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Girls & Women

This Hyundai Model Says She Was Fired After Getting Period

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Rachel Rickert is a 27-year-old model. She is a woman and, like much of the female population, she has periods. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it?

But for international car firm Hyundai, it was a big deal. A deal breaker in fact.

In April, Rickert was fired from her booking at the New York International Auto Show. In an explanation to the New York Post,  Rickert said that three hours into the show she was refused a toilet break to change her tampon. This resulted in her soiling her uniform and asking for a fresh change of clothes.

Hyundai at the New York Auto ShowHyundai at the New York Auto Show

Instead of dealing with her request, her employer ordered her to go home because of her “period situation.” Following the event, a representative from the company called Rickert to explain that Hyundai would not be using her again for the shows.

At first, Rickert was upset that her livelihood and hard work where being questioned because of her completely natural bodily functions. This soon turned to outrage.

“I’m not going to let someone tell me I can’t have my period when I work,” she explained.  “It’s unacceptable.”

In many developing countries women face discrimination while on their periods. According to UNICEF,  500 million girls and women across the globe go without the necessary facilities to look after themselves. This creates an enormous cultural stigma that communities struggle to beat. The incident in New York City just shows there is much progress to be made on ending this kind of discrimination. 

Hyundai rachel.pngImage: Twitter

“They just act like we’re not human,” she said. “I’m not going to be ashamed or shamed of having my period,” Rickert said. Menstruation is a natural function and no woman should ever be made to feel that way. Period shaming is a negative cultural reaction and can lead to discrimination just like this.

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Rickert is now taking legal action against Hyundai. 

“Discrimination of any kind, especially because of a menstrual cycle, should not be tolerated,” her lawyer said .

Hyundai has responded to the incident with the following statement: “We take any complaint like this seriously and will respond appropriately once we have a chance to investigate the merits of the claim.”

Women like Rickert are helping us all stand up to gender discrimination and put a stop to period shaming. We must make sure that this cultural taboo is eliminated from our society once and for all.