It's 2019 and a lot of people still think periods are something to be ashamed of instead of a punk rock reminder that your body can literally CREATE LIFE. But times they are a changin'! Thanks in part to heroes like Stephanie Góngora, a yoga instructor with a popular Instagram account, who posted a stunning video where she does various difficult poses while bleeding through her white pants.
"I am a woman, therefore I bleed," she wrote under the video, which has been viewed over half-a-million times. You can watch here:
Góngora explains in the caption that she's not intentionally "free bleeding," but the blood stain is from a "leak" (which has happened to every woman at some point). And she chose to post the video to make an important statement about menstruation.
I am a woman, therefore, I bleed.
It's messy, it's painful, it's terrible, & it's beautiful.
And yet, you wouldn't know. Because I hide it.
I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight lipped, painted on smile.
Tampons? Shhh. We don't say those words out loud. Hide them. In the back pocket of your purse, in the corner of the bathroom drawer, at the very bottom of your shopping cart (please let me get a female cashier).
Events or engagements get missed. I'll tell myself it’s the PMS, sure, but it has more to with the risk of being "caught," at what...I'm not quite sure.
And I’m lucky.
Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies, & fear of what might happen if the world witnesses A NATURAL BODILY FUNCTION.
Because hundreds of years of culture have made us embarrassed to bleed. Have left us feeling dirty and ashamed.
STOP PRETENDING. Stop using silly pet names like Aunt Flo because you're too afraid to say "I'm bleeding" or "vagina." Stop wasting so much effort hiding the very thing that gives this species continuity.
START talking about it. Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but NEVER something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don't recoil from the word tampon. So when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don't perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance.
A lot of people were grossed out by the video and said so in the comments (thanks, good to know!). But many others found it inspiring:
I wish I'd seen this video in 8th grade when I bled through my khakis (it was the 90s) in math class and felt shame about it for the rest of the year, and for years after. Actually, until today when I watched this video.
So, there you have it. One woman's period stain is another woman's liberation! Let's burn our tampons and let the menstrual revolution begin!!!!!!
Sorry, I got carried away. Let's not burn our tampons. Those things are expensive.