Media Laments Tampon Shortage’s Effect On ‘People Who Menstruate’

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The media lamented the current tampon shortage’s effect on “people who menstruate” in recently published pieces.

With tampon prices rising nearly 10% since last year, NPR published a piece Sunday titled, “It’s not just you: Tampons are harder to find — and pricier,” describing how “people who menstruate” are having a difficult time finding tampons on store shelves.

“People who menstruate are saying it’s hard to find tampons on store shelves across the U.S. right now, as supply chain upsets reach the feminine care aisle,” the article read.

Later on, the piece describes the negative impact on women, saying “It’s another supply chain problem where women are bearing the brunt of the cost, as mothers struggle to feed their babies during the baby formula shortage.” The article then concluded by describing how “women” have succumbed to unsafe methods to handle their period.

I Support The Girls founder Dana Marlowe told NPR she’s met “women who don’t have the resources to make multiple trips to the store, she said, and have resorted to unsafe methods. ‘They’re using cardboard and duct tape, ripped up sheets,’ and other unsanitary items, she said,” the article described.

The outlet posted the article to Twitter, describing the hardships of “people who menstruate” while simultaneously including the word “women” in its front page headline.

In a June 10 article titled “A tampon shortage is the largest nightmare for women,” CNN also jumped back and forth between using the word “women” and “people who menstruate” while describing the shortage.

“Shortages of raw materials and supply chain bottlenecks aren’t unique to period products, but much like the US infant formula shortage, there’s an unrelenting and urgent biological demand for them that can’t be easily substituted. People who menstruate can’t simply wait for the shelves to be restocked,” the article said.

Axios, paraphrasing CNN, erased the word woman when describing individuals searching for tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

“People in search of tampons and other period products are finding sparsely stocked store shelves and higher prices, CNN reports,” the July 11 article said. (RELATED: New MSNBC Documentary Intends To Get Into Detail About Women’s…Time Of The Month) 

In a recent piece, the Good Housekeeping Institute said the shortage will hurt “menstruating people” below the poverty line, saying, “According to the Journal of Global Health Reports (JOGHR), many menstruating people have been experiencing period poverty, or a lack of access to affordable period products.”

The NPR piece sparked backlash from social media users, mocking the outlet’s use of the term and accusing them of being “anti-woman.”

Liberal lawmakers and media pundits have claimed that it is not just women who menstruate, including Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Not just women! Trans men & non-binary people can also menstruate,” Ocasio-Cortez said in 2021. “Some women also *don’t* menstruate for many reasons, including surviving cancer that required a hysterectomy.”

A Twitter user identifying as queer targeted FitBit’s “female health” tracker in 2020 for not including transgender and intersex users in the a category about menstruation.

In 2018, a British school district approved new sex education lessons that included teaching children as young as 8-years-old that “all genders” can menstruate. The report given to teachers stated “Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods.”

Nicole Silverio

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