- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lady Parts Justice, an organization dedicated to reproductive rights, will host its “V to Shining V” party Friday at the District’s Tropicalia in Northwest. The evening will feature dancing and music as a way to raise awareness for reproductive rights and to celebrate womanhood. It is part of a day of simultaneous shindigs nationwide.

MIA drummer Kiran Gandhi will make a special appearance at the event Friday.

“This will be my debut show performing as Madame Gandhi with an all-female band,” Miss Gandhi said in a statement provided to The Washington Times. “My dream has been to perform uplifting music to a crowd who can vibe with it, who connects with it, who sees value in music that directly confronts sexism and describes experiences women have daily,” she said.

Miss Gandhi was much in the news in August when she ran the entirety of the London Marathon while menstruating — and without using any sanitary products. Due to the extensive online backlash she experienced for bleeding freely into her running gear, Miss Gandhi has become an outspoken critic of “period-shaming.”

“It is problematic that we are so awkward, uncomfortable and scared of something so normal,” Miss Gandhi said. “The reason why fear of periods is a problem is that it then makes it OK to silence women who want to ask their friends for a tampon, who may experience pain when on their periods. It makes us live in fear of having a stain, which then makes us more focused on preventing shame than on focusing on the work we have to get done that day.”

Miss Gandhi maintains she had no intention of becoming a cause’s spokeswoman, but life, she said, sometimes provides you a megaphone unexpectedly.

“I have seen women around the world take to blogs, their social media or their immediate public spheres to speak openly about why this issue is important to them,” she said. “The run was as a concrete act, but more than that, it served as a lens through which women and men could engage and debate safely about this issue.

“For this, it felt empowering to take on any backlash that came my way, because the larger good was that it enabled people around the world to have a direct place to express their own voices.”

For Friday’s event Miss Gandhi will perform a song she co-wrote with Rupi Kaur, “a fellow period stigma abolitionist,” with an inspiring message of “I have my own voice, and no, I am not afraid.”

The event will feature golden uterus flash tattoos. More information is available at LadyPartsJustice.com.

“I am so inspired by the work Lady Parts Justice has been doing,” Miss Gandhi said, “and I think there is nothing more powerful than combining the arts with social justice.”

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