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Kiran Gandhi chose to run a marathon without a tampon, and no she did not menstruate along the way. She decided to run without a tampon.
The shame around menstruation is a pretty universal deal. A few spots of blood and people (mis)behave as if they are in the water with sharks. I seem to remember a lot of hushed conversations among girls on the topic in school, a constant sense of panic around stains and spots and snickers from the boys.
So it was pretty inspiring to see Kiran Gandhi (known from many things including being a drummer) who decided to run and complete the recent London marathon without a tampon. Yes, you read that correctly, she chose to do it. It didn’t happen to her along the way. She decided “it would have been way too uncomfortable to worry about a tampon for 26.2 miles” and ran without one and more power to her.
Of course, there were the usual folks trying to shame her, including another runner as well.
Of course, there were the usual folks trying to shame her, including another runner as well. But why shouldn’t she run with the blood streaming between her legs? Perhaps you don’t agree but there’s no shame in menstruation, it is a natural bodily function. Not all of us would make the choice she did, but not one of us is harmed by it (rather we stand to benefit from the discussions she has provoked). So it is interesting to watch people’s reactions ranging from disgust to horror as if she had done something awful, truly reprehensible. She had not. She simply chose to focus on her goal of completing the marathon and made a body choice she was most comfortable with. It was her choice and it was encouraging to see menstruation dealt with in a matter-of-fact way instead of the usual drama that surrounds it.
Kiran Gandhi’s image via her blog
I think of myself as a feminist development practitioner with a strong interest in issues
Why would any female do that to prove empowerment? It is personal hygiene and in a civilised society, empowerment comes when you set rules for yourself and not to sow to the world ;the definition of power” I strongly object this to be EMPOWERED.
This makes no sense. How can blood flowing between legs be a better choice than letting a tampon or a pad absorb it. Going by pure logic, how can you be more comfortable being wet and constantly getting wet. This is highly illogical. Please do not advocate absurdity in the name of women empowerment. There are many more issues we need to settle for women than getting primivite again. It was a golden time in the history of women empowerment when pads started getting manufactured in a large scale and were available with such ease. Please ask Kiran Gandhi if she would do the same while at home and stain all her furniture, mattresses, sheets and clothes in vain, while she can happily be at ease wearing a tampon or a pad. How can someone label dripping blood as empowerment and a more comfortable choice .
Talk about menstruation if need be. Be open about the pain or any discomfort you might face during periods. If there is stain by chance then there is no need to be shy, rather just go and change your pad! Making yourself wet and going about telling people that I am menstruating does not make sense. It is your body. Your hygiene. So ladies don’t get inspired by this absurdity, do wear pads.
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