Friday, November 6, 2015
Are we censoring the wrong images?
Recently I came across a story about a young woman named Rupi Kaur, who is a college student in Toronto, Canada. She is an artist who was working on a photograph series focusing on women's menstruation for one of her classes. On Instagram she posted one of the photos from her series, the subject matter: a fully clothed woman, laying on her side facing away from the camera, with a blood stain on her both the back of her sweatpants and the sheets of her bed. Apparently Instagram deleted this photo off their sit because it "violated community guidelines". Kaur posted the photo again, only to have it deleted the next day for the same exact reason. She then proceeded to write and post an open letter to Instagram:
"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."
I think that this is such an important topic to talk about. Kaur makes an excellent point how Instagram allows so many inappropriate photos of women who are being viewed as, and feeding society’s role for them to be nothing more than sexual objects. I think society needs to stop rejecting and tip-toeing around the beauty of the human body and the part of being a woman that we cannot change. I don’t understand why as a society we reject what defines us, and we are so taken aback by this natural bodily process, but we are not taken aback by the media and pop-culture filled with violence, unobtainable body images, the sexualization and objectification of women, and pornography. As a society we need to start embracing what makes us human and not using it to degrade one another. For example, just because women have breasts does not make us objects, and does not give us the right to be treated as less than. Just because Kaur posted a picture of a woman embracing her monthly gift does not give social media the right to shun her.
Zhang, Michael. "Instagram Censors Photo of Fully Clothed Woman on Period, Causes Uproar." PetaPixel RSS. 28 Mar. 2015. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.