Cultural evolution continues, but not without its groin pains.
On Saturday, NBC News published a piece on a new malady.
Here’s the Peacock:
When transgender model and activist Kenny Ethan Jones experienced his first period, he faced both physical and psychological pain. Initially, Jones, who had not yet come out as trans at the time, felt like he was losing control and didn’t understand what was happening to his body. However, one thing was clear: He didn’t feel like himself.
Kenny — who, as indicated above, is a woman identifying as a man — never thought she’d have to deal with the Crimson Tide:
“I didn’t believe that having periods would be a part of my lived experience. I felt isolated; everything about periods was tailored to girls, yet me, a boy, was experiencing this and nothing in the world documented that.”
Nothing has documented a uterus shedding its lining via expulsion through the vagina?
Regardless, Kenny gets all messed up when she has to buy tampons or pads. Aunt Flow causes gender dysphoria, which is — according to Psychology Today — “strong, persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned gender and sex.”
“Having a period already causes me a lot of (gender) dysphoria, but this dysphoria becomes heightened when I have to shop for a product that is labeled as ‘women’s health’ and in most cases, is pretty and pink.”
A big source of trouble: Makers of products for the original Red State tend to label them as for women. It makes gals identifying as guys feel apart from everyone else:
Some transgender and gender-nonconforming people who menstruate, like Jones, say when the products are categorized as women’s products, they can feel alienated — and may even avoid purchasing them altogether.
But things are changing. In fact, UK-based Pink Parcel chose Kenny as a face of their 2018 menstruation campaign.
— Trending Products (@viralproduct) March 17, 2018
And there’s work to do: As reported by The Independent, Riding the Cotton Pony and “men” are hardly even mentioned together online:
Research by the brand has found that just eight per cent of period related online content depicts the experience of the trans community, with 92 per cent viewing periods from a binary perspective only.
The model dropped some science on NBC:
“I’ve definitely seen a positive shift with the discussion around women experiencing periods, but the stigma towards trans men, nonbinary and intersex individuals having them is still alive and well. People are still reluctant to the idea that it’s not only women that experience periods.”
— etc (@etcluxurygoods) March 16, 2018
An added tax on men and neither-men-nor-women-humans forced to wear the Red Badge of Courage: the cost of buying stuff to deal with periods.
The hurdles some trans men and gender-nonconforming people who menstruate say they face include the high cost of period supplies, lack of access to the products, safety concerns and inadequate medical care. Some of these challenges were recently brought to light when a story about menstruation product maker Always removing the female sign from its sanitary products went viral in October.
NBC lays out what these guys go through:
A box of 36 tampons, which could easily be used within one menstruation period, could cost as much as $12 — that’s significantly more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Additionally, menstrual hygiene products sold in the U.S. are still subject to sales tax in 32 states.
And it’s worse on them than on women:
The cost and taxation of menstruation products could hit transgender people even harder, according to Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Trans individuals, according to Heng-Lehtinen, “are experiencing poverty, unemployment and underemployment at higher rates, so there is absolutely economic vulnerability here.”
Another problem: How do they buy tampons when they’re only sold in the Women’s restroom?
Rodrigo asserts, “This is a health care product, so it should be widely available. I think everyone in society is better off if they are more available for cheaper prices or for free in more places.”
Medical care is also made more difficult:
Discrimination and stigma when seeking menstrual and reproductive care — ranging from treatment for an irregular menstrual cycle, to pap smears and cervical cancer screenings — are further obstacles for transgender people who menstruate.
It does, however, go the other way, too — please see here.
Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver believes it’s time for all the hasty conclusions to stop:
“Good treatment starts with respect and knowing who the patients are and dropping assumptions.”
Historically, medical knowledge has been gender-based and does not reflect gender diversity, according to Obedin-Maliver. As a result, there can be a misconception around what menstruation is for anyone who is not a cisgender woman.
Kenny plans to change the old ways where Shark Week is concerned — by leading the brigade for “transgender-inclusive healthcare.”
One thought, though, if I may say it: The Pink Parcel postergirl might wanna suck it up on buying feminine products; boyfriends and husbands — which she likely is or will be — have been doing it for years.
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