Storify: Menstruator and Planned Parenthood

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

A couple people have asked that I break down the "menstruator" thing for those who missed it. Let's do that real fast. On Sept 2, @PPact tweeted out about menstruators affected by tampon taxes.

@PPact: Menstruators in New York started to #TweetTheReceipt celebrating the repealed tampon tax—but some are still charged.

The term was a choice to be inclusive of menstruating people who are not women: many trans men and non-binary transgender people. Many people objected to Planned Parenthood's inclusive language. Some of those people are TERFs: Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.

These are a subculture of feminists who insist on misgendering and/or excluding transgender people from gendered spaces. These women insisted that "mensturator" as a term was reducing women to biology and therefore inherently offensive regardless of inclusion.

In response, @alexandraerin wrote a good thread about nouns like "eaters", "menstruators", etc. and their context. She also wrote an good thread on how alternative suggestions like "SanPro Users" are insufficient. The short version is that we need to be able to talk about menstruation frankly in non-stigmatizing ways.

By Sept 6, four days later, a reactionary hashtag was trending called "If Men Had Periods". The "joke" being that they supposedly don't. Many of us pointed out that many men DO have periods. They even have period underwear for men. We are now on day SIX of a reactionary wave of anger from some cisgender women that Planned Parenthood used an inclusive term re: periods.

Planned Parenthood provides services to a lot of transgender people. They are one of the places that offer testosterone to trans men. Many trans men rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control and other reproductive healthcare services. Planned Parenthood was being inclusive by using a broader term than "women", and they are weathering a great deal of pushback.

I have had many ostensible feminists tell me this week that: only women menstruate, and that ALL women menstruate. This is ridiculous. It misgenders trans people of ALL genders and it misgenders cis women who do not menstruate for health/other reasons. The position that menstruation is inherently linked to womanhood is harmful to transgender people and many disabled women.

It may be possible later to discuss whether "menstruator" is the best term, but RIGHT NOW that discussion cannot meaningfully happen because too many transphobic people are engaging in bad faith in an attempt to throw inclusive language in a garbage bin. In my personal opinion, the best way to support transgender people right now is to support the "menstruator" label and we can revisit later.

(Personally, I am fine with the term being used in this specific context. It is accurate, descriptive, and de-stigmatizing. But I digress.)

*extremely network news voice* And now you know... the rest of the story.


Post a Comment