Free Bleeding Movement

 Free Bleeding Movement

Free bleeding strives to combat the shame associated with menstruation, the significant financial burden many women cannot endure, and the damage that menstrual product waste does to the environment.

The free bleeding movement encourages women to bleed naturally rather than using period items like tampons, pads, or menstrual cups. Bleeding freely at home and in public has now become a way of life for many people. It originally originated as a form of protest against period shame and other forms of related prejudice. In order to demonstrate that period blood is not filthy and that menstruation is a normal, healthy part of life for half the world's population, many women publish photos of themselves bleeding through their clothing and in bed.

Regarding stigma, the Instagram post featuring the poet Rupi Kaur, of Indian descent, particularly sparked discussion about how it was past time for people to stop viewing menstrual blood as filthy or as something to keep hidden. Because they didn't adhere to the community guidelines, the well-known social media platform twice erased her postings that showed period blood. The platform's standards were perfectly acceptable when it came to objectifying women, but not when it came to depicting the realities of women's bodies.

Origination of the movement

It might be difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when women made the decision to stop using tampons and sanitary towels in favor of accepting the regular flow of their monthly blood. While some societies have been doing this for ages, free bleeding just recently become popular in the modern day. Early in the year 2000, several women started voicing the opinion that anyone who desires to menstruate has the freedom to bleed freely. After some users started making fun of feminists and the free bleeding movement, it took almost ten years before a sexist incident on the 4chan website surfaced. They intended to make fun of ladies who bleed through their clothes, but instead, they inspired a group of people to embrace their bodies blatantly and bleed freely.

When Kiran Gandhi realized her period has started, in 2015 she was ready to start running for London Marathon for which she had been preparing for more than a year. With few, bad alternatives left, she chose to let herself bleed and yet complete the marathon. As a result of the media attention her decision received, Kiran took the initiative to stand up against bullying and to spread awareness of issues such as unequal treatment against women and girls, the necessity for disclosure of the unfair taxation of period products, toxic materials found in tampons and pads,  and the environmental effects of period waste. Others were inspired to support the cause by her example. Today, the fight for the right to unrestricted bleeding has developed into a potent campaign against the stigmatization of menstruation, prejudice, and unjust taxation.

Reasons people are leaning toward the movement 

Every individual who has periods develops their own method of managing period hygiene and care, PMS, and pain management, but not everyone ends up becoming an activist. But maybe we ought to listen to those who are speaking up. The top motivations for joining the movement are listed below.

Tax discrimination 

Half of all people on earth either menstruate, will menstruate, or have experienced menopause. The average American woman will spend almost $18,000 on menstruation and reproductive health care items throughout her lifetime. Even for the wealthy, that is a big amount, but for women struggling to make ends meet, it might mean being excluded from everyday activities simply because they cannot acquire the necessary supplies.

Menstrual products are frequently taxed as luxury goods, despite the fact that accessible and inexpensive period care is a basic right. When people cannot afford good period care, their chances of going to school and finding a job are severely limited. In order to avoid being humiliated and discriminated against, they end up neglecting school or employment, and equal opportunity is lost. Tampon taxes have been eliminated or lowered in a number of nations, including Australia, Germany, Kenya, and India.

Health issues 

Conventional period products might harm our health in addition to the environment. These products are frequently made with harmful chemicals, and they could also include harsh perfumes, bleach, and even pesticides if the cotton used wasn't grown organically; this information is usually not declared on the container. Certain components can trigger allergies in certain women, even in tiny doses, and can raise the risk of illnesses like a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Toxic Shock Syndrome is another reason to think carefully about the period products you choose to use. Exotoxins released by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus germs are what cause TSS. TSS can affect both men and women, however, most instances affect women who are menstruating. Deep wounds or burns can become infected with bacteria, but using superabsorbent tampons increases the risk of infection (as are sponges and diaphragms to a lesser extent). In 5–15% of instances, TSS can cause renal failure, pulmonary failure, coagulation problems, and even death. However, there are therapies available, and recovery prospects are favorable, particularly if the issue is caught early. Tampons are incredibly convenient, so don't worry if you use them, but be sure to change them out regularly and stay away from the superabsorbent variety.

Environmental protection 

It is no secret that traditional feminine hygiene products contribute to environmental degradation, but the issue is considerably more serious than you would realize. Nineteen billion single-use menstruation products are used annually in the US alone. The majority of this waste is disposed of in landfills since it cannot be recycled. The free bleeding movement urges consumers who can afford to minimize their influence to make greener choices and pushes on businesses to reduce the use of plastic as well as other non-biodegradable components in their goods.

Basics of free bleeding

Begin at home. It might be strange (to put it mildly) to not use any protective products after decades of period shame and stigma. It could be better to start for beginners at home or in your most familiar environment. See how it feels if you try it. You could attempt bleeding in public if you feel at ease doing it at home.

A towel is important. Protect your furnishings while you free bleed at home by layering a thick towel by folding it once or twice. You can bleed unrestrictedly while doing so without getting stains. If you must go out in public, use many layers of underwear or wait until a mild flow is present to avoid leaks.

Respect for public areas. You have the right to menstruate as you choose, but please be considerate of others. Keep your seat and surroundings tidy at all times, whether you commute by bus or work in a shared space.

Try period pants. Period panties are comprised of many layers of absorbent, antibacterial material that stop leakage and odor and let you flow freely all day long without worrying about your clothes being stained. The same process is used to create yoga leggings and pants. Others in the community will argue that you may wear period panties and still identify yourself as a free bleeder, despite the opinions of other community members. It depends on your motivation.

Advantages of Free Bleeding

Waste reduction related to menstruation products. It is healthier for the environment and your money if you consume less. Even if you use anything on the days when your period is the heaviest, bleeding freely on light days might help you save a lot of money.

Elimination of the stigma. The challenges raised by the free bleeding movement are crucial for all of us, despite the ongoing opposition it faces (mostly from those who don't menstruate). Dispelling the stigma associated with menstruation has actual, measurable psychological and economic advantages for society. It also helps normalize little behaviors like wearing a pad in public or discussing freely how your period feels for you.

Health advantages. The hazards of toxic shock syndrome and hypersensitivity to the dangerous ingredients in various period products are eliminated by free bleeding. Additionally, some women assert that when they bleed freely, their periods are shorter and the discomfort related to menstruation is less intense. These anecdotes don't surprise us, despite the lack of scientific studies, because period blood is supposed to exit the body as it gets ready for a new cycle.

Disadvantages of Free Bleeding

Bloodstains. The nuisance of bloodstains is the main issue with free bleeding. How can your furnishings and clothing be safeguarded? Cleaning blood from furniture is more difficult than cleaning it from your clothing, which may be cleaned by soaking them in cold water as quickly as possible and washing them with a bar of soap. To lessen the issue, some individuals sit on towels or wear certain attire.

Bloodborne illnesses. Even though it's unusual, period blood occasionally contains pathogens like hepatitis C and B, which may persist in the blood for several days or weeks outside the body. Free bleeding hence raises the possibility of blood-borne illnesses spreading. Don't leave the cleanup of the blood to someone else.

Hygiene. If you choose to experiment with free bleeding, make careful to periodically change your clothes. Period blood quickly turns into a haven for germs that produce an unpleasant odor when exposed to air. Find out more about feeling energized when on your period.

Only menstrual blood is the blood not caused by any kind of pain or violence, yet it's also the blood that carries the greatest guilt and inspires the most loathing.

These sayings are now being circulated online in various forms. Many of us still feel ashamed of our menstrual bodies now as a result of centuries of stigma and superstitions surrounding menstruation. We must address this generational trauma. Perhaps free bleeding might serve as a helpful reminder that menstruation is a healthy and normal occurrence.

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