By now, you’ve probably all heard of the phenomenon known as “free bleeding,” and yes, it is unfortunately exactly what you think it is. When Mother Nature comes calling once a month, some ladies out there are choosing to forgo the typical feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads, and instead opt to use…nothing. They just bleed. Imagine you have a hole in your roof when a five-day long hurricane blows through the area. You can patch the roof. You can put a bucket under the hole. Or you can just let Mother Nature turn everything in your life into a giant, wet mess. And that’s exactly what these women are doing.
Their reasoning for this is simple. Men don’t have to wear tampons. Women do. Therefore, these products must, in some way, be sexist. Feminine hygiene products are yet another way that the natural body of a woman is being “shamed” by society instead of celebrated. While I agree with the sentiments behind this claim, I really do, this idea is really fucking stupid.
First, wearing a tampon isn’t sexist. It’s hygienic. Let’s take a moment and think about any other situation where a human would be bleeding in public. Aside from any situations requiring life saving measures, the first thing that you do is clean the area and stop the blood flow. You don’t do this to stop them from bleeding out – I’ve yet to see anyone die from a paper cut. You do this to stop the transmission of disease. Imagine if every female started free bleeding. No one would be able to sit on or touch any public seat for fear of spreading disease. The world is dangerous enough with people refusing to vaccinate their kids. We don’t need open transmission of blood-bourne diseases as well.
Now that we’ve moved past the fact that it’s a safety concern, we have to discuss that it’s logically moronic. Free bleeding would still make logical sense if women just wore their typical set of “period panties” through those five days of the month, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Women are buying special padded underwear in order to free bleed, and this is where we run into a logical problem. If you don’t want to be “constrained” by men and society, then don’t wear a pair underwear that’s basically a pad anyway. If you’re having trouble following me, let’s make a little analogy. Let’s say you have a baby, and this baby has to go to the bathroom. You can put this baby in a disposable diaper, which you can change as needed. Or you can put this baby in a cloth diaper that you have to diligently clean. One of these is infinitely grosser and less convenient than the other, but at the end of the day, the baby is still wearing a diaper..
Another problem with these underwear is that they don’t actually work as well as planned and they’re not that comfortable either. You know how sometimes you go to an amusement park and you wear your swimsuit under your clothes for the water rides? And then after you go on the ride, your clothes dry faster than your swimsuit? And you’re in awkward wet bottoms all day that feel uncomfortable and then leave wet marks all over your shorts? I think you see where I’m going with this. As a “free bleeder,” you’re going to be uncomfortable all day and your clothes will end up with stains, and don’t you dare tell me that staining all of your favorite pants is an “expression of your feminism.” I call bullshit. I don’t spill barbecue sauce down my shirt and leave it there as an expression of my clumsiness and love of messy food. I clean it up, just like any other stain, because I like my clothes and I want to look respectable.
To all the women out there who are trying free bleeding, who are running marathons without a tampon (yes, this is actually happening), and who don’t want to be seen as lesser than a man, I understand. Equality is important and is something we should always be striving for. But there’s a line when it comes to equality and common sense. Just because a man doesn’t do something, like wear a tampon, doesn’t mean that tampons are sexist and limiting your ability to be a woman. You can still be a feminist and use proper hygiene. As a fellow female feminist, I beg all of you to stop this trend now. You’re leaking bodily fluid everywhere and it isn’t “beautiful.” It is disgusting. It is unsanitary. It doesn’t make sense. So please, suck it up, buy some Tampax, and then the next time you piss off a guy and he asks you if you’re on your period, he won’t already know the answer to that question..
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