A recent trending hashtag amongst feminist circles has been #ifmenhadperiods, an increasingly popular means of pointing out the way that the impact of menstruation on women’s lives is minimized by men. But according to some transgender activists, the hashtag unfairly stigmatizes and excludes the experience of trans men.
Writing for The Daily Beast, Zoyander Street noted that while he has stopped menstruating thanks to hormone treatment, that many of his peers do still continue to menstruate. And while Twitter users observe that if men had periods there would probably not be a luxury tax placed on sanitary goods — given that razors are usually taxed as essentials — Street argues that trans men too have to pay these luxury taxes despite being statistically less able to afford them compared to the rest of the population. Homeless trans individuals, Street added, are also ignored by initiatives that seek to provide sanitary goods to homeless cisgender women.
If men had periods there would be a week of paid medical leave every 4 weeks, outside of vacation time.
— Matthew Garcia (@MGeosci) September 6, 2016
The barriers that trans people face in healthcare, where insurance companies and state health systems continue to struggle with accommodating for the needs of trans individuals, only compound the problems for trans men. Trans people also suffer all too often at the hands of intolerant doctors, many of whom have not received trans-specific training. “One in five trans men in the U.S. has been refused care due to their gender identity, and half have postponed doctors visits due to discrimination,” Street observed.
In conclusion, Street reiterates that he considers the concerns aired by #ifmenhadperiods more than valid. And he wants to ensure that such a movement doesn’t just focus on women alone, but “aim at meeting the needs of all people who menstruate.”
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.