Out for Blood

Essays on Menstruation and Resistance

By Breanne Fahs

Subjects: Feminist, Women's Studies, Body, The, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies
Series: SUNY series, Praxis: Theory in Action
Paperback : 9781438462127, 148 pages, November 2016
Hardcover : 9781438462134, 148 pages, November 2016

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Table of contents

Introduction—On Dragons and Death Threats: Telling New Menstrual Stories

Part I: Theorizing Cycles and Stains

1. Cycling Together: Menstrual Synchrony as a Projection of Gendered Solidarity

2. The Menstrual Stain as Graffiti

Part II: Dispatches from the Blogosphere

3. In Praise of Cycles

4. “Feminine Hygiene” and the Ultimate Double Standard

5. Adventures on Komodo Island

6. Menstruation according to Apple

7. Collateral Damage: Throwing Menstruation Out of the Museum

Part III: Blood on the Couch

8. Blood on the Couch: Disclosures about Menstruation in the Therapy Room

9. The Menstruating Male Body

Part IV: Menarchy and Menstrual Activism

10. Raising Bloody Hell: Inciting Menstrual Panics through Campus and Community Activism

11. Smear It on Your Face: Menstrual Art, Performance, and Zines as Menstrual Activism


Frames menstruation as a site of resistance, defiance, and shamelessness, showcasing the work of those who fight back against shame and silence.


Finalist for the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in the Women's Studies category
Winner of the 2017 Distinguished Publication Award presented by the Association for Women in Psychology

Transporting the reader to worlds in which Komodo dragons prey on menstruating women, artists prowl the streets of Spain in blood-stained pants, and the myths of women bleeding in synchrony with each other are drawn and redrawn, these eleven essays on menstruation and resistance evoke thought-provoking tensions between silence and confrontation, shame and rebellion, and compliance and disobedience. Fusing together gender and feminist theory, critical body studies, political activism, and menstrual anarchy, Breanne Fahs illuminates the troubling omissions of menstrual coming-of-age narratives in the museum, the outdated terminology of "feminine hygiene," and the moral panics about blood that erupts from in and outside of our bathrooms, classrooms, and cell phones. Borrowing from a multitude of voices—single moms, trans teenagers, zine makers, menstrual artists, college students, tour guides, French philosophers, and culture jammers—Fahs forcefully argues for a new culture of menstruation, one where the joys, rhythms, and controversies of menstrual cycles collides with the defiant, shameless, and bold new possibilities of menstrual resistance.

Breanne Fahs is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of Performing Sex: The Making and Unmaking of Women's Erotic Lives, also published by SUNY Press, Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol), and the coeditor (with Mary L. Dudy and Sarah Stage) of The Moral Panics of Sexuality.


"Though Out for Blood is funny and playful, Fahs also demands that we take menstruation seriously. In support of this demand, Fahs delivers a rigorous interrogation of cultural attitudes about menstruation, its meaning in the psychic life of people who menstruate, and possibilities for menstrual activism. Out for Blood is also a significant contribution to literature on feminist pedagogy. " — Sex Roles

"Out for Blood is [a] lively interdisciplinary interrogation … It is a book that clears all the misconceptions about what essentially defines womanhood. " — Cover Drive