The generation gap isn’t taking quite the forms it once did, or so it would seem. Today’s kerfuffle involves a group of teenage girls in Sweden who didn’t see any harm in posing for a whimsical menstruation-themed group picture for the school yearbook.
Their principal didn’t see it that way.
According to TheLocal.se, students at a high school in the Stockholm area said that they thought of dressing up in fake blood, tampons, hygiene pads, and chocolate as a “fun thing” to promote free and open communication about menstruation.
The photographer hired by the school refused to take the picture, and then the principal agreed with him, banning the theme from featuring in the yearbook at all. So….. yeah. Lesson learned on the whole open communication concept, right?
Ida Pettersson, a 17-year-old student who was involved in the photograph idea, has taken to Twitter to express her irritation, tell her side of the story, and seek allies in the world at large. On Monday she tweeted, “Har fått så jävla mycket hat pga detta skolfoto men ännu mera kärlek och kärleken vinner alltid! Kampen fortsätter!!! (Has got so damn much hatred because this school picture but even more love, and love always wins! The struggle continues !!!)” (All translations come 100% unadulterated from Google Translate.)
Har fått så jävla mycket hat pga detta skolfoto men ännu mera kärlek och kärleken vinner alltid! Kampen fortsätter!!!— ♀ida♀ (@idapttersson) September 21, 2015
The photograph went viral in Sweden after feminist television personality Clara Henry, who has long fought to break the taboos surrounding menstruation, shared it on Twitter. Many people supported the teens in their idea, but a great many also criticized the fake blood as “disgusting.” “Unfortunately we have received a lot of hatred but much, much more love from people,” said Pettersson.
The school refused the picture on the grounds of its policy that all pictures in the yearbook should be “representative and easily accessible to any beholder.” After the picture went viral, the principal told the Aftonbladet tabloid: “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.”
Pettersson said, “We really did not think it would become such a big thing, but it did and it is so cool that our story has been spread so much and that we have been able to take up the space we have. We have received so much positive feedback and we are so happy about that.”
In the photo below, the teenagers are dressed quite differently, and the sign in the picture reads, “We are not allowed to have periods.” The text of the tweet translates as “So we took a class photo anyway because many changed their minds and wanted to anyway but we are still our thing and fighting.”
Så vi tog ett klassfoto ändå pga många ändrade sig och ville ändå men vi står fortfarande för vår grej och kämpar pic.twitter.com/ILz8fDNWDZ— ♀ida♀ (@idapttersson) September 22, 2015
via Death and Taxes