Giving 'Period Dignity' Job to a Man Doesn't Go Over Well

Scotland's Period Dignity Working Group cites 'threats and abuse' in axing job
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2022 12:28 PM CDT
'Period Dignity' Job Axed After Abuse Over Male Appointee
   (Getty Images / curtoicurto)

A person appointed to a first-of-its-kind role as "period dignity officer" in Scotland has seen that job vanish after threats stemming from the fact that said person is a man. Jason Grant, a former personal trainer, faced "bewilderment and widespread criticism" when it was announced earlier this summer that he would lead the implementation of Scotland's pioneering Period Products Act in the Tayside region north of Edinburgh, reports the New York Times. The act, which went into effect last month, requires universal free access to period products across the country and mandates schools to make them readily available. It also allows local authorities to appoint someone to increase knowledge and awareness about the law.

The Period Dignity Working Group, made up of local councils and colleges, initially said hiring Grant in the $40,000-per-year post "was a no-brainer." The former student well-being officer with Dundee and Angus College noted he’d organized performing arts workshops meant to improve period education, per the Times. "I think being a man will help me to break down barriers, reduce stigma and encourage more open discussions," he added. But "given the threats and abuse leveled at individuals in recent weeks, the period dignity regional lead officer role will not continue," a group rep said Tuesday, per the Guardian, adding it "is now looking closely at alternative ways to deliver these vital services."

Many women had criticized Grant’s appointment. "A man shall be mansplaining periods," tweeted Nicola Murray, who runs a support group for women who've suffered pregnancy loss through domestic violence or forced termination, per the Times. "Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever?!? This is absurd," added former tennis champion Martina Navratilova, per CNN. But Monica Lennon, the lawmaker who introduced the legislation, saw nothing wrong. "I'm relaxed about the appointment of men to these roles," she said, per the Times. "If we want to tackle stigma and to create culture change that eliminates the embarrassment around periods, then I think we have to have an inclusive approach." (More Scotland stories.)

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