Honest Letter to Instagram about Monthly Periods
- IWB Post
- March 27, 2015
This woman with the ‘blood stain’ is Rupi Kaur who recently uploaded a picture of her period stain that she got while sleeping. Instagram quickly took it down because it doesn’t follow their “community guidelines”. Instagram did that twice. But now the picture has gone viral on tumbler and Facebook raising debates on our misogynist society.
Most of us had our eyebrows twitched after seeing this picture. This includes even women. Women are equally responsible for making menstruation a chaos. We hide pads and tampons in up our pockets while using a toilet. We ask our girlfriends if they have a spare pad in a whispering voice. Men don’t do that while asking for a cigarette!
In her blog, Rupi writes:
Thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines 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. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you.
this image is a part of my photoseries project for my visual rhetoric course. you can view the full series at rupikaur.com
i bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not. but very few times it is seen that way. in older civilizations this blood was considered holy. in some it still is. but 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. we menstruate and they see it as dirty. attention seeking. sick. a burden. as if this process is less natural than breathing. as if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. as if this process is not love. labour. life. selfless and strikingly beautiful.
Dear tumblr family,
Instagram has chosen to once again, take down this image for violating community guidelines. Despite the fact that about 95% of comments were beautiful. Flowering. And in support.
This just goes to show who is sitting behind the desk. And whose controlling the show. Whose controlling the media and who is censoring us.
It’s sad in this world. That this is still happening. I know that some communities and cultures go out of their way to shun and oppress a woman on her period. I guess Instagram is another one of them.
Some women aren’t allowed in their religious place of worship. Out of their homes. To do certain things. And are told they are sick. As if the period is a common cold. Yes. This is here in North America. I have been hospitalized many times because of issues associated with my period. I have been suffering from a sickness related to my period. And ever since I have been working so hard to love it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Even thought it’s given me so much pain in the past few years. and they want to tell me I should be quiet about this. That all of this we experience collectively does not need to be seen. Just felt secretly behind closed doors. That’s why this is important. Because when I first got my period my mother was sad and worried. And they want to censor all that pain. Experience. Learning. No.
I am going to share the photo again once I figure out how to go about it. I would appreciate if you could “at” instagram and express your thoughts. Or even share the photo on whatever social media platform.
we did it. you did this. your belief in the work. it’s message. and your movement to not quiet down has forced instagram to place both deleted photos back on my grid. exactly where they belong. how they belong. imagine that. you made a giant see that it is only a giant cause you are part of it’s existence. you are a movement. that is the power you hold my beautiful people. and i am so proud of you. of us. always speak your heart sweetloves. because the truth no matter how terrifying it might be to the masses always remains the truth. and when they try to shut you down. my god speak louder. it has been my greatest honour to witness your magic at work. it has been an honour to work alongside you. we are a force to be reckoned with.
Why do most of us want to take down this picture? Why do we think it is morally wrong? Why do we have to act like a censor board for everything? The picture is in no way offensive because half the population of this earth (52% to be precise) bleeds every month.
JWB urges – Dear men (in particular), please make the concept of periods normal in your head. This is for the sake of your female friends, mothers, sisters and daughters.
PS – The photo has been restored with a full apology.