NRI Blogger Kiran Gandhi who has been prepping for the London marathon for over a year has become quite an internet sensation after she revealed she ran sans sanitary protection, to end all stigma surrounding menstruation. The Harvard University graduate ran the 41.195 km alongside two of her closest friends, completing the course in 4 hours 49 minutes.
In a blog entry titled ‘Sisterhood, blood and boobs at the London Marathon’, Gandhi explained getting her period the night before the famous race and how she contemplated pulling out, but later resolved to make a statement. “If there’s one way to transcend oppression, it’s to run a marathon in whatever way you want,” she wrote. “Where the stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant, and we can rewrite the rules as we choose. I ran the whole marathon with my period blood running down my legs.”
Dressed in pink to raise awareness for breast cancer, Gandhi said the experience had left her feeling empowered. “I felt kind of like, Yeah! F--- you!,” she said. “I felt very empowered by that. I did.” She ended her post by saying she ran the race “ 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. I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.”
Recalling how she felt awkward to meet her father and brother at the end of the race, she said in an interview, “I remember trying to pull my shirt down and they didn’t give an eff. They did not care. They just scooped me up into their arms. It was a super-wonderful moment. That really was a turning point for me as well. It made me emotional.”
“If men had their period, because we are in a male-privileging society, 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.”