Instagram/Facebook - Allow Uncensored Images of Cervical Fluid!

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Cervical mucus is a hydrogel secreted by crypts within the cervix. It changes in texture, appearance and consistency in response to ovarian hormones. It is a fundamental component of most modern Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs). FABMs are used by millions of women worldwide to assist in falling pregnant or avoiding pregnancy.

Currently, Facebook and Instagram are censoring and removing many images of cervical mucus. They are even removing photos of cervical mucus within PRIVATE Facebook groups designed primarily for women to share, discuss and learn about cervical mucus. 

Cervical mucus is NOT produced in response to sexual arousal. In fact, cervical mucus comes from the cervix, whereas arousal fluid comes from the Bartholins glands at the entrance of the vagina.

Therefore, cervical mucus is completely unrelated to the banned items on Facebook's community standards list. Facebook is currently deleting cervical mucus images under the guise that they are considered "Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity" - none of which apply to cervical mucus. In this sense, Facebook and Instagram are sexualising a non-sexual bodily function. In doing so, they perpetuate stigma and shame regarding the menstrual cycle. 

The menstrual taboo causes real and measurable damage throughout the world. In September 2019 an Indian teenager committed suicide after being shamed by her teacher for bleeding on her clothes. In January 2019, a woman and two children died in a menstrual hut in Nepal. Here in Australia, a recent survey by Libra showed that almost 70% of teenage girls would rather fail a subject in school than have their peers know that they were on their period.⁣ 

It's time to ask the hard questions. Why are Facebook and Instagram happily complicit in the perpetuation of a taboo that is harmful to women and girls around the world? Why is there such a kick-back against images and captions that allow people to grow a deeper understanding of their reproductive physiology?

What makes this even more insulting is the fact that both Facebook and Instagram allow images of mucus from the nose, nail clippings, explicit surgeries and amputations, pus being squeezed from pimples, childbirth, bloodied tampons, human excrement and more - yet cervical mucus is somehow considered offensive. 

It's time for a positive change. Come on Facebook and Instagram - show us that you care about our RIGHT to share and view images related to our menstrual cycles and our reproductive health. No more menstrual taboo!