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A 14-Year-Old Was Reportedly Driven To Suicide After She Was Humiliated At Her Own School For Having Her Period

A 14-year-old Kenyan girl killed herself after being period shamed by a teacher when she did not have access to a pad. The tragedy has caused unrest in Kenya, unifying women Parliament members to end period stigma, causing parents to mobilize, and launching a formal investigation into the girl’s death. Period shame around the world is an oppressive force that undermines bodily autonomy, education, and personal freedoms for girls and nonbinary people by stigmatizing a basic body function.

According to the United Nations Population Fund report on Menstrual Health Management in East and Southern Africa, “Studies from Kenya find that schoolgirls engage in transactional sex to pay for menstrual products, particularly for the younger, uneducated, economically dependent girls.” 

In the United States, a survey of 1500 women and 500 men by THINX revealed that 58 percent of women felt a sense of embarrassment for simply being on their period and 42 percent said they had been explicitly period shamed.

While Kenya has recently taken steps to make sanitary napkins more accessible at schools, this structural failure has led to a tragic loss. 

Period shaming can have tragic consequences. 

A 14-year-old Kenyan girl started her period for the very first time while at middle school in Bomet County, Kenya. When she couldn’t obtain a pad, the girl began to bleed through her school uniform. Unable to concentrate, due to the incident, she asked for help. Then her teacher berated her in class, calling her “dirty” for staining her clothes. 

Forced to leave the classroom, she walked home. After telling her mother what happened, she said she was going to go fetch water, but instead, she killed herself. According to a local Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation, Konoin Sub-County Police Commander Alex Shikondi said that officers took the girl’s body to a nearby hospital. 

“When police arrived at the scene, they found the girl had committed suicide… and the body was moved to Kapkatet Hospital mortuary,” said Commander Alex Shikondi.

Parents want answers.

The girl’s mother, Beatrice Koech, spoke to Daily Nation about what happened. She claimed her daughter believed the female teacher would be an ally to her, and help her understand what was happening. Instead, her daughter was shamed in front of the classroom. 

“She had nothing to use as a pad,” Koech told the newspaper. “When the blood stained her clothes, she was told to leave the classroom and stand outside.”

Koech reported the incident to police, but after four days of inaction, parents stormed the school in protest. Parents wanted to know why the teacher shamed the 14-year-old. Police threw tear gas canisters at the parents who were blocking the road to the school. Officers arrested five demonstrators. The school was closed and students were sent home. 

Basic Education Act of 2017

Kenya passed the Basic Education of 2017, which makes access to menstrual napkins mandatory in public schools across the country. Pads in public schools are not a mere luxury, the necessary product is inaccessible to many in the region. Just last year, the capital of Kenya itself was hit with a tampon shortage when there was massive Kotex recall in Nairobi due to a malfunctioning batch.

When a person has their period and no sanitary napkins or tampons, they are more likely to stay home from school. This can have negative effects on girls’ and nonbinary folks’ education and self-esteem, often making children feel like a burden. 

“The cost of menstrual products may also contribute to the perception that daughters are economically burdensome,” according to the United Nations

School is often the only place where students can get pads, which is why the Basic Education Act is great. Nevertheless, many schools have still not implemented the program or have been skipped over. 

Kenyans want justice.

According to BuzzFeed, “An organization called One Dollar for Life, which makes and distributes reusable pads to girls across Kenya, has ramped up its outreach in light of the girl’s death last week. Program manager Brenda Birrell told BuzzFeed News via email that the group plans to hand out 1,000 reusable pad kits — which also contain information about self-defense, female biology, and feminine hygiene — over the next two months.”

Women members of Kenyan’s Parliament occupied the Ministry of Education to pressure a police investigation. After parents and lawmakers held their ground, the police finally launched a formal investigation into the girl’s death.

“What must she be going through in her life to have that be her reaction?” Megan White Mukuria, whose organization ZanaAfrica Foundation provides pads and reproductive education to girls, told BuzzFeed. 

“The reality for a lot of women can be very difficult. [Maybe] her cup has not been filled, and her rights have not been taught to her.”

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Women Are Sharing Their Most Brutal Pregnancy Symptoms

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Women Are Sharing Their Most Brutal Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy really does require a strong stomach.

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy experience extreme hormonal changes that can lead to some pretty bizarre symptoms. From extreme cravings, even for non-food items such as pica, to a heightened sense of smell, it often seems like a pregnant woman could be experiencing an actual possession.

Women on Reddit are sharing the most bizarre symptoms they wish people had given them a heads up about before they got pregnant.

Check them out below!

“Nosebleeds. Not currently pregnant, but when I was, I got nosebleeds every few days during the first and second trimesters.”- creativeandwonderful

“From my mom: I paralyzed her from the waist down for a few hours because I decided to take a nap on her spinal cord in the third trimester. The doctor’s response was ‘yeah you’ll be able to move again once they wake up.’ Pregnancy is pure body horror.”- AbsolXGuardian

That is awful. I’m glad it wasn’t permanent. I knew a mom of twins who had one of them move and dislocated some of her ribs. Just…holy cow. It’s scary to think about all the damage that tiny little being can do while inside you, not to mention when coming out. Then many years of them beating you up and wearing your body down. Thank goodness for those hormones that help you believe it’s all worth it.”- TCMueller

“This is mostly a 3rd trimester thing, but that when you are active and moving, it kinda rocks the baby to sleep.

But as soon as you lay down to go to sleep, baby wakes up and starts kicking and spinning.

Might not be super common (?), but I knew a lot of other mothers who complained about this, too.”- GingerMau

“Not a woman, but i wish i knew the warning signs of preeclampsia, Girlfriend was 7 months pregnant at the time, and had been complaining of generally not feeling good with a constant headache that would occasionally break for a bit, i came home from work(i work overnights) to her sleeping on the floor and i eventually got to bed but i woke up 3 hours later to hear a thud and she was having a seizure, turns out she went eclamptic, she ended up having a c section, daughter was in the nicu for a bit but both are doing great now. What really put things into how close my girlfriend was to dying was the doctors and nurses saying how few people they’ve seen go eclamptic and one of the nurses said shes only seen 3 cases in like 10 years and 2 of them died.”- LeButtSmasher

“How hungry you can be. All. The. Time. Especially twins.

Then how hungry you still are after baby comes.

Then his hungry you are while breast feeding.

And sometimes the weight doesnt go away. At least the kids dont care.”- kleigh1313

“I wish someone would have warned me about the constipation. Corollary: I wish someone would have warned me that ‘fiber supplement’ does not equal ‘stool softener.’ Today, we’re at 26 weeks gestation.”- InfernalWedgie

“Related– I did have a couple of friends warn me about constipation, but no one told me I would be as thirsty as I have been! I get constipated after any day where I didn’t drink a huge glass of water every single time I felt thirsty… but I’ve been constantly insanely thirsty since probably month 2. I’m drinking something like 8-10 12 oz glasses of water a day. And no, turns out it isn’t gestational diabetes… just pregnancy.

And lol, agreed on the fiber supplement– I’d say it was more of a gas multiplier than helpful. Real food fiber did better on that front (oatmeal, pears, prunes, sweet-potatoes. heck, even beans were better than the fiber supplement for me).”- badgersonice

“Your body produces a hormone called relaxin that helps loosen your pelvis in preparation for birth. Some women get waayyy too much too soon and it loosens everything to the point you lose mobility and every day all day is painful. Also your body pushes so hard during birth you can feel yourself shit your own asshole out.”- Jen_Itals

“During labor the “water breaking” is not one rush of liquid. it’s continuous and can occur for several hours. it’s horrendous and messy and incredibly awful to deal with. it feels like peeing but you have zero control over anything and if you tense up then everything is much more painful and weird feeling.

nobody ever told me that and i was VERY surprised to find out for myself.”-notgrass87

“YUP. Went to the hospital at 4CM, water broke the second I got into triage. Water continued to POUR out with every contraction until I laid down. An hour later, they decide to take me to L&D, I stand up, bam pouring buckets. Get to L&D, another big contraction and water pours out of me all over my poor nurses shoes. My god, I did not know my body could have that much liquid in it. It was insane. I was so embarrassed and kept saying sorry lol.”- The-Chonky-one

“To quote a doctor friend of mine: People don’t realize that it’s the worst day of their life for them, but for me it’s Tuesday. Stop worrying about embarrassing yourself.”- Klaus_Goldfish

“I had adult diapers given to me by my SIL (she had some unused ones left from her pregnancies). They are INCREDIBLY useful for if your water breaks, and after you give birth and there is blood, so much blood.”- CypripediumGuttatum

“I didn’t measure, but I’ve heard people describe it as 9 months of periods saved up and thought that was pretty accurate. I was more concerned by my 2nd degree tearing to be worried about the blood. They said if there were “clots” that was what to look out for (so if your placenta hadn’t all come out and could potentially rot inside you basically). There is no glamor and not much dignity in giving birth and the recovery. Good thing the babies are cute! 10/10 happy I did it once and would never do it again, props to the ladies that go for round 2+.”- CypripediumGuttatum

“Hair loss! After I had my kid I lost a ton of hair. I would pull fists full of hair during my showers. I thought there was something wrong with me because no one told me about this. Went to Google, totally normal and it happens to everyone. It grows back eventually and you’ll go through an awkward baby hair phase.”- sm1020

“Aahh something I actually know the science behind! So apparently when you’re pregnant, your head holds on to almost all of those dead hairs that your scalp would normally just get rid of everyday. We all lose some hair, but most of the time we don’t realize how much we lose, especially if you’re blessed with thick hair. So when you’re pregnant and your body is worrying about keeping baby safe and growing, it basically stops shedding dead hair, and then sheds it ALL AT ONCE right after baby is born. So you’re not actually losing more hair than normal, you’re just losing all of those dead hairs that you would have lost anyway over the course of your pregnancy. It takes some time to see that your hair is back to normal because your head is now growing all of those hairs back at once, but when all is said and done your hair isn’t any thinner than it was before baby! My hair stylist told me this when I started freaking out about my pregnancy and body changes. She saved a panic attack that day.”- aep17

“Tore up from the floor up” lololol. I’m 5 weeks postpartum and had my OB take a look today for any remaining stitches from my second degree tear. I tore alllll the way and I swore I could still feel some. She said that they were all gone, but then I went home and found a whole ass suture on my toilet paper. Took my first look down there and it looks like I was stitched up by Frankenstein. My taint straight up has a seam now.”- edgeofdoom

“My god, the pooping. I now I have a three month old, and while I can’t remember my first poop after delivery, I vividly remember crying on the toilet not being able to poop. And nobody warns you about the hemorrhoids. Mine were so big I couldn’t sit for two weeks, and poops came out in little nuggets. Sometimes I actually had to scoop it out. Going to the bathroom became an event. My husband said the sounds I made trying to poop were worse than what I did during labor.”- toot_toot_tootsie

“I had a total meltdown in the hospital because my entire extended family was on the phone with my mom asking to come over to visit. “They just want to see you because they love you!” Um, no they want to see a cute new baby while I’m still bleeding heavily and have to use a squirt bottle after I pee, so… no.”- killergiraffe

“This times 1,000. Mine was fine, but I follow a woman on Instagram who lost her daughter full term because the doctor didn’t induce. She had signs of cholestasis and wasn’t diagnosed for awhile, then went to the hospital for lessening movements, failed a NST and then HE SENT HER HOME.

Every time I read her story I am angry on her behalf. I know she’s said she felt uneasy, and the way doctors dismiss our concerns in general let alone while pregnant, I imagine she ignored her feelings because she trusted the doctor and didn’t want to be pushy. I’m a loud mouthed person and I still failed to assert my needs during my last pregnancy. I’m pro-medicine but people need to understand that there is a valid reason that people mistrust doctors. Please anybody reading this – advocate for yourself!!! Trust in modern medicine but if your instincts are telling you something is wrong, trust them.”- thatcondowasmylife

“L&D nurse here, and I just wanna say that while you can pass blood clots as big as a tennis ball, it’s not “normal.” We tell our patients if they pass blood clots bigger than an egg, they need to let their nurse or OB doctor know! Big clots like that can cause a patient to have a hemorrhage, and patients don’t realize this, but you can hemorrhage up to like 6 weeks postpartum! Also, if you’re bleeding heavily enough to have to change your pad hourly or more, please call your doctor. Your nurse will probably do a fundal massage a million times before you get discharged, and I always encourage my patients to learn how to do it because it helps ensure the uterus is doing what it should do!”- little_ginger1216

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Women Are Commiserating About The Predatory Things Men Do To Make Their Internal Alarms Go Off

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Women Are Commiserating About The Predatory Things Men Do To Make Their Internal Alarms Go Off

Toxic masculinity might not always be so easy to report. Sometimes, because of how outlandish, how underhanded it is, we often struggle to report it as women. After all, fears of being too outspoken, or “dramatic,” or sensitive loom large.

Recently women on reddit decided to speak out about the things men do that scare them that men might not often realize.

The responses to the Reddit post were pretty eye-opening and relatable.

“Getting really intense about our relationship/ friendship really early on. A lot of guys turn women into this kind of fantasy thing that’s supposed to make them whole/ help them change or whatever. Sir I am the main character in my own life, not just a supporting one in yours. When you put that pressure on me right away abs without reciprocation, I know that I don’t actually matter, you’ve been taught that women serve you.”- clarkthecatismyguy

“I have gone on a lot of dates in the last few years and every single time the reason for me having doubts and calling things off has been this exact thing. I always feel like the side character in the conversation, while simultaneously carrying the conversation (not always but a lot of the time). A lot of effort with very little pay off. They’ll never ask questions, just waiting for me to react to their ‘wild’ stories and them trying to ‘educate’ me on things they like because I’m so unenlightened. Then after the date, instantly saying they’re very interested in me when they know literally nothing about me, due to not asking a single question about my own interests or life. It’s like… what planet are you on? What do you think you even like about me? You don’t know me.”- OtherSideOfTheTune

“Messages you on a dating app commenting on having found your profile and that they are in the same location as you, they can see you but you can’t see them. I had a guy do this on a fully packed train I was on to go to work. I’m not an anxious person but it felt really uncomfortable.”- elgrn1

“English isn’t my first language so I can’t really generalize this but asking if I need a ride and keep pestering me when I decline.

I used to walk home from school when this old man literally parked his car in front of me while I was crossing a small parking lot and asked if I needed a ride. I lied and said the house at the end of the block was my house. He did it a bunch more times until I had to change my walking route. It was a longer way but I felt safe again.”- Scarlet_B9

“I had to walk the long way to and from school because there were a series of assaults on schoolgirls. It’s so unfair; rapists rape and we’re the ones who have to adjust our behaviour.”- allhailtheboi

“Following you to your car to get your number.

Don’t. Ever. Do. That.”- dadadawn

“A man chased me out of a bar and into the street one night to get my number. I’d like to say that’s the worst part of the story, but it’s not. He wasn’t chasing me to get my number for himself–he was doing it for his friend. They were both in their early 30s.

Literally none of that is okay. Don’t chase people. It’s not cute. I blame romcoms for people failing to see how uncomfortable this makes women.”- RoeRoeRoeYourVote

“I took the light rail from school to home and this one guy decided he was going to sit next to me on a decently empty light rail. I was just minding my own business. He started asking pretty personal questions. I ended up learning he was in a relationship!! (So was I at the time). He literally missed his stop to get off at the same stop as me and wanted to walk me home. I wasn’t comfortable with that for obvious reasons so I told him he can go that way to take the light rail back to his stop because I gotta go this other way, and he wouldn’t leave until I gave him some sort of contact info.

This is only one of many instances I dealt with men going out of their way to make me feel uncomfortable on the street or on public transport, it’s extremely awkward and quite scary while it’s happening since you don’t know who these people are and how they will react if you don’t smile, nod and act friendly until they’re gone and leave you alone.”- katsaurus

“I want to add strangers offering rides. Has happened to me so many times. A guy once watched me walk past his car at a cross walk and when his light turned green he had followed me, like had to do a U turn to get to where I was to offer me a ride. I’m obviously not going to get in a car with a stranger so they’re either stupid or dangerous.”- SailorSpoon11

“I had a mild creeper problem with a guy I worked with. Too vague for me to go to HR about but serious enough that I got a new position in a different lab.

The final day of the job I was leaving, dude showed up while I was testing at our new site, which wasn’t staffed yet and where we didn’t spend much time. 3 story building, nobody else would be there until the next day. He worked night shift and it was maybe 11am. The only way he could have known where I was was if he’d been watching me or if my shift partner had told him, I never found out which.

There was only one door to the lab and he was blocking it. I thought he was there to kill me. He’s 6’4″ and I’m just under 5’3″.

He congratulated me on my new job and then left a “goodbye gift”. It was the gift he got from me from the office secret Santa, nine months earlier, which he had not unwrapped, and had then wrapped again, to look like a different gift.

Then he left and I used the lab phone to call first my husband and then an off duty coworker I trusted and told them exactly what happened in case I didn’t make it home, then called the south site security guard to escort me to my car. I still didn’t call HR because the guy knew where I lived. I went to my new job and he didn’t talk to me again and I was never on site alone again.

I had a lot of nightmares about it and I still panic if someone blocks a door.”- techlabtech

While talking online and I say “I don’t know about meeting up” and their response is “You are more likely to be raped by someone you actually know in person”

Yup… Not meeting up now.”- curious-lycanthrope

“I’ve been approached several times in public by random men who say they want to be friends with me. One leaned in really close to have a conversation and asked me where I was from and where I live. Another grabbed my hands and remarked on how soft my skin is. Another one literally locked arms with me and dragged me to a coffee shop to “get to know me” and then later told me to come with him to a more private place for a view of the city. I weakly joke about it sometimes but in the moment it really does make me nervous. I don’t know if I just look really unimposing (I’m an Asian woman but I’m taller than average?) but I’m not sure why it happens. Regardless, please don’t just grab random women, even out of friendliness, and respect personal space.”- kerbula

“Asian woman here too. This happened to me a lot in NYC. A few times I got so sick of it I’d scream at them in the middle of the street and make a scene. They usually skitter away immediately. I hate to do that, but it’s just infuriating.”- foodsexreddit

“It’s so creepy. Most recent time that happened I was just taking a walk by myself to unwind from confinement and this dude just catches up with me and says he want to be my friend, just asking a bunch of personal questions and wanting to know exactly where I live. Eventually I told him I’m married and he said “oh I just want to be friends”. I was originally gonna go the same way he was going but ended up taking a different path.”- naughtydismutase

“I’m a bartender, and it’s amazing how tactless people can be as they get drunker. They just want to keep me by them by asking me question after question, so I have to cross the line into being rude if I want to put a stop to it. Sometimes, people come up with actually some pretty silly things to ask me, and it can be fun to engage them. But I absolutely HATE:

  1. is this your only job? Where else do you work?
  2. do you live close to here?
  3. oh you’re closing huh? When do you usually get out of here?
  4. when do you work next? Do you normally work on this day of the week?
  5. what are you doing after this?

I don’t think ppl always realize how they sound when they ask me these questions but I’ve honestly been asked them so much its ridiculous. And honestly, threatening undertones aside, they’re the most utterly boring questions you could ask someone. The worst of the worst of small talk. How some men manage to be both unnerving and bore me to tears at the same time is utterly fascinating.”- FudgeJudy4booty

“Or following me to do it. I’ve had several guys stop me in the street and explain they saw me 5 blocks back and have followed me all that way to talk to me. I guess they think it’s a compliment they were that committed to come after me. For me it’s terrifying and unhinged.”- Own-Bridge4210

“The maintenance guy at a condo I now rent out still thinks I’m a rude bitch for not wanting to talk to him first time we met, which was me alone walking a puppy at a park across the street from the condos. Never properly introduced himself or anything, just starts asking me if I’m new and which unit I moved into.

Alarm bells were flying off in my head at this guy who was clearly over 20yrs my senior asking where exactly I live and then he got extremely butthurt over me ignoring him and walking away.”- Ixi7311

“Any time someone tries really hard to convince me he’s a “nice guy”. Every guy I’ve met that desperately brings it up every chance he gets isn’t usually very nice. It always makes me wonder what are they trying to hide? Like why do I have to think you’re nice? Prove it with your actions, don’t tell me repeatedly.”- ElectricPinkMango

“I had a taxi driver hit on me, question me about my love life and ask for my number. I was literally locked in a moving vehicle with the guy, how are you supposed to feel safe saying no?! Luckily, I think he was just a nice clueless guy so I felt safe enough to negotiate and take his number instead of giving mine out.”- ineedapostrophes

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