The co-founder and chief executive of pro-trans Tampon company August is being dragged on social media after a TV appearance where she referred to women as “menstruators” and claimed her tampon brand is “gender inclusive.”
Harvard educated August CEO Nadya Okamoto, 25, appeared on a Gayle King’s CBS Mornings segment on Thursday titled “Changing the Game,” which highlights women making a difference.
Okamoto said on the segment that “periods make human life possible” and called a menstrual cycle “one of the most natural biological processes of live,” but failed to say that women were the ones who experience it.
Speaking about August, Okamoto said: “We’re also wanting a period positive, gender inclusive brand. We are August, on the pack it says ‘we’re here for everyone who menstruates.’ And I think especially in this age of transphobia it really means a lot to us to be a proudly gender-inclusive brand.”
She repeatedly referred to tampon customers as “menstruators,” sparking a flurry of backlash on social media from people claiming that woke culture wants to erase the word “women” to appease a small population of trans and non-binary people who also have periods.
“Gayle King is a clown for not stopping this woman when she said ‘menstruators,’” one user commented on CBS’s YouTube video of the morning segment.
“She better hope the trans buy a lot of them. Because I won’t,” one user wrote.
“Let me help her out: It’s WOMEN. Say it extra slow so she can understand,” another tweeted.
Another self-proclaimed “liberal” user said avoiding the word women “sounds ridiculous.”
And another likened Okamoto’s choice words to the hit Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts a totalitarian society that forces fertile women in sexual servitude to repopulate the society.
“Sounds like …. The Handmaiden’s Tale… ‘the menstruators’ .. what’s next? we’re asked to wear red coats and robes to identify as bleeders?” the user tweeted.
During the CBS segment, Okamoto explained how she’s been advocating for period poverty from as early as age 16 after having conversations with “homeless women” — the only instance during the conversation where she did use the word “women.”
“I heard these stories of people using things like toilet paper, brown paper grocery bags (and) cardboard to take care of their periods,” she added.
By age 19, Okamoto had founded nonprofit organization Period, which provided menstrual products to women in need. Her work with the group landed her a spot on Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21” list in 2017.
At the time, she was a sophomore at Harvard University, but penned a story for HuffPost just one year earlier where she said that her family was “legally homeless,” living out of “a backpack and a single suitcase” in a friend’s attic.
In 2020, period activist Ileri Jaiyeoba called out Okamoto for allegedly “lying about her history of housing insecurity and exploiting an untrue experience of homelessness to boost her platform under the term ‘legal homelessness.’”
In the scathing report, she also cited both her own and others’ experience working with Okamoto and getting involved in the Period organization. Jaiyeoba claimed Okamoto was manipulative, and quoted volunteers who called Okamoto’s work “faux-activism”
Okamoto responded with a tweet insisting that she “never lied about my housing situation.”
“I avoided using the term ‘homeless’ after I realized people assumed I lived in shelters…. So I now more appropriately talk about my past experience as a period of housing instability,” she penned.
Period was a precursor to August, which Okamoto co-founded alongside Nick Jain — the founder of Gen Z digital marketing firm JUV Consulting — in 2020.
Okamoto graduated from Harvard the following year.
Representatives for August did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
August’s website touts the brand as “period case for everyone who menstruates” and, like Okamoto on the CBS segment, refrains from using the word “women” or even “female.”
Under it’s “About” section, it says August’s products are for “anyone who menstruates — regardless of gender, race, culture, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds.”
The company also prides itself on offering pad wrappers that are compostable and break down in water.
August recently struck a deal to be sold in over 400 Target locations nationwide.
According to Target’s site, one pack of 16 regular August tampons runs for $9.99.
The smallest boxes of competitor Tampax, meanwhile, is 24 tampons, which will run customers $10.19.