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?