Gender Fluids

Not binary identity/trans* and products for menstruation

Trigger Warning: dysphoria, menstruation

Let's imagine we are at the supermarket, and to be going around the departments. Suddenly we enter the lane of the products for menstruation. We immediately come overwhelm by a tsunami of shades of pink, violets, pastel colors, butterflical fonts, motivational phrases with an artificial aftertaste, delicate rose petals, which raise imposing to our heads, all aligned in a huge miniature army that smells of synthetic flower. It is something that we are used to, we don't even pay attention to, but why does a caramel -spinned cotton bomb exploded in this lane?

Rosa is a beautiful color, as flowers and butterflies are, this is clearly not the problem. But why when it comes to products for menstruation then everything becomes exclusively pink and flower? Why is it difficult to find any other type of representation, graphics and chromatic, in this type of product?

The menstruation equation = "thing as women (cis)", is so immediate and consolidated in the traditional dominant as wrong as it is wrong, or rather, excluding: not all the people who menstruan are women, as well as not all menstruan women. And, if on the one hand the narrative of the "rose = woman" has already exasperated cisgender women first, it proves to be decidedly more harmful and problematic for people with menstruation that are not women. But who are the exclusion of this stereotypical representation?

There is a vastness of gender identity that does not identify, or does not identify itself exclusively, in men's/woman gender binarism, or in the genre assigned to birth: non -binary people, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, genderfluid, agender, and boys and men Transgender (for simplification in the article they will be reported as non -binary/trans*identity). People who menstruation, but who remain invisible in the representations of products for menstruation.

In fact, precisely because of this marked feminization of products for menstruation, non-binary/trans* people can try dysphoria when they have to interface with an entire system-product that is not designed for them, but of which they cannot do without (having or not having menstruation in Many cases is not a choice).

If the whole company does nothing but repeat that the experience of menstrual is Alone Of women, it is difficult to see each other, and it becomes painful and tiring to be continuously crushed and flattetang in a genre to which it does not belong, and from whose stereotypical representation we want to move away.

Gender dysphoria in fact (Gender Dysphoria), it is a feeling of malaise, discomfort, alienation, that a non -binary/trans* person can try when he perceives a misalignment between his own gender identity and the sexual characteristics assigned to birth. Can be triggered using the wrong pronouns (misfortering) or forcing a person to return to a binary category (m or f) in which he does not identify. As in the case of menstrual products. But what does it mean in the practical?

I confidentially interviewed some non -binary/trans* people who try, or have tried in the past, disfigure in connection to menstruation, with the shared goal of highlighting in the newspaper what it involves living with a discomfort, caused by a binary culture, which It is constantly invisible. The interviewз have also resolved in offering useful ideas to imagine a possible system-product of articles for less triggering and more inclusive menstruation, starting from the individual solutions for which they opt in their small way to margile, at least in part, the dysphoria (NB : the dysphoria is however not triggered by the triggers themselves for all trans*/non binary people, one tried to highlight the most shared triggers. Do not try dysphoria does not make a "less" non binary/trans*person, and assume that one Person try dysphoria only because not binary/trans* is wrong, every experience is as singular as it is valid. Last clarification, not all trans*/not necessarily menstruan people).

One of the main points is "theouting At the supermarket ": to return to the beginning of the article, for many non -binary people/trans* buy products for menstruation is stressful and dysphoric. It means going to the supermarket, facing a lane of all pink products specifically dedicated to women, in which too often there are Alone women, then get to the cashier and suffer misfortering because the absorbents "betray" their gender identity, forcing theouting. For this reason, some non -binary/trans* people prefer, if they can delegate the purchase to Amic or relatives, to buy products for menstruation in a neighborhood away from home (also to protect themselves from possible transfobic discrimination), buy products online, e make them delivered to them at home, or adopt solutions does not use without use, such as the menstrual cup, which in addition to being more gender neutral (there are transparent ones, or of various colors, has no smell, nor an iconic form), solves the problem of having to find absorbent or swabs every month. Furthermore, it must be emptied less often than in the absorbent municipalities, avoiding both the frequent changes in public places, and to have to move with absorbent or swabs in the pocket.

Another point is "the female universal": just surf the site of any large company of product for menstruation, or watch any advertising of absorbent or swabs, to realize that they are produced "suitable for all women", with which "every Woman can feel free to be herself "and" wonderfully unique ". Even the companies that are trying to rejuvenate their communication, giving a more inclusive and diversified image of people with menstruation (thus representing disabled people, fat, not white, with hair, not young e really, in very rare cases, trans*), when they have to turn to their public consumer, they turn to women and use female pronouns.

And if this occurs in the level of verbal communication, it is even more rooted and evident in non -verbal communication: another point is "the prevailing rose". The choice of palette-colors in packaging is in most cases on tones of pink/lilac, the graphic signs are soft and delicate (flowers, drops, shiny stars, curved lines), the chosen fonts are always rounded cuts: not There are edges or pointed, dynamic, hard elements. In the first analysis, naively, it can be thought that such "soft" communication can be a conscious design choice due to the purpose of the product, destined to stay in contact with delicate parts of the body. But simply look for products from the same brands intended for a "male" audience (for example absorbent/saving "male" briefs) in order to ascertain that the communication of the image of the product changes radically: the colors are dark (black, gray and blue Dark little saturated), the lines become pointed and clear, the straight, imposing, austere fonts, there is no room for butterflies and flowers. The writing "Men", to remove any doubts, is always the largest, at the center of the product.

Also in this case, in order not to have to get in touch with this extremely binary type of communication, non -binary/trans* people with menstruation prefer to adopt solutions long lasting (menstrual cup, washable absorbent briefs), or contact newer online brands and attentive to an inclusive representation.

In any case, adopting solutions on a personal level to compromise and coexist as much as possible with menstruation does not completely eliminate the dysphoria: the root of the problem is to be found in the trans-drying society that invisibility everything that does not fall within the margins of a cisnormata perspective, and which does not offer the right representation and the right tools of affirmation to Tuttз in the same way. Forcing the individual to jostral between a few involuntarily inclusive products, it is not protected from a social point of view, and not too brilliant from a commercial point of view, because a vo -racing niche of the market remains unexplored, which would be satisfied with Cis women included.

So what could be done?

In the microcosm, we can inform ourselves, listen to the experience of those who belong to the non-binary/trans*community, educate us to respect and to a more inclusive language, co-part of their battle, especially in front of trans-dry attitudes and statements, even if involuntary or unaware. We correct people in our social contexts that when they speak of menstruation use the female universal. If we have Amicз/partner not binary/trans* that feel dysphoria, valid and respect their pain, informing ourselves without being inappropriate on what is the best way to really be supported in these moments (even to make us aside, if this is what is what this is what this is we are asked). If we can, we buy from companies of menstrual products that have adopted inclusive policies, preferring them to those who still don't do it.

In the macrocosm, on the other hand, large absorbent manufacturers should make their products and communication Genderfree: Overcome the pink/blue combination by choosing colors and non -genderizing terms. The entire system-producing should be redesigned, keeping in mind that the absorbents are not Alone for women. It is not an enormous sacrifice to speak of "people with menstruation" rather than "women", does not exclude and does not offend any. There is no space or representation from consumers, but added and finally granted visibility to the non -binary public/trans*.

After all, all in all, would it be so bad if one day the department of products for menstruation in supermarkets was a colorful explosion of colors?


Non Binary/Trans* Activist who treated the theme:

Useful video-experience to deepen:

Dealing with Dysphoria, The Monthly Cycle (For Al Al Genders):

Period Advice for Trans Guys:

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