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Why Is Social Media Protecting Men from Periods, Breast Milk and Body Hair?

March 31, 2015 in Blogs

By Jessica Valenti, The Guardian

Are men really that delicate?

There’s a predictable social media formula for what women’s pictures online should look like. Breasts in barely-there bikinis are good (thumbs-up emoji, even), but breasts with babies attached them are questionable. Women wearing next to nothing is commonplace, but if you’re over a size 10 youraccount may be banned. Close-up shots of women’s asses and hardly-covered vaginas are fine, so long as said body parts are hairless.

And now, in a controversy that once again brings together technology, art, feminism and sex, Instagram is under fire for removing a self-portrait from artist Rupi Kaur that showed a small amount of her menstrual blood. Apparently having a period violates the site’s Terms of Service. 

The broader message to women couldn’t be clearer: SeXXXy images are appropriate, but images of women’s bodies doing normal women body things are not. Or, to put a more crass point on it: Only pictures of women who men want to fuck, please.

As Kaur pointed out on her Tumblr account, Instagram is filled with pictures of underage girls who are “objectified” and “pornified.”

“I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in underwear but not be okay with a small leak,” she wrote.

Because, truly, it’s difficult to imagine women being offended by pictures of breastfeeding, unkempt bikini lines or period blood – that’s a standard Monday for a lot of us. It’s men that social media giants are “protecting” – men who have grown up on sanitized and sexualized images of female bodies. Men who have been taught to believe by pop culture, advertising and beyond that women’s bodies are there for them. And if they have to see a woman that is anything other than thin, hairless and ready for sex – well, bring out the smelling salts. 

As Kaur wrote: …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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