Countering the Menstrual Mainstream A Study of the European Menstrual Countermovement
Introducing the term the ”Menstrual Countermovement”: the mass of actions, and agents that purposefully work towards challenging the repressive mainstream menstrual discourse of shame and silence, this research focuses on a spatiotemporal context previously unstudied: Europe, late 2000’s - early 2010‘s. The dual aim of the study is to contribute to a 1) diversification and broadening of the understanding of the movement as a whole, and (2) continuing the work of previous research further exploring the movement’s place within feminism. Using autoethnographic methods combined with ethnography adapted to online-research (netnography), the actions, reasoning and strategies of both the researcher herself (who is a member of the movement) and other European Menstrual Countermovers, are explored, described and analysed. Through social change-work based on consumerism, knowledge production, and the challenging of taboos the Menstrual Countermovement works towards challenging the repressive mainstream menstrual discourse of shame and silence. Through strategies of abjectification/attractification and hyper-personalisation they’re breaking boundaries of purity and filth as well as private and public. The European Menstrual Countermovement is found to be a highly personalised contemporary feminist/social movement which is struggling with finding a place within feminism. It is argued that the Menstrual Countermovement is doing Post-Constructionist feminism in practice.