We’ve heard a lot about the “free bleeding marathon runner.” You know, the woman who ran a marathon without wearing a tampon, in an effort to fight menstruation about sexism…or something. I just threw up in my mouth a little. Well, she’s the new face of feminism. Everyone wants to talk about the “free bleeding marathon runner.” Yes I actually just wrote those words in that order.
You know who they aren’t talking about? The woman who actually won the race.
You know who isn’t all that thrilled about it? … The woman who actually won the race.
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. In Gandhi’s numerous magazine and blog interviews, she said she chose not to wear a tampon in order to fight sexism and erase the stigma about periods.
But do you know what fights sexism in an extremely tangible way? Running 26.2 miles faster than hundreds of men. Literally hundreds of men. Like me. That’s what I did. The only article about me on the internet is on RunnersWorld.com. Kiran Gandhi is trending on Facebook. Gandhi also said she went tampon-less to raise awareness for people who don’t have access to tampons.
Great, great that’s really nice. Hard to find fault with that one. Except that, you know, I could raise awareness for important causes too. And I think it would carry a little bit more weight because I earned a platform to speak by accomplishing a feat of athleticism few human beings are capable of accomplishing. Last weekend I went to brunch with my sister-in-law and she asked me if I knew the tampon girl before she said congratulations. She asked me if I ever “get to” train with the tampon girl.
Tampon non-tampon girl finished in 4 hours and 49 minutes. That’s more than double the time of the actual winner. In a nutshell, tampon non-tampon girl is just a really sucky, terrible runner. Regardless of her proclivity for public hemorrhaging.
Here we have another perfect example of today’s modern activism, where mindless symbolism matters more than actual accomplishments. You would think a female athlete displaying an incredible work ethic and achieving her dreams would be the one held out as a role model for young women. But you’d be wrong.
Instead, feminism is all about what trends on social media. Accomplishments? Silly little girl. Take pride in your vaginal bleeding instead. Also, if you’re too poor to afford tampons, don’t get a job. Proudly tell everyone that you can’t afford them, lose a race, garner national media attention… and
free bleed profit.