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The Leading Menstrual Pad Manufacturer Has Just Changed Their Packaging to Include Non-Binary Customers And Twitter is Ablaze

On the heels of October 19th’s National Period Day, one brand that has created their empire off of menstruation is changing their rule book. On Monday, Always, the brand that makes sanitary pads for women, announced that they are removing the venus symbol from all their packaging. 

The Venus Symbol, a sign that consists of a circle with a cross coming from below it, has traditionally been used as a symbol representative of the female gender. But, as gender and trans issues have recently become more topical, trans activists have taken issue with Always for including the symbol on their packaging. Critics argued that the symbol worked to exclude gender non-conforming and trans men from their customer base. 

“For folks using these products on a nearly monthly basis, it can be harmful and distressing to see binary/gendered images, coding, language, and symbols,” said Steph deNormand, a Trans Health Program manager, to NBC News. “So, using less coded products can make a huge difference.” 

Transgender advocates are applauding Always for acknowledging the mental health concerns of their range of customers. 

For many transgender advocates, this change has been a long-time coming. Just days ago, Sexuality Educator Ericka Hart racked up almost 18,000 likes and 4,000 retweets for tweeting out the statement: “Any gender can get their period,” complete with a yelling emoji. 

Now, Always’ decision to change their packaging is sparking a larger discussion around the larger way period-related brands market their products.

Dr. Jennifer Gunther, OB/GYN and author of “The Vagina Bible” responded to the news with overall approval,  but with a small caveat. She believes that we should all be mindful of the words we use when we’re describing menstrual products: “They are menstrual or period products, not feminine products,” she recently wrote on Twitter. She went on to say that we should all avoid calling menstrual products sanitary napkins because “having a period does not make you unsanitary”. 

Not everyone approves of Always’s newest marketing move, however.

Along with conservative critics who are blasting the company for pandering to the “radical left”, there are a bevy of feminist activists who are suspicious of the timing behind this move. Very recently, Always has come under fire for the quality of its products in developing countries–particularly countries in Africa. The hashtag #MyAlwaysExperience recently took over Twitter, with women (mostly from Kenya) describing burns and rashes the products have caused. 

Twitter user @kremzaroogianwho identifies as a trans man called out Always for what he believes is a “calculated move”. “It’s no accident always had this gender removal from their packaging when people started tweeting about their products in Kenya literally containing carcinogens”. Now, people who have periods have another reason to be wary of the brand that claims to “care about all women and girls”. When it comes down to it, it seems as if the brand seems to care about their bottom line more than anything else. 

While, of course, the company will get push-back for deciding to gender-neutralize their packaging, they’re also smart enough to know that the future is non-binary. And the future is where their money is. For example, IBM marketing executive Andy Bossley revealed in 2018 that “millennials feel that gender is a spectrum”, while “more than half the members of Generation Z know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns”. In other words, Always probably wouldn’t have taken this step if they didn’t see it as an ultimately lucrative decision. 

Latinas, of course, have not hesitated to make their opinions known about this news.

Many viewed this as the perfect opportunity to speak out about periods, reproductive health, and structural transphobia.

As usual, Puerto Rican performer Indya Moore came with their hot take:

This event sparks a larger discussion about the gendering of products at large–not just menstruation products.

This Twitter user was unimpressed with the arguments some people were posing as to why the packaging shouldn’t change:

The outrage over Always’s decision is interesting, considering that the brand isn’t even reformulating their product–they’re simply changing the packaging. 

This Twitter user expressed their feelings about the way people react to violence against the trans community vs. the way they react when the Always packaging is changed:

It’s undeniable that violence against trans people is an epidemic that should be addressed by all communities much more often. 

This person made an iron-clad argument as to why the venus-symbol packaging is problematic:

As usual, when there’s any change in society, there is inevitably a subset of people who want nothing more than to stick to their old ways. 

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Was Cancelled For 2019 And We’re Pretty Much Fine With That

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The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Was Cancelled For 2019 And We’re Pretty Much Fine With That

VictoriaSecretShow / Instagram

Since 1995, fans of the big time lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret have tuned into its lavish annual show wherein models for the brand to display its most elaborate costume lingerie. But now it’s goodbye angels, bedazzled bras and wings and memes. 

This year the Victoria’s Secret Fashion brand has announced that it has officially canceled this year’s show.

The internet launched into a frenzy last week when it was announced that this year’s show was canceled. 

According to reports, Stuart B. Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer and executive vice president of the brand’s parent company L Brands, announced last Thursday morning during a conference call with analysts that the show had been canceled. According to Variety, the decision to cancel show was out of a desire to appeal to the “evolve the marketing.” In a write up by Variety it is aid that the Burgdoerfer underlined that the show had no ” immediate impact on sales of its bras and underwear.”

“Did we see specific material impact on short-term sales response to the airing of the fashion show, as a general matter the answer to that question is no,” Burgdoerfer said during the conference call. “So if you’re like, ‘Oh my God, Stuart, are you freaked out about the day after the fashion show result and what’s going to happen?’, it did air at different times over the years and we didn’t see a material impact on the next few days’ results.”

Users online were quick to show the divisiveness of the decision with comments on Twitter.

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A decadent treat: longline bras in sumptuous satin.

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

The  bombshell announcement that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been canceled has caused internet mayhem. While supporters of the brand refused to accept the brand’s cancellation of the show others argued that the brand’s show has proven to be consistently problematic. In fact, two years ago, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show proved to be plagued by a series of hot messes almost from the start.

First, various models and talent meant to be featured in the show, which took place in Shanghai, failed to secure visas, including model Gigi Hadid. Though her absence was suspected to be over racist behavior. Then media outlets and bloggers had a hard time getting permission from Chinese bureaucrats to film the event at all.

Once the show aired, it was filled with some pretty cringeworthy moments of cultural appropriation, models caught singing the N-word, no models above a size 4 and a TV edit that has Twitter and Chrissy Tiegan epically POed. It felt more like a shit show than fashion show.

On top of this, the brand’s annual show also has been under constant criticism 

Stuck in an early era that beckons back to the early 2000s when the show started and brands hadn’t quite yet embraced body positivity, Victoria Secret failed to embraces models of all sizes, ethnicities, and abilities on their runway. The underwear company has been accused of not hiring women of color — especially dark women — for their campaigns. Last year the manufacturer gained criticism after the company’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company made disparaging and anti-trans comments in an interview with Vogue magazine. During the conversation Razek rejected the idea that Victoria Secret would ever have a trans women walk on its runway. “No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”

For the most part users against the brand’s hiring practices applauded their decision to rebrand.

Speaking about the decision a Twitter user replied  “hopefully rebranding means a wider range of sizes and a more diverse slew of models,” a sentiment that other users agreed with. 

“I agree. Honestly, after watching Rihanna‘s SavageXFenty show and seeing the diversity in skin tones, shapes, ethnicities, and the actual performance level, I wasn’t even planning on watching the Victoria’s Secret show,” added another, referencing Rihanna‘s highly-inclusive lingerie fashion show in September. Another user said, “Good. It’s time for them to rebrand, bc their entire image is early 2000’s and non-inclusive.”

“people are real life upset about transphobic/fatphobic ass victoria’s secret show getting cancelled as if there aren’t better shows happening now and in the future(fenty),” another user wrote.

Avid fans of the brand and its show decried the decision saying it was one made over fear of sensitivity.

“ever since Victoria’s Secret cancelled their fashion show every skinny basic white girl has been poppin out of nowhere to let us know they’re transphobic/fatphobic with no shame lol. Victoria’s Secret hasn’t been cool since yoga pants freshman year of high school. Get over it,” one user asserted.

“Canceling the Victoria Secret fashion show bc it showcases ‘unrealistic beauty standards’ is f—ing ridiculous lmfaaoo those girls work so hard to be on that stage. The level of sensitivity is absurd,” one user wrote.“Because ppl are so sensitive nowadays the Victoria secret fashion show got cancelled ? I’m pissed,” another replied.

Others slammed the amount of attention the cancelation has been receiving. 

“the fact the Victoria’s Secret fashion show being cancelled has more media coverage than A FUCKING PURGE HAPPENING IN CALI COLOMBIA shows how South American Countries are put into minorities, please change this ITS DISGUSTING #prayforcolombiaanother user replied.

Which is… tbh a pretty good point.

During his announcement on Thursday, Burgdoerfer said that their upcoming marketing plans for VS will not be “similar in magnitude to the fashion show.”

“We recognize and appreciate that the communication of the brand, the offerings, the emotional content of Victoria’s Secret is obviously an important thing,” Burgdoerfer said in his announcement Thursday.“[The show] was a very important part of the brand-building of this business and was an important aspect of the brand and a remarkable marketing achievement… And with that said, we’re figuring out how to advance the positioning of the brand and best communicate that to customers and that’s among the things that [Victoria’s Secret chief executive officer] John [Mehas] is focused on.”

Mexico Is Rated The 2nd Most Dangerous Country On Earth For Trans People, But Mexico City Is Moving To Protect Trans Youth

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Mexico Is Rated The 2nd Most Dangerous Country On Earth For Trans People, But Mexico City Is Moving To Protect Trans Youth

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Mexico City has long been a hub for some of the more progressive policies to take hold in Mexico. Despite being the capital of a largely conservative and religious country, the capital has enacted several much-needed human rights policies that have helped some of the nation’s most at-risk populations.

From becoming the first city in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage (in 2009) to being the only city in the country to offer legal on-demand abortion (from 2007 until Oaxaca also decriminalized it in September 2019), Mexico City has been a leader for progressive values.

And it’s been leading the cause for transgender rights for years. So news that the city government was planning additional protections for transgender Mexicans, didn’t surprise many but has still managed to spur some protests.

The Mexico City law would allow youth to change their legal names and gender to match those of their identity.

Children in Mexico City might soon be able to legally change their name and gender through a “quick” formality at a government office.

A proposal to allow minors to change the details on their birth certificates with the authorization of one of their parents will be presented in the Mexico City Congress next week after it won support from two congressional committees.

Nineteen lawmakers voted in favor of the bill while just three voted against it. The Morena party-backed bill proposes changing Mexico City’s civil code to enable transgender children and adolescents to change their name and gender by completing an administrative procedure at civil registry offices.

To do so they would have to be accompanied by either their mother, father or legal guardian.

Morena Deputy Paola Soto, one of the bill’s two main proponents, said the proposed law would guarantee the rights of transgender minors. “. . . Above all, it doesn’t imply a revictimizing judicial process as is now in force,” Soto said.

Allowing children to choose gender is all about respect.

Credit: NurPhoto

Those who identify as a gender that doesn’t “match” the sex they were born with pose no threat to anyone.

Just because Mexico has other, bigger problems doesn’t mean that we need to ignore all the ones we consider smaller in the meantime. If we can help children to accept themselves and be respected by others by giving them the legitimacy of a standardized bureaucratic procedure, then it should do that.

The statistics are clear: any kind of gender or sexual identity “deviance” is correlated with sky-high rates of depression, suicide and self-harm . . . and that’s just on the individual level. Family estrangement, abuse and homelessness are also too prevalent in this population. Then of course there’s the run-of-the-mill everyday discrimination they face by society at large.

However, the proposal isn’t without its opponents who have taken to the streets to protest.

Credit: National Front For The Family

A coalition of anti-abortion and other groups protested outside the city council building Tuesday, holding signs reading “No to The Trans Law,” and “Don’t Confuse Children.”

They argued children cannot be expected to make such a decision.

The bill also faces opposition from lawmakers with the other three major parties but Morena (the current President’s political party) has a majority in the 66-seat unicameral Congress.

National Action Party Deputy Christian von Roehrich said that only the federal Congress is authorized to make civil code changes as per a Supreme Court ruling.

Mexico City has a long history of taking progressive values and turning them into concrete policies.

Credit: Animal Politico

From becoming the first city in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage (in 2009) to being the only city in the country to offer legal on-demand abortion (from 2007 until Oaxaca also decriminalized it in September 2019), Mexico City has been a leader for progressive values.

The city has also lead the battle for transgender rights and is even piloting a program to provide a monthly stipend to more than 100 trans individuals so that they can have proper access to medical care and hormone replacement therapy.

However, the city and country still suffer from extreme violence targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: NurPhoto

According to the Mexico Global Impunity Index, 99 percent of all crimes in the country go unpunished. This shocking level of impunity adds up to lethal equation for the trans community, which already faces widespread social prejudice. The organization Transgender Europe documented 217 murders of trans men and women in Mexico between 2008 and 2016, ranking it the second deadliest country in the world for trans people after Brazil. Rocio Suárez, a spokesperson from the Mexico City-based pressure group Center of Support for Trans Identities, tells Broadly that 12 trans people have been killed in October of this year alone.