Home / Feminism / Feminist Activism / Feminist Ran A Marathon Without A Tampon To Take A Stand Against The Imaginary Problem of ‘Period-Shaming’

Feminist Ran A Marathon Without A Tampon To Take A Stand Against The Imaginary Problem of ‘Period-Shaming’

ghandi-menstruating-lunatic Kiran Gandhi, who has played drums for singer M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation, decided to run the London Marathon. The night before she was set to run her very first marathon, Kiran Gandhi got her period. After a year of training, she refused to miss the momentous moment because of biology. She had two choices: She could either run the 26.2 miles with a tampon, or she could bleed freely. She chose the latter.  Gandhi went without a tampon during the London Marathon in April in an effort to fight the bogus and imaginary problem of “period-shaming” and to take a stand for women around the globe who don’t have access to menstruation products or who have to “hide [their period] away like it doesn’t exist.” [2] [3] She added: “I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.”  [3] Can you imagine more futile than that?  We certainly can’t! Like all those feminists that we see in the news these days, all she did is to build a straw man so she could tear it down.  This whole “period-shaming” thing just doesn’t exist in the real world except in the soft head of radical feminists who have too much time on their hands. So it’s an easy foe to beat.  Do you personally know any “period shamers”?  We don’t!   Anyway, she wrote about her “incredible experience” in a Medium blog last month and the story went viral spreading all across the world:

As I ran, I thought to myself about how women and men have both been effectively socialized to pretend periods don’t exist. 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. By making it difficult to speak about, we don’t have language to express pain in the workplace, and we don’t acknowledge differences between women and men that must be recognized and established as acceptable norms. Because it is all kept quiet, women are socialized not to complain or talk about their own bodily functions, since no one can see it happening. And if you can’t see it, it’s probably “not a big deal.” Why is this an important issue? Because THIS is happening, right now.


period-shame[doptg id=”15″]

After the race, she took photos with her family and friends, wearing her period-stained running pants proudly.  [3] Gandhi told Cosmopolitan she thinks the social constructs around periods are based on misogyny.  “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 said.   [11] Two of the most important men in Gandhi’s life — her brother and father — were on the sidelines the day she ran the marathon. She was unsure how they would react to her statement, but when she reached them at the nine-mile mark, they only cared about hugging her and taking photos.  When push comes to shove, all this cleaning that we do, all this shame that women feel, it doesn’t matter,” she told Cosmo. “They were my family, that’s their blood too. On a spiritual level, that’s amazing. That connects men and women in a very amazing way. Instead of men getting grossed out by it or women being grossed out by their own bodies, we should move away from that.”  [11] Gandhi said she wanted to use the marathon to send a message to the world.  “If there’s one way to transcend oppression, it’s to run a marathon in whatever way you want,” she wrote on her personal website. “Where the stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose.”  [2] In a new follow-up interview with People, Gandhi gives more context about what drove her to go with the flow:

You see, culture is happy to speak about and objectify the parts of the body that can be sexually consumed by others. But the moment we talk about something that is not for the enjoyment of others, like a period, everyone becomes deeply uncomfortable. [25]

Now that it has, she’s been inundated with comments and criticism saying her actions were “disgusting” and “unladylike,” but Gandhi isn’t standing down. In the People interview, she says, “If we don’t own the narrative of our own bodies, somebody else will use it against us,” adding that “women’s bodies don’t exist for public consumption.” In other words, she was there to run a race, not to fit someone else’s expectations of what she should look like while running said race. [4]  Right! Who cares anyway? With all that bullshit we forgot the essential: Tampon non-tampon girl finished in 4 hours and 49 minutes. That’s more than double the time of the actual winner. In a nutshell, tampon non-tampon girl is just a really sucky, terrible runner. Regardless of her proclivity for public hemorrhaging. Here we have another perfect example of today’s modern activism, where mindless symbolism matters more than actual accomplishments. [24] You would think a female athlete displaying an incredible work ethic and achieving her dreams would be the one held out as a role model for young women. But you’d be wrong. Instead, feminism is all about what trends on social media. Accomplishments? No… no! Take pride in your vaginal bleeding instead. Also, if you’re too poor to afford tampons, don’t get a job. Proudly tell everyone that you can’t afford them, lose a race, garner national media attention… and free bleed profit. [24]

period-crap-2 period-crap-3 period-crap-4

[1] Rossalyn Warren, A Woman Ran A Marathon Without A Tampon To Take A Stand Against Period-Shaming, Buzzfeed, Aug. 10, 2015, at 6:37 a.m.
[2] Cavan Sieczkowski, This Woman Ran A Marathon Without A Tampon To Fight Period Shaming,  The Huffington Post, 08/10/2015 10:17 AM EDT
[3] Char Adams, Woman Runs London Marathon Without a Tampon, Bleeds Freely to Raise Awareness, People, 08/07/2015 AT 03:15 PM EDT
[5] Arti Patel, Kiran Gandhi Runs Marathon Without A Tampon To Fight Period Taboos,  The Huffington Post Canada, 08/10/2015 2:18 pm EDT a.m.
[7] Julianne Ishler, Kiran Gandhi Ran London Marathon On Her Period Without A Tampon, Sat, Hollywood Life, August 8, 2015 2:01pm EDT
[9] Radhika Sanghani, This woman ran the London Marathon on her period without a tampon, The Telegraph, 10:55AM BST 10 Aug 2015
[11] Helin Jun, 26-Year-Old Woman Free Bleeds Proudly Through Her First Marathon, Cosmopolitan, Aug 6, 2015 @ 12:10 PM
[13] Caela Fenton, Marathon champion’s perspective on tampon-less runner, Running Magazine, 14 Aug 2015
[15] Katherine Timpf, Woman Runs Marathon Without Tampon to Fight ‘Period-Shaming’, National Review, August 10, 2015 6:48 PM
[17] Taylor Ortega, Woman Runs Entire Marathon Without A Tampon To Protest Period-Shaming, Elite Daily,  Aug 10, 2015 • 10:11am
[19] Nicole Morley, This free-bleeding woman ran the London Marathon without using a tampon, Metro.co.uk, Sunday 9 Aug 2015 4:15 pm
[22] Nina Godlewski, This feminist marathoner didn’t hide her period for 26.2 miles, Boston.com, August 9, 2015 | 4:33 PM
[24] Free Bleeding Marathon RunnerSHAMED byThe Actual Winner?, Louder with Crowder,  August 10, 2015 at 10:33 am


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

Leave a Reply