"We realised that not everyone who has a period identifies as a female."
Always is removing the female symbol from its sanitary products in an effort to make them more inclusive to all customers.
The Venus symbol, which has historically been used to represent the female sex, appears on the wrappers of some of Always’ sanitary pads – but not all people who menstruate are women, nor do all women menstruate.
Many transgender activists have pointed out that trans men and non-binary people also get periods – and when trans customer Ben Saunders wrote to the company about it, he received this response:
“We listened to you and our marketing team worked a solution. We are glad to inform you that as of December we will use a wrapper design without the feminine symbol.”
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However, the decision has been met with a backlash from certain customers, who feel that women are being “erased” from sanitary products – some are even threatening to boycott Always.
In a statement, parent company Proctor & Gamble said: “For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so.
We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion, and after hearing from many people across genders and age groups, we realised that not everyone who has a period and needs to use a pad identifies as female. To ensure that anyone who needs to use a period product feels comfortable in doing so with Always, we updated our pad wrapper design.
The statement continues: “Our mission remains to ensure no girl loses confidence at puberty because of her gender or period.”