I have made a promise to my boyfriend that I’m not allowed to talk about feminism for 24 hours. I will keep my promise not to talk about it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t write about it. Loopholes!
FEMINISM FEMINISM FEMINISM
Okay, now that it’s out of my system, I can get to the point of my article. Recently I’ve seen posts about Rupi Kaur, who wrote an open letter to Instagram. Her letter scorns Instagram for taking down a photo where a period leak on her grey pants is visible. They took the photo down twice on the basis that it was too mature for Instagram, which is obviously stupid because people post pictures of tons of “mature” stuff. There are pictures of peoples’ asses or outlines of their junk. There are pictures of thinspo and self-harm. There are pictures with a lot more blood than that modest period stain.
The whole open-letter is here, but if you want to get the tone of it she says: “Their patriarchy is leaking. Their misogyny is leaking. We will not be censored.” Gloves were thrown down and shots were fired. Instagram saw that people were calling it out on its fictional sense of morality and put the photo back up. This story had a happy ending, resulting in Kaur sending out a Tweet summing up the event like she birthed the Women’s Rights Movement.
we did it. you did this sweetloves. pic.twitter.com/xHZpfXpBsp
— rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) March 26, 2015
I’m happy for this. Blood isn’t immoral, even if it’s vaginal blood (or if you’re somehow too uncomfortable to think about menses, just picture the blue stuff in pad commercials). My teensy little problem with this whole debacle is that Kaur made an obnoxious ode to the troubled uterus:
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.
As you can see amongst the lower-case hippy-dippy speak, Kaur believes that having a period makes you god-like. Periods mean you’re probably fertile, and fertility means pregnancy, and pregnancy means babies! My uterus makes life! Yeah, I guess, but so does sperm and I don’t feel like praising anyone’s ballsack anytime soon.
It’s impressive that we can bleed for a week and not die. I try to convince myself of this utter badassery when I am clutching a hot water bottle to my stomach. It makes me feel better, but I’m not convincing myself that my womb is the centre of the universe. People shouldn’t be sacrificing goats in the name of my cycle.
This whole movement to deify women and claim we all have an inner-goddess is ridiculous. It has good intentions, since it’s meant to raise us above misogynistic bull crap telling us that our monthly functions are shameful, but it raises us a bit too high. We don’t have the cure for cancer down there, we have old uterine lining.
My period is not beautiful. It is not special. It is an annoyance that I have accepted will happen to me for another twenty-five years, giving me cramps and week long penis-envy. We don’t have to deify something to normalize it. Periods aren’t shameful or horrifying. They’re normal. They’re a little gross, but let’s face it: humanity is a little gross.