Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has slammed the decision to appoint a man as Scotland’s first ever ‘period dignity officer’.
We revealed yesterday that former personal trainer Jason Grant – whose most recent job was as a student wellbeing officer with Dundee and Angus College – was chosen for the pioneering position in the Tay region.
News of the Dundonian’s role came as Scotland became the first country in the world where public institutions are legally enforced to provide free period products.
But it prompted a backlash, one which reached the global stage when the 65-year-old widely regarded as the greatest female player to pick up a racquet had her say.
Responding to a tweet about the decision, Czech icon Navratilova wrote: “And this is just f***ing ridiculous…”
She later told a follower: “Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever?!?
“This is absurd.”
Actress Frances Barber also criticised the appointment.
The stage and screen veteran tweeted: “I don’t know how Scottish women feel about this, but as an English lover of Scotland, I’m fuming.”
In a discussion with writer Susan Dalgety, she later added: “I wish I could say I was shocked, but I’ve been following this.
“It will only get worse. Do not wheesht.”
Leading tennis coach Judy Murray wrote: “FFS.”
Dundee’s athletics legend Liz McColgan added: “Is this for real?”
Grant – hired on a two-year fixed-term contract – is employed by a project team that also includes Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.
His plan is to work directly with colleges and local authorities to ensure period dignity across the area.
‘Positive male role model’
He told us: “I’m absolutely buzzing about it. 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.”
He added: “I was chosen as the best person for the job and for me, it’s irrespective of gender.
“Having a guy can’t be a bad thing – it grabs the headlines, but that’s not the reason I was put into the post!
“For me it’s about driving the discussion from a young age so boys and girls are included and there’s no hiding it away because that keeps it as a taboo topic.
“I want to be seen as a positive male role model.”