‘Men who get their periods are men,’ according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is now demanding men’s restrooms, men’s homeless shelters and men’s prisons across the United States be stocked with tampons and other menstrual products.
‘While free menstrual products are not uniformly provided in women’s restrooms, they are almost never available in men’s restrooms, even for pay,’ according to the ACLU.
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‘Men’s restrooms are also less likely to have a place to dispose of these products conveniently, privately, and hygienically.‘
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Claiming to be ‘pushing back’ against traditional ‘sex discrimination‘ in American society on behalf of ‘every person‘ who menstruates, the ACLU released a statement on Tuesday presenting their argument for accessible menstrual products in men’s bathrooms to fully accommodate transgender and non-binary people.
ACLU also complained that men’s homeless shelters typically do not provide menstrual products, and it is a similar situation in men’s prisons.
‘While access to menstrual products in women’s prisons is often inadequate, it is far worse in men’s prisons. Trans and non-binary people may be incarcerated in either,’ they wrote.
The nonprofit organization claimed the idea that only women menstruate, get pregnant and breast feed, is wrong and harmful.
‘Menstrual stigma and period poverty can hit trans and non-binary people particularly hard,’ the statement read.
Additionally, ACLU said that trans and non-binary people may need access to menstrual products for reasons beyond menstruation.
These groups may need pads and liners after undergoing an vaginaplasty, a surgical procedure that results in the construction of the vagina, and other factors.
Those diagnosed with endometriosis or adenomyosis reportedly face barriers when seeking treatment and menstrual products.
ACLU concluded: ‘Simply stated, because limited access to and the cost of menstrual products can hit trans and non-binary communities especially hard, as a matter of policy, a holistic agenda for menstrual equity and access must include trans people.’
‘We don’t need to erase trans or non-binary people to show that barriers to menstrual equity, such as the tax on menstrual products, are unconstitutional sex discrimination,’ they continued.
‘It relies on sexist ideas that women’s needs are frivolous and unnecessary. It is irrational, and it directly affects cis and trans women, trans men, and non-binary people. It’s unfair, unconstitutional, and illegal.’
ACLU linked to a Menstrual Equality Toolkit that was created to help those interested in advancing ‘menstrual equity’ in U.S. states.
‘Menstrual equity is a basic equity issue. Just as we have regulated the provision of toilet paper and paper towels in public restrooms, so too should we do the same for menstrual products,’ the report said.
One of the sex discrimination issues ACLU fights for is menstrual equity, which refers to equal access to related hygiene products and reproductive rights.
This includes the ‘tampon tax‘ that they define as, ‘regular sales tax or value-added tax applied to menstrual products — or, conversely, the failure of the state to otherwise exempt these products from sales tax by placing them in the category of necessity.’
In November, ACLU shared a tweet on International Men’s Day that foreshadowed their latest stance.
‘There’s no one way to be a man. Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men. Trans and non-binary men belong,’ they wrote.