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tampons, free bleeding, kiran Gandhi, feminism, periods without tampons, patriarchy

I Am Feminist, Watch Me Free Bleeding

by Deborah Cruz

Cause she’s free, free bleeding!

Sorry, I just can’t get that damn Tom Petty song out of my head ever since I read that article about the woman running the London marathon while on her period with absolutely no feminine hygiene help. Tampons…we don’t need no stinking tampons (or maxi pads for that matter). We are woman, watch us bleed.

A few months ago, Kiran Gandhi (a Harvard MBA) chose to run the London marathon, “unencumbered by the ‘absurd’ presence of a chaffing ‘wad of cotton’ wedged between her legs.” And so began the third-wave feminist movement of “free-bleeding.”

First, it was the bush making a comeback, then ladies refusing to shave their legs on principal and now, dying pit hair and free bleeding. Look, I am a woman and I am loud and proud about women’s rights. Hell, I’m even a bit of a fanatic. I like causes and, if we’re being honest, women and minorities are two of my favorites because I am both.

I don’t think women should be banished to red tents and dirty sheds because they are on their periods. But damn, you couldn’t pay me money to run around London bleeding out because that is exactly what I would be doing. It would look like someone tried to kill me by stabbing me to death in my vagina. All of London would look like a traveling crime scene and quite frankly, I don’t want to be known as free bleeding Debi. Plus, it feels a bit unhygienic. I mean, my sheets are white!

I mean, no one’s going to invite me to their house anymore. Party invites and standing up in weddings, all gone forever. No one wants to take the chance I’m going to show up and damage their goods or cause a spectacle. I mean, I’m just finally living down all those sweater ass covered periods of my youth. I wore a sweater one week of every month from the ages of 12-18…just in case of an accident. Then I discovered tampons, left the flying winged diapers behind and moved on with my life.

What’s all this period-shaming shit about? I’m not embarrassed by my period. The patriarchy didn’t curse me with shark week, it’s biology. It’s for the babies! Who doesn’t love babies?

Honestly, tampons are a pain in the vagina. I get it! Have you ever got your lip caught between those two cardboard parts of the applicator? That shit hurts like a mother effer. Or have you ever completely forgotten that you had one in and put another one in and shoved the previous one into your brain? It hurts. Or the worse is when you do it quickly; go on about your business only to realize 15 minutes into a board meeting that you are sitting on the inner cardboard tube of the applicator. It’s like sitting on a broom handle….in your vagina while having a conversation. And please don’t even get me started on the diapers that are an excuse for maxi pads once you give birth. My God, I need a f*cking diaper between the pee and the hemorrhaging. Why didn’t people warn me?

 So, free bleeding?

Look, I get it. It is 2015 and we want all the equal rights and I think women should be able to do everything men do, if they want to go topless, serve in the army on the front lines, open all the goddamn doors they want to…GO.FOR.IT! But me, I can do all that but I like it when my husband opens doors for me and pulls out my chair. I like chivalry and manners. I love respect for women. I don’t want to run around free bleeding and covered in body hair like a savage to prove a point. I’ll burn the shit out of my bras though, I hate those things.

As far as I’m concerned, I’ll share. Boys, you want the free bleeding? The monthly hemorrhage accompanied by tender breasts, cramps and PMS? You can have it. I will buy all of your drinks.

I’m all about live and let live but can I please live with my tampons and without the mortification of the entire world knowing when I’m menstruating. Can we just allow me that one private dignity? As for Kiran Gandhi, I say go girl. If this is how you want to celebrate your womanhood, you do it loud and proud.

How do you feel about the free bleeding phenomenon?

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