Saturday, March 28, 2015

When they Bleed Feminism....

I happened to stance upon Rupi Kaur's picture on Instagram yesterday. The one with blood on the sheets and stained lowers. It was a very very powerful picture. I also read the excerpt that went with it. Instagram had removed the picture categorizing it as unsuitable content, and then it was later put back on.

I wouldn't say there was any valid reason to put that picture down. There was no obscenity and like Rupi mentioned, there are other thousands of pictures out there which objectify women in a very negative light. And this picture was not one of them.

As I read more of her works, I got drawn towards her instantly. Her poetry was effortlessly beautiful. There was a subtle pain, which you could feel, as you read. I also saw how this one particular photograph was trending on FB and other sites. I also read the comments and I was so happy with the immense support it got. I, perhaps would not be able to put in words, the power that one picture holds!

And then I landed on to her website, and saw the other pictures of the same series. And I won't lie, I was disturbed. The freedom expression has been granted a green flag by the court and we all are absolutely free to express whatever we want to.

But I take offense in other pictures of that series. The way feminism is propagated through used pads and blood in the pot -I have a problem with it! 

That is not how I would support feminism. I am a woman. I will bleed, and i do not want to display it so that I show the men that this is what happens to me, but because it is a natural process of my body and it will happen every month.

I take offense when men piss publicly. I take offense when I see pornographic sites with huge penises. I take offense when men touch themselves in public. I don't like them being so chauvinistic about their body parts that they touch and feel and piss in public! Why wouldn't  I expect them to do the same, then, if I put up displays of blood?

I would most gladly educate the men in my life about it, but I do not find it necessary to show them how I bleed and how the used pad looks like.

Menstruation and the talks, are definitely a taboo in our nation. And that needs to change. There is a way in which a topic is conveyed. This extreme form of expression is something that I think is a problem, today. 

This extremism has made a patriarchy of our society and these means will completely defy the purpose of driving feminism. We need to strike a balance. No wonder why there are so many people who hate feminists. Because, the understanding of Feminism is not clear, for most!

I had a small survey taken a few days back, where I asked my male friends if they would buy Sanitary Napkins for their wives/girlfriends/mothers/daughters/sisters. 95% of them said they had no problem going to a shop and asking for Sanitary pads for the women in their family. The remaining 4% had never done it so they did not know if they would. And the last 1% did not know what it meant.

For the 1%, if I am to show these pictures, as a mean of educating them about equality for men and women, or making them understand about the natural process that females go through, they would rather find it gross. Let alone understand the main motive of the series of these pictures. It is like showing porn to someone you want to explain "intercourse" to.

What are we trying to prove? As women, we do not need men to know what bleeding "looks" like, because we can never understand what happens to them when they have an erection at a weird time of the day! We become judgmental and call it perversion, then what do we expect them to label this as? Men most definitely need to understand what happens during that process, but they can only understand so much, because no matter how much they try they will never know what it feels like, to menstruate!

The main idea of feminism is defeated here because we are only thinking about one side of the story. Is it the fault of the men that we bleed, or we have menstrual cramps, or we have blood oozing out of us 5 days in a month, nonstop? What is that we want them to know? That it shouldn't be a taboo, and that it should be considered as a natural process? 

Well, most of them already know. They do think like that. It us unfair on our part to think of men as someone who have no knowledge about these natural processes of women. We underestimate our men a lot. We have to accept that the times are slowly changing.

The people who are stuck up and have been a barrier in advancement, are people who are either uneducated or have no means of accepting this new wave of change and awareness. The chances that they will see these images or change the way they think, is almost nil, again.

Then what are we, as feminists, trying to prove.

I have no problems with the way the pictures are taken, the art form, or the medium of expression. I have immense respect for it. But  I have a problem, when you tag "feminism" to it and say that these pictures will aid to that cause. Because it won't. And i have a problem with that. Because I am supporting the same cause! 

The beauty of women is in lot of things. Even in menstruating. But some things are to be understood, not displayed!

And this is not what I would do to prove my point about equalism! No matter how misogynist the society is! 


PS: The views are personal, and  I understand, most of the readers have understood these images to be highly feminist and supporting the cause. Rupi has not mentioned it specifically anywhere. My opinions are only based on the comments I read from the one picture on Instagram.