People have done some interesting things to raise awareness about trans rights and inclusion. Sexuality educator Ericka Hart accidentally spilled a drop of her menstrual blood on the floor in a men’s restroom, snapped a picture of the droplet and then posted it on Twitter to represent the fact that men and people who define themselves outside of the gender binary can have periods too.
It was an extreme example and Hart caught her fair share of flack for it. But when the feminine hygiene brand Always decided to do something to address gender non-conformist biases in their products, people were upset with that too.
In response to the discussion from several trans activists, Always decided to remove the female and Venus symbols on their packaging. The point was not to alienate people who menstruate but do not identify as female.
According to The New York Times, the brand released this statement about their decision.
“For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so,” the company said in a statement. “We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers.”
Steph deNormand, a patient advocate for transgender health told NBC, that seeing these types of gendered symbols on products can be distressing for some.
“Trans and nonbinary folks are constantly misgendered, and a gesture like this can broaden out the experiences and open up spaces for those who need the products.”
Naturally, there were those who had a problem with the removal, suggesting that companies were too easily swayed by “hypersensitive” liberals.
Then there were people who were confused altogether. I guess there is this assumption that transgender only means people who were assigned male at birth transitioning to female. No one considered that there are people, assigned female at birth, who decided to transition or adopt a male or non-binary identity.
Thankfully, there were also people who understand the removal. See what they had to say on the following pages.