The Current

Heather Watson breaks period taboo at Australian Open

No one talks about their menstrual cycle in elite professional sport, now British tennis star Heather Watson may have made some progress in changing all that. Is it time to openly confront the physical impact of the Period? Or does that take us back to a time when a woman's cycle was held up as proof she just couldn't rise...
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No one talks about their menstrual cycle in elite professional sport, now British tennis star Heather Watson may have made some progress in changing all that. Is it time to openly confront the physical impact of the Period? Or does that take us back to a time when a woman's cycle was held up as proof she just couldn't rise to the challenge?


 
It just was one of those days for me. I felt very light-headed and low on energy - you know it's a shame that it's today. With the way I as feeling... um it didn't do me any favours today ... the last couple days I felt fine. I think it's just one of these things that I have, girl things. It just , yeah, happens.- Heather Watson, Britain's number one ranked female tennis player, giving a post-match interview to the BBC and smashing a taboo in the process



Heather Watson's plainspoken remarks about a disappointing showing at the Australian Open, have sparked some much bigger conversations... both about how menstruation affect's female athletes' on-court abilities.... and about why such a natural topic remains so out-of-bounds for discussion today.

Now Ms. Watson's comments are being hailed by many as a breakthrough moment for sport. Not everyone's cheering -- But to start let's hear from someone who's been there herself as an elite tennis player, and who has publicly praised Heather Watson's candour.

Annabel Croft is a former British number one tennis player and co-founder of Diary Doll, a company that makes protective underwear for women. She joined us from Kingston, England.

Well, tennis star Heather Watson has been widely celebrated in recent days for merely discreetly alluding to her period... but the reaction hasn't been wholly unmixed.

Karen Houppert, for one, has a different perspective. She is a journalist and author of "The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation." Karen Houppert was in Baltimore.

Well it might be unmentionable to some... but what do you think? Should female athletes - or anyone else for that matter - be more open about talking about menstruation?

You can break the taboo on Twitter @thecurrentcbc @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.

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