Sanitary pad manufacturer, Always, reportedly issued an edict to a parenting website to remove the words ‘women,’ ‘girls’ and ‘females’ from online articles about periods to avoid offending transgender people and to make their content ‘inclusive’. However, this decision has sparked a controversy over the erosion of women’s rights in the name of inclusivity. Many people, especially women’s rights activists, are outraged at this decision, claiming that it is discriminatory to say only women can have periods. Additionally, some people argue that this move is censoring and erasing women’s experiences.
The controversy began when writer Milli Hill noticed that all mentions of women or girls in her contribution to a recent article about helping teens with their first periods had been changed to ‘people’ or ‘bodies’. Hill confronted an editor at the website, who told her that Always had requested the use of gender-neutral language because ‘not everyone who has periods identifies with the label girl/woman’. Hill was outraged and accused Always of censoring her to pander to transgender rights activists.
In the article, Hill wrote that periods were ‘a normal part of the experience of being female’. This was changed to remove the word ‘female’. Meanwhile, a reference to ‘all women’ was also amended so it became ‘all bodies’. After Hill complained, some of her original quotes were restored. However, the article was later taken down from the website.
This issue raises important questions about how we approach inclusivity and how to balance the rights of different groups of people. It is important to ensure that everyone feels included and respected, but it is equally important to acknowledge and celebrate the experiences of different groups of people, including women. It remains to be seen how this controversy will be resolved, but it is clear that it has sparked an important debate about the rights of women and transgender individuals.
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