We Should Probably Talk About Free Bleeding For a Very Brief Moment
This morning, before I so much as got out of bed for a cup of coffee, I found myself scrolling Instagram on my phone. It was there I came across Joe Rogan’s post about an apparent trending phenomenon known as free bleeding. While the podcasting heavyweight’s post wasn’t particularly graphic, I made the mistake of clicking the #Freebleeding hashtag he included in his post — and ruined my entire appetite for the weekend despite it only being a Friday morning.
This is the part where I’d typically apologize to feminists ahead of time but you know what, I’m drawing a line in the sand and I’m sorry I’m not sorry.
For those who may not be aware of this appalling trend known as free bleeding, I do apologize for having to be the one to introduce you to it. My life was less gross before I accidentally discovered it, my brain less haunted.
Free bleeding is the practice of a very select group of women, who choose to not wear a tampon or pad during menstruation and instead openly bleed all over themselves in public. This is somehow supposed to empower women everywhere. There are women on Instagram taking pictures of themselves bleeding all over their clothes in bed and out in public.
Just to make sure I hadn’t completely lost my mind in finding this disturbing, I asked the two females who currently reside in the same house as I do their thoughts on it. One almost threw up on the spot when I clicked the hashtag and the other refused to look at the pictures after I explained what free bleeding was. Good to know I’m not completely alone.
I’m not one of those people who would shame a woman for choosing to breastfeed in public. But to compare feeding your child in the most natural way known to woman, to a woman purposely and openly bleeding all over themselves in public — is not at all a fair comparison. While both are obviously natural parts of female life, one provides nourishment to infants and the other is straight unsanitary.
While I understand Medium tends to lean very left, I still don’t foresee a wave of people coming to the defense of this very unnecessary practice I unfortunately discovered this morning. However, just for good measure — I’m going to make a gender neutral argument against free bleeding.
If my best friend was a guy and that guy spent a week out of every month, bleeding out of his nose and just simply refused to address it or deal with it in a reasonably sanitary manner, I probably wouldn’t hang out with him that week. Am I supposed to let him come into my home and sit on my very beige couch, as he openly bleeds all over it without a care in the world?
If that’s where we’ve gotten to as a society, count me the fuck out.
I don’t feel like I’m being particularly contrarian or controversial when I say it’s not unreasonable to expect a woman to deal with her period in as subtly sanitary manner as possible. While it’s not some taboo shaming point, it’s also not something you have to literally wear openly on your sleeve. Or pants.
I just find it ironic that as we we make technological advances beyond our wildest dreams, ones that may allow us to one day reside on mars or take vacations to space — there’s a particular group of people who insist on promoting primitivism at it’s most shocking. There’s nothing empowering about openly bleeding all over yourself, regardless of gender.
Upon further, very hesitant research I thankfully discovered it appears this practice essentially started as a protest of taxes on tampons and similar feminine hygiene products.
In fairness to me, being I wrote what I thought was a complete article before discovering this, I live in Pennsylvania — one of only a very few states in America where such products are not taxed.
In fact, the two states supplemental to what is considered my Tri-state area, New Jersey and Delaware are two others. Delaware because it has no sales tax at all and New Jersey because, well — I guess it doesn’t want women openly bleeding on themselves on it’s beaches in protest.
I apparently live in a bubble where tampons are not taxed. I had no idea before writing this, that women were paying unfair and unnecessary taxes on tampons.
That being said, free bleeding as a protest is probably a brilliantly disgusting way to change state policy. I know I’d be all for change if I lived in a state where women were being taxed on tampons and protesting in this manner.
In fairness though, there’s also probably more civilized ways to protest but perhaps not quite as effective. If I ever see a woman openly bleeding in public, in protest of a tampon tax, I’ll no doubt be writing my state representative on the spot.