Guardian newspaper blasted after replacing 'women' with 'menstruators'

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The Guardian newspaper has been ridiculed on Twitter after referring to women as 'menstruators'.

The liberal-leaning newspaper opted for the unusual choice of word in a tweet about a poll of women on their experience of period pain at work.

'Last year, YouGov asked 538 menstruators about their experiences of period pain in the workplace; 57% said it had affected their work,' the newspaper said.

The tweet then linked to The Guardian's article on the YouGov survey, which The Times columnist Naomi Firsht said had originally referred to 'menstruators' before the term was removed.  

The tweet was met by a barrage of complaints on Twitter.  British author and journalist Rose George chided the paper for using a 'horrible word'. 'I write loads about menstruation, including for @guardian . If I ever write the word "menstruators," it will be because I have been tied to a radiator and forced to. Horrible word that erases women. Really beneath you, @guardian_b2b #thewordiswomen,' she tweeted.  Another Twitter user questioned why The Guardian had not taken the same approach in a different article about prostate cancer among men.  'Clicking on the link shows that YouGov asked 538 *women.* You're comfortable using the word men in today's article about prostrate cancer. Why are they not "ejaculators" but women are replaced by a description based on a bodily function?' wrote Twitter user DadAndTwo. Others questioned whether it was even accurate to use the word 'menstruators' for women.  'Does a woman have to be menstruating to qualify as a 'menstruator'? Is a woman who is not currently menstruating to be called a 'dormant menstruator'? Is a woman who no longer menstruates to be known as a 'former menstruator'? Is a man to be categorised as a 'non-menstruator'?' wrote Jim Gibson.  Firsht called the article the 'final straw' and part of a wider trend threatening 'the erasure of the word "women"' after the Wellcome Collection in London advertised a series of art workshops that would include discussions on 'womxn'. 'I am not a walking cervix or a menstruator. I am a W‑O‑M‑A‑N,' Firsht wrote.

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