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Poet and college student Rupi Kaur, 22, tried to Instagarm the above photo of a woman on her period as part of a photo series she was working on for school, but Instagram removed the photo, citing violation of the "Community Guidelines."
Kaur then reposted the photo, saying the following (opens in new tab):
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 re-post it. I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of a 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 of whom 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 atrupikaur.com (opens in new tab). 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 is it 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, 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.
The photo was deleted a second time.
This morning, Instagram apologized for removing the photo twice, according to Vice (opens in new tab), saying, "When our team processes reports from other members of the Instagram community, we occasionally make a mistake. In this case, we wrongly removed content and worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for any inconvenience."
The photo is now back on Kaur's account. Kaur told Vice that she feels like she won and can't believe anyone thought it was a big deal in the first place since "it's just a red spot."
Here are some other photos her awesome series:
There have been similar Instagram accounts that have tried to showcase what it's really like for countless women to get their periods every month, such as this one (opens in new tab), which has since become a private account for some reason.
It's truly insane to me that in 2015, we still want to act like women don't have periods or that blood is actually just pretty blue liquid we see being poured onto pads in commercials. Not to mention, if I were to post a photo of me having fallen off a motorcycle with blood all over my jeans, no one would care, because that blood didn't come out of (gasp) a vagina. You could argue that this doesn't smack of the most obvious misogyny, but you would be wrong.
I'm really glad Kaur's photos are back online where they belong.
You should also check out:
Twitter Faces a Lawsuit for Discriminating Against Female Employees (opens in new tab)
Uber Is Promising to Create One Million Jobs for Women by 2020 (opens in new tab)
Lane Moore is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and musician based in New York City. Her first book, How To Be Alone: If You Want To And Even If You Don’t became a #1 bestseller and was praised as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, New York Magazine, NPR, Good Morning America, Fast Company, Marie Claire, and many others. Moore also gave a TEDx Talk based on the book, called How To Be Alone. Her comedy show “Tinder Live!” is regarded as one of the best comedy shows in New York City and has been praised by The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, CBS, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine. She has a monthly sold-out residency in NYC, and also tours rock venues and colleges worldwide. As an actor, Moore plays Kelsey on HBO’s Search Party, and has a recurring role on Rooster Teeth’s What Do You Know? and had a memorable role on season 5 of HBO’s Girls. She also frequently appears on Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, truTV, and IFC shows. As a musician, Moore is the front person and songwriter in the band “It Was Romance.” In her time as the the Sex and Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan, she won a GLAAD award for her groundbreaking work championing diverse, inclusive coverage. Moore also hosts the live streaming comedy show How To Be Alone on Twitch, which she calls “PeeWee’s Playhouse for lonely adults.”
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