Raise your hand if you think items shouldn’t be gendered.
There are certain products from toys to razors that are labeled “for girls/women” which are often pink and have higher price tags. Talk about sexism.
One brand that did away with adding a female symbol on their products is Always, which is known for its sanitary pads. This came after netizens asked why they put the said symbol “when men (trans men) get periods too.”
This was also brought up last September. A Twitter user said, “Think about your non-binary and trans customers who have a hard enough time mentally dealing with periods as it is.”
Just went to use a pad and there's a ♀️ symbol on the design of the rapper.
Hey @Always can we not do that? Think about your non-binary and trans customers who have a hard enough time mentally dealing with periods as it is.
— ??⚔️ ??? (@Nebulash) September 12, 2019
Always has responded to several netizens on Twitter since September and said they’ll relay it to their team.
Thanks for sharing, CJ. The experiences of all who use our products is important, and we appreciate you reaching out on this. We'll definitely pass it along to our team.
— Always (@Always) October 8, 2019
In a press statement to “The New York Times,” Always announced they’re removing the female symbol on all their sanitary products. “For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so,” a Procter & Gamble (P&G) spokesperson said. “We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all our consumers.”
This is a progressive move for a sanitary napkin brand—and admittedly, something I never thought about but it does make sense. However, not everyone is thrilled about Always’ decision to remove the female symbol. Many critics are saying it’s crazy to remove it since pads are “exclusively for biological women” and that “We’re now moving towards the total elimination of women’s biology.”
Can you imagine taking the time to call or email a company that makes a product for biological women just to complain their packaging makes you feel excluded? The real problem? Our lives are TOO GOOD. If that’s a thing you have time/energy for, you’ve never had real problems.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 21, 2019
Always planning to remove the female symbol from sanitary pads because it’s too gender specific? is that a joke?! only females experience periods so too right it’s gonna be specific to a gender, people are ridiculous!!! no ovaries, no opinion
— Ellé (@elle_norrie) October 22, 2019
— RT (@RT_com) October 20, 2019
Listen, I'm no science expert… but I believe women are the only ones who use these…https://t.co/zAH81cZ3Rm
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) October 22, 2019
The most talked-about reaction to Always’ decision was from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 10 alum Mayhem Miller, who posted about their negative thoughts on Facebook. Fellow contestant Aquaria also tried to educate them on gender neutrality and why the brand went that route.
aquaria supporting the trans community and m*yh*m accusing her for being drunk, i’m- pic.twitter.com/jFYPKr6HzS
— ✩ beau ✩ (@peachlyx) October 23, 2019
Removing the female symbol on sanitary pads is indeed a drastic move, especially since we are all programmed to think that only cisgender women use these. But we also have to remember there are people who don’t identify as any gender (non-binary) and trans men who are transitioning and still experience periods. You can argue they are “women” based on their biology, but that is different from what they identify as and we should respect that. (Read: SOGIE)
Props to Always for listening to their consumers. It might take some time for other brands to go in a similar direction, but this is still an important move nonetheless.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
For the latest in culture, fashion, beauty, and celebrities, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here
Ladies, it’s time you start paying attention to your irregular periods
A documentary about menstruation just won an Oscar
Talking to your children about menstruation shouldn’t be that big a deal
Not ready for menstrual cups? Give period panties a try