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A note about the American Apparel Bleeding Vulva T

We at M.A.R.C. generally love anything vuvla and menstruation positive, especially when it is created by feminist artist activists like Petra Collins or the collective she works with. The “period positive” shirt American Apparel was selling (before it mysteriously disappeared) depicts a person touching their hairy, menstruating, vulva. We see this art piece as an attempt at normalizing masturbation during menstruation, hairy bodies as beautiful, and labia positivity that we do not generally see in porn (arguably the only place we see vulvas on display). Unfortunately we were left feeling less than satisfied with the $33 shirt sold by American apparel due to that companies long standing commodification of women and sexist work environment.

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I am one to be super critical of American Apparel being that they hypersexualize and objectify women who look like children throughout their website. But much to my surprise the capitalist cluster that is American Apparel decided to support the Ardorous: “a platform for female artists showcasing individual and collaborative projects between a collective of female creative professionals – all full of ardor but each with a unique artistic style and voice.” This collective is known for feminist photography like “there will be blood” and “Lady Manes” – photo sets that are definitely tumblr famous and have the power to unsettle the viewer.

Of course the feminist blog Jezebel and Bust jumped on the opportunity to talk about this surprising turn for American Apparel. The interesting part here is the comments, and the ultimate disgust of the women who see this shirt as: “foul and disgusting!! our world has no moral compass anymore what so ever!!!!”

Here are a few of the comments I found most unfortunate and reason enough for M.A.R.C. to exist, we have a lot of work to do menarchists!

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Yes. Because menstrual blood is the same as feces. And because we NEVER depict ejaculation in society. Except always in the media and architecture.

M.A.R.C. wanted to create t-shirts for the feminists who did not want to support American Apparel. If you are intrigued by Menstrual Anarchy and want to be apart of an activist collective, join us in wearing our menstruation and vulva positive line of activist gear that we sell at cost!

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M.A.R.C. at SMCR

The Menstrual Activist Research Collective will be facilitating a Menstrual Activism Workshop  at the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference on Friday, June 7th.

The workshop features:

  • A hands-on approach to menstrual activism, with discussions and demonstrations of various alternative products
  • Activist interventions and ideas on how to bring “menarchy” to your community
  • A  how-to on starting a dialogue about menstruation with different audiences (from friends to academic colleagues)
  •  Break downs  on the costs-per-year of mainstream menstrual products versus alternative products

Each workshop participant will take home a DIY Menstrual Activism Kit which includes non-working sample products, literature about alternative products, coupons, stickers and much more!