Feminine Hygiene, Not Always Feminie.


“Ramsey Public Library Partitions” by Evens + Paul from Flickr, C

Mac Huisken

How do we better help men with silent issues such as periods? Men can in fact have a monthly menstrual cycle and yet bathrooms still do not cater to their needs like they attempt to for women.


In the women’s bathrooms of most public places people will find two definitive things that go hand in hand: a hygiene product dispenser, and a container within the stalls to dispose of the used products. 


In men’s restrooms people get stalls and urinals, and maybe lucky to find a baby changing station in a men’s restroom. 


So why  things like pads and tampons?


According to an acrticle written in 2016 by UCLA, about 1.4 million americans identified as transgender and about a third of those people identify as non-binary.


Transgender defines individuals whos gender orientation does not match the sex assigned at birth. For example: a transgender man, assigned female at birth, that may undergo hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgeries to alter the body to appear as “a mans” body. 


That said, for those individuals that do not undergo the bottom surgery, they still have female anatomy such as a uterus and ovaries. Having those parts may mean they still have a monthly menstrual cycle.


Those who have dealt with a period know that sometimes they did not bring enough or did not know it planned on starting or they just plain forgot. 


As a woman, sometimes a convenient time happens to ask other women for a pad/tampon or occasionally the dispenser will get restocked. 


As a man, that means having to out oneself to any stranger. This can sometimes cause violent acts and discrimination. Not only could the individual get hurt physically but also traumatized emotionally. 


It’s almost a silly question to those finding excuses for “should men’s restrooms have pads and tampons?”, simply for the fact that they rarely restock the women’s restroom. 


While as accurate as it may seem, women know at one point the dispenser is stocked and they had options. 


Trans men with periods do not have dispensers, and therefore no options.