Tampon brand Tampax has been criticised for an inclusive tweet that "celebrated the diversity of people who bleed".
The US company, owned by Proctor and Gamble, shared the tweet alongside an illustration of five people by graphic designer Brittany Harris.
"Fact: Not all women have periods," the tweet read.
"Also a fact: Not all people with periods are women. Let's celebrate the diversity of all people who bleed!"
Tampax added the following hashtags: "#mythbusting #periodtruths #transisbeautiful".
And that’s another brand I won’t be buying any longer. Only women have periods. Not all women, but only women.
— Caroline Hardman (@LittleHardman) October 24, 2020
The brand’s tweet, which specifically celebrates those who menstruate but do not identify as female, prompted a backlash on social media.
“And that’s another brand I won’t be buying any longer. Only women have periods. Not all women, but only women,” tweeted one person.
“Fact: Only women have periods,” concurred US conservative commentator Mindy Robinson. “If you are not a woman and you are bleeding out your genitals... call a doctor.”
However, many people replied to Tampax’s tweet by thanking the brand for being inclusive.
Thank you. As a nonbinary person who has a period, I really appreciate it.
— Lilo the Autistic Queer (@A_Silent_Child) October 24, 2020
“Thank you for including trans men and non-binary people," tweeted one person.
“Thank you. As a nonbinary person who has a period, I really appreciate it,” another added.
Tampax responded to the matter with the following comment: "Tampax was founded by a female entrepreneur more than 80 years ago. We’ve been supporting and protecting women ever since, and that will never change.
"At the same time, we’re also committed to diversity and inclusion, and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all those who use our products.
“Unfortunately, periods are a taboo subject for many —regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – and it’s critically important that everyone feels like they belong and that they can be their unique selves when having these conversations, purchasing or using period products. Together, we can help create a world free from bias.”
Tampax’s tweet comes after Superdrug launched a range of sanitary products marketed for “people who menstruate”.
In June, author JK Rowling shared a link to an article titled: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”
Rowling commented: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
The author’s remark was immediately met with a backlash from people calling her “transphobic” and pointing out that it’s not just cis-gendered women who menstruate.
Rowling later defended her comments in a divisive essay in which she revealed her experiences of surviving domestic abuse and sexual assault.