You might have spotted a blog called Modern Women Digest doing the rounds on your social media warning everyone of a "Disturbing New Feminist Trend: Free-Bleeding". In it the author describes the 'trend'.
The male person who brought this to my attention (I should say it was presented to me as real and we both fell for it momentarily before actually reading the post) saw such a movement as unnecessarily confrontational. OK even the most hardened rad-fem who adheres to Germaine Greer's suggestion she taste her own menstrual blood would no doubt recoil at a bloodied bus seat but it's interesting that 4Chan thought such a movement would be a funny and plausible little project to send up feminist anger, rather than just being fed up with the constant concealment of menstruation.
It is of course the age old assumption, BBC Woman's Hour is always going on about the plumbing (that plumbing not plumbing plumbing) and menopause, feminists are always going on about bloody periods. Even if it was true (it's not) is it any wonder? Post 10 you spend your life waiting for blood to come forth in a way nobody can quite predict (though we now believe it comes from your uterus, ladies). Come the dread/longed for day you discover you either got lucky or have a heavy flow and a wide set vagina. So forgive us the odd indulgent whine.
It is anxiety making, you pill up to get it sorted but it's not fail safe. It's late, it's early, it's constant and it ruins your best pants. And then...after much thrashing and heated debate it is suddenly gone and you realise it's only gone and taken your freakin' youth with it the bastard.
menstruhating (a feminist movement I just made up - take note 4chan! LOLZ)
Once when devising a presentation on Zimbabwe and the ACTSA Dignity! Period campaign I proposed conducting the entire presentation with (look, we were drama students, we weren't quite sure why making a presentation on a cause of our choice related to the course) blood stained crotches. In the end we settled on my second brilliant idea, filming a little skit called A Period Drama, in which a women is caught short in the ladies loo and only had enough cash to buy some leaves from the sanitary products machine, rather than a tampon. It is so often the logistics that are problematic rather than the biology.
Writing in Menstrupedia Rukun K wonders why her habitual absent mindedness over sanitary towels is seen as nothing but ew inducing and invites us to reclaim our right to menstruate: "I bleed. I stain. I Tweet about it.[And thatâs how I bring all the boys to the yard.]
This one time, in my GMâs office, I ended up making an ink-blot original on his chair. A truly memorable experience since I didnât have any ketchup sachets to blame for the mess. Fellow colleagues, you can thank me for the free Rorschach test."
Maybe 4Chan are doing us a favour. Getting us to talk about accidents and maybe even giving this free-bleeding thing a go (if we have found a reliable and thorough stain remover). Like most perfectly normal bodily functions periods are kind of funny. It's why these 4chan boys picked on it, it's why it's important we talk to them about it. It's why I laugh every time I pay VAT on tampons. Oh wait, no I don't. VIVRE LA FREE BLEEDING FAUX!