The first women’s rights convention was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. It organized an army of civil rights activists who fought for female suffrage and equality under the law. In 1920, after years of struggle and protest, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution came to fruition. The cause was just and worth fighting for.
In 2017, Buzzfeed featured women who painted pictures using only their menstrual blood. The cause: to break the stigma that periods are gross.
How did we get here?
To start off, the video by Ladylike was completely serious (I will add a link to anyone brave enough to watch it, but I won’t be featuring it in this post). The idea of painting with menstrual blood was first thought up as a way to – you guessed it – protest President Trump. The two interviewers, Chantel and Devin, featured a woman who used her blood painting to protest Trump’s treatment of Megyn Kelly. The women then decided to take the idea and run with it. They collected their painting “material” inside a mason jar and kept in a fridge until it was time. Chantel painted chocolate chip cookies and Devin expressed her creativity by painting a bottle of wine. The article goes into extreme detail about the process – even describing the texture and horrid smell as they underwent the process.
After they were done and displayed their artwork, the girls described the experience as “liberating” and “empowering” …Yes, they felt emancipated by smearing period blood on a white canvass.
How could an act such as this become a symbol of female empowerment?
Gone are the days when Susan B. Anthony lobbied Congress to give every woman the right to vote and have a voice in their government. Her work led to real improvements for the lives of women in the workplace and at home. She fought against real injustices and championed causes that have stood the test of time. Even after her death, leaders after her have also made great strides for women… but what happens when you are finally in equal footing with your male counterparts?
This is what happens when you yearn for a cause to fight for – but you are already allotted every civil right in existence. You start making up rights. In the eyes of the writers at Buzzfeed, that right is to make everyone accept period blood as something totally beautiful.
Make no mistake about it – anything related to blood is unsettling. Most everyone finds it to be unpleasant when it’s outside our bodies. I guess I’m allowed to say that because blood (generally speaking) is identifiable to both men and women. But once we specify menstrual blood, it then becomes a connotation of the female gender – and thus becomes a subject of social injustice.
Protesting for a legitimate social cause is something to be proud of. However, committing a gross act for the simple sake of virtue signaling is just ridiculous. I write this as a man, so I can only speak so much in the name of women, but I personally have a very hard time believing women feel oppressed because society finds menstrual blood icky. I just don’t see the subjugation there.
The writers at Buzzfeed need to get a grip.