UEFA Womens Euro 2022 - England v Norway Beth Mead 7 England celebrates Englands fifth goal 5-0 during the UEFA Womens Euro 2022 football match between England and Norway at the Community Stadium in Brighton, England. Sam Mallia/Equalizer Soccer/SPP PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA Copyright: xSamxMallia/EqualizerxSoccer/SPPx sam_mallia_sports_press_photo_166339

Beth Mead has every reason to celebrate at the moment: first the England international gave her team the first goal in the opening game of the European Championship and then she dominated with a hat-trick against Norway. The English Football Association could give her another reason to celebrate – provided they do as Mead wishes.

Together with her colleagues, she called for the national team’s white trousers to be abolished and replaced with colored ones. “It’s very nice to wear all white. But at one stage of the month it’s impractical for us women,” Meads said. If the internationals are right, it could send a signal, as clubs like Arsenal also wear white shorts, and white is also standard in rugby and cricket.

Menstruation is also a natural process and the strength does not adjust to the clothing choices of the day – although the snow-white skirts of Wimbledon like to give the impression. Of course, it would be desirable to remove taboos from periods so that having bloodstains on your pants isn’t a problem. This applies not only to football, tennis or sport as such, but to society as a whole.

Finally, there is still a sense of shame about asking for a tampon or being open about menstrual cramps, although the situation has improved in recent years with the introduction of period underwear and free bleeding debates.

But especially in competitive sports, where periods are still taboo, menstruating people are exposed to enormous pressure: Possible headaches, nausea, abdominal cramps – and yet they are required to perform at their best at tournaments. On top of that there is the “mental stress” of having to wear white, as tennis Olympic champion Monica Puig recently called it.

Actually, it’s about a lot more than white shorts. It’s about women athletes being involved in decision-making processes that affect them; that their complaints are not ignored but taken seriously. Sports presenter Catherine Whitaker once said, “If there were a dress code that affected men the same way it affected women, I don’t think that tradition would endure.”

So until the point where periods are no longer a taboo, it would make sense to listen to what female athletes actually want. In the end, it is they who play less exuberantly or, conversely, are exposed to the ridicule of the viewers.