I grew up in a household where my two elder brothers would rub my tummy, carry me around and pamper me during the first two days of periods. It takes time for a young girl to get used to the idea that pain and discomfort accompanied with periods is here to stay.
May be that’s why I had decided that this whole Kiran Gandhi running London-Marathon-on-her-first-day-of-her-periods-without-wearing-a-tampon/pad wasn’t worth writing about. It was like ok she did it to feel liberated. raise awareness or whatever her reasons might have been. I personally might or might not agree with what she did. As a runner, I know I would chafe badly if I was dripping and running constantly for 5 hours in that state.
Then I read the satirical article “The actual winner has a message for the menstruating woman Kiran Gandhi”, by a humorist. The article comes across as deliberately cynical and I felt rightly so. Excerpt from the article
“Gandhi stained her pants in public. I ran 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 23 minutes. That’s faster than most people could go on a bike. I called People Magazine asking for a feature, I even catered to them saying I’d talk about my fitness routine. But they just said, “Are you the tampon girl?” and I said, “No I’m the winner.” But they had already hung up on me.”
That’s when it struck me, we have been giving too much importance to the act itself rather than the issue. By saying “it’s her choice”, most of us are using it as an opportunity to become “bigger” and prove it to the world that we are “feminist”. It’s a cool thing to say in today’s world, isn’t it?
To begin with, when the content went viral, we all started talking about whether what she did was “right” or “wrong” and found a ground to judge others basis whether they found it disgusting or not.
And then later when we read the satirical piece (without even realising it’s a satirical piece), we took the debate to a different direction.
Honestly speaking, do we really care about the real issue? Or are we just jumping to conclusions based on whatever “trend worthy” content is being thrown at us without even going deep in to the matter. Our not having an opinion (that too a quick-on-your-feet kinds) makes us seem like we are not in the know and then we move on to the next big story without even sparing the last one another thought.
Also, are we using “it’s my choice” as an excuse to not think and for sake of our convenience to end debates which can or should be otherwise objective?