“Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen.” So said poet, activist and scholar Judy Grahn, in her seminal book, “Blood, Bread and Roses: How Menstruation Created The World“. And she couldn’t have put it more perfectly. Grahn’s words rang truer than ever when I came across a number of artworks on Instagram. Each of them depicted an experience that was incredibly familiar, and yet somehow never saw the light of day.
The reasons for this secrecy are manifold. We are told to be ashamed of our menstrual blood, we are told not to ‘offend the sensibilities’ of our non-bleeding male relatives by talking about our periods, and what’s worse is that so many of us are denied access to menstrual hygiene products, or we’re taxed extra for it.