Why Is It That Normal Blood Is Fine, but Period Blood Is Offensive?

Death threats, Instagram takedowns, and a new way of shaming women.


To protest Instagram removing images of period blood—most notably that of poet and student Rupi Kaur, which were later replaced—Temple University student Louelle Denor posted a photo of her used menstrual cup, bloodied post-removal fingers and all.

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It's come to my attention that women are having their images removed for showing menstrual blood (and no nudity). This is very seriously fucked up. If this was a picture of blood from a finger laceration, there'd be no issue. Yes, this blood is from my #vagina . It happens every month. The thing I'm holding in my hand is a #softcup #menstrualcup and it's awesome but messy to remove. #periodblood ------------------------------------------------------------------------- #menstrualblood #iamafeminist #feminism nism #feminist #equality #menstruation #blood #bloodyfingers #periodshame #havingmyperiod ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ❌❌❌FOR THE FULL EXPLANATION AND DEFENSE OF THIS IMAGE, READ goo.gl/9tSAeY❌❌❌ ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Update: Instagram says that no one had their accounts banned for menstrual blood, rather, individual pictures had been removed. And while Instagram has no explicit policy against menstrual blood, they have removed such photos citing their nebulous community standards. Some of these photos have been restored and some have not. As you can see, mine remains up, which is great. When I posted this image, I had read otherwise - that Instagram had banned accounts. But now knowing that this was not the case, I think it's important to make this clarification. ❌❌FEEL FREE TO USE THIS IMAGE. NO PERMISSIONS NECESSARY ❌❌

A post shared by Louelle Denor (@louelle_louelle_) on

Then the internet slime attacked, leaving death threats and suggesting she add jet fuel to her shower so she'd burn. 

As the abuse continues, so does the staggering amount of opposition to women celebrating or even acknowledging their periods. In August, Kiran Gandhi ran a marathon while free-bleeding; she was called "disgusting," "nasty," and worse. In March, Instagram deleted student Rupi Kaur's menstruation-centric photo series twice before apologizing. And then, of course, there's that painfully tone-deaf Donald Trump remark about Megyn Kelly having "blood coming out of her wherever."

"It is socially acceptable to show blood shooting out of the human body on the news and in every form of media we consume," Denor wrote on Medium of society's double standard. "But what we don't tolerate is the sight of blood when associated with the vagina EVEN when the vagina is not shown. This is a problem." 

The answer, then, must be removing the stigma and shame and "they make women irrational and fat because fat equals gross"-ness surrounding periods. But judging by the response, we're still a long, long way away. 

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