Bleeding Freely at the London marathon

Kiran Gandhi is making headlines for an inspiring, empowering reason. She not only crossed the finish line at the London Marathon, but she also did it after making a bold choice: to run while on her period and to bleed freely.

The 26-year-old, who recently got her MBA from Harvard Business School and toured with Grammy-nominated artist MIA as a drummer, got her period the night before the marathon, a day for which she had been training for a year.

Kiran Gandhi

Imagining running 26.2 miles with “a wad of cotton material wedged between my legs” wasn’t sitting right with her — it “just seemed so absurd.” Kiran explains it all in a piece she wrote entitled “Going With the Flow: Blood and Sisterhood at the London Marathon.”

Gandhi told Cosmopolitan she thinks the social constructs around periods are based on misogyny.

“I have this vision that if men had their period, because we are in a male-privileging society, that rules would be written into the workplace, rules would be written into the social fabric that enable men to take a moment when they need to or enable people to talk about their periods openly,” she said.

Two of the most important men in Gandhi’s life — her brother and father — were on the sidelines the day she ran the marathon. She was unsure how they would react to her statement, but when she reached them at the nine-mile mark, they only cared about hugging her and taking photos.