Superdrug launches sanitary products for ‘people who menstruate’ and, right on cue, transphobes aren’t happy
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”.
Luna is Superdrug's new organic cotton sanitary range made from renewable, plant-based materials.
Each towel is wrapped in a bio-film, is chemical free and vegan friendly 🌱 and are as absorbant as leading organic brands. 💫🌙
— Superdrug (@superdrug) August 30, 2020
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.
Oh my goodness. I am so, so impressed by @superdrug today; not only are their own brand LUNA pads are entirely plant-based, on the back it says ‘a person who menstruates’. A PERSON. YESSSS 😭🌈 pic.twitter.com/yRSNlAD2k6
— Grace (@_gracelatter) September 1, 2020
Another day is another chance to be invalidated by transphobes getting put out by @superdrug having “people who menstrate” on their sanitary pad packaging for LUNA. It isn’t “female erasure”, people
— Mallard 🦆 (@skuldvampteeth) September 5, 2020
– Just BE KIND. It's not that hard. Let trans men be men. Let people identify as non-binary. Let them feel included. Let them live a comfortable existence. Just get over your small minded woes. It literally isn't your problem.
— Chadders. (@RosieChad) September 5, 2020
Me seeing all the transphobes have a brain aneurysm over Superdrug using "people who menstruate" on their LUNA sanitary products pic.twitter.com/k0JQVXRbMf
— フロズロズロズロズ (@ALlamaCalledIzz) September 4, 2020
Nice one, @superdrug – inclusive language is not only more factually accurate, it also ensures women who don’t menstruate, nonbinary & trans individuals feel welcome in society. Since belonging is a key human psychological need, small steps like this also serve #mentalhealth 👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/KHfA4R5Elb
— Natasha Devon 🌈 (@_NatashaDevon) September 4, 2020
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.