By: Krystle Crossman
Rupi Kaur is a college student who is working on a photo project with her sister that aims to “demystify” menstruation and all of the things that women have to deal with every single month. She staged a photo of herself lying in bed and there is a red blood stain on the sheets and on her pants. The photo was meant to show the struggle that women have during the heaviest nights of their period. She posted it on Instagram but found a few days later that it had been removed for “violating” their terms of service. She was upset about this and reposted the photo. Again it was removed for its content.
Kaur brought up the terms of service for the popular social media site and found nothing that would make her photo in violation of these terms. They required that photos not show any nudity, unlawful, hateful, discriminatory, and infringing material. Her photo did not fall under any of these categories so she spoke out on Facebook. She posted the photo and wrote that it was sad that Instagram was trying to silence her for putting up a photo of a project that is meant to make women feel more comfortable about a process they must go through every month. She stated that she would not be silenced by misogyny. The post went viral and reached millions. Soon after it made its rounds on Facebook and news outlets the two photos that had been deleted from Instagram magically reappeared.
Kaur received a message from Instagram after her photos were reinstated on the site that claimed that one of their staff members had mistakenly taken down the post and that this happens sometimes with the number of reports about photos that they get every day. Kaur did not completely agree with their apology but the photos have been restored and her goal of making a woman’s period a central topic of discussion was accomplished. She stated that she wasn’t sure why the site feels that women posting suggestive photos of themselves is okay even though most of the time they violate the terms of agreement but a red spot on a sheet and a pair of pants is not.