A popular UK supermarket chain, Asda, has ditched the phrase ‘feminine’ hygiene and is now marking their aisles to read ‘period products.’ This shift in language is a big win for women, trans, and non-binary people and a tangible step towards inclusivity and ideological change.
The removal of the word ‘feminine’ reminds us that people who don’t identify as female can still menstruate and the removal of the word ‘hygiene’ finally releases the stigma that the natural phenomenon of menstruating is something dirty and unhygienic.
People on Twitter are praising Asda for making a real step towards change:
— Becky (@iambeckyhughes) March 3, 2022
The history of menstruation is chock-full of misinformation. Pseudoscience on periods has been published in the medical community that says that period blood contains toxins. Vaginas in menstruation also carry religious and cultural taboos.
Feminine hygiene is a $21.6 billion global industry, according to market research company IMARC. The beauty and pharmaceutical industries have capitalized on the flawed messaging that vaginas are unclean by selling products such as ‘Summer’s Eve’ – scented wash and wipes that reinforce the idea that women are inherently dirty and need special cleaning as a result.
Big supermarket and drugstore chains can do their part to change the vocabulary and marketing of period products in order to truly change how we internalize what having a period means.
Yay Asda! Not only women menstruate and the word “period” isn’t to be avoided! ? https://t.co/6ZT8zfpHS2
— LKandy ??? (@namenumberetc) March 3, 2022
According to @redmoongang on Twitter, a spokesperson from Asda said, “We’re proud to have made this change in our stores to better reflect shoppers’ attitudes around period products.”
Header Photo: Alina Blumberg