Always count on Facebook to censor your art

Yesterday, my friend and co-writer Dawn Renee Greer tried to take out an ad on Facebook and used the front cover of the book of my memoirs called Breaking Free 45 Years In The Wrong Body. It was refused because it considered sexually provocative by Facebook. Like Dawn mentioned in a post, if this were a man on that image the whole scene would have been perceived as someone who was down and out and trying to crawl out of a box, yet a woman in the same position is not. This is sexism and misogynistic as hell. How is a body of a woman, even one that is nude seen as something to hide. That same image is one of many that I, as a painter, have on my Facebook profile as well as on my Facebook artist Page and it’s refused for an ad.

The image doesn’t glorify violence, is not crude or demeaning, it’s simply an image of a woman without clothes working her way out of a box which is symbolic of breaking free from social and cultural constraints imposed upon women. This is an image of a woman escaping to freedom.

Facebook and other social media platforms are like misogynistic gatekeepers of women’s bodies, they will force you to remove or delete any image they deem as not right. A few years ago, Facebook removed an image from an account of educator Frédéric Durand without warning after he posted an image of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting The Origin of the World. This masterpiece hangs in a museum and all manner of visitors view it each day, even families with young children. This was finally settled but it took time and even a French court to make things right.

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Patriarchy is terribly afraid of nipples, of female pubes, and terrified beyond belief at the sight of menses or even it mere mention. The image on the front cover of my memoirs Breaking Free; 45 Years In The wrong Body is from a painting I created a few years back in the context of a series on women and my particular gaze as a woman of trans origin paintress. I wanted to convey the idea of a woman escaping through much effort from the box of patriarchy, of misogyny and sexism. I feel it a duty and an honour to create such scenes as this is a way for me to showcase women in all of their wondrous beauty and power.

Being a woman of trans origin I am already a curiosity for many, my body and what it has or doesn’t have sometimes seems to be an acceptable topic of conversation, even from complete strangers. I do get disparaging comments on who I am, it can hurt but I try not to be too affected by such misogyny and sexism. I can say that I do understand my sisters and how society attacks their rights to bodily autonomy.

Women’s bodies are not commodities to be be used as cultural objects of desire and to show a man’s status. Women’s bodies and the bodies of women of trans origin are real and each one has the merit of being unique and whole and beautiful and empowering as any male body, deserving of all the same rights and privileges.

I was motivated to write about Facebook ads refusing to allow the image of the front cover of my book Breaking Free; 45 Years In The Wrong Body because there is really not much to see in that image, it’s certainly a nude of a woman but nothing much is visible, maybe the crease of her breasts though I suspect it’s the nipple, as barely visible as it is. Censorship of this type is yet another way of silencing the voices of women.

Thing is, after having written the above, I realize one thing and this is that I need to keep my focus on getting my book, my memoirs out to the public and not be stopped or slowed down by those who would want me censored, who would prefer silencing all women. So, please do read my Breaking Free; 45 Years In The Wrong Body which is now available on Amazon and write a review or comment here and tell a friend about the book.

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