Language usage

Language usage and terms used

  • Due to the majority of users being cisgender women and for purposes of readability, we use the terms woman or women to mean “the person who menstruates and ovulates” and this definition includes men who menstruate. If you have a better term, we are happy to change what we use.
  • Many people who menstruate have partners who do not menstruate, and instead of husband or boyfriend or wife or girlfriend, we may use partner.
  • Not all people who menstruate are women (some are trans men or non-binary) and some people are women and do not menstruate (including trans women and some non-binary people). Some trans men, genderqueers, gender variant and non-binary people have periods, and some women don’t have their periods for a variety of reasons.
  • Occupy Menstruation gave a post by Lisa from Luna Pads about this: “Because most conversations about periods focus on cisgender girls & women — that is, people whose gender (girl, woman) aligns with the sex (female) they were assigned at birth — it can be easy to forget that some transgender men, genderqueers, and nonbinary people have periods too. While visibility around this issue is complicated, framing menstruation as an experience or function exclusive to women is a frustrating microaggression that trans & nonbinary people regularly face – it reinforces biological essentialism and perpetuates cissexist assumptions that harm and marginalize. We can do better. Another important truth to acknowledge about periods is that some women don’t have them. This might be due to menopause, stress, disease, or a hysterectomy. Some women may have never started menstruating due to a variety of medical conditions, or they may be transgender or intersex. None of these makes a woman any less a woman than one who menstruates. It’s so important to be mindful of those who are rendered invisible or invalid by statements that elevate periods as the ultimate source of womanhood or femininity – and to think critically and compassionately about how this line of thinking upholds cisnormativity and inadvertently hurts women. Inclusion is about so much more than just what we say, but I care about what we say and how we say it because exclusion in language equals, and exposes, exclusion in practice.”