Sex Roles (2006) 54:331–345
“Our Revolution Has Style”: Contemporary Menstrual Product
Activists “Doing Feminism” in the Third Wave
Published online: 3 October 2006
Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006
Abstract An in-depth content analysis of ﬁve web sites
and eight paper zines (self-produced and distributed maga-
zines) was conducted to uncover the inspiration, content, and
unique strategies associated with text -based contemporary
menstrual product activism. Menstrual product activism is
loosely deﬁned as various attempts to expose the hazards
of commercial “feminine protection” to both women’s bod-
ies and the environment and the promotion of healthier, less
expensive, and less resource-intensive alternatives. This ac-
tivism’s discourse draws on many traditions to produce its re-
sistance to mainstream menses management. The movement,
ﬁrst and foremost, is the legacy of several decades of related
activism, dating to the mid1970s. Contemporary menstrual
product activism updates and modiﬁes this tradition with the
“do it yourself” ethic and anti-corporate philosophy of Punk
culture and Third Wave feminist ideals of anti-essentialism,
inclusion, humor, irony, and reappropriation. To date, this
activist agenda has received little scholarly attention, yet it
promises to yield meaningful insight into so called Third
Wave feminist theory and practice and reveal the resilience
of a woman-centered modern history of resistance.
Women’s health activism
Third wave feminism
in spirit of challenging and collapsing
the insidious nature of the corporate monster
C. Bobel (
Department of Women’s Studies
University of Massachusetts, Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125, USA
that gobbles and trashes and fucks us over ...
in response to the dirty business ...
we have made this recipe book.
as an act of resistance to the system
that tramples over the homegrown d.i.y. style
we are sick of how they co-opt our life
to spit out into franchises ...
to over package our needs into taxed luxuries ...
we are sick of the garbarators
that insists to dismember ...
we are sick of how it insists to hide
and disguise our experiences
fuck the mark up they make on their lies ...
DOWN WITH THE INVENTORS OF NECESSITIES!
to the uprise when we stop popping tampons
and the popping big business medicines ...
we fuck the poisons
that kill our free remedies ...
when we fuck the complacency
to build the uprising ...
to bleed and use weeds
to stop feeding the corporate greed
when we ax tampax and what it embodies
(The Bloodisters, Red Alert #3, circa late 1990s, p. 3).
This piece–part poetry, part manifesto, and part statement
of conscience–shouts from a publication produced and
distributed by a Montreal-based activist group called “The
Bloodsisters.” They are dedicated to exposing the risks as-
sociated with conventional so-called “feminine protection,”
that is, menstrual products, and raising awareness about
alternatives, such as reusable cloth pads, internal collection
devices, including sea sponges and various cups, such as the
Keeper, and organic and/or natural commercial tampons and