Superdrug has made a range of sanitary products for “a person who menstruates” – rather than ‘women’ – amid the JK Rowling gender debate.
The nationwide store’s ‘Luna’ brand of sanitary towels are made from organic, plant-based materials and wrapped in plant-based biofilm.
And the sanitary towel range is the first stocked in the store to adopt more inclusive language on its packaging.
The back of the box reads: “A person who menstruates will on average have over 400 periods and use around 11,000 period products in a lifetime.
“However, we understand periods are never average, and so we have created Luna, a range of period products that suit you as an individual.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling previously sharing an article with the tweet: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
When photos of the Superdrug range were posted online, they were met with mostly praise – but also some comments from people who were seemingly confused.
One Twitter user wrote: “Oh my goodness. I am so, so impressed by Superdrug today; not only are their own brand LUNA pads are entirely plant-based, on the back it says ‘a person who menstruates’. A PERSON. YESSSS”
Another added: “This is brilliant! Well done, Superdrug.. Have been a huge fan of the own brand tampons since I was 15 and this just makes me love the store even more. Period champions!”
Not all customers were happy and one wrote: “If you menstruate I’m pretty sure that you are female.”
Another said: “A woman menstruates. Men don’t. They physically can’t.”
One joked: “Wait until @jk_rowling hears about this.”
The range was launched in May.
A spokesperson for Superdrug said: “At Superdrug, we champion inclusivity and diversity, and are committed to ensuring all of our employees, communities and customers feel seen and included when visiting one of our stores or purchasing one of our products.
“Therefore, we wanted Luna to be as inclusive as possible.
“When writing the copy for the products we were aware that there could be customers of this range who are currently transitioning from one sex to another or who identify as Non-Binary but will still be menstruating, alongside the women that use the products.
“We therefore felt ‘person’ was a more inclusive noun to use than ‘woman’.
“We are continuing to review all new products and the language we use throughout the business, to ensure we are being as inclusive as possible.”
One of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, Mermaids, welcomed the wording change.
The charity’s communications assistant Jake Edwards said: “As a trans person who still experiences periods, I dread the days when my supplies start running low.
“I run through a million scenarios of people staring at me, questioning me, laughing behind my back.
“Now I can confidently walk into a Superdrug and if anyone challenged me I could point to the packet and say ‘look, this is made for me’.
“For many, changes like this might seem pretty small – insignificant even – but for trans people, it can help them feel safe and seen.
“Periods have so much stigma and shame attached to them, especially for trans people.
“For trans men and non-binary people it can be a reminder of something deeply upsetting so anything that combats that can only be a good thing.
“When young trans men are experiencing their first period, making sure they’re acknowledged will bring huge relief. At Mermaids, we applaud Superdrug!”