Why is a man a period dignity officer?
Perhaps you’ve read how Scotland decided a man was the best person for the very first ever “Period Dignity Officer.” Simply rereading the first sentence makes question and ask, “Wait. What? Why?” For women being 50% of the population, it never ceases to surprise when choices like this are made. (Let’s be honest, none of us feel surprised; simply frustrated with the rate of progress in the efforts towards period dignity).
Why not a woman or menstruator?
You think Scotland would appoint a woman who knows the struggles of having a period. A woman who recognizes the felt need from loaning out a sweatshirt to cover the I-wasn’t-supposed-to-get-my-period-for-a-week bleed-through stains. Or the frustration of asking a friend and they give you a super Tampon on a light day; or the dreaded (but affordable) cardboard tampons that feel as comforting as sandpaper upon insertion.
On the flip side of this, Jason Grant, a past personal trainer, and tobacco salesman, shared, “I think being a man will help me to break down barriers, reduce stigma and encourage more open discussions. Although affecting women directly, periods are an issue for everyone.” At The Agenda. we believe period knowledge can change the course of lives. Shame, self-hatred, and frustration at the hormonal fluctuations die down when you understand what is going on with your body. The fact is, we are living in a patriarchal society. At the Agenda. we are working hard alongside many organizations to give women tools to move towards menstrual equity.
Any guess what ours is? Hint hint, it’s our Period App which you can find on Apple, and Google Play.
We know that using your voice for the marginalized can have a huge impact. It can get some doors open easier at times because privilege is at work. One of Jason’s goals is, “With our partners, we will be looking at fine-tuning the existing distribution and availability of products, including sustainable options, and even plan performing art workshops in schools and colleges to improve education around periods.” We love this. Art is a wonderful access point to help people learn, grow, and understand complex topics.
Jason is hoping to be a bridge with Scotland’s new law, “To make menstrual products free and available in public spaces in 2020, building on an existing policy that offered free pads and tampons at schools and universities. The new law will expand access to include places such as youth clubs, pharmacies, and community centers.” Free period products is a wonderful undertaking for Scotland, and we hope it catches on worldwide.
No one roots for anyone to fail when moving towards a common goal. We hope that he moves with us all; that the strides made for period equality and menstrual health benefit those who need it.
In the meantime, maybe we can all be period dignity officers in our world. Perhaps by donating money to non-profits like #HappyPeriod which give period products to those in need. We can also pick up and donate products to our local shelters. You don’t have to wait for our respective countries to hop on the bandwagon of period dignity officers. We can start the shifts; be a part of helping people claim their dignity with love, respect, and a couple of tampons, or pads, or a menstrual cup, or disk, or sponge, or chocolate. Chocolate always helps.
Chime in below and let us know your thoughts on Scotland’s first Period Dignity Officer being a man!