If you menstruate, you might all too well know the feeling of being really turned on but also being on your period. At MLNP, we definitely don’t really see that as an obstacle. If you’re both okay with it, why not? Periods are a very normal part of having a #realworldbody if you’re equipped with the parts that menstruate. This piece by Salon highlights how uncomfortable periods still make many people. We say bring on the period visibility!
Written by Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon. Originally published on March 27th, 2015.
“Instagram loves women. It loves women showing their bodies. Women in bikinis, women in lingerie. It loves cleavage and sexy girls on the beach. What it has less of a fondness for — as it has amply demonstrated again and again – is the depiction of women in a way that suggests the female experience may sometimes be deemed untidy. And the thing about women is they get periods.
This week, poet Rupi Kaur decided to test how Instagram would deal with an image clearly suggestive of menstruation. And Instagram did not surprise her at all. On Kaur’s Tumblr, she and her sister Prabh have created a small photo series called Period, a collection of simple images familiar to any woman — a stained item spilling out of the laundry, a red blob by the shower drain. Kaur says, “A majority of people. Societies, and communities shun this natural process. Some are more comfortable with the pornification of women. The sexualization of women. The violence and degradation of women than this. They cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that. But will be angered and bothered by this.” And sure, enough, when she initially posted a photograph of herself, reclining and fully clothed in bed and with a telltale red stain emanating from the crotch of her pants and blotting the sheet, she received a notification from Instagram that it had been removed because “It doesn’t follow our community guidelines.”
Kaur promptly posted that “Their patriarchy is leaking. Their misogyny is showing. We won’t be censored.” And she replied to Instagram, “Thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique…. I will repost it again. I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak.” One day later, she jubilantly announced that Instagram had reversed its decision and thanked her followers for “your movement to not quiet down.”
Head over to Salon to read the rest of the article, and more instances of censorship here.