Thinking outside the tampon box

1-2W5lCDzXrvs5z-YsC8HaQwA woman runs a marathon during her period, without a tampon, and it’s all that Twitter is talking about (this hour, anyway). I had never heard of “period shaming,” but then again, I live in a society where no one cares if I sit down on a public bench whilst “unclean.” For many women around the world, there is a real stigma.

Still, I’m not entirely convinced that running with blood covering your crotch is really the best way to draw the kind of attention you want. I’m torn between thinking, “Wow, she’s got lady-balls,” and “Damn, that’s disgusting.”

Maybe I don’t think outside the [tampon] box enough, but can you really convince people to see your point when violating basic rules of hygiene?

Well, people are talking about it, so I guess her point has been made. Still, I can’t help but get the feeling that the new goal of awareness is to create as much shock value as possible, even though it’s worked in the past: the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC uses graphic footage not just to show history as it happened, but also because there are still people out there who believe it never happened. I have friends who post disturbing photos of slaughtered pigs and post-abortion fetuses on Facebook to get their messages across, but even if the message is one I agree with, at what point does shock value push away more people than it actually educates?

In a world that craves “big” stories, the need to go drastic is understandable, and I’ve certainly felt that burning need to have people LOOK AT ME, because I HAVE SOMETHING I NEED TO SAY. I’d just be afraid that saying something with menstrual blood soaking my pants might cause more people to stare rather than actually listen.

Do these shock-value methods for awareness really work? Better question: what are you willing to do to get people to pay attention?

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About Beth Caplin

Just an author, blogger, and editor working hard so my cats can have a better life.
This entry was posted in Feminism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Thinking outside the tampon box

  1. Melanie says:

    Maybe it’s my profession (in hairdressing, you learn to “treat all blood as though it’s infected”) but when I heard about this story, I was appalled. I get that periods are natural, but so is poop, and I’m not a fan of seeing that on a person’s pants either (come to New York! You’ll see things!). It’s absolutely a question of hygiene.

    What’s worked best for me, in terms of getting someone to listen, has been to live my life in a way that mirrors my beliefs. Nobody likes a hypocrite, so I try not to be one. That’s basically it. The more we as people try to shove things in each other’s faces, the more we’ll tune out. Or at least I will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth Caplin says:

      I agree. I think too many people were too grossed out by the hygienic issues of it to pay attention to the bigger picture. It’s for almost the same reason I wouldn’t want to protest abortion by holding up pictures of aborted fetuses: you’ll cause too many people to look away rather than make them feel concern for your cause.

      Like

  2. Beth, decades ago, getting your period without “supplies” was a cause of embarrassment. The details about menstruation are superfluous. The point is that the woman RAN. Nothing stopped her. Nothing!

    Like

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