Why People Are Threatening to Boycott Always Period Products

In a move to be more inclusive towards transgender and nonbinary customers, Proctor & Gamble announced this week that it would be removing the Venus symbol (associated with women and the female sex) from the Always brand's period products. 

“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.”

The move came after transgender activists and allies urged the company to redesign their packaging without the gender symbol, arguing that not all people who menstruate are women and that not all women menstruate.

However, not everyone was happy with the step towards inclusivity. After the announcement was made, some people tweeted their discontent, saying the move was an "insult" to women and catered to "crazy liberals", with some even calling for a boycott of Always. 

Others supported the company's decision, tweeting that people who don't identify as women can also get periods — and Always is taking a step to be more sensitive to the needs and mental health of a wider range of people. 

While periods are routinely discussed solely in the context of those assigned female at birth, transgender and nonbinary people can experience menstruation — an experience that can sometimes be dysphoric, thanks to the way periods are often associated with womanhood and the female sex. 

"Menstruation can occur for anyone with a uterus," Jack Turban, a resident physician in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told NBC News. "For folks using these products on a nearly monthly basis, it can be harmful and distressing to see binary/gendered images, coding, language and symbols. So, using less coded products can make a huge difference.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."

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