Period Party Podcast
Did you know people used to believe that period blood could turn wine into vinegar and MELT penises? (Welcome to Period Talk, a weekly roundup for people with dick-melting blood.) If your answer was no, you clearly haven’t listened to last week’s episode of Period Party yet. Our founder, Kirsten Karchmer, joined the hosts to talk about her new book, menstrual folklore, how to use your period to your advantage, teens getting labiaplasties, and other period/vag/health things. Listen here.
Does drinking alcohol affect your cycle?
A study on PMS-related depression shocked us with this one finding: women who reported drinking booze in moderate and woah-that’s-A-LOT amounts experienced less PMS than women who drank just a little or not at all. A bit confused, and wondering if this means drinking will improve our PMS, we turned to our founder for answers. Here’s her breakdown of how alcohol affects your period.
In Protest of Violence Against Women
Thousands of women in Mexico City participated in a powerful, chilling, all-the-feels piece of protest performance last week on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Created by the Chilean collective, La Tesis, this song+dance+protest piece, "Un violador en tu camino" ("A rapist in your path"), calls out the responsibility of governments, the patriarchy, and society at large for allowing femicide, disappearances and rape to continue. The performance is spreading to cities around the world, but here’s a video from Mexico City. One of the main parts of their chant is "y la culpa no era mia, ni donde estaba, ni como vestia." Translation: "And the fault wasn’t mine, nor where I was, nor how I was dressed."
Chewing Gum Fertility Tests
Imagine this: you wonder “am I ovulating rn?,” you pop a piece of gum, you check the color, and you know the answer. A team of STEM students from University of Copenhagen is working on making that a reality! Still in the development phase, Ovulaid is a smart gum that changes colors based on where you’re at in your cycle. The name sounds like a malt drink but the idea seems brilliant.
The Jennifer Gunter Drama
Did you get a chance to read the op-ed “Doctors Are Not Gods” in the Scientific American before it was taken down? (If not, you can get caught up some of the drama here... and if you want to go down a wormhole, check out the author’s twitter account, @writingblock.) Our two cents on all of this: medicine and personal experience do NOT need to be at war with each other! Both are important, powerful and, best-case scenario, they’re complementary. Also, as much as we disagree with Gunter’s stance on Western MDs being the only ones we should listen to, we think the haters on both sides of this should chill. Neither of the Jens (Gunter or Block) deserve your hate-tweets or tear-downs.
Here are some thought-provoking Broadside gems from the Twitterverse:
For Tweens Who Don't Want Periods
The mother of a 12-year-old girl wrote the New York Times for advice – she wanted to know what to tell her daughter, who detests her period and wants it to go away. We GET it, we’ve all been there at some point pre-Brazen. And while we generally tend to love the NYTimes, we kind of hated the response they ran – it focuses almost completely on different birth control options that will allow the tween to get her period less often or skip it altogether. (And yes, it’s by Jen Gunter.)
Is that really the best we can do? What if instead of saying “this sucks, here’s how to get rid of it” we say “it doesn’t need to suck” and share ways (i.e.: lifestyle changes and supplements) to improve not only how they feel around their periods but also how they feel (and how their organs function) every other day of the year? Why not reframe periods? Why not explain to our daughters how our periods are powerful report cards for our health and how the messages they send us give us a huge advantage? We obviously feel strongly about this and a short little blurb in this newsletter won’t cut it. Alternative Brazen response to moms (and daughters) coming soon.
^ a friendly reminder via Matt Bernstein