Always brand removes the Venus sign from packaging

Category:  Opinions
Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 11:20 AM

Always — a branch of Proctor and Gamble that makes feminine hygiene products — recently announced that they’re taking the Venus sign off a variety of their products' packaging.

Always made this decision in order to include non-binary people and trans men, as some still menstruate even though they don't identify as female.

This led to those on both sides of the debate jumping into the fray. The hashtag #boycottalways popped up on Twitter as some felt that Always was ignoring cis women.

The other side stands with the activists that asked Always to take it off in order to not contribute to feelings caused by body dysmorphia for people who have vaginas, but don't identify as women.

When it comes to Always pads, the Venus sign varies in size and prominence on packaging; some take up the majority of one side of the packaging, and some have small ones that are barely noticeable.

Depending on your pad of choice, you may not have even noticed the sign. It’s ridiculous that women are focusing on the removal of the sign over actual menstrual issues. The pads don't always have the Venus sign. My bathroom is stocked with pads, from various companies (mainly Always), yet I have never noticed a Venus sign on any of the products, nor do I feel my sexuality was threatened by not seeing it.

It’s simple marketing: some of the pads have the sign and some do not.

Something this small shouldn't be causing an argument this big when there are more pertinent issues involving periods.
As of July 2019, according to The New York Times, 35 states still tax tampons and pads as luxury items. The Period Equity, a legal organization that promotes “affordable, and safe menstrual products” claims on their website that states make an estimated $150 million from taxes on menstrual products. This allows states to tax products that are marketed toward those with periods (as if it wasn’t expensive enough).
Now, not only are people with periods from across the nation dealing with a single tax on tampons, but the pink tax too.

Another important issue with pads and tampons are the chemicals in them. Users and sellers still don’t understand or know how the chemicals interact with the body when they’re in or near the vagina and labia.

According to womensvoices.org, there are roughly 33 chemicals in the different pads and tampons (they vary from company to company). Little is known about the effects these chemicals have on the vagina.

The chemicals and those unknown effects are actually being talked about in another hashtag: #myalwaysexperience.

According to Teen Vogue, the hashtag was started by Always to promote their brand, specifically their Kenya branch (Always Kenya), but recently its been overtaken by people that are dealing with rashes and burns.

This has raised the question if Always Kenya has different products then the U.S., but Always Kenya denies the claim.

Periods have always been taboo. As people who get periods struggle to deal with their menstrual cycle, it is important to have a support system.
In high school, I was lucky to have a significant other that carried around pads and tampons in his car and locker, even though he himself never needed them.

In my small-town high school, that was a little unheard of, but it was a blessing. It’s something that needs to be done more.

Instead of focusing on packaging and a sign that can be smaller than a quarter, let’s stop taxing period products and overcharging people who have periods in general. Let’s look into pads and tampons and make sure they're safe. Let’s make periods less of a taboo.

Let’s end menstrual embarrassment.

Tags: always brand

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