“Boys” Bleed, TOO! Having a Period Doesn’t Determine Your Gender
We acknowledge that not every woman is the same.
We all look different, have different styles, and believe different things; but the one thing many of us have in common is our time of the month.It makes us sisters, it unifies us, and sadly it seems to make us earn less money, become targets for abuse, and for centuries have less power than our non-bleeding counterparts.
What happens when we as a society start to open up this girls-only club and be less strict on the dichotomy of men vs women? What about the people who can don’t fit into one gender group or the other? Tragically, they seem to be left out of basic rights including a safe place to change or use the restroom, the ability to fill out forms accurately, and the use of un-gendered menstruation products.
In the past, menstruation products have used everything from blue colored water to women running around in white pants to advertise the (mostly pink packaged) products that did were not required to list their ingredients; this caused harm in MANY ways. The marketing alone has provided us with unrealistic expectations that only white, cheery, blue-bleeding women get periods.
Side note: Most tampons (at least 85%), cotton balls, and sanitary products contain glyphosate: an ingredient that has been ruled as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization.
Imagine you identify as a different gender (or no gender at all for that matter), but have the biological body of a woman. You can dress, feel, act in accordance with however you feel, but every month you bleed. Hormones might help, but they are very expensive and not always the best option.
“You’re in the men’s room and someone hears you rustling a paper because you’re opening a tampon. It outs you.”
What can you do other than going to the feminine hygiene aisle and picking up a blatantly gendered product that you don’t identify with?
People have recently been taking to social media to try and connect with hopes of a more inclusive change, and companies are starting to get the picture.
Opening up the conversation from just acceptance of all people, regardless of gender, is rather difficult because of its more abstract ideas. But, when you can tie an issue to a tangible product or space in a store it opens up the possibility to actually change things. We have seen this with changing strictly girl or boy-gendered toy sections and aisles and only men or women’s restrooms to non-gender restrooms.