Women let Donald Trump in on a secret: 'Periods are not an insult'
After Donald Trump tried to insult Fox journalist Megyn Kelly with a veiled reference to her menstrual cycle, his torrent of denials are being drowned out by a flood of strong female voices.
Leading the pack is SheKnows Expert Amber Gordon, who found herself on the front lines of a political debate this week. Huddled in bed and ironically experiencing her own actual menstrual discomfort, Gordon created the hashtag #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult after reading about Trump's interview, in which he said of Kelly, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," which quickly went viral.
What began as a wry reprimand to @realDonaldTrump quickly gained support on Twitter. "It felt so good to tweet at him and let him know the pain I was experiencing," Gordon said.
Gordon's mantra, "turn pain into content," produced a rallying cry for tweeters and, soon after, she launched PeriodsAreNotAnInsult.com, which helps people track their cycles by marking the occasion with a tweet to Trump. Other template tweets accommodate those who may want to tweet Trump without actually being on their period, and there's also an option for those who don't menstruate.
"Even if you don't get a period, you can still participate and let [Trump] know that you think [referencing] something someone can't control as an insult isn't cool. How old are we?" Gordon asked incredulously.
This isn't the first time Gordon has created an online community. She co-founded Femsplain for people who identify as female to share personal stories in a safe place. Gordon said she recognizes a misogynistic slam when she hears one, and Trump's dismissal that he doesn't have time for political correctness "is a cop out," she said. "What that really means is, 'I don't have time to be a decent person and think before I speak,'" Gordon said. "That's what that means."
Next, PeriodsAreNotAnInsult.com will curate shared stories of how the topic of menstruation has been lobbed as an insult.
"I hope the hashtag evolves past Donald Trump," Gordon said. "Anytime someone feels like they're being put down because of [having a period], they can rally up with the other people they met through the hashtag and feel safe again."
Gordon has stood up to adversity before, overcoming online harassment and going on to create Femsplain. Hackers took Femsplain down on International Women's Day in 2015, a move that only bolstered the site's membership and drove donations to its Kickstarter campaign.
A former creative strategist for Tumblr and social media manager for Denny's, Gordon sees the Trump period debacle as an opportunity to change the way a generation talks about menstruation. "It was never talked about when I was a kid and if it was, it was behind closed doors by my mom or the health classroom teacher," she explained. "It was very gender-separated."
"The more that we talk about it, the less uncomfortable everyone will feel — men included."
Check out some of our favorite #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult tweets: