We can start by avoiding the usage of gender-specific language:
- Using words like “women” or “girls” exclusively while talking about periods.
- Referring to menstrual products as “feminine hygiene” or “women products”
Rather use language like:
- People who menstruate or menstruators.
- Refer to period products as “period products” or “menstrual products” or their given name as “pads”, “tampons”, “menstrual cup” etc.
In a much larger sense,
- Companies manufacturing menstrual products need to stop advertising period products in a woman-centric way.
- The packing needs to be changed and be made more inclusive, for example- making the tag lines gender inclusive.
- The advertisements need to portray non-binary; transgender people experiencing periods to spread awareness and educate individuals.
- Our youth needs to be educated about gender being a spectrum and not just limited to females and males. Sex education should be a part of the curriculum with menstruation and menstrual hygiene being taught to everyone. Textbooks should be revised and be made more inclusive.
The struggle with creating dialogue about menstruation has been faced throughout generations. It has been a very orthodox issue to talk about as various taboos are surrounding it. This has created barriers in educating individuals about menstruation and menstrual hygiene. The feminist movements trying to break stigmas and discrimination faced by menstruators has predominantly been led by cis-gender women and their struggle with periods. This has caused gender-nonconforming and transgender people to feel alienated. In the past decade, the LGBTQ+ moment has gained traction. People are becoming more aware of the struggles faced by the community. It is important to be inclusive and spread awareness about menstruation and menstrual hygiene.
To conclude, menstruation is not a “woman thing”, it is a biological process that has nothing to do with one’s gender.