#Respect: Woman runs marathon without tampon, breaks taboos

To prove that periods should not stop a woman from pursuing any activity and to break the taboos around menstruation, Kiran Gandhi, a Harvard graduate and feminist, ran the London marathon on her first day of period without a tampon. With sweat and blood, she makes a point and we completely agree.
Hindustan Times | By Priyanka Sahoo, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 08, 2015 02:04 PM IST

What would you do if you trained for a marathon for months and just the night before race day, you get your period? Do we hear you say "ABORT MISSION!"? The more gutsy ones among you might even run the distance wearing a tampon or a sanitary napkin.

Going a step further, drummer and feminist Kiran Gandhi ran the entire 42.195 km of the London marathon without a sanitary napkin or tampon. She broke the stigma around menstruation and left 'period shamers' shame-faced.

Gandhi, a Harvard graduate, ran along with her two friends and together they raised $ 6000 for Breast Cancer Care. Her father and brother wore cheer tee-shirts and came out to all the cheer points.


"I ran the whole marathon with my period blood running down my legs," she wrote on her blog, where she documented her experience. With her run, Gandhi made a statement that the taboos around women's period were irrelevant and women overcame it every day.

She further made a point on how some women still don't have access to sanitary napkins or tampons.

"I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don't have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist," she wrote.


As unconventional as Kiran Gandhi's bloody run is, it is commendable that she has hit the right notes about menstruation and its taboos. Women need to be comfortable with talking about period, which is as natural as drinking water.

Menstrual taboos are the crudest form of sexism and there is nothing shameful about periods.

"On the marathon course, sexism can be beaten. Where the stigma of a woman's period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose. Where a woman's comfort supersedes that of the observer," Gandhi wrote on her blog.

Of her family and friends' support, she wrote- "The main message I walked away from this experience was how much being there for someone else in a totally selfless way can carry them through a difficult time."

The author tweets as @priyankaa_sahoo

Read: Ladies, be careful when you throw away the sanitary napkin

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