Tampax applauded after declaring ‘not all people with periods are women’. The usual suspects weren’t pleased

Reiss Smith October 26, 2020
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Tampax won praise and criticism for its use of inclusive language. (Getty)

Tampax found itself at the centre of a Twitter pile-on over a tweet celebrating “the diversity of all people who bleed”.

The tampon-maker was widely applauded for including and supporting the trans community, as well as cis women who don’t have periods, after it tweeted: “Fact: Not all women have periods. Also a fact: Not all people with periods are women. Let’s celebrate the diversity of all people who bleed!”

Accompanied by artwork showing people of all genders, the tweet also included the hashtag “trans is beautiful”.

Many followers thanked the brand, among them cis and trans women, cis men and non-binary people. Supporters included a trans man who said he had “experienced periods for 13 years”.

“I may not need your products anymore, but this makes me feel good for everyone who still does,” he added.

Another user added: “It’s such a small gesture, and hurts literally no one.”

One trans lesbian noted that “condoms aren’t placed in a ‘masculine products’ section and aren’t generally gendered on the packaging”.

“It’s like they’ve already realised the gender identity of the person using their product doesn’t matter or something.”

Tampax tweet hit with anti-trans criticism.

The Tampax tweet was originally posted September 15, but attracted attention over the weekend as it was hit with a deluge of anti-trans commentary.

A number of cis women took offence at the use of inclusive language and what they described as the “erasure” of their identities.

Several cis men also joined the fray including Ben Shapiro who incorrectly tweeted: “Fact: all people with periods are women.”

Piers Morgan also weighed in, calling Tampax’s attempts to make the trans community feel welcome “ridiculous virtue-signalling nonsense which exposes trans people to horrible mockery“.

One woman pointed out: “I think people mocking trans people is the problem here not the company just trying to be kind.

“As long as it does the job and it’s reasonably priced I don’t really care if packaging is pink or not or targeted at my gender. I’ve never felt empowered as a woman when buying tampons because it says for women on the side of the box.”

Another trans ally tried to draw a line under the row, tweeting to Tampax: “It’s nice to see inclusivity becoming more commonplace when discussing menstruation, gynaecological health, and pregnancy.

“Pushback is always inevitable when society progresses, thank you for promoting inclusive language. You’ll weather the storm of coordinated bigots.”

Tampax isn’t the first period brand to move towards better inclusion.

Superdrug recently launched a range of new products for “people who menstruate”. Last year, Always removed the Venus symbol (♀) as part of a redesign of its packaging.

Earlier this month, more than 11,000 people signed a petition calling on supermarkets to ditch the term “feminine hygiene” and “sanitary products” in favour of “period” or “menstrual products”.

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