"Couldn’t we come up with some nano “woombas” to suck up a couple of ounces of blood every month?" asks Kaleigh Rogers. Where, oh where, are our flashy, hi-tech menstruation solutions? After a hundred years of tampons, is it time to paint Silicon Valley red and develop some uterine upgrades?
Maggie Delano discusses the crushing assumption of heterosexual fertility planning written into the very code of period tracking apps. A participant in the Quantified Self movement (described here by the wonderful Whitney Erin Boesel), Delano articulates for us the often-hidden, unique needs of women who are infertile or partnered with women, trans men and those not sexually active. I felt keenly her frustration at the way period trackers can never be 'neutral' or customisable outside of certain prescribed limitations, which have nothing to do with usability and everything to do with cultural expectations.
Camp Cranky is a virtual sleepaway camp intended by its creators, actors Liane Balaban and Vanessa Matsui, to be a safe space for young girls to hear personal stories about first periods, learn about the biology of menstruation, read poems about periods (musician Leslie Feist and actress Emma Thompson each contribute), and learn about various menstrual products. Readers can also donate to Huru International, which sends menstrual supplies to girls in need in Kenya. Camp Cranky is the first phase in what will eventually be Crankytown [the name comes from a Feist poem], a site where women of all ages can discuss menstruation and menopause. The project is a part of the National Film Board and Studio XX's First Person Digital Program. [more inside]
"May God close your horable museum." Because I can't believe this has never been the subject of a full post here before, although it keeps popping up in comments: The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. The inimitable Harry Finley has assembled a dizzying and oddly comprehensive site. It may be a bit much to take in one go (dilute, dilute, OK?), but you might dip in at: menstrual slapping; patent medicines; facts of life booklets; the Little Doozee; pre-twentieth century menstrual products and practices; Lysol douching, yay and nay; or the tour of the museum inside Harry's house (now closed). Also: cats, because Harry likes cats.