The Bleedin’ Irish Female Body: Menstrual Activism in Ireland, 1980 & 2015
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In this thesis I explore two case of menstrual activism. The first took place in Armagh Goal in 1980, when republican women prisoners smeared their menstrual blood on the walls of their prison cells. The second case study took place thirty-five years later when abortion rights activists tweeted details of their menstrual cycles to the Irish taoiseach (prime minister). I examine these case studies with three theoretical frameworks: Gilles Deleuze’s question of ‘what can a body do?’, Judith Butler’s vulnerability/resistance paradigm, and the wider field of menstrual activism, using Chris Bobel and Breanne Fahs’ writing on the subject. I further explore these case studies through the Irish images of the Virgin Mary and the Sheela-na-Gig in order to create a new role model for Irish menstrual activists.