This article on Freebleeding is really interesting

(157 Posts)
Mignonette Tue 28-Jan-14 13:05:18

Freebleeding - why is this taboo when images of violence, sex and repression are not?

Or should we see menstruation as nothing more than a process of excretion and attach no special significance to it?

Custardo Tue 28-Jan-14 13:07:31

I see it as just a bodily function

but I wouldn't not wear any sanitary products in the same way as I wouldn't walk around with shit on my skirt or piss down my leg

the whole thing is ridiculous.

NigellasDealer Tue 28-Jan-14 13:10:22

gross - plus what custardo said

WildThong Tue 28-Jan-14 13:12:27

Oh boak - personal standards!

greenhill Tue 28-Jan-14 13:17:27

There used to be articles about this in Spare Rib, 20 odd years ago, trying to do away with the taboo of bleeding; it's interesting to see it being talked of again.

The only person I knew personally that deliberately practiced it had a drug problem and untreated MH issues.

sleepyhead Tue 28-Jan-14 13:23:09

I don't think if someone accidentally leaks during their period and has visible blood on their skirt (for example) that it should be any more taboo or shameful than if they cut their finger and get blood on their clothes that way, and most definitely it is shameful and taboo.

However... menstrual blood, like all blood, stains clothing. I don't want to get it on my clothes because I have to wash them. I don't want to sit in it because it would feel soggy and unpleasant. I think it's antisocial to get blood (any blood) on furniture that other people have to sit on, or things that other people have to touch, for both staining and infection reasons. So, that's a no to freebleeding from me.

Salbertina Tue 28-Jan-14 13:25:32

Definitely should be totally normalised and not shameful, hidden etc. however, i am v grateful to be able to afford the comfort & convenience of sanpro! In my country 25% of teenage girls skip 1 week of a school EACH month due to the shameful (in every way) lack of affordable pads, tampons etc. As a result, many many more girls fail to pass high school and end up working as a maid for life. It really can be that important! angry

LoveAndDeath Tue 28-Jan-14 13:31:49

Agree with custy. It's not taboo. If I get a cut, I put a plaster on. If you menstruate you put something in place to catch the blood. Blood is messy and it stains. I personally couldn't afford to replace all my knickers, skirts and trousers if they got stained.

Well it might all be very well for the groovy teenage hipster skateboarding feminists quoted in the article, but not so practical for the menopausal mother of two.

I can't imagine strolling around tesco dropping great clots in the dairy aisle.

Salbertina Tue 28-Jan-14 13:34:42

By which i mean this concept strikes me as a Western indulgence to want to let it all flow out (as it were).

Far more useful would be to campaign for cheaper sanpro everywhere esp in the developing world bet also in the UK where, shockingly, it's a "luxury item" and therefore got VAT.

Mignonette Tue 28-Jan-14 13:37:30

I agree with Sleepys point that menstrual leakage should be no more shameful than bleeding from anywhere else but fear we are a long way from being personally comfortable with it. I would be mortified and why? I don't know.

It is good to see a new generation discussing this too. Maybe we haven't changed much in this respect or moved on but the discussion may not be new to us but it is to younger men and women.

There was a fantastic article written about how the access to sanitary protection is directly linked to school attendance on developing countries. Does anyone have a link? I think the author wrote a recent book on travel on a huge container ship recently published.

Mignonette Tue 28-Jan-14 13:39:01

And yes yes to 'Western indulgence' although the underlying values aren't so indulgent.

MissMilbanke Tue 28-Jan-14 13:39:37

Not for me either !

I watched a programme a couple of years ago about women from the UK (?) who went to live with tribes in different remote parts of the world.

I remember one woman commenting (in Africa it might have been ) about how normal it was to 'free bleed' and how shocked she was to see women getting up from their seat and not batting an eyelid about leaving some blood behind, and the next person just sitting in it.

Like I said, not for me, but if thats the culture you grow up in, so be it...

Salbertina Tue 28-Jan-14 13:48:58

But Miss- that same culture, certainly in S Africa is NOT tolerant of this in school girls, at school, on the bus etc. seen with my own eyes! Might have worked a generation or 2 ago but severe disadvantage to be menstruating in those circs if you want am education.

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 13:55:15

Yuck. Seriously, why? We are lucky to not have to do this, unlike women in south africa etc, who find it degrading & humiliating.

MissMilbanke Tue 28-Jan-14 13:59:45

I hold my hands up, i can't remember exactly where it was in Africa, but it was certainly not South Africa.

More of a very primitive, remote tribe.

Mishmashfamily Tue 28-Jan-14 14:00:49

Why is it still 'embarrassing' to a lot of women ? Me included! I still feel conscious of the fact I'm clutching tampons when I'm in a line full of men at the till. blush

Why has it been ingrained that your monthlys should be kept secretive , I remember my sm mouthing the word to my neighbour when I was a teenager. angry

I don't think it is the same as other bleeding, though. If you are bleeding due to a cut or injury it generally can't be predicted in advance and of course you try to stop the blood because it would be dangerous to lose too much of it. People don't generally get angry about someone getting blood on their clothes, furniture etc because it's understood that they haven't hurt themselves on purpose! However, they might privately be annoyed or upset because it is difficult to get blood stains out of most soft fabrics and furnishings.

With menstruation you can definitely predict it in advance and hence take steps to prevent it staining fabrics etc. It isn't important to keep it in like with blood from an injury, it is a waste product. That part, the prevention etc, shouldn't be a taboo and I don't think it is for most of the younger generation, although things may start to go backwards when we have ridiculous ads showing how "discreet" their san pro is or how well it's disguised as a sweet confused or how it's scented to mask the terrible odour - that's damaging IMO and it should be no big deal.

Personally I am a big fan of the mooncup, to me, it's like having a bladder for your womb. I can empty it when it is convenient to me. Why didn't we evolve with one?? Proof God was a man grin

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 14:08:55

Surely it's a hygiene risk though? Not to mention ruining clothing, bedding, furniture... fine if we dressed in rags & slept on hay.....

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 14:12:13

I had horrendous heavy periods, with 'flooding' ... No predictability at all

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 28-Jan-14 14:12:15

I know someone who did/does this - she has terrible MH problems that she refuses to accept treatment for.

Theoretically, I don't find menstrual blood any more disgusting than any other bodily fluid, personally. But then, neither do I tend to walk around with other bodily fluids leaking out of me: I'd change a top that was sweaty, wouldn't wipe snot on my sleeve, would try and avoid vomiting or urinating on myself. It's a personal grooming standard I like to adhere to grin

But I thought this point made in the post was very pertinent:

"We’re so shocked and appalled [by] something that’s such a natural state—and it’s funny that out of all the images everywhere, all of the sexually violent images, or disgustingly derogatory images, this is something that’s so, so shocking apparently"

You don't tend to see women in films menstruating, do you. Yet you see them being raped, dismembered, all sorts of other things that really ought to be more taboo.

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 14:15:06

I would probably presume mental health issues were at play too Ali

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 14:16:48

And I disagree that sanpro shouldn't be 'discreet' etc, as above... it allows us to carry on worth our lives, in comfort. Gone are the days of sending us away so we didn't sour the milk..

TheFabulousIdiot Tue 28-Jan-14 14:18:43

I deep down believe I have a right to walk about bleeding on the floor, given that the alternative is to spend money to spare other people the discomfort of seeing me. However, I wouldn't actually put this into practice.

It's something I used to think about doing when I was a teen to fight the injustice of having to plug or pad it at my own expense.

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