Let the tampon-swinging begin

I participated in my first Twitter argument! I feel like such an adult now. I didn’t really mean to, I accidentally rolled into one, without fully realizing what was happening. Very much like all the other adult stuff in my life, like taxes, disappointing my mom and falling asleep in the middle of Midsummer Murders.

Subject of the discussion was the announcement of the L7 concert at Muziekodroom in Hasselt.  Which is absolutely great news, since L7 is one of the most ferocious rock bands of the nineties, and now they are reunited and touring again after a break of more than a decade. Sadly, the writer of the music magazine announcing the gig made the rather unlucky choice to tweet about it as such: “Hopefully none of the L7 members will be on their period when they’re coming.”

That line was supposed to be a reference to L7’s infamous throwing tampon incident, but sadly ended as a denigrating-sounding message of women not being able to play when they’re on their period. That 140 character limit is meant to lead to some form of miscommunication once in a while. Anyhow, the argument is cleared, all parties reported to have returned safe back to their families and the music journalist and I agreed to laugh about the whole thing while having a beer at the gig.

But it got me thinking about that actual moment when L7 singer Donna Sparks threw her tampon out. Due to a shitty soundcheck and bad equipment the Riot Grrl band were having some serious technical problems at the Reading festival in 1992. So when the crowd got rowdy and started throwing mud to the stage, Donna responded in the least lady-like manner by pulling out her tampon and throwing it into the crowd with the words “Eat my used tampon, fuckers.”

Donna Sparks’ move has made it to one of rock history’s most legendary moments, up there with Iggy cutting himself on stage and Ozzy biting a head of a dove (I don’t care if it really happened or not, it’s true in my head). When you watch rock documentaries about this controversial L7-moment, the men reporting on it are still completely freaking out about Sparks’ brawl move. And I get why they don’t like to get a product coming from inside one’s body thrown at them during a concert. Even when people puking on your shoes, guys pissing right next to the bar and used condoms flying around on a festival are so normal it’s boring. But a feminine hygiene product, oh my, that got them traumatized for life.

If you ask me, there are hardly enough tampons being thrown around. If men are so damn scared of the cottong things, we should use it to our advantage. It could be a feminist weaponry. Instead of squirming our way into the least attention-seeking manner to get rid of the things, we should toss them around everytime we see sexism happen around us. Rather than going hush hush about our period, we should collectively start throwing our bloody tampons at the 7% pay gap in our country, the approximitely 100 rapes happening per day and the underrepresentation of women in all of our many governments.

And can you imagine how good it would feel the next time a random stranger calls you “hé sexy” on the street, you pull your tampon out, swing it around a couple of times like a cowboy twirls a lasso and just flick it at his head. We could even make a feminist olympic discipline out of it, the gold medal going to the chick who can hit the most mysogonists with a single swing.

So actually, now when I think about it, I do hope that the L7 members are on their period on 8th September.