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Women’s health writer censored on Always website – for saying females have periods

By Sanchez Manning

THE words ‘women,’ ‘girls’ and ‘females’ should be removed from online articles about periods to avoid offending transgender people, a sanitary pad manufacturer is said to have told a website.

The firm Always reportedly issued the edict to the parenting site Good To Know to make content it sponsored ‘inclusive’.

Writer Milli Hill told The Mail on Sunday she was ‘outraged’ when the website changed all mentions of women or girls in her contribution to a recent article about helping teens with their first periods.

‘Women’ and ‘female’ were replaced with ‘people’ or ‘bodies’ in the piece, entitled ‘How can I help with my daughter’s first period?’

When Ms Hill raised it with an editor at the website, she was told Always wanted it to use ‘inclusive language’ because ‘not everyone who has periods identifies with the label girl/woman’.

Last night, the author accused Always of ‘censoring’ her to pander to transgender rights activists who claim it is discriminatory to say only women can have periods.

The issue goes to the heart of the row over the erosion of women’s rights in the name of inclusivity. ‘I was absolutely outraged when I saw the final article, as it was obvious that I had been censored,’ said Ms Hill, author of The Positive Birth Book and My Period: Find Your Flow And Feel Proud Of Your Period!.

‘My words had been changed to fit an ideological agenda, which is a rather terrifying thought experiment that I don’t think the people at Always – in their quest for “inclusivity” – have given much thought to.’ In the article, Ms Hill wrote that periods were ‘a normal part of the experience of being female’. This was changed to remove the word ‘female’. Meanwhile, a reference to ‘all women’ was also amended so it became ‘all bodies’.

When Ms Hill asked an editor about the use of gender-neutral language in articles on periods, she was told this was done at the ‘request’ of Always.

In Instagram messages seen by The Mail on Sunday, the editor told Ms Hill that Always had wanted the website to use ‘inclusive language’ because ‘not everyone who has periods identifies with the label girl/woman’.

After complaining, some of Ms Hill’s original quotes were restored. However, the article was later taken down from the website.

Helen Joyce, director of advocacy for the women’s rights organisation Sex Matters, said: ‘It’s bad enough that Always has taken the ideological decision to erase women and girls – its entire customer base – from its communications and advertising. It’s downright sinister that the same ideological choice appears to have been foisted on Milli Hill, who’s done such important work demystifying and destigmatising periods.’

Ms Hill criticised Always earlier this year for ‘dehumanising’ women by referring to girls as ‘bodies with female sex organs’ in a pamphlet explaining puberty to children.

And women threatened to boycott the brand in 2019 when it removed the image of Venus – representing the female sex – from packaging.

Last night, Good To Know editor Sophie Bird denied that Always was responsible for the changes made to Ms Hill’s quotes, adding: ‘Good To Know takes full responsibility for this error and has taken corrective action to prevent this from happening again.’

Proctor & Gamble, the global firm that owns Always, said: ‘At Always we value freedom of expression and will continue to use our voice as a force for good.’

However, Ms Hill rejected the claim that Always held no responsibility for editorial changes.

She added: ‘The whole reason the articles on periods were made “gender neutral” was because of Always – as I was directly informed by one of the editors at Good To Know.’

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