Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

A rap song for pap smears, Menstruation Barbie, and more weekend links

April 19th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

Blood Moon, Badass Bleeders, and More Weekend Links

April 12th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

By Peter Gaylard from Australia (Blood Moon 28th Aug 2007) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Erin Brockovich and other visionary women in weekend links

April 5th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

The C word, Non-hormonal Contraceptives, and More Weekend Links

March 22nd, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling
  • Cunt has been in Oxford English Dictionary since 1972, and feminist debates about whether the word can be reclaimed go back at least as far. Many re:Cycling readers know this monologue (video at right) from Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. This year, OED has officially added cunty to its lexicon.
  • The Red Tent Sisters explain how to choose a condom.
  • Here’s another non-hormonal method of contraception that doesn’t get enough press: vaginal contraceptive film, aka VCF.
  • Want to have sex like a porn star? Check out these ten “mind blowing sex tips” from Stoya.
  • Why we don’t talk about our abortions: “while not one of us feels like we did the wrong thing (not one of us looks wistfully into the distance and imagines the child-that-could-have-been) we all know that it takes braver women than us to be honest and say ‘I’m proud that I didn’t bring an unwanted baby into the world.’ “

Are There Limits to Empathy?

March 17th, 2014 by Chris Bobel

Readers—I need your help!

Next month, I will participate in a friendly debate at the Museum of Modern Art about Sputniko!’s provocative piece “Menstrutation Machine.” We’ve written about Menstruation Machine on re:Cycling before. In short, the metal device is equipped with a blood-dispensing system and electrodes that stimulate the lower abdomen, thus replicating the pain and bleeding of a five-day menstrual period.

Here’s the video that the artist created to simulate what it was like for one fictional boy (Takashi) when he wore the device while socializing with a friend in the streets of Tokyo.

The debate is part of a series Design and Violence-an “ongoing online curatorial experiment that explores the manifestations of violence in contemporary society by pairing critical thinkers with examples of challenging design work.”

The exact debate resolution is still being worked out, but it will revolve around this question of EMPATHY.

That is, what is the potential of “Menstruation Machine,” specifically, or any other object, to engender empathy in another?

Need more examples? Think Empathy Belly (thanks to sister blogger Chris Hitchcock who conjured that connection).

But we can extend the concept to ANY experience designed to expressly help an individual see inside someone else’s reality. Think “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”, the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence, “a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men’s sexualized violence against women”; The Blind Café; or the TV show 30 Days, “An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days.”

So, dear readers, I am hungry for you to share your thoughts as I prepare for the debate.

What do YOU think?

Can design help us be more empathic?

Can a non-menstruator ever really know what it is like to menstruate?

Can a temporary simulated experience, like this or any other, build a bridge?

Are there limits to what we can know of another’s lived experience, even if we can, for a short while, FEEL the pain?

Scarleteen needs help, Blood Speaks, and more weekend links

March 15th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling


Menstrual Man, Female Viagra, and More Weekend Links

March 8th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

The Downside to Having a Woman President, and More Weekend Links

March 1st, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

Period sex, period podcasts, and more weekend links

February 22nd, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

NuvaRing settles suit, period pain keeps us awake, and more weekend links

February 15th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

We didn’t have much on our radar to report last week, so this we’re trying to make up for it this weekend!

Menstruation Musical Theatre, Misconceptions about Conception, & More Weekend Links

February 2nd, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling

Cycle-tracking apps, a new period mixtape, and more weekend links

January 25th, 2014 by Elizabeth Kissling
Readers should note that statements published in re: Cycling are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.