By Ashley Begley
Do you and your friends huddle around and whisper about…it. Who will be the first to get it? What will it feel like? Will it hurt? And then, it comes—your period. And suddenly, no one is supposed to talk about it. It’s supposed to be all hush-hush. Case in point, when my mom has to use the restroom at work, which is all the way down the hall from her office, she hides a tampon up her sleeve. No joke!
Now me? I like to hold my tampon out in the open, all loud and proud because, hey, periods happen, amirite? And I’m not the only one. Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser are tampon-proud! The New York City high-schoolers, well, menstruated and then cultivated their love of coding by developing a video game known as Tampon Run. They created the game after meeting at Girls Who Code, an organization that’s closing the gender gap in the world of tech.
The objective of Tampon Run is to help main character Luna rid the world of menstruation haters by throwing tampons at them—and don’t let them confiscate yours!
Through Tampon Run, Andrea and Sophie hope to make periods less taboo, maybe even something girls can have fun with! But, you ask, aren’t weaponized tampons a little weird? Um, that’s exactly the point. The young coders call attention to the fact that guns are normalized in video games, whereas tampons are deemed too…icky.
As Andrea and Sophie say, “Although the concept of the video game may be strange, it’s stranger that our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable.” Though they don’t advocate discontinuation of all video games that feature guns, the girls do ask that tampons and periods become just as acceptable as, if note more than, guns in our society.
When asked in an interview with The Verge if the backlash against the game was bothersome, Sophie responded with this:
“I want to stand here like a woman. I want to hold my ground.”
To hear more from these incredibly intelligent and downright cool young women, Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser, check out their TEDx Youth@Hewitt talk: What Tampons Have to do with Tech
photo credit: pri.org
Fun fact! Courtney Cox, of Friends fame, was the first person to say “period” on American television in her 1985 commercial for Tampax. Check it (and her retro hair) out: 1985 Tampax Commercial
Have you played Tampon Run? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
All photos courtesy of fastcoexist.com unless otherwise noted.