Period Police

This Transphobic Tweet Backfired in the Most Hilarious Way

Dane Swan, a former Australian Football League player, took to Twitter to ridicule the idea of men purchasing tampons and ended up ridiculing himself in the process. The tweet not only suggests that Swan misunderstands how tampons are purchased, he may not understand what tampons even are.

Swan posted a photo he’d taken at a grocery store and wrote, “It’s been some day folks cause today is the day i learnt that men can buy tampons. I’ve now officially seen it all.” He then tagged his podcast co-host Ralph Horowitz, asking him to bookmark the tweet—presumably for a more in-depth discussion of menstruation products by two cis men.

In terms of logic, there were a number of very obvious issues with this tweet right away. For starters, the “tampons” in the photo are clearly labeled as incontinence pads on the front of the packaging.

“It’s a toss up,” Irish drag queen Panti Bliss-Cabrera wrote, “but for my money, not knowing what a tampon is, is more embarrassing than not knowing what an incontinence pad is.”

Also, there’s never been a restriction on who can and can’t buy tampons. Who would even enforce that? “Period Police,” as one user put it?

All joking aside, several users noted the more serious implications of deriding any health product, especially when it might already be a source of embarrassment for those affected.

“Thought you were an advocate for men’s health?” physiotherapist and sports injury analyst Brien Seeney wrote. “It’s a struggle to get men suffering from pelvic floor and prostate issues to not feel self-conscious about using these vital products as it is without you posting this rubbish.”

“It’s an astonishing world we live in,” Russell Bennett, sports desk editor for The Age, responded. “Not only can blokes buy tampons, blokes who have prostate cancer or – in the case of my old man – advanced Parkinson’s and associated dementia, can buy and wear protective underwear like these.”

At the end of the day, what’s important is that even if these were menstruation products marketed towards trans men, that’s not something that would concern Swan (or any other cis man) in any way.

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