Tampons. That seems to be the prevailing theme of the week on the internet. Women that don’t wear them. A GOP Presidential contender that could probably use one. Seriously, the last few days have taught me two things: the general public doesn’t appreciate a poorly placed menstruation joke and period shaming is actually a thing.
Kiran Ghandi ran her first marathon in April. For some reason, the choice she made at the London race is just now gaining traction online. Ms. Ghandi decided to run the entire 26.2 mile course “free bleeding.” Opting to spend those few hours free of sanitary products while Aunt Flo was on a visit, Ghandi was attempting to shed light on the apparent social phenomenon known as period shaming.
To me, period-shaming is when you – as someone who is experiencing the bleeding – have to make somebody else comfortable before yourself. There were two things that helped my decision to run free. Firstly, I thought, Oh god, I really don’t want to run a marathon with a tampon in, as it’s something I’ve never done before. But it was also the fact I had to think about what other people would think of me that helped me make the decision. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you look for others on a marathon course. To me, that shed light on the fact there is no global conversation about periods.
I…wait….what? I am fully aware that women in other countries, specifically those in the Middle East, have to live with archaic views held by men with regard to a woman’s monthly cycle. But, let’s be real. A country that thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to drive or leave the house without covering themselves from head to toe probably isn’t the country that’s going to have a “conversation about periods.” And aren’t there more sanitary ways to have a talk with the world about making sure women everywhere have access to tampons and pads? An alarming number of people don’t have access to indoor plumbing either. Perhaps for next year’s marathon she can pee and poop along the way? That’ll show ‘em!
And then there’s Donald Trump, living proof that the United States doesn’t take periods or presidential primaries very seriously. Reacting to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s debate question, Trump said, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” I have issues with Donald Trump. I’m not convinced that he’s a conservative and I refuse to throw my support his way. However, his comment highlights a huge issue. Megyn Kelly’s possible premenstrual line of questioning is all anyone is talking about. What does that say about the current crop of presidential contenders? The most talked about debate moment didn’t even occur on stage!
While I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, I am aware of the appeal of Donald Trump. He speaks his mind, damn the consequences. The American people are clamoring for a leader that isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. He certainly fills the bill. And, while it’s probably not nice to suggest Megyn Kelly’s line of questioning might have been induced by lack of Midol, it really isn’t the worst thing a candidate can say, is it?