See, this is where the discourse has gone off track. Nobody was demanding that P&G change their packaging. Nobody was threatening not to buy a product. A handful of trans people contacted P&G quite nicely and said, “Hey, y’all probably don’t know this, but that feminine symbol makes some trans guys feel really uncomfortable. Could you consider not using it on the packaging?”

P&G responding back a few days later, equally nicely, saying, “Oh yeah. We never thought of that. Fair point. Sure, we’ll remove the symbol in the places where we use the packaging.”

No fuss, no muss. And if they’d removed it without any public announcement, it’s a sure bet that nobody would ever have noticed. For example, I learned since I published this piece that in the region where I live, the Venus symbol isn’t used on the packaging anyway. For reasons having nothing to do with trans people.

The whole controversy is being ginned up by TERFs and conservative religious zealots who oppose the existence of trans people. It’s not a genuine contretemps at all.

As an example, I gave a talk on rhetoric to a group of graduate students at Texas Woman’s University last night, and I mentioned the piece I’d be publishing today. Nobody in the class had heard of the controversy, and nobody thought that the existence or lack of a Venus symbol on a pack of sanitary napkins was a big deal.

The whole point of this is that just about the only women who DO think it’s a big deal are anti-trans activists.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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