The Case of Free Bleeding by Tosin Oyetade


Kiran Ghandi –  

If you had mentioned this name to me just yesterday, I wouldn’t have known who she was or what made her stand out. Today, it’s an entirely different story and that’s not a name I’ll be forgetting in a while.

Why can’t I forget about her, you ask? It was 2 years ago I saw a trending topic on Twitter about a woman running a marathon with her period blood flowing freely. Kiran was that woman.

This lady Kiran, ran a whole marathon for over 4 hours with her period flowing, dripping down her legs and with a “damn the consequence” attitude. If that isn’t iconic, then I don’t know what is. I can’t even stand up straight for the first three days of my period.

Why did she do it?

Kiran says she did it to create awareness for all the girls around the world that don’t have access to hygienic sanitary pads, and also show that the vagina is not just for sexual pleasure. She did create some kind of awareness but seeing a woman running down my street with period blood dripping between her legs doesn’t make me think about ‘sisters’ that can’t afford tampons or pads, to be honest. I’ll probably think “oh look at that woman that has got stained with her period” and move on with my life.

What’s the problem?


The backlash she got for this from people around the world that weren’t in anyway affected by her choice to “free bleed” had me thinking if she actually had a point. Why was it such a problem for people that were not even in the same continent as her? Why does it bother them so much if it’s just the hygiene part they’re worried about? Could it be that she really has a point and people do not want to see the “period”? I mean they know it’s there but like a plague, it should be tucked away neatly into a tampon/pad! Could it be that me not subscribing to her mode of raising awareness as a result of my own internalized sexism to an outdated societal norm? Why is it so bad that for just one day out of 5 days, 13 times a year, a woman decides to not be bound by the discomfort of tampons? Why was it so unnerving that it made Kiran trend for days on all media platforms?

Now I ask myself, where do I really stand? Was that praiseworthy, or did she go overboard? Is it a yes or a no from me? I don’t think I'm sure of the answer but what I am sure of is that it takes the brave and daring to change the norm and Kiran is one hell of a brave woman.


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Alexa Chukwumah