The Importance of Inclusive Period Language

Menstruation is typically seen as a very taboo subject and isn’t spoken about enough.  Since it’s not discussed often, it leads to misinformation about the correct language to use surrounding periods.  

People tend to use the words women and girls when discussing periods.  This language excludes those who don’t identify as women or those who identify as a woman, but don’t menstruate.  Women, trans men, and non-binary folx may all experience menstruation, so it’s important to not exclude certain groups from the topic.

Adjusting how we talk about periods can be done with simple changes in conversation.  Instead of referring to products as “feminine hygiene products”, we can say “menstrual products” or “period products”.  

Associating menstruation with womanhood can be harmful to the trans men and non-binary folx that get their periods, making them feel dysphoric about their bodies and struggle with how they see themselves.  

Womanhood being associated menstruation is also harmful to the women who can't menstruate.  It can make them feel as if they are not a true woman, which is of course not true.

Menstruation is a biological process and does not have to be assigned a gender.  When discussing menstruation it is best to practice using gender neutral language and medical phrases to describe the natural process.

A quote I find helpful on this topic is “Not all women menstruate and not all people who menstruate are women”.  

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