There has been a huge backlash in Scotland after the SNP appointed a man as the country’s first ever period dignity officer.
Jason Grant was handed the post for the Tay region of Scotland, with duties including promoting access to free sanitary products following the introduction of the Period Products Act.
Discussing his new job, Mr Grant said having a man in the role could benefit everyone because trans men also have periods.
The Act came into force in Scotland on Monday, and puts into law that tampons and sanitary towels must be made available by councils and education providers to anyone who need them.
Jason Grant was handed the post for the Tay region of Scotland, with his duties set to include promoting access to free sanitary products
The Bill was initially brought forward by Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon and passed in November 2020, and is intended to eliminate period poverty and help households under financial strain.
It was unanimously approved by MSPs after winning the support of the Scottish Government and the other opposition parties in Holyrood and became law earlier this week.
Mr Grant, a former personal trainer from Dundee, was hired to oversee the promotion of the act. The appointment is funded by the Scottish Government but is not a government position.
According to his LinkedIn page, he was also previously a Student Wellbeing Officer at Dundee and Angus College.
But many have expressed outrage at the decision to give the post to a man, with several taking to social media to blast the SNP for the decision.
Oh dear God! When is this idiocy going to end? A man as Scotland’s ‘period dignity officer’ will, of course, be comfortable and dignifying for young girls,’ one wrote.
‘Making a man the period dignity officer feels like a bad joke,’ another said.
The Period Products Bill: Where to get free sanitary products
Under the new legislation, Scottish councils can decide the precise measurements put in place when it comes to providing free sanitary products.
However, they have a legal obligation to ensure ‘anyone who needs’ them can access a range of the products ‘reasonably easily’.
The products must be made available by councils as well as education providers.
Schools, colleges and universities should make them available in toilets.
People can find their nearest collection point through the PickupMyPeriod mobile app which was launched earlier this year by social enterprise Hey Girls with Scottish Government support.
‘Yet again the SNP deliberately put two fingers up to women and insult them by appointing a MALE Tayside period dignity officer, whatever that is,’ another said.
‘Where is the dignity in constantly insulting women and girls?’
Another said they were ‘absolutely appalled’ over the decision.
‘Because women aren’t capable of managing their own dignity, we have to draft in a man #RethinkTheAppointment,’ they wrote.
Meanwhile, others questioned whether the role was necessary at all.
‘I’m not convinced that appointing a ‘period dignity officer’ is the best use of the public’s money,’ one said.
‘There are many other wants [and] needs in Scotland’s society that could benefit from the amount needed for that salary [and] associated costs. But perhaps they would bring less publicity!’
‘Sorry why do we even need a period dignity officer?,’ another asked. ‘Wasting more tax payers money to let people know they get free sanitary products’.
Mr Grant told the ‘I’m absolutely buzzing about it,’ he told the Dundee Courier. ‘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.
‘And it’s important whatever we do is done with dignity, so people know that there’s no judgement.’
A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group, which comprises Dundee and Angus College, Angus Council, Dundee City Council and Perth College said: ‘This new role, funded by the Scottish Government, was created to promote and implement new legislation, specifically focused on project management.
‘The role builds on some fantastic work which has been gathering speed across the Tay region for several years, led by a passionate group of people of all genders, ages and backgrounds.
‘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.’
MailOnline has approached the SNP for comment.