Nikita Richardson
November 10, 2015 10:18 am

Over the weekend, three female students stood outside the British Parliament and free bled, forgoing pads and tampons to protest the country’s so-called” tampon tax,” which classifies female hygiene products as a “luxury,” though any woman worth her ovaries will tell you differently.

“They’re not luxury items, anymore than jaffa cakes, edible cake decorations, exotic meats or any other number of things currently not taxed as luxury items,” Charlie Edge, one of the protesters, told Dazed Digital. “Maybe bleeding on their doorstep will get the Tories [Britain’s conservative party] to do something about this?”

Images of the protest have garnered tremendous social media support and further opened the conversation about why we explicitly and implicitly punish and shame women over an entirely natural body process. Perhaps it’s because women are taught that the whole thing is somehow disgusting.

It’s that way of thinking that led 26-year-old Kiran Gandhi, another Briton, to run her first marathon while free bleeding back in April.

“To me, period-shaming is when you – as someone who is experiencing the bleeding – have to make somebody else comfortable before yourself,” Gandhi told Buzzfeed News, adding, “You shouldn’t have to worry about how you look for others on a marathon course. To me, that shed light on the fact there is no global conversation about periods.”

Charlie Edge might agree.

“This isn’t just ‘three girls outside parliament with bloodstains,” Edge told reporters. “This is three more people who are angry about something, encouraging the millions of other people who are also angry about the same thing, to talk about it.”

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