Always to remove feminine symbols from sanitary products to be ‘more inclusive’

Back in June, transgender campaigner Ben Saunders contacted sanitary product brand Always to ask them one important question.

Why do they feature feminine logos on all of their packaging?

And it turns out that Ben wasn't the only person who wanted to know the answer.

A Twitter user who goes by the name Melly Boom also messaged Always, asking why it is "imperative to have the female symbol on their sanitary products".

She added: "There are non-binary and trans folks who still need to use your products too you know!"

Always, which is owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), have taken the comments and questions on board and responded with a letter, explaining the action they plan to take.

In the letter to Ben, Sheryl, a member of the Always team, revealed that the company had decided to remove the feminine logo from their packaging.

Sheryl wrote: "Dear Ben, I wanted to come back to you regarding your message about the Always wrappers' design with the female symbol on it you sent 18/06/2019.

"We listened to you and our marketing team worked a solution!

"We are glad to inform you that as of December we will use a new wrapper design without the feminine symbol.

"Please just be aware that you might find products with the old wrapper design in the stores for some weeks after December, as the distribution of the new packages might take some time – the new designs should be in store Jan/Feb 2020."

She added: "We are absolutely grateful for having people like you voicing their opinions. Thank you for contacting us, your comments help us improve every day!"

The move was praised by a number of people, including Ben and Melly, for being inclusive.

Another person on social media that supported the decision, said: "I understand that you guys love girl positivity but please understand that there are trans men that get periods."

However many women were unhappy about the decision and argued that it was "eliminating women's biology".

Feminist campaigner Julie Bindel told The Mail on Sunday: "Removing the female symbol from sanitary towel packaging is basically denying the existence of women.

"We’re now moving towards the total elimination of women’s biology. The women’s symbol has been used by feminists for decades. This is pure cowardice and virtue signalling from these big corporate brands who are capitulating to the trans agenda."

Similarly over on Twitter more people shared their frustration.

A woman named Caroline vowed to boycott Always.

She said: "So that’s Always boycotted in my family where there are five females. Men cannot have periods. Stop erasing women."

A user named Vicki also commented: "Women are quite literally being erased from sanitary products now. Is there anywhere we are allowed to be visible!? @Always I have bought your product since the age of 10. Stop erasing the people who use your product from your product. Or you erase my purchase power too."

A third, named Anne, added: "When will any company stand up for women? A company providing personal sanitary products for females keels over after 'Ben' complains."

Following the announcement, a spokesperson for Proctor & Gamble said: "For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so.

"We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion, and after hearing from many people across genders and age groups, we realised that not everyone who has a period and needs to use a pad identifies as female.

"To ensure that anyone who needs to use a period product feels comfortable in doing so with Always, we updated our pad wrapper design. Our mission remains to ensure no girl loses confidence at puberty because of her gender or period and we do this through our puberty education programs, by providing access to period products with programs such as #EndPeriodPoverty, and by using our brand voice to tackle societal barriers and stigmas like we did with #LikeAGirl."

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