Hey feminists! Have you ever wondered if using tampons instead of pads sends the message that you are ashamed of your body’s natural lady-functions? No? Well, The Daily Beast is here to tell you that you are wrong like Donkey Kong about that.
In an article titled Are Tampons Anti-Feminist?, one writer muses on our anti-feminist desire to keep our periods on the DL. She writes:
Noticeability is the watchword in menstrual-hygiene advertising. Ads exaggerate the invisibility of tampons by showing women in extremely tight white clothes, says Johnston-Robledo, which implies that the less you see the product, the less you see the period and the hotter you are. “I think that is sort of a contemporary phenomenon that has a lot to do with the sexualization of girls,” she explains.“You can still retain this sexy image and menstruate at the same time.”
Wait, who said anything about girls? And I always thought the white clothes were meant to show how well the tampons worked, not to show you how to be sexy, but whatever.
Tampons aren’t a bloody mess; pads are. They put your fluid on display, they can smell, and you can’t flush them down a toilet—in short, they are visible. “Part of the stigma is the need to hide [the menstrual blood] right away and not feel it against your body,” Johnston-Robledo says, and adds that she thinks women who are more comfortable with their bodies “would be more likely to use products where you really have to look at and interact with your fluid as opposed to clogging your body with a tampon and just tossing it into the toilet.” She considers pads the middle of this continuum, with a menstrual cup being the polar opposite to the unobtrusive O.b.
Wait, how is a menstrual cup the opposite of an applicator-less tampon that forces you to stick your finger up your blood-coated vagina? I know menstrual cups are touted as the crunchy hippie feminist moon option, but when used properly, they keep the blood up inside you until you’re ready to take it out, just like tampons. ARE MENSTRUAL CUPS UN-FEMINIST, TOO? You’d best not say that too loudly, lest earth mothers travel from miles around to cut a bitch.
I think this goes without saying, but just because you do not want to menstruate all over yourself and everyone around you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ashamed of your body. I mean, I’m not ashamed of peeing and pooping either, but I also don’t do those things while meeting with editors or walking to the store to buy almond milk. The idea that anyone who does not see her Shark Week as a magical time of the month to be celebrated with some fucking neo-Celtic fertility ceremony is a bad feminist is patently absurd. In fact, I’d say mastery over our bodies’ more annoying tendencies is a strike in favor of women’s equality. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy swimming in the ocean and having non-procreative sex just as much as men do. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean I have to honor it.
And as far as “being sexy” goes, I haven’t dated any men who were like “ew, gross!” when my period was happening, but they also weren’t lining up to eat/drink my bloody, unfertilized ovums either, because that would have been weird. I leave you with our friend Dave Foley, who has a good attitude towards menstruation: