Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

I’d Rather Hold Your Bike than Your Tampons

April 19th, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling


Is it wrong that I like this ad because it makes men look foolish for fearing tampons? It’s not that I mean to endorse mocking men as a class, it’s just that unlike the Kotex “Ridiculous” ad, this new ad frames something other than menstruation as this lady’s biggest problem.

  

14 Responses to “I’d Rather Hold Your Bike than Your Tampons”

  1. [...] Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Women's Studies, cycling, reproductive rights, silliness, women's health | via  Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. [...]

  2. Therese says:

    I think the ad is pretty accurate when it comes to some guys and tampons (ask Vinnie about his Tampon Case experiences!). I assume this ad was scripted and staged for the commercial shoot, but I wonder if they did hidden camera interviews first to see what the reactions would be.

    • Elizabeth Kissling says:

      I think you’re right about the scripting, Therese. And sadly, many guys are like this. My own dear father, may he rest in peace, *hated* buying menstrual products.

      And I only have to mention my research ONCE in a class (that’s not a Women’s Studies class) to have some student write on my course evaluations that “She talks about menstruation ALL THE TIME.” Of course, those evals are anonymous so that student could be a woman or a man . . . .

      • Jane Dora says:

        I still don’t get it, in my experience guys have always been okay with menstruation.

        My boyfriends and male friends have to be “period-hip fellas” as they have to be with me around, lol, and like Lauren I’d not date one who wasn’t already…I don’t think my sex drive could cope with sex-free periods!! Many of my ex’s continue to be mini-menstrual-activists in their own right after me too. When publicly carrying around my menstrual bag (bag covered in menstrual-themed buttons) the women avoided me, but I had so many fantastic conversations with men who would come talk to me specifically because of the menstrual bag.

        I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever known a man freaked out by menstruation, the occasional ‘ew’ in a joking uneasy way as it’s expected of them, but nothing more than that. Am I just lucky?

  3. Chella says:

    I don’t buy it. The dudes I know would get right on that, even if only to meet a nice looking, confident woman. If I had a bike I’d do my own straw poll tomorrow. Any one in NY got a spare bike? I know some pretty enlightened dudes but I also know some fairly …uh… traditional ones. If I were outside a drugstore, bothered a guy already going inside, handed him the cash and gave him a brand and a size, dude would deliver.

    This ad serves to divide and conquer. There are plenty of period-hip fellas out there. Excluding them from the discourse puts us back in the 80s at least.

    You’re not wrong to like it, Liz. The acting is funny, and the concept is funny. I’m not happy with guys being the butt of the joke either though. The joke should be on the Femcare industry, if Kotex would have us believe their initial motivation. I think you were right with your first assessment – this is like the ‘obey your thirst’ campaign.

    And if I hear ‘YOU. BUY. KOTEX.’ subliminally one more time, I just may frikkin’ buy some.

    Chella

    • Laura Wershler says:

      Chella, you gave me a good idea. I’m going to buy a box of this hot new Kotex and carry it in my purse, even though I don’t need it. I’m going to start offering it to women I meet, letting them know that if they need a tampon, they can count on me to provide. I’ll let the colourful femcare fall strategically out of my purse and monitor reaction from men and women alike. And I’ll spout the “break the cycle” line to explain why I’m doing it if anyone asks. Just my little contribution to the normalization of menstruation. And I’ll make sure to tell anyone to whom I give a tampon that it is meant to carry them over just until they can access their Diva Cup.

    • Prexus says:

      Chella, I’m glad to see that you acknowledge that “There are plenty of period-hip fellas out there.” :) I’m surprized to hear that you seem to agree that you know many guys who would definitely be capable of performing such a feat! In my eyes, I still see very few guys who are open when it comes to menstruation OR feminine hygiene for that matter. Heck, even out of my own group of guy friends – I dare not mention “periods” because one of them actually puked his food back up when I said that. At first he didn’t notice the context of my use, but when he found out I meant “menstruation – period” not “period” as what you put at the end of a sentence, his hot dog, ketchup included, came flying out.

      Maybe you just know better guys than I do =] Unfortunately if I were part of a hidden camera survey or something, they’d really be screwed with me because I’d actually go in, get the right one and come out with my head up… and perhaps with the box in my hand without a bag to conceal it? LOL… men and their menstrual shames… sigh. I would’ve really screwed up their video if I were the one asked, haha.. I’m sure they would’ve omitted me anyways :P

      - Prexus
      Author of MEN in Menstruation

    • Elizabeth Kissling says:

      Chella, I didn’t even get that until you posted this! U by Kotex = YOU. BUY. KOTEX. Ha!

  4. Chella says:

    My head may explode.

  5. Chella,

    Please don’t let your head explode.

    I think you’ve got a winner with the phrase “period-hip fellas” – I think if you printed it on t-shirts, it could be a big seller. Ka-Ching! Would be interesting to stand by with a clipboard, to gauge responses when men wore the t-shirt, or women wore it, or there’s some new band Period Hip Fellas! – Composed of all women. And they come storming into an ice cream parlor after a jam session, or hit the streets, etc. Anybody see “The Runaways” movie yet?

    Hope your head feels better, GK PS I get a laugh every time I see that Iceland volcano billowing ash clouds – and think of Tampax “Outsmart Mother Nature” campaign – I think that’s the new litmus test, for outsmarting “mother nature” – can you put the ash cloud back into the volcano? No? Then I don’t think you’ve outsmarted “yer old mum” yet! (oh well off on a Tampax tangent on a Kotex blog post).

  6. PS I also know many period-hip fellas…teens up through 80s! (as in 80 years old).

  7. Lauren Z says:

    Wow, I also failed to notice the U-by-Kotex/you buy Kotex thing. Good thing I don’t use tampons or I’d be on a Kotex buying frenzy by now, considering I’ve been watching these commercials on Youtube whenever I see that a new one is out.

    And I also know my fair share of period-hip fellas, partially because I refuse to date one who isn’t one already, or who can’t be converted. It’s amazing how much more they respond to it once they’re told that them that being scared of menstruation is a deal-breaker for the woman they want to be with.

  8. Chella Quint says:

    I have some unexpected free time in NY Friday. I’m very, very tempted to re-create this stunt. Anyone in NY with a bike? I’ve got five bucks, a winning smile and a female accomplice who’ll hang out in a drugstore waiting to see if anyone bites. :D

  9. Heather D says:

    I think it would matter where you did this stunt. I’d love to see results from these stunts in different parts of NYC, Chella, or even in front of different types of stores. I bet you’d get different results in the Village vs Manhattan vs Brooklyn vs Harlem vs…you get the picture. And also time of day and whether these men were with anyone would matter. If you do recreate the stunt, I’d love to see you post the results!

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