Conservatives are livid about Oregon’s “Menstrual Dignity Act” which will require schools to place menstrual products in all toilets, including boys’, in a bid to be more inclusive.
In July 2021, Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill requiring all schools – elementary, middle and high school – to provide free menstrual hygiene products to students and instructions on how to use them. Conservatives claim the left is seizing the opportunity to push an LGBTQ agenda.
“When will this madness stop? Only when the Democrats are no longer in a position of authority and can no longer pander to minorities like the LGBT crazies,” wrote one Twitter user.
In the 2021-22 school year, the Portland Public School Board (PPS) began a phased approach to legislation by placing menstrual products in bathrooms for women and for all genders in bathrooms. comprehensive high schools, according to a statement from PPS.
under state supervisionschool officials are instructed to use gender-affirming language such as “menstruating students” instead of “girls” and “menstrual products” instead of “feminine hygiene products”.
Some believe that this rhetoric is not inclusive at all, but erases women and blurs gender-based distinctions. For example, state guidelines also encourage teachers to say “someone with a uterus and ovaries” instead of women or girls.
“I and many women in Oregon find your menstrual dignity law an affront to women,” said one Twitter user. “Only women can menstruate. Only women must be in the women’s restroom, and only men must be in the men’s restroom.”
The Oregon Department of Education said the law affirms the menstrual dignity of transgender and non-binary college students while “minimizing the negative attention” they may receive during menstruation.
However, some argue that the law opens up the possibility for girls to be bullied and ashamed for using the products.
According to a 2021 survey commissioned by Thinx & PERIOD, 80% of teenage girls already think there is a negative association with menstruation, “that it’s gross or unhealthy”.
“Has anyone thought about the trauma girls will go through when boys run around the halls, waving tampons and pantomiming insertion?” asked one Twitter user. “Ridiculing the most vulnerable girls is NOT dignity.”
Some people believe that giving students better access to products can reinforce stereotypes that already surround menstruation.
Although the legislation is meant to be helpful and inclusive, Republicans have criticized the bill and Democrats for “forcing” gender-affirming ideals on students.
“The ‘Menstrual Dignity Act’ is another example of liberal maniacs forcing people to accept their beliefs about mental illness,” said one Twitter user. “They want parents to encourage children to be different.”
Newsweek contacted the Oregon Department of Education for comment.