This week we were abruptly and inexplicably blocked from posting on Instagram. As well as not being able to post, interact with followers, respond to DMs or even see posts on our grid, both our admins received block warnings on their personal accounts too. Because we were unable to post, we were unable to share and support amazing content that we and our volunteers have worked hard to create for Menstrual Health Day this Friday. That includes Daisy Blower’s mind blowing miniature office set, and Sam Dawood’s incredible and generous glampon auction, which was raising funds to support our core work - getting period products to those who can’t afford them. And at the same time, Sam’s own account was limited, with her engagement falling below her usual levels and the auction suffering as a result. This has a direct impact on money raised to help the people who we work with. If we can’t raise money, we can’t do our work: it’s that simple. And when so many are still living in financial hardship and poverty as a direct result of a huge global crisis, the impact of this kind of block can’t be understated.
Despite repeated asks, we haven’t been told the exact reason for our block. Apparently Facebook doesn't actually tell you that. But the timing and link to the auction would suggest that our unabashed period talk and sparkly tampons offended the algorithm. Who or what is it that’s approving - or blocking - discussions and art around the bodies of women and people who menstruate? Is it only ‘sensitive’ content when viewed through the lens of the patriarchy?
All of this comes shortly before Menstrual Hygiene Day, one of the most significant days in BGP’s calendar for raising awareness and funds. We have already been blocked from posting previews of new content today, because apparently period content is also ‘adult content’ - so now have spent a good portion of today trying to get clarity and answers from these tech giants. As a small charity with a tiny team, but big ambitions to get that period talk flowing tomorrow of all days - this is bloody painful. Though if we needed a reminder of why normalising periods is just so important, social media has certainly provided it. Why, in 2021, are periods seen as sensitive, or even pornographic? This is our bodies, doing what they do, and we are talking about it because we need to. Because we need to make sure that we all get the information and support we need. And because we have to raise that money to continue our work. Because if we don’t, more people will have to have periods without the basic products they need to manage their flow, and all the physical and mental consequences that brings. We say it’s that which is unacceptable. And if it takes glittery tampons to get us talking, then we’re bloody fine with that.
So if we disappear, you’ll know why. Come and find us at bloodygoodperiod.com, and subscribe to our email newsletter to stay in touch. We’ll still be bloody here, adding to the 81,000 packs of period products we’ve distributed in our Covid response, and striving to normalise this most normal of biological functions - on Menstrual Hygiene Day and every day. Because now more than ever, everybody deserves a bloody good period.