Kucha talk, we went to Edinburgh, I did two readings in New York and got stranded in a hurricane, and in between, the zines were in an exhibition at Site Gallery in Sheffield.  Come back to this post soon for more.