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10 Aug

Monday Mantra

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”- Gandhi

With a multitude of offensive and frightening excerpts from last week’s pissing contest (a.k.a. the Republican debates) still whirling in my head, I thought this was the only appropriate Monday Mantra.

It’s no surprise that I found it difficult to watch the primetime showdown, as I don’t support any of those candidates. I expected to be angered by views on contraception and healthcare for women. I expected to be reminded of the fact that most of the Republican candidates care more about an unborn fetus than the health and safety of the woman carrying it or, for that matter, the child itself once born. I expected to hear about Ronald Reagan, the economy, Iran and Benghazi ad nauseam. I knew it would seem like torture, but I didn’t expect to be quite so terrified. It’s scary being a twenty three year old working woman with so much of my future in front of me, and knowing it could be profoundly impacted by any of the sexist, misogynistic Republican candidates. However, Donald Trump was particularly offensive, not an easy feat in that crowd. He is a man so insecure that he has to attack women to feel powerful. He is a man who completely invalidated a woman’s emotions and all but blamed Megyn Kelly’s “attitude” on her period.

Even talking about Trump in this sense is still talking about him and, unfortunately, there isn’t really any way to improve upon silence when he is mentioned. Because of how angered I was, and still am, by his remarks, I wanted to turn more attention to something positive. A woman who has been training for the past year, completed the London Marathon this past weekend. When she realized she’d have her period and didn’t want any potential discomfort from a tampon, she ran the entire marathon “free flowing.”

She said “I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist.” She also explained that it is a natural bodily reaction for 50% of the world and that we placed the stigmas on it ourselves. We needn’t hide it just because it makes others uncomfortable. Click here to read more about Kiran Gandhi and her run.

Her words are filled with positivity and empowerment and truly improve the silence. Its simply poetry that her last name is Gandhi.

Gabrielle Levy
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