Period product company slammed for referring to women as 'bleeders'

Period product company that referred to ‘bleeders’ in an Instagram post is accused of ‘erasing women’ with ‘dehumanising and insulting’ language

  • London-based period product company Yoppie has come under criticism online
  • In statement shared to Instagram referred to those who mensturate as ‘bleeders’
  • Said most ‘bleeders’ are ‘not in touch with symptoms’ of their menstrual cycle
  • Furious social media users branded their language ‘objectifying in the extreme’

A period products company has come under fire for ‘erasing women’ in an Instagram post referring to ‘bleeders’ rather than women, which critics have described as ‘insulting and dehumanising’. 

London-based company Yoppie released a statement on Instagram which said the majority of ‘bleeders’ are not aware of the ‘symptoms’ which occur during the menstrual cycle. 

Furious social media users were quick to point out the ‘misogynistic and objectifying’ language used, which company founder Daniella Peri told FEMAIL was designed to ‘bust the social stigma’ around period blood, as well as being inclusive to ‘people who menstruate who are not women’.

Founded in 2016, Yoppie is a subscription-based period product company providing vegan and eco-friendly tampons, pads and liners, as well as supplements and skincare products. 

Swedish-born entrepreneur Peri studied Marketing & Communications and Economics at Uppsala University before working for various London-based start-ups.

She worked for a privately owned high-level consulting firm in London before founding the company in 2016, leaving work to run the business full time in November 2019. 

London-based company Yoppie came under fire after releasing a statement on Instagram which said the majority of ‘bleeders’ are not aware of the ‘symptoms’ which occur during their menstrual cycle

The Instagram post from the company’s founder Peri, read: ‘Most bleeders know how they are impacted by their period, but unfortunately aren’t in touch with their feelings and symptoms in the other phases of their cycle. We’re here to change that.’ 

In the caption to accompany the post, the company wrote: ‘Our founder & CEO Daniella Peri wants to quit talking about that period and shine a light on the full menstrual cycle.

‘Yoppie is here to empower women to take control of their menstrual journey through products and education to ‘Ride Your Cycle’!’ 

The post was met with furious comments from Instagram users, with one writing: ‘Are you having a laugh. Bleeder is a dated misogynistic term, why are you using it here??’ 

Furious social media users were quick to point out the ‘misogynistic and objectifying’ language being used to describe people who have periods, the majority of whom are women

‘I find the term ‘bleeders’ offensive. Why are you dehumanising women – your client base?’, agreed another user.

A third wrote: ‘Bleeders? What is wrong with saying that girls and women get periods? As for symptoms, the menstrual cycle is not an illness! Beyond insulting.’  

The post received further backlash after being shared on Twitter by author and women’s rights campaigner Milli Hill, who claimed the language was ‘erasing women’. 

‘As a copywriter I’m really genuinely bewildered by this… Are they some kind of naive startup with literally no clue into the minds of their demographic?! Did no one in the company consider that this language might be objectifying in the extreme? Did they do any market research?’, wrote one user. 

Another said: ”Bleeders’? My god, that’s even more dehumanizing and insulting than ‘menstruators’. FFS, they’re adopting terms intended to cast women as sub-human and just running with it as if it’s okay. This is NOT okay.’

The post received further backlash after being shared on Twitter by author and women’s rights campaigner Milli Hill, who claimed the language was ‘erasing women’

”Bleeders’?!!! Ugh! Just shown this to late teens daughter (aka ‘bleeder’) – nope, not a brand she wants to associate with, let alone purchase. What are these people on?!’, wrote a third user. 

Another commented: ‘Calling women ‘bleeders’ is so disgusting. They can stick their period products where the sun doesn’t shine with that language.’ 

Founder and CEO of Yoppie Peri said of the criticism: ‘I recently referred to women as ‘bleeders’, but also in the same post used ‘women’. I used the word ‘bleeders’ for our new campaign ‘Ride your cycle’ as I feel it best describes the point we are trying to make; that ‘menstrual health’ is so much more than the days you bleed.

‘Yoppie is focussed on being a brand welcoming all those who have a menstrual cycle – it’s what we do. But, being at the forefront of menstrual health, how we describe it and talk to our customers is fraught with challenges, mistakes and learnings. After all that’s part of being a genuine brand.

Twitter users were quick to criticise the brand ‘insulting and dehumanising’ with one even suggesting the language depicts women as ‘subhuman’ 

‘We recognise the menstrual cycle is a biological function. We should be proud of this cycle, of bleeding from our uterus, it’s what makes us different. So we want to have this conversation, to bust the social stigma of talking about it publicly.

‘We strongly believe all women, girls and people with a menstrual cycle should feel welcome at Yoppie. We also understand there are many women who don’t have periods, and some people who menstruate who are not women. We’re proud to host a safe space for anyone wishing to take charge of their menstrual health.

‘If this conversation increases discussion within families and friendship groups to the level that people now talk about mental health – surely this is a great thing? We must remove any stigma of the menstrual cycle and periods and open up the conversation.

‘The big question is how can brands like Yoppie talk directly to their customers, simply and eloquently, without causing offense to many. Can we, is that even possible?

‘I myself am a woman. But I understand many of our customers are not. I also understand it is neither my place nor that of Yoppie to tell anyone how they should identify.

‘We’re an open, straight talking and transparent brand that is trying to navigate the right language. We will continue to promote that discrimination prevents all people from having equal opportunities – and we make no apology for that stance. This is the hard conversation everyone needs to have and we’re here to have it. Join the conversation’. 

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