In order to include transgender and non-binary customers, the menstrual product company Always decided to remove the Venus symbol from its packaging. The Venus symbol has been a global symbol of womanhood, but can be exclusive to transitioning trans men and women and people whose gender identity is fluid. After Always made this announcement, the internet had extremely polarizing opinions. While many people were glad that Always decided to make this decision as a company, others disagreed.

It is extremely close-minded to think that the only people who have periods are cis women. Trans men who have not fully transitioned as well as people who are gender fluid and non-binary go through menstrual cycles as much as any cis woman. To act like only "real" women bleed once a month is heteronormative and wrong.

An example of someone on Twitter who disagrees with Always' choice as a brand to get rid of the Venus symbol.

@Kantanette on

Gender is not the same thing as sex. Gender refers to how one chooses to identify, and sex is the physical attributes with which someone was born. Someone could be born a female, but choose to identify as a male. That is why using physical things that happen to females to define women is extremely exclusive and incorrect.

It is ridiculous to be offended by someone else's gender identity that does not affect your own at all! The only thing that should matter about period products is the quality and affordability, NOT what it looks like. I personally throw away my pads and tampons after one use, so I don't even look half the time at what is on the packaging. I was not even aware that the Venus symbol was on Always' packaging until they took it off.

Always is doing a wonderful thing by being an inclusive and socially aware brand, and the fact that people are using this to hide behind their own transphobia is disgusting. If you define your womanhood by what is on the packaging of your period supplies, then I genuinely feel sorry for you. Womanhood should not be defined by one specific thing but should be a spectrum that includes everyone.