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Wales NHS website censors terms “girls” and “women”

To avoid causing offense.
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Bloody Brilliant, a website created by the Welsh government and NHS Wales to provide advice on menstruation and periods, has censored the terms “girls” and “women” from its guidance on periods.

Instead, it is calling them “people who bleed” or “half the population.”

“We are Bloody Brilliant, a source of knowledge, support, information and empowerment for young people who bleed across Wales,” the website states.

“Our aim is to break the taboo around periods by encouraging conversation on one of the most normal, natural topics that half the world’s population experience.”

The website has about six topics related to periods, but does not mention girls or women once.

“When a child’s body begins to develop including growing pubic hair, boobs starting to develop, growing taller and starting your period.”

Midwifery and nursing expert at Western Sydney University Dr. Karleen Gribble described the changes as “unhelpful” to the Daily Mail.

“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,” she said. “Neither of these things are good.”

She added that the language could be confusing to young 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 added.

Gribble said that what Bloody Brilliant was doing was erasing women, not inclusivity. They could have achieved inclusivity by adding a section dedicated to those with gender dysphoria.

“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.”

“Ironic when you think of how people didn’t used to be able to say the word “period” or name the parts of women’s bodies – and just as we were starting to make some headway with challenging that, here we are with this new taboo,” Gribble said.

“Imagine how much effort it must have taken to create an entire website about periods without mentioning the word woman or girl once.”

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.

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