Kiran Ghandi, 26, decided she was going to run her first marathon in London last April. She discovered that it would coincide with the first day of her period.
So what did she do? She didn’t wear a tampon and free-bled the whole way to highlight how women are often shamed for having their period.
To me, period shaming is when you – as someone who is experiencing the bleeding – has to make somebody else comfortable before yourself
“There were two things that helped my decision to run free. Firstly, I thought ‘oh god, I really don’t want to run a marathon with a tampon in’ as it’s something I’ve never done before,” the Harvard Business School graduate and professional drummer told BuzzFeed News.
“But it was also the fact I had to think about what other people would think of me that helped me make the decision.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about how you look for others on a marathon course. To me, that shed light on the fact there is no global conversation about periods.”
Kiran ran alongside two female friends. Together they raised £3,800 for charity Breast Cancer Care.
“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 on her blog.
“I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day. The marathon was radical and absurd and bloody in ways I couldn’t have imagined until the day of the race.”