Campus Reform | Student paper acknowledges 'not all individuals who identify as women menstruate'

Student paper acknowledges 'not all individuals who identify as women menstruate'

The note has been the subject of mockery and criticism online.

An editor's note in the Daily Bruin has achieved notoriety online for acknowledging that "not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate."

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An article last week in the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s newspaper, advocated for government-funded tampons and included an editor’s note that noted “not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate.”

In the article “Free tampons would slow flow of gender inequality,” author Zoey Freedman discusses what she views as gender inequality in healthcare and argues for the federal government to pay for the cost of tampons for women—or those who menstruate, whether or not they identify as a woman. Freeman asserts that tampons and menstrual pads should be subsidized by the government because it is “only fair, since health insurance is supposed to cover the major aspects of a person’s health,” and that it would be part of “normalizing menstruation within society.”

The editor’s note about women and menstruation accompanying Zoey’s article also stirred up some controversy on the internet. The editor’s note read:

This blog post refers to individuals who menstruate as women because the author wanted to highlight gender inequality in health care. We acknowledge that not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate, but feel this generalization is appropriate considering the gendered nature of most health care policies.

Some on Twitter have compared the editor’s note to the Orwellian Newspeak from the novel 1984, and others have called this “disclaimer of the week.”

The article received more than 150 comments before the comments section closed. Some commenters discussed the merits of Ms. Freedman’s article, including one who declared the opinion piece “a parody so brilliant” that it was “indistinguishable from an actual article. IE, its [sic] an ‘Onion’-like troll.”

There are also a number of comments that have focused exclusively on the Editor’s Note attached to the article. A commenter with the handle “rightwingprofessor” declared that the note “made [the Daily Bruin] a national laughingstock. Are there really men at UCLA who menstruate?”

Freedman declined to comment on the article and Daily Bruin’s editorial staff has not yet responded to the request for comment regarding the editor’s note.