Art and protest: there is no change in the heart of a metaphor

By Alona Arneson

As the intermingling of social media and resistance has come to head in an emerging obsession with technology, the spread of small-scale demonstrations and protests has followed-with ineffectiveness being one of the many consequences. Though the thought of actively protesting against someone or something is one that is infused with good intention, the impact of it lacks the emphasis that is necessary to spur rebellion into tangible success. The demonstrations are of value to the resistance (as seen in the historical precedent set by the Civil Rights Movement), but the genuine push towards societal transformation is through active decisions made individually and as a community. Having a community to bolster one’s cause or belief is essential to the bonding of many around one issue and the development of emotional pull around an issue, yet what ultimately alters the nature of the situation is the action that is taken. As news and media have begun to narrow in on menstrual inequity, the habitual tone of each call to action in many of these pieces have echoed a similar sentiment: this is a problem that can be easily fixed. In theory, the issue can be readily resolved with the correct resources and time, but the reality is that this issue has not been solved as its presence benefits the few rather than the whole. In that same vein of the slanted hierarchical structure, the promotion of art and symbolic movements as the preferred method of defiance in any movement feeds into the perpetuation of the problem rather than the resolution of it. Art and protest are tremendous forms of moral outcry, but they are not synonymous to vehicles of the uprising: action and decision.

Therefore, Operation Period, in its recent re-emergence intends to propel its readers to inhale the art and anecdotes and demonstrations of menstrual inequity, but to, more importantly, take indisputable action in the face of such long faced oppression. Share art, post on social media, but also please take moment to sincerely interact with the movement at its core purpose through donating and working in these spaces that so desperately need something more than repost on Instagram. There is heart and benign nature enriched in every facet of this evolution, yet the time has come to refocus our efforts more closely on the mechanisms that operate simultaneously on the inclusion of both heart and achievement.

Alona Arneson