Celtic Football Club Supports Girls In Sport With This Innovative Solution

Other clubs should follow their lead.

When it comes to girls and sports participation, access to one essential personal health item could make all the difference.

Scotland’s top football club, Celtic FC, will be the first in the U.K. to provide free menstrual products in its stadium in fall 2018. The move raises awareness of the global issue of period poverty and should prompt other clubs to follow Celtic’s lead.


Period poverty — being unable to afford menstrual products — is a worldwide problem and has become a major focus of campaigns in numerous countries. It affects 1 in 10 women ages 14-21 in Britain and nearly 1 in 5 in Scotland.

Many women and girls are prevented from participating in sports both because of period poverty and lack of access to sanitary products plus the shame and stigma associated with menstruation. A recent study found 48% of girls ages 14-21 feel embarrassed by their periods while 71% have felt embarrassed buying products. For this reason, campaigns like #FreePeriods, which pushes for free menstrual products in schools, focus on stigma as well as access.

Celtic FC got involved after three supporters started a petition requesting that the club provide menstrual products in its toilets; they attracted 2,700 signatures. It is fitting that Scotland should be leading the way in this regard since the movement to end period poverty has been particularly active in the country. To quote the Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who has been one of the lead campaigners, “Menstruation should never be a barrier for women participating in football or supporting their team.”

Sports and social justice

Sports have long served as a platform for social and political activism. Famous examples include the Black Panther protest at the 1968 Olympics and Nelson Mandela’s use of the 1995 Rugby World Cup to help unify post-apartheid South Africa. More recently, player protests in the NFL in the U.S. have brought racial injustice into the limelight.

But while sports are helping to attract global attention to social justice issues such as racism, the broader feminist movement is conspicuously absent in popular sports. One exception has been female athletes breaking into sporting boys’ clubs — like Katherine Switzer gatecrashing the all-male Boston Marathon in 1967, for instance, or tennis star Billie Jean King’s famous Battle of the Sexes game against Bobby Riggs in 1973, where King came out on top. Her battle continues today over equal pay in professional tennis.

The global sport-for-development movement includes many initiatives for gender equality and empowerment. Yet many harmful gender norms still leave the playing field uneven, such as a lack of female role models and few opportunities for girls in “masculine” sports.

Menstruation in sports has long been considered the last taboo for girls and women. It has attracted a surprisingly limited amount of research. We do know that menstruation is a barrier for females in sports and a significant reason why many teenage girls drop out of it altogether. Many worry about leaking and end up feeling marginalized — sometimes with long-term physical and psychological consequences.

By taking on the issue directly, Celtic FC is making a bold statement that girls and women are welcome and supported in football. It is part of what looks like a “moment” in sports for menstruation. Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, for example, who is much loved for her expressive interviews, openly discussed struggling to perform during her period at the 2016 Olympics. Musician and activist Kiran Gandhi brought the concept of free bleeding to the forefront in 2015 when she ran the London Marathon on the first day of her period. 2017 featured an #ActivePeriod campaign, fronted by Olympic hockey champion Samantha Quek, to encourage girls to continue playing sports and doing physical activity during their periods.

More recently, menstrual products giant Always launched its #LikeAGirl campaign, featuring girls sharing their testimonials of overcoming fear and barriers in sports. Finally, a menstrual health education website for girls in sub-Saharan Africa has been launched by Scottish entrepreneur and health expert Dr. Liita Cairney, teaching them how to use yoga to support their physical and emotional health during their menstrual cycles.

Celtic FC is a less obvious advocate for menstrual activism than an Olympic athlete or tampon company, yet professional football is exactly the kind of high-profile sport that has served social justice movements so well in the past.

Other clubs should follow suit, sending a message to girls everywhere that #PeriodPoverty is no reason to stay on the sidelines. With the Football Association aiming to double the number of women and girls taking part in football by 2020, it would certainly send out the right message.

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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