Some folks may wonder, as we advertise the menstrual products drive we’re hosting as a part of our Halloween Harry Potter Pub Quiz Extravaganza, why we’re using the phrase “menstrual products” instead of “feminine hygiene products.” Well, it’s because not all people who use menstrual products are females.
Language is so powerful, so important. That old phrase “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you” is a big lie. Words CAN hurt. Words DO hurt. Just look at the current occupant of the White House, and tell all of folks who have been victims of hate crimes since he started spewing his racist rhetoric that his words will never hurt them.
If we, as cis, white women, who have so many privileges just by dint of our outward appearance, can help folks who don’t share those privileges feel even just a wee bit more comfortable in the world, you know we’re going to do it. And that’s why adopting more inclusive language is so important, and it’s something we’d implore all of those in our orbit to do, as well. It is completely and totally painless to change our language surrounding menstrual products. Look, I said menstrual products and it actually felt good.
Now, let’s get rid of as many of these exclusionary (and outright racist/sexist/othering) words and phrases as we can, ok? I, for one, have taken to saying y’all instead of you guys, because we are not all guys, and y’all sounds cute. What else can we do to make language a bit more inclusive?