The period product company August launched with this commercial in 2021, and promises to deliver "sustainable, ethical, impactful, tax-free" period products directly to your doorsteps. Not a super original idea, several similar subscription model period care companies have launched these past few years. But what's interesting is CEO Nadya Okamoto's tactic in marketing it. You see, just like Yoppie period care CEO, Ms. Okamoto has decided to use new terms in her period care branding, she omits "women" completely and focuses on calling us "menstruators".
That didn't go so well for Planned Parenthood when they used that term back in 2016. On CBS Mornings, Ms. Okamoto discussed her products while making sure to stress that it's for everyone from "young menstruators" and it's a "period positive gender inclusive brand." Here's a short clip.
Now, I'm not going to poo-poo the sustainability angle, nor the comfort that she wants her products to have, that's obviously all good, though I'm a bit confused why she'd sell a tampon with an inserter when she's trying to have less waste. Ms. Okamoto also wrote a book on periods, 'A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement' which is reviewed like this on Goodreads: "PERIOD founder and Harvard College student Nadya Okamoto offers a manifesto on menstruation and why we can no longer silence those who bleed—and how to engage in youth activism. Throughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. They’re taboo. They’re embarrassing. They’re gross."
"Those who bleed?" To the tune of "Everybody hurts", everybody bleeds, sometimes. How can you end period embarrassment if you don't even dare to include words like "women" or "girls" in the discussion? Where are we bleeding from? Our "bonus hole"?
When Pantone released a specific blood red to end period stigma for "people who menstruate", the backlash was swift. At least the Yoppie CEO included the word "women" in her post and she explained why she used the term "bleeders" in another post.
Ms. Okamoto has a different motivation for the words she's chosen, as she explained on CBS: “We’re also wanting a period-positive, gender-inclusive brand. We are August; on the pack it says ‘we’re here for everyone who menstruates.’ And I think especially in this age of transphobia it really means a lot to us to be a proudly gender-inclusive brand."
August will soon be available in a Target near you.