A group of girls at a Swedish high school near Stockholm decided to take a group picture of themselves using props such as fake blood, tampons, sanitary pads, and chocolate, to advocate an open discussion about menstruation and help their peers feel less self-conscious when it’s their own time of the month. But because graphic feminist demonstrations and high school politics rarely go hand-in-hand, school officials refused to let the the girls use the photo for their yearbook. What, did the girl dangling a tampon over her mouth take things too far?
They received their comeuppance, however, when the photo eventually went viral in Sweden after it was shared on Twitter by feminist television personality Clara Henry, and the group of girls suddenly found themselves as part of a larger feminist controversy.
“At first we just thought the picture would be a fun thing to do. We didn’t think at all that it would be a big thing, because we don’t think it is a big deal – it’s just menstruation,” explained Ida Pettersson, 17, who was one of the pupils behind the idea.
Meanwhile a representative from the school — which Pettersson wishes to remain anonymous — said that in order to meet the criteria for the school yearbook, all photos should be “representative and easily accessible to any beholder.”
“I wholeheartedly support what they wanted to highlight. But we have a number of opportunities to raise this issue – the school catalogue is not the right forum,” the principal told the Aftonbladet tabloid after the picture went viral in Sweden.
They probably would have gotten away with it if just said they were part of the school’s Menstruation Club, which I would assume would be spent meticulously and painstakingly syncing up cycles with the end goal of world domination.