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Using Gender-Inclusive Language to Talk About Periods

Using Gender-Inclusive Language to Talk About Periods

April 21, 2023

The words we use when discussing periods shape how society views them. As such, it’s important that the language we use reflects the fact that not all people with periods are women, and not all women have periods. 

Language to avoid:

  • Saying “women” or “girls” when talking about periods
  • Referring to period products as “feminine hygiene products”

Instead, use gender-inclusive language like:

  • “Menstruator(s),” “people who menstruate” or “people with periods”
  • “Period product(s)” or “menstrual product(s)”

Who is impacted by this non-gender-inclusive language?

Equating menstruation with womanhood can be harmful to non-binary folks and trans men who still have their periods, causing them to feel dysphoric about their own bodies and struggle with their identity. 

Using binary language also alienates so many people from an important conversation who may actually need these kinds of discussions the most. 

That’s why it’s important to include EVERYONE in the conversation. With gender-inclusive language, those who don’t identify as women feel more included in the narrative and can help spark increased dialogue about the menstrual experiences of people with different gender identities.

Important things to remember:

  • It’s all about practice: Take time to practice replacing gendered terms with gender-inclusive language when discussing periods.
  • While you’re trying to alter your language, it’s okay to make mistakes! Simply correct yourself and be mindful of the language you use moving forward.
  • Using different language when talking about periods does not erase the experiences of women. After all, periods are not just a “woman’s issue.”

Commit to inclusivity and work with us at Aunt Flow 🤝

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claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 6 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®