FemCare, Menstruation, Objects, Reusable menstrual products

When I talk with young women who’ve never heard about alternative menstrual products, they often have a hard time imagining inserting something the size of a menstrual cup. For some reason, asking them to picture a silicone (or rubber) cone-shaped shot glass doesn’t ease their anxiety. Thanks to the Magical Menstruation Tumblr, I now have the perfect visual aids:

And there’s even a video to demonstrate how to do that tricky-looking fold!

[ Original source: Femme Fleur ]

Respecting the Maori Menstrual Taboo

Communication, Objects, Religion/Spirituality

Female visitors to Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand) are faced with a difficult moral dilemma regarding the taonga Maori collection included in an upcoming tour.

An invitation for regional museum staff to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of some of Te Papa’s collections included the condition that “wahine who are either hapu [pregnant] or mate wahine [menstruating]” were unable to attend.

Te Papa spokeswoman Jane Keig said the policy was in place because of Maori beliefs surrounding the taonga Maori collection included in the tour.

“There are items within that collection that have been used in sacred rituals. That rule is in place with consideration for both the safety of the taonga and the women,” Keig said.

She said there was a belief that each taonga had its own wairua, or spirit, inside it.

“Pregnant women are sacred and the policy is in place to protect women from these objects.”

The policy does not apply to the entire exhibit, but to a “behind-the-scenes” tour offered November 5. Visitors’ reproductive status will not be verified in any way, but women are expected to be honest about it and obey the request.

Party Time

Activism, anatomy, DIY, Humor, Objects

Liz Henry's uterus pinataHave you ever wanted to make a uterus piñata? Say, for a baby shower or a menarche party? Liz Henry explains how.

Ms. Henry notes that the symbolism is not as violent as it might first appear:

Now you might think of this as perturbingly violent or promoting the idea of bashing someone’s body part with a baseball bat. However, try to adjust your mind to a different symbolism where cornucopia-like, abundant wealth flows freely out of a fertile, open uterus and you, as whackers with baseball bats, are encouraging it to open up to the world and deliver its fabulous contents!

[via Geek Feminism]

The Period Fairy

Internet, Media, Menstruation, Objects

Readers who have been with us for a while may recall meeting the Period Fairy last fall. She was greeted with mixed reactions at re:Cycling, but she’s back, now with swag! Fans of the Period Fairy can now order t-shirts and coffee mugs with her likeness and slogan, “Irritating Women Since Time Began”. She’s also started her own blog.

Full disclosure: The Period Fairy’s creator just sent me a t-shirt, gratis, and they are quite nice. I was NOT asked to promote the site or the merchandise.

Feminine Protection for Your iPad

FemCare, Humor, Objects

iMaxi quilted carrying case for the iPadThe iPad is not even available yet, but there are already iPad accessories on the market.  Be the first on your block to get the iMaxi – the Apple iPad Case with Protective Wings.

With its durable vinyl outer layer and plush, quilted-cotton sleeve, the iMaxi helps keep your iPad clean and dry. Plus, the iMaxi’s Velcro-latched, advanced wing design wraps snugly around your device, so your iPad always stays where it should. Best of all, it shields it from all those unsightly and embarrassing data leaks that would make any motherboard worry!

But hurry and order – the red iMaxi is already sold out!

[via Jezebel]

Today in Unnecessary Inventions

FemCare, Law/Legal, Menstruation, Objects

Device for reducing duration of menstrual flow (Patent Pending)An Israeli inventor has applied for a patent for a device to shorten the duration of menstrual flow. Apparently it works by insertion into the vagina and “delivering pressure oscillations and/or acoustic waves and/or shock waves to the vagina and cervix to change the flow properties of menses fluid”, which causes the rate of blood flow to increase so that total time of bleeding decreases. Also, “the device also includes an absorbent member attached to the pressure oscillations generating unit for absorbing menstrual secretions.” In other words, there’s a built-in tampon to catch the increased flow.

For my money, that little device looks and sounds a lot more uncomfortable than wearing pads or tampons.

Selling Shoes for Running while Cycling

Advertising, anatomy, Menstruation, Objects

Asics gender-specific running shoeAsics footwear has developed a new running shoe that accommodates changes in women’s arches across the menstrual cycle.  According to the Daily Mail, new research shows that changes in levels of estrogen affect flexibility and the height of the foot’s arch. When estrogen is high, and a woman is at her most fertile, the arch drops. Later in the month, when she is menstruating, levels of the hormone are low and the arch is raised.

So the athletic shoe manufacturer has created a new model of running shoe with with three layers of cushioning below the arch.  Closest to the foot is a layer of foam, followed by an air-filled gap and a plastic block. When the woman’s arch is low, the foam is compressed into the gap and when her arch is high the foam fills out. This supposedly assures adequate support throughout the menstrual cycle.

Neither the Daily Mail article nor Asics clarify what causes men’s arches to fluctuate; a quick search-and-surf through Asics website shows the Space Trusstic System® is available in both women’s and men’s models of shoes.

[via Glad Rags]

Do we need more plastic objects shaped like female body parts?

anatomy, Internet, Objects

Computer mouse designed to resemble human vulvaAndy Kurovets, the designer who brought us those lovely maxi-pad shelves is displaying a new item: The G-spot computer mouse. When you find the secret spot, the computer automatically goes to your favorite thing online, whether it’s your email application or your favorite feminist blog (that would be us, right?).

No. Just no. As Melissa at Geek Feminism says, this could reinforce some wrong ideas.

[via Geek Feminism]