This Woman Was Told to Kill Herself for Showing Period Blood on Instagram
Few things have more confusing connotations than blood.
If in the form of a woman's period, it's completely taboo. If the result of violence, it's can be symbol of masculinity, domination and strength. One woman used Instagram to bring this contradiction to the public's attention.
This is Louelle Denor, her bloody hand and a used menstrual cup. Here's what she said:
"It's come to my attention that women are having their accounts banned for showing menstrual blood (and no nudity)," Louelle Denor wrote on Instagram recently. "This is very seriously fucked up." If a picture features "blood from a finger laceration, there'd be no issue," she wrote.
Commenters were not pleased. She received disturbing messages telling her to kill herself, among things.
"Kil yourself now plz," one commenter wrote.
"Feminazis should be put in a shower dispersing male semen onto their faces," another commented.
These startling reactions, she later wrote, ultimately prove her point.
"We see blood all the time," she wrote in a Medium post about the experience. "It is socially acceptable to show blood shooting out of the human body on the news and in every form of media we consume." In fact, the average American child sees more than 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 simulated murders on TV before they turn 18, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
But should that blood be "associated with the vagina, even when the vagina is not shown," Denor wrote, then we "don't tolerate" it and even, as she found out, threaten women's lives over it.
This intolerance was recently evident in March, when Instagram twice removed a photo series titled "Period," created by poet-artist Rupi Kaur in collaboration with her sister.
"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," Kaur wrote on Tumblr in response to this ban.
Denor similarly refused to bow to haters. "Look, you don't have to like my picture," Denor wrote on Medium. "But am I wrong in hoping that I can post a picture of some bloody fingers and a weird disk without the threat of being sprayed with sperm and set on fire?"
Ultimately, Denor wrote, the entire incident reveals that the period double standard is about so much more than irrational disgust. It indicates the way society is seemingly unable to view a woman "as more than a sex object" and, furthermore, resorts to drastic, misogynistic measures when that is called into question.
"Violence is not merely physical," Denor wrote. "Violence against women online is as ubiquitous as blood is in entertainment. And I suppose, I'll leave you with that."