I write, research and teach, and for a long time my main topic has been menstruation. It’s affirming and inspiring to see the subject now attracting mainstream attention.
My book on acknowledging and destigmatising menstruation, Her Blood Is Gold, has been republished twice and in several countries. I have a PhD in Management & Organization Studies from Monash University Business School in Melbourne, where my research investigated uptake of menstrual workplace policies and menstrual cups.
I am now a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, where I am investigating the relationship between menstrual stigma and environmental and organizational sustainability. I also do some teaching and consulting on menstrual policies and products, including for governments, international institutions, MNCs and the third sector.
Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation by Lara Owen
Her Blood Is Gold was first published in 1993 by HarperCollins. The updated and extended 2008 edition is available worldwide from Archive Publishing. According to my publisher, the book is now a proper bestseller. It was a slow burn :-). Here are some nice things people have said about it:
“I felt like I was walking around on air for days after reading Her Blood Is Gold. It was like a veil had been lifted. Your sharp analysis of the cultural construction of our attitudes towards menstruation really opened my eyes to alternative possibilities and more attuned ways of relating to my body.” Laura Robson, The Body Literacy Collective, London.
“Like the wise-women whose memory she celebrates, Lara Owen is both scientist and poet. In this wonderful book, she shows how “the curse”, when respected, becomes every woman’s crock of gold.” Chris Knight Ph.D., author of Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture, Professor of Anthropology, University of East London.
“I want to tell you how much your book on menstruation has meant to me…..If I’d had it when I was thirty it would have saved me a lot of pain and confusion.” Scilla Elworthy, author of Power and Sex, founder of the Oxford Research Group.
To buy: You can order the book from your local indie bookstore anywhere in the world. If that’s impractical or impossible, here are links to buying the book on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, bookdepository.com and fishpond.com.au. Also available on mobile/iPad and Kindle.
Recent & Upcoming
May 2021: With colleagues at Resource Futures consultancy, I wrote this article published in Circular, the recycling/waste management professionals magazine, on confronting the role of menstrual stigma in product choice and period management.
2021: Please see the events page for details of my online conference talks this year.
December 2020: New podcast! Menstrual stigma, menstrual awareness, the body and psychological development. Great interviewing by psychotherapist Jodie Gale at The Soul Centre in Sydney.
December 11 2020: The Body of Work event (Universities of Bath and Essex) on menstruation in the workplace that was Covid-cancelled will now be online. I’m speaking on menstruation and embodied sustainability at work. Registration (free) here.
December 9 2020: Online talk on menstruation in the workplace at the University of Bedfordshire. See events page for details.
October 29 2020: I’ve been awarded a new grant from the Scottish Funding Council to further develop my work on menstrual stigma and sustainability at St Andrews.
August 22 2020: It’s a year since the updated Brazilian edition of Her Blood Is Gold came out, and to celebrate we did an online Q and A today. I’m teaching four advanced classes for Brazilian readers Nov 18–Dec 9, details on the events page.
July 16 2020: I was interviewed for this ABC piece on menstruation in the workplace, out today.
September 18 2019: I was on ABC Radio National PM in the aftermath of the ad standards agency ruling that the Libra ad’s depiction of menstrual blood as red did not breach ethical guidelines (the ad was heavily complained about, triggering a review).
August 27 2019: On ABC Radio Adelaide Breakfast talking about the new Libra ad and the disposable menstrual product industry. The hosts asked great questions. Interview starts around 2 hours in.
August 26 2019: In The Conversation today: I wrote a piece on the Blood Normal ad campaign for the the Libra brand of menstrual pads. (P.S. turned out to be widely-read.)
Latest book news
If you are a translator or publisher interested in foreign language editions of Her Blood Is Gold, please contact me directly as I own the non-English rights.
May 2020: An excerpt from Her Blood Is Gold is now available in Turkish at Aysa Erdogyu’s blog and the group have also published a hard copy. We hope this will lead to a full Turkish edition.
July 2019: Seu Sangue é Ouro, the Portugese translation of Her Blood Is Gold, is now back in print and on sale from July 2019, in a beautiful new edition of the updated 2008 English language version. Many thanks to Brazilian translator and publisher Josiane Tibursky at Lotus 22 who has done the most fantastic job. The book has quite a special following in Brazil due to the popularity of the 1994 translation, now long out of print, and the new edition is already selling amazingly well.
Lara Owen writes and researches on menstruation, work, and feminism. She teaches and consults internationally.