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Tampon Ads May 9, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in menstruation, tampon, tv.
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In response to the recent menstruation posts, I decided to post some Tampon Ads (some old, some new). Particularly interesting to me was how difficult it was to find these ads on youtube, as most of the ads that came up on the search were either a) in another language–what does that mean about the US perception of periods versus a Latin American/Russian, etc? b) spoofs of past commercials–the most common one dealing with the absorbent powers of the tampon c) homemade, yes, homemade serious commercials.

I think we noted it early on this semester, but please notice how the actual period is never really addressed in a forthright manner. Instead, you see women talking, playing sports, giggling, striping–you never actually even see a bathroom.

Anyway, for your enjoyment…check ’em out!

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1. jsaffold - May 10, 2007

The last commercial in particular cracks me up because I was watching television with a guy friend and he was grossed out by all the flips and activity the cheerleaders were doing. Ignorant comment in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… He then proceeded to say “Aren’t they afraid that they’re going to squirt somebody in the eye? They need to sit their asses down.” At first I couldn’t stop laughing, because many males have these vast misconceptions of what menstruation actually is like, and granted while they have no personal experience with it, the “squirting” and “gushing” (sorry, this is getting gross) descriptions is just so hyperbolic. This is all to touch on males’ relationship with periods–in my experience it is mostly one big gross-out factor for guys. We were talking in class about how young girls are often protected from knowing about the gory details of pregnancy and menstruation–young boys, at least from what i’ve seen, are kept at an even greater distance from even knowing about the logistics of how they came into the world, or what really happened on their “birthday.” This lack of knowledge seems to persist into adolescence and early adulthood when, though men may be aware of what happens, they have no interest in really knowing about it or, God forbid, seeing anything having to do with it. The aforementioned friend even grimaces when we walk past the pad/tampon aisle in the drugstore. But I’m not saying all these things to say that my friend is insensitive, because I think that his reactions are definitely socialized and I wouldn’t be surprised if many guys acted the same way. Periods and babies are definitely “girly business,” and while certainly men are becoming more and more involved in childrearing and sometimes births, menstruation and all associated symbols are left among women, and men seem content to have it that way. But I cannot claim to be able to speak from even one man’s perspective so it would be interesting to gain a male view on the amount of knowledge children receive about stuff like periods and how that knowledge manifests itself later in life. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever known a guy who rushes past the pad/tampon aisle, or as he calls it, “the period place.”


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