As part of our mission to make Menstrual Equity a reality, we’re taking on the stigmas that have led not only to inequitable laws via the “tampon tax,” but to a culture of hiding and shame that affects everyone who gets their period. Tampons are endlessly tucked under sleeves and periods whispered about in hushed tones using coded language. Eliminating stigma, though, means getting real about the way we both think about periods and talk about periods, which is why we’re listening, learning, and making changes to be as inclusive as possible.
For too long, the language around periods has been exclusively feminized and directed only at cisgender women, which is how the term “feminine care” came to dominate the menstrual product industry. We’ve listened closely to our community, and while we acknowledge that the fight for Menstrual Equity and the stigma surrounding periods is a burden predominantly held by women—we also know that they are not the only ones affected. From transgender men to individuals whose gender ID is fluid or non-binary, not all people who menstruate identify as women, and not all people who identify as women menstruate. Period. As part of our fight for Menstrual Equity, we intend to stand up for all people who get their period and fight for access to the period care products they deserve.
In our continued journey, we’ve decided to make some changes to the language we use.
You may have noticed that Seventh Generation has updated the way we talk about our menstrual products, and that, instead of “feminine care,” we’re now using the more inclusive term Period Care. After speaking with our community, we’ve also shifted the way we speak to women and those who menstruate as “people with periods,” to both be inclusive of all we’re speaking to while also acknowledging the simple term of “menstruator” could potentially de-humanize our community down to a bodily function. We believe these changes level the playing field and help further de-stigmatize periods so that everyone who gets a period is honored and included. With that said, this is a journey. We’re continuing to learn and are grateful for the feedback we’ve gotten so we can do better today—and into the future.
We’ve also updated the look of our period care packaging. Since this is an issue that predominantly affects women, we’re proudly showcasing a range of women’s profiles, while also using gender-neutral language on our packs of organic cotton tampons and chlorine-free pads. We hope that our industry partners take notice and join us.
But this is only the beginning. The Menstrual Equity movement is growing, and we’re hoping to spark a more candid conversation about periods in order to normalize what millions experience as part of their body’s natural function. Continued stigma around periods has made it so that the general public and policy makers still treat period care products as a luxury—rather than the human necessity they are. The result is that 35 out of 50 states still unfairly tax tampons and pads, which means that many people can’t access the products they need every month to enjoy a safe, healthy, and dignified life. That’s why we’re donating 43¢ of every tampon, pad, and liner pack we sell (in the US, up to 1 million packs per year) to non-profit organizations doing this work on the ground and getting products to those in need most.
Thanks for being by our side and challenging us to do better as we stand up together for Menstrual Equity for ALL.
Telling stories with the goal of building a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations and beyond.