Planned Parenthood call women "menstruators", receive twitter backlash from their target market

Planned Parenthood, the non-profit organisation whose motto is "Care. No matter what." are always engaged in women's reproductive health, so it comes as no surprise at all that their Twitter account would comment on the tax break on tampons in NYC.

The issue arose in the words chosen to describe the news. "Menstruators in New York started to #TweetTheReceipt celebrating .....", the official account tweeted. The backlash was immediate. Planned Parenthood's target - women - felt as if they were reduced to a bodily function by this choice of words. It is possible that the Social Media handler wanted to attempt a pun, using "menstruators" as it sounds similar to "demonstrators", but the similarity to "bleeders" was impossible for women to ignore. A "bleeder" is a term used derisively in reference to any woman, and english speaking women feel it is a slur on par with the N-word. Similarly some people use the term "breeder" to mean hetrosexual in a very negative way. It didn't take long before feminist blogs like Real For Women and feminist subreddits to promise no more donations to Planned Parenthood. "We've been demoted to "Menstruators". Really PP?" These are usually the women who will defend Planned Parenthood every time they need defending, which is quite often in US media. Planned Parenthood basically just pissed off their army of staunch defenders. The inaccuracy of the word chosen bothers me, as women on birth control do not "menstruate".

Moral: When you only have 140 chars you need to be careful with the words you chose. The target market feels that avoiding the use of the word "woman" has the chilling effect of erasing women, dehumanising women to body parts and functions. That a writer didn't see this possibility is beyond me. It's been argued that the use of "menstruators", is like when PP call "people" pregnant, meant to be inclusive to trans people. Women know that pregnancy is something that happens to women, just like menstruation. Here are a few reactions.

Comments (2)

  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    Interestingly, this article got a lot of discussion on Twitter, but nobody had the balls to make a comment here.

    Sep 13, 2016
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    P.S. "it doesn't take balls to have guts" ;)

    Oct 25, 2016

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.