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Always: Our Pads Aren't Just for Females

Company will remove Venus symbol from packaging
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2019 12:17 PM CDT
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Always pads are shown in a store in Romania in 2006.   (Wikimedia/Gsvadds)

(Newser) – Always is scrubbing the female gender symbol from the packaging of its sanitary pads in an effort to be more inclusive of transgender and non-binary customers. The move comes after LGBTQ activist Ben Saunders—named Young Campaigner of the Year by LGBTQ rights charity Stonewall—asked the company to remove the female symbol, also known as the Venus symbol, over the summer, reports CBS News. Saunders and others argued the symbol was a slight to women who don't menstruate as well as to all people who menstruate but don't identify as female. Jennifer Gunter, an OB-GYN, was among those to call out "the assumption that menstruation defines femininity" on Twitter. "Less ink for printing [is] better for planet," she says of the decision. "This is a win all around."

"A slew of transphobic comments" marked with #BoycottAlways came in response to the news, per CBS. Some accused the company of "kowtowing to a tiny population and giving in to the demands of 'crazy liberals,'" per the New York Times, though the paper points to a recent study that showed half of millennials see gender as a spectrum. Always certainly isn't sweating. "After hearing from many people across genders and age groups, we realized that not everyone who has a period and needs to use a pad identifies as female," the company says, per the Independent. Therefore, the packaging will be updated in 2020 "to ensure that anyone who needs to use a period product feels comfortable in doing so with Always." Perhaps packaging for other products, like Always' so-called "feminine wipes," might also change. (Read more LGBTQ stories.)

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