Boycott These Sexist Period Panties By Buying Literally Any Other Kind Of Underwear

period panties kickstarter

When I heard about an online campaign to create a line of women’s underwear specifically for that time of the month– ones that feature cool artwork and funny phrases– I was pumped. I’m totally in support of anything that destigmatizes periods, and I’m totally in support of quirky products that celebrate ladydom. I excitedly clicked on the Kickstarter page… and then I saw a dude’s face.

The Kickstarter page describes Period Panties, created by a guy from Chicago, as “Fun underwear that high-fives you for being a woman and serves as a friendly reminder to others!” The page goes on to ask, “Why settle for that old ratty or granny pair that you always wear?”

Hold up. If these were created by a woman, I might be into the suggestion that you should treat yourself by wearing comfortable-but-cute underwear during that time of the month to remind yourself that you’re hot and worth it. But when a dude– a dude who doesn’t menstruate– is spreading the gospel that women should go out of their way to look un-ratty, I get mad. I get really mad. First of all, women are under no obligation to buy undergarments that you deem acceptable. Second of all, it’s very reasonable to wear your least-hot underwear when you’re uncomfortable, not in a sexy mood, and there’s a chance they’re going to get ruined anyway. And the video message on the Kickstarter page is even more irritating:

[My girlfriend] was really tired of rejecting her totally awesome boyfriend’s advances during her time of the month. Well, he didn’t know that she was on her period, and she didn’t feel like explaining it every time. Obviously, the best solution was to create a pair of underwear that explained Now really isn’t a good time.

Uhh… why can’t your partner just tell you she isn’t in the mood to have sex? Why does she need an excuse? Are you implying that you expect her to have sex for the rest of the month and that this is her week off? I’m majorly weirded out by that message. Our writer Julia agrees, putting it better than I can: “That’s really effed up. Like you zip your mouth closed and point to your mons pubis and mouth ‘read the sign’?'” (I made sure to compliment her brilliant word choice–don’t worry– and she added, “I never pass up an opportunity to say ‘mons pubis,’ ever. It’s objectively the funniest thing.”)

Look, dude. We appreciate that you’re trying to make something funny and cool for females (I’m at least going to convince myself that that’s what you’re doing, for the sake of my sanity), but you’re majorly missing the mark. Let’s maybe leave the menstruation talk to people who menstruate. Yeah?

Via Kickstarter

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    • elle

      Omg Julia is too funny! Why settle for ratty underwear? Because they are probably going to get ruined and hell no am I ruining my cute undies. Hydrogen peroxide can only do so much…..

    • Muggle

      yeah, I’ll stick with the 6-packs of cotton panties from Wal-Mart, thanks.

    • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

      also, I really like my period underwear. What’s the problem with ratty, stained underwear? If you don’t like it, don’t come near it.

    • K Landoni

      Ugh, that style is not even comfortable.

    • Char

      I think I would like this idea more A. if, as you mention, came from a women B. didn’t involve such hideous and somewhat juvenile designs. I understand that this is a kickstarter and these are prototypes that may not be used in the final end product but I am also no longer an awkward 15-year-old who shops at Hot Topic.

      I, too, will stick to my usual all-black cotton undies that are cheap and comfortable.

    • Michelle

      This article says exactly what I was thinking a couple of days ago when I first discovered them! I’m glad to see this because up until this point the only articles I’ve seen online have been praising him for being so forward and accepting. Thanks for writing this!

    • Alyssa O’Brien

      I personally love the idea and yea he’s a little insensitive but I love the idea of them. I think they are cute and I love that style of underwear. It would have been much cooler if a woman made them but the fact that id feel comfortable in just those and a tshirt walking around the house…. I do that a lot and don’t want my bf who I live with to see my ratty panties. My bf would get a kick out of these and I find them absolutely hilarious and would buy them. He’s not making people wear them… He came up with the idea of it and if you choose not to buy them then don’t but personally I will be buying a couple pairs just cuz I think they are ingenious and I love them and get a kick out of them. Not to mention I’m so sick of those plain panties. The idea of him trying to destigmatize the whole idea of the period and have fun with it is something that’s awesome…. Most men I know are still totally grossed out by it.

    • Gabriel Bongiorno

      Um…it’s pretty sexist to say that you would like this idea better if it came from a woman.

      • Julia Sonenshein

        Nope.

      • Agnes

        Bien sûr! Only men can be sexist, non? Women are perfect angels.

    • http://www.risingupward.com/ Rose

      As someone else said, the style is super uncomfortable unless you have a super skinny teenagers body. If you’re going to design underwear for women, and you’re not one… at least do a poll over what’s comfortable! And the guy devil thing is weird – it should be a she-devil at the very least. :p

    • Julia Sonenshein

      Fuck Hayley, you nailed this. Fuck this guy. Also, if he wants to de-stigmatize periods, make a product for men. I can’t speak for all women, but I personally feel great about my period and don’t feel like buying something to help me deal.

    • zombie

      If you don’t like what he has to sell, don’t buy them. I think they are hilarious as underwear in general. Its you money just like its mine. We will ware what we want when we want, this guy just has something else out there.

    • Jenn

      I think these are funny. Periods suck but are part of life why not laugh at these that’s what they are jokes not some attack against women.

    • Sam

      I think this is a hilarious idea. It’s brilliant. I don’t see why we have to automatically go into “this is sexist” mode over something cute. Honestly, it’s a funny twist on our periods. Whats so bad about that? Besides, think of it this way, if you hate them so much, wear these during the week and you will never messy up your favorite underwear ever again. Also, the guy may have sounded douchie but he was probably just joking. Don’t be so sensitive about this crap. Guys joke, women joke, it’s a part of life. But seriously, where can I buy these?

    • Polly Peters

      Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you. These panties (well, the commercial and the design) irritated me from the outset. Rather than support this guy who has turned the inconvenience of actually communicating with his partner into a profit…. I googled period panties made by women. I found THINX.

      An article can be found here: https://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/someone-invented-actual-period-underpants–we-re-in—210946100.html

      Within the THINX mission statement, it’s noted that 67 million women in Africa alone are without basic sanitary supplies, as such with a purchase of Thinx, they donate seven reusable pads to…. an organization. I skimmed that part. Anyway, here is their official page. http://www.shethinx.com/collections/

      These chones aren’t designed for heavier period days, but I’m betting can provide some solid back up for heavy flow days, and as stated on their website can replace liners all together. Plus, they’re actually pretty.

      Sexist oppression really only works in one direction. While women can engage in lateral oppression, women seeking to support women owned business isn’t sexist against men (or their entrepreneurship) as business enterprises still slant in the favor of men and male owned businesses. Since sexism is the manifestation of an institutional power imbalance, it gets real hard for women to be sexist against men…

    • D Johns

      What a complete sexist. You say you loved the idea so much you made the entire first paragraph about it, then go on to say it’s a guy and he missed the mark? That obviously isn’t the case, you loved the idea then found out it was a guy, in comparison if this just popped up in stores not having a clue who made them, you would still love the idea.

    • Lorenz

      Haley, go find Gloria Stenheim and both of you can jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and do the rest of us a Big Favor. Get a frickin’ life!