This post was originally published in 2011. We've seen a real paradigm shift in menstrual care over the last 9 years, and are proud to be part of that change. Today, Aisle is more committed than ever to serving our trans and nonbinary customer's needs with dignity and respect. Thank you for supporting us in our efforts to grow and do better.
Hey everybody. I wanted to take some time today to share more about the note I added to our website recently.
Aisle's customers and staff include transgender and nonbinary people who span the gender spectrum. Our team is committed to providing an inclusive, affirming, and safe space for all marginalized people seeking better solutions to their everyday and monthly needs.
Because most conversations about periods center cisgender girls & women — that is, people whose gender (girl, woman) aligns with the sex (female) they were assigned at birth — it's common for people to overlook the fact that some trans men and nonbinary folks have periods too. While visibility around this issue is complicated and sensitive, continually framing menstruation as an experience that's exclusive to women is a frustrating microaggression that trans and nonbinary people regularly face. This misconception is biologically essentialist and perpetuates cissexist assumptions that harm and marginalize.
We can do better.
Another important truth and reality to acknowledge about periods is that some women don’t have them. This might be due to menopause, stress, disease, or a hysterectomy. Some women may have never started menstruating due to a variety of medical conditions, or they might be transgender or intersex. None of these factors make a woman any less a woman than one who menstruates. It’s so important to be mindful of women who are rendered invisible or invalid by statements that elevate periods (or pregnancy) as the ultimate source of womanhood or femininity – and to think critically and compassionately about how this line of thinking upholds cisnormativity and inadvertently hurts women.
True respect and inclusion is about so much more than just what we say, but I care about what we say and how we say it because exclusion in language often equals, or exposes, exclusion in practice.
If you’re a trans, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming person who has comments or feedback to share, please feel free to hit me up on twitter or at lisa(at)periodaisle.com – I’d love to hear from you.
In related and encouraging news, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued a statement this week addressing the significant barriers to health care that trans people routinely face, and encouraging physicians to take steps towards becoming better equipped to provide accessible health care to their trans patients.
- Can You Not? 3 Reasons to Quit Saying "Feminine Hygiene"
- Trans 101
- On Purportedly Gendered Body Parts
- Beyond the Pap: Preventative Care for All
- 3 Examples of Everyday Cissexism
- Julia Serano on "Cis"
- Moving Towards an Inclusive Menstruation Dialogue
- Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients
- Always Removes the "Female" Symbol from its Products