#IfMenHadPeriods is trending on Twitter after Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) tweeted about what the world would be like if men had menstrual cycles. But what started as a way to highlight everyday sexism, soon turned into a discussion of the fact that some men do in fact have periods.
On September 5th, OB/GYN and writer Dr. Jennifer Gunter tweeted, “If men had periods pads would be free.”
She quickly turned the idea into a hashtag, allowing others to throw in their visions of a world in which men had periods. “#IfMenHadPeriods they would find a way for women to still bear the children,” Gunter tweeted.
Here are few favourites:
@DrJenGunter If men had periods pads would be home delivered free with ice cream & sympathy on their 7 paid days off/month
— Comrade Weez (@weezmgk) September 6, 2016
@DrJenGunter If men had periods there would be a week of paid medical leave every 4 weeks, outside of vacation time.
— Matthew Garcia (@MGhydro) September 6, 2016
But while the hashtag was started as a way to highlight some of the latent sexism in the world, it quickly started an important conversation. Because, some men do have periods.
As the hashtag #IfMenHadPeriods continued to trend on Twitter today the responses started to change.
“#IfMenHadPeriods is trending and I’m pissed off because I’m a man currently on my period and I feel like murdering everyone,” wrote @TransBoyPosts.
Twitter user @ianalexander wrote,”#IfMenHadPeriods except some of us do, get outta here with this cisnormativity and trans erasure.”
While the hashtag was probably not intended to marginalise the trans community it definitely highlights an important issue the community faces. People don’t remember that trans men menstruate.
In an interview with The Daily Dot last June, Kade Clark, the co-founder of transgender health care app MyTransHealth said that many trans people find that even doctors have a hard time dealing with their bodies and their medical needs.
“Over half of trans people educate their doctors on how to treat them,” said Clark. “And then about 19 percent are refused care. They don’t even have the chance to educate the doctor because they won’t even see them. So people get to a point where they stop looking for care, which is the biggest issue.”
Yes imagining a world where the everyday man has to deal with finding a tampon at the office or laying with a hot water bottle on their stomach is fun. But, it’s also important to remember that trans men are having to fight for their right to quality health care and fight against the way society sees them, all while dealing with those same cramps.