Backlash after Scotland appoints man as first ever period poverty rights officer: 'When is this idiocy going to end?'

The appointment has been described as "a bad joke" with criticism mounting

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The appointment of a man as Scotland’s first ever period poverty rights officer has been met with wide-scale criticism.

Jason Grant’s appointment to the position for the Tay region comes as Scotland became the first country in the world to protect the right to free period products in law when new legislation came into force on Monday.

The Period Products Act means councils and education providers will be legally required to make free sanitary products available to those who need them.

Since 2017, around £27million has been spent to provide access in public settings.

Scotland became the first country in the world to protect the right to free period products in law on Monday
Scotland became the first country in the world to protect the right to free period products in law on Monday
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The legislation was proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon and it was unanimously backed in the Scottish Parliament in 2020.

Mr Grant, who was brought in to oversee the promotion of the new legislation, said he’s “absolutely buzzing” about his new role.

He added: “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."

Mr Grant, in conversation with the Dundee Courier, added: “And it's important whatever we do is done with dignity, so people know that there's no judgement."

But his appointment, which was funded by the Scottish Government, has been met with outrage from many people on social media.

One person wrote: “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.”

While another added: “Making a man the period dignity officer feels like a bad joke.”

A third person said: “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,

“Where is the dignity in constantly insulting women and girls?”

A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group 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."