I’m not entirely sure why this is breaking now, as the London Marathon happened back in April, but it’s just now going around that Kiran Gandhi, a drummer for M.I.A and Thievery Corporation ran the marathon without a tampon to raise awareness for women stigmatized by periods and denied access to feminine products. It’s a bold move, and as someone who occasionally runs and has a functioning uterus it’s giving me a whole pile of ‘NOPE!’s so clearly she is a much bigger badass than me. She even managed to look cheerful while doing it (she’s on the right).
On her website Gandhi explains that “I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sister who don’t have access to tampons and sister who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist. I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.” as for why she picked the marathon to make this particular stand “If there’s on person society won’t fuck with, it’s a marathon runner. If there’s one way to transcend oppression, it’s to run a marathon whatever way you want. … Where a woman’s comfort supersedes that of the observer.” And, frankly, I’m not brave enough to tell anyone how they “should” run a marathon so I’m on her side there. Hopefully the message spreads and we can start treading periods like the (usually) minor but routine inconveniences they are instead of some horrible secret we have to work overtime to keep.
(Obligatory. Start at 4:00)