Store asks female employees to wear 'period badge' so people know when they're menstruating, gets trashed on social media
The badge represents a manga character called Seiri-chan—or Little Miss Period—and is a symbol of periods in Japan
A store has sparked controversy after encouraging female employees to wear badges signaling they're having periods.
In a bid to break the stigma surrounding menstruation, Michi Kake in Osaka, Japan, has introduced a badge to let colleagues and customers know when it's that time of the month. The badge represents a manga character called Seiri-chan—or Little Miss Period—which is a symbol of periods in the country, according to Japanese publication WWD.
The initiative has received major backlash on social media. "It’s all kinds of wrong," one Twitter user wrote of the non-mandatory initiative. "You can just imagine people saying she must in a bad mood because of PMS. Makes me sick to my stomach. Stupid move in 2019."
"Any employer that asked me to wear a badge when I'm on my period would be getting sued," another added.
Michi Kake makes products dedicated to female sexual health, including bedding, clothing, sanitary products, as well as cosmetics for women going through "that time of the month."
The store opened to the public on November 22 and has four categories of products catering to different stages of a woman's period.
"In Japan, there is a tendency for women’s sexuality and periods to be subjects 'not to be mentioned,'" Takahiro Imazu, who manages the store, told WWD.
However, several women online did not think the badge was appropriate.
"End period stigma by having menstruating staff wear a period badge to announce they're bleeding," one wrote.
"Seems like a perfectly sane and not at all terrible and stigmatizing idea," another sarcastically added.
"My period badge is my flawless 'undead look': eyes barely open, zero energy, and instead of a stimulating convo, all anyone gets from me is a grunt but said grunt gets upgraded to tolerant eye-contact if offered a decent cookie," a third quipped.
Nonetheless, Imazu did acknowledge the possibility of the shop becoming embroiled in controversy.
"Not all customers will react positively to [this shop], but the fem techboom is growing, and the values of young people are changing with it," she added.