Culture

Woman Runs Marathon Without Tampon to Fight ‘Period-Shaming’

Kiran Gandhi (at right)
The actual positive impact of this is not clear.

Harvard Business School graduate Kiran Gandhi recently committed what is apparently considered a heroic act of feminism by running a marathon without a tampon — letting herself just bleed everywhere. The goal was to fight what she sees as a stigma against periods.

“Running 26.2 miles with a wad of cotton material wedged between my legs just seemed so absurd,” Gandhi wrote in a Medium blog about her experience at April’s London Marathon.

(Some might argue that allowing any kind of blood — period-related or not — to just gush out of your body and all over your clothes when you could have avoided it is a little more “absurd,” but apparently Gandhi disagrees.)

“As I ran, I thought to myself about how women and men have both been effectively socialized to pretend periods don’t exist,” she continued. “By establishing a norm of period-shaming, [male-preferring] societies effectively prevent the ability to bond over an experience that 50% of us in the human population share monthly.”

Gandhi said she also intended the bleeding to raise awareness for the fact that women in other countries don’t have access to tampons.

The marathon was in April, but Gandhi is still receiving press for the run, with articles in outlets including Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, and People.

#related#”I have this vision that if men had their period, because we are in a male-privileging society, that rules would be written into the workplace, rules would be written into the social fabric that enable men to take a moment when they need to or enable people to talk about their periods openly,” she told Cosmo in a recent interview.

She’s also gained a lot of attention on social media, with many touting her as a feminist hero for doing what many people might consider just an unsanitary waste of perfectly good pants.

Gandhi has also toured as a drummer for M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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