People always attack the III feminist wave and protect the II and I. The “old” feminism is the “good “one in their naive minds.
This is not the truth. Example? Feminists have been determined to break this “taboo” about menstruation since the second wave.
Feminists using menstrual activism certainly isn’t new. In 1970, in The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer memorably wrote that “if you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood – if it makes you sick, you’ve a long way to go, baby“. Bobel has charted the movement’s history, writing about the first “bleed-in” in 1973, when 13 women gathered in the US and “shared stories of their first periods”. Around the same time the artist Judy Chicago created Red Flag, a lithograph of a bloody tampon being pulled from between a woman’s legs. (Berthon-Moine’s work reflects Chicago’s, and is, she says, similarly a way of breaking taboos and “showing what you usually don’t see – tampons, blood, all that”.)
One morning in 2005, Chella Quint was lying in bed wondering if her period was due. That day she was entering a contest to create a magazine in 24 hours. She needed an idea, and the two thoughts collided. Why not create a 10-year chart for her menstrual cycle? She need never lie in bed wondering again. She could include interviews, a diagram of female reproductive organs, an ode to alternative sanitary products . . .
So began Quint’s life as a menstrual activist. Since that hastily written debut, she has created four issues of her ‘zine, Adventures in Menstruating, complete with leakage horror stories and tampon craft projects. She has taken her “menstrual comedy” show from her home in Sheffield to feminist festivals in Berlin, Cork and Malmö. And she has started a project to photograph her “biggest bugbear”: the sanitary disposal units (SDUs) in British toilets.
Who in their right mind would want to go around with bloodstains all over the crotch of their clothing? What’s about health risk ? Blood carries diseases and if these feminists are bleeding and walking around leaving traces of her blood everywhere than it is possible that someone with an open wound could come in contact with that and be infected with something.
Don’t fight for us, feminists. We don’t need you.