• Thursday, September 29, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Appointment of male ‘period dignity officer’ in Scotland sparks outrage

Jason Grant will assume the role for the Tay Cities region.

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

A council in Scotland has been accused of ‘mansplaining’ after appointing a man as ‘period dignity officer’. Many on social media termed the move ‘peak gender idiocy’, according to a media report.

Mansplaining is a pejorative term meaning “to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner”.

Former personal trainer Jason Grant will assume the role for the Tay Cities region which includes promoting access to free sanitary products across schools and colleges and discussing issues around menopause.

Many including former world number one tennis player Martina Navratilova termed the appointment as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘institutionalised mansplaining’, The Telegraph reported.

Recently, the Scottish government introduced the Period Products Act. Under which councils and education providers are legally obliged to offer out tampons and pads for free.

The legislation, which was originally proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, was unanimously approved by the Scottish Parliament in 2020.

The latest controversy happened on the same day country launched this flagship law, the newspaper report added.

Grant attracted controversy when he claimed that the issue of period dignity affects men and boys too and people regardless of gender.

“I’m absolutely buzzing about it. It’s definitely pioneering as Scotland is the first to do this. It’s about making people aware of the availability of period products for anyone of any gender, whenever they need it,” he was quoted as saying by the Dundee Courier.

“And it’s important whatever we do is done with dignity, so people know that there’s no judgement.”

Posting on Twitter, Martina Navratilova branded the appointment “F****** ridiculous”.

Author Susan Dalgety said: “[I] Wonder if he’s ever experienced the horror of a blood stained dress in public, or the gut-wrenching fear of a missed period? No, didn’t think so.”

She added: “It’s about making ‘anyone of any gender’ aware of period products, he says. Jason, I have news for you, only females menstruate. Any more questions? PMS? Endometriosis?

“I don’t disagree that boys should be taught more about menstruation, but appointing a bloke as the first period dignity officer is institutionalised mansplaining.”

Baroness Fox said: “When the Welsh [governments] period campaign addressed people who bleed & failed to mention women/girls, we thought it = peek gender idiocy. But oh no, hold my beer, Scottish gov here to ramp up indignity.”

SNP Ian Blackford said that it would have been nice if the officer appointed were a woman.

It is learnt that the role, with a salary of between £33,153 and £36,126 a year on a fixed-term contract running into 2024, was advertised online in a joint partnership between Dundee and Angus College and Dundee City Council.

A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group, told The Telegraph: “With all partners in the working group Equal Opportunities Employers, Jason was the strongest candidate.

“By changing the culture, encouraging debate and removing the stigma around periods, we look forward to supporting the delivery of this important work across the region.”

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