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My Freebleeding experience

Photograph from Clue

Photograph from Clue

Ani-ya Beasley, Editor

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For many young women around the country, their periods are blockades, holding them back. In places like Sub-Saharan Africa and even the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, girls are missing school due to their periods. Not having the basic necessities to control them is affecting their education and everyday life.

At the beginning of January, I decided to take on free bleeding. Free bleeding is the practice of not blocking your menstrual. This means not using pads, tampons, or anything of that type to block my period.

A little information on my period before I get into the actual free bleeding experience: I have an irregular period that lasts three days. When I say irregular I mean that I never know when it is coming.

During the first day, I changed pants excessively and even had thoughts of doubling up on my clothing – it was not because I was uncomfortable though, it was because it was instinct. Usually, when you start to bleed through, you’re either told to change or automatically think it because you have been told that since the beginning of your period.

The second day came with a new challenge: going outside. Of course, I was nervous about walking out or going to the store with a little blood stain on my pants. I had decided to stay inside that entire day. While inside I was walking around more than usual to see if I could get a feel for what would be to come if I went outside. I know that probably was not the best way to prep but I honestly didn’t know what else to do – it’s hard to prep for something like that.

I am a really confident person who does not care for anything, but when it came time to leave the safety net of my house, I couldn’t do it. I could just imagine the looks I would get.

After the first two days, I started to get more comfortable. I was able to go out and even check the mail. But then came school; I wore the darkest pants and leggings I could. When I went to my first class, I held a positive mindset because I knew that if I were to think too much of it I would attempt to go home. Luckily for me that day was pretty easy and quick because I had one class.

One of the many hardships of this challenge came when I went to a family member’s house for dinner. I’d decided to wear my lighter colored jeans. While bending down to pick up my little cousin, one of my older aunts called me to her room. I automatically knew what it was for, and I’m sure everyone else in the room also knew. Walking into her room, she did not say anything; she just handed me a pad. I told her that I didn’t need it and went on to explain to her what I was doing. She ended up just giving me a towel so I wouldn’t stain her couches or chairs. For the most part, I was a little embarrassed because I was the only one sitting on a towel in front of everyone.

Many times throughout this I was very conscious of what I did because, with one wrong move, you go stain something without even knowing it.

In the end, I completely recommend the free bleeding experience. Some people have to experience something to understand, and experiencing this will definitely put you in the shoes of those who do not have the pleasure or luxuries that most of us do. I realized how hard it is for a lot of women to be able to go out when they don’t have a pad or tampon. I only did this challenge for one period, so to have to go through this as a lifestyle is unimaginable.

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About the Writer
Ani-ya Beasley, Editor
My name is Ani-ya Beasley, I am a second-year reporter and now an editor. I’m an athlete. I’ve played many sports and I’m on the debate team. I also love Beyonce!
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