The NHS have omitted the terms “women” and “girls” from their health guidance about periods, sparking backlash. A website the NHS commissioned designed to provide information about menstruation refers to them as “people who bleed,” “half of the population” and “anyone with a uterus.”
“We are Bloody Brilliant, a source of knowledge, support, information and empowerment for young people who bleed across Wales,” the website reads. Bloody Brilliant, funded by NHS Wales and the Welsh Government, was set up in August last year and cost taxpayers £84,000 (over $101,000 USD).
Feminist author Milli Hill told MailOnline it was a “part of a broader de-sexing of language of the NHS” to erase biological females.
“It’s absolutely infuriating to me. I do understand the need for inclusivity but this is not inclusivity,” she said. “It’s leaving out the very people they are supposed to have at the centre of their work – women and girls.”
In its description of puberty, the website opts for “child” in place of “girl.”
“When a child’s body begins to develop including growing pubic hair, boobs starting to develop, growing taller and starting your period,” the website reads.
Ironically, a section of the website reads, “No more hiding, covering up or awkward euphemisms, we need some straight-talking.”
Dr. Karleen Gribble, a nursing and midwifery expert from Western Sydney University in Australia, told MailOnline “It seems like we have gone from menstruation being unmentionable, contributing to much distress and difficulty for many young girls around their period, to the fact that it is girls and women who have periods being unmentionable. Neither of these things are good.”
Gribble worries it would complicate health messaging for vulnerable girls. “It’s entirely possible that this lack of clarity about just who it is who gets periods could be confusing for many young girls,” she said.
Earlier this year NHS England censored the words “women” and “girl” from guidances on cancers that only affect women, like ovarian cancer, and the guidance on menopause.