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Anti-trans language targets bathroom menstrual products

November 2, 2018

A sign advertising free menstrual products in the bathroom on the first floor of David Saul Smith Union was defaced with trans-exclusionary language this week.

In an email to the Orient, Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas said that the Bias Incident Group (BIG) would be convening next week to discuss the incident but declined to comment further.

Details of the incident, which is believed to have occurred on October 28 or 29, are listed in the Campus and Community Index.

“The poster contains gender-neutral language that had been crossed out and replaced with gender binary language,” the index report says. “The word ‘person’ was changed to ‘woman,’ and the word ‘their’ was changed to ‘her.’ In addition, at the bottom of the sign, someone had drawn the symbol for Venus, commonly used to depict women, along with the words ‘—menstruate—TRUTH.’”

The graffiti comes a week after the New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering defining gender as a biological condition determined by observed genitalia at birth.

Certain campus bathrooms have been stocked with free menstrual products since students launched the Free Flow initiative in early 2017. Men’s, women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms were stocked, with student leaders highlighting the importance of making the products available for transgender men and nonbinary people.

While the initiative received mostly positive feedback, someone defecated in the receptacle intended for used products in March of 2017, soon after the products were first placed in the bathrooms. However, no incidents had been reported since.


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