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Beauty

Superdrug launches sanitary products for ‘people who menstruate’ and, right on cue, transphobes aren’t happy

Josh Milton September 5, 2020
British chemist Superdrug has launched a gender-neutral range of sanitary products. (Superdrug)

British chemist Superdrug has launched a gender-neutral range of sanitary products. (Superdrug)

British beauty retailer Superdrug did the Lord’s work by launching a range of inclusive sanitary products for people who menstruate, flaring up rage from anti-trans shoppers vowing to no longer shop there.

We love to see it.

The gender-neutral Luna range is billed as the first to adopt branding on its packaging that better reflects how trans men and non-binary people menstruate, too.

Made from organic, plant-based materials, the box wording says the £3.99 pads are created to “suit you as an individual”.

But the phrase “people who menstruate” has, with increasing force, been cast as the latest flashpoint in the “debate” over the rights of one of the most vulnerable and marginalised demographics in society – trans folk.

As a result of the high street chemist’s shift towards inclusivity, some users online lined up to attack Luna. One commented, “Wait until JK Rowling hears about this”, recalling the British author’s incensed reaction to the phrase earlier this year.

Representatives of Superdrug stressed to the Independent newspaper that they “wanted Luna to be as inclusive as possible” so “all communities” can feel “seen”.

“When writing the copy for the products we were aware that there could be customers of this range who are currently transitioning from one sex to another or who identify as non-Binary but will still be menstruating, alongside the women that use the products.

“We, therefore, felt ‘person’ was a more inclusive noun to use than ‘woman’.”

Superdrug proudly launches inclusive period-care products.

The back of the box reads: “A person who menstruates will on average have over 400 periods and use around 11,000 period products in a lifetime.

“However, we understand periods are never average, and so we have created Luna, a range of period products that suit you as an individual.”

As much as some transphobic Twitter accounts sought to sow seeds of outrage, scores of people praised Superdrug for launching Luna.

What using the term “people who menstruate” is doing, trans activists, as well as healthcare experts and providers, have said, is simple.

There are cis women who menstruate – there are also many trans men, and transmasculine and non-binary individuals who menstruate, too.

And, as some pointed out, there are women who do not menstruate. Some cis women may undergo early menopause, have certain conditions, or have had hysterectomies for medical issues – the reasons women do not have periods can be complex, but period or no period, if you identify as a woman, you are a woman.

Indeed, by saying “women” to refer to “people who menstruate”, it not only erases specific gender identities, but also erases certain women, too.

All these terms do is simply widen definitions of words to those who have always lived them as well – not erase the meaning that the previous word defined.

Words hold power. The Trump administration, for example, is effectively narrowing definitions of words to define trans people out of existence. Many other countries are doing the same, plunging many trans lives into danger.

More: Britain, JK Rowling, People who menstruate, periods, Superdrug, Trans, trans rights, Twitter

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