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Out for Blood: Feminine Hygiene to Menstrual Equity (Exhibition Opening)

Join us for a discussion featuring leading activists and scholars working toward menstrual justice. The program will open the exhibition Out for Blood: Feminine Hygiene to Menstrual Equity.

Throughout the 20th century, the marketing and design of menstrual products often stigmatized menstruation as an unmentionable bodily affliction. Menstruation was and, in some ways, remains wrapped in euphemism, as feminine hygiene, a weakness, a nuisance. “Feminine hygiene” products have been touted as offering sanitation, invisibility, and freedom—but at what cost?

In this exhibition, organized by Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library, historical artifacts surrounding menstruation show how marketing and social norms have created both a physiological stigma and a cultural construct shaping how women should live their lives.

Out for Blood highlights the work of the groundbreaking Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, the words of menstruating girls and women, and the production of zines that challenge toxic hygiene products and gendered assumptions. It is placed within the context of a worldwide movement for menstrual equity engaging with issues of class and race as well as gender.


Zsanai Epps, director of My Sister’s Keeper and Positive Period, Black Women’s Health Imperative

Nadya Okamoto, cofounder and CEO of August; founder of Period; author of Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement (Simon & Schuster, 2018)


Chris Bobel, professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study gratefully acknowledges the Helen Blumen and Jan Acton Fund for Schlesinger Library Exhibitions, which is supporting this exhibition.

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