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Posts Tagged ‘women’

Tampon Commercials Offend Me

Warning: This post talks about tampons and menstruation. I hope it’s funny. If you’re not interested in taking a chance on a maybe funny post about periods then I will give you another topic to discuss in the comments section: Reality TV is it hilarious or horrific? 

vintage tampon ad

Guess what? I’m a young woman and that means I menstruate. Shocker! It’s really not that big of a deal except it means I’m capable of bringing new life into the world and that’s pretty freaking awesome. Unfortunately, when it comes to periods (and I’m not talking punctuation) people tend to focus on the monthly hemorrhaging that takes places. And yes, that aspect of it is unpleasant. Luckily for women today, we have an entire artillery of products to help make those periods just the slightest bit less unpleasant. One of those products is tampons. Yay tampons! If you’re a woman you know what I’m talking about, if you’re a man then suffice it to say that tampons make things easier for us ladies during visits from “Aunt Flow”.

Actually before I go on my tampon rant- I would like to say that there are like hundreds of ways women refer to their periods and while someone once pointed out to me that there were 3 slang terms for period for every 1 slang term for ejaculation and how that was just another example of society’s anti-woman stance, I have to be honest here, I think they’re lots of fun. Her point of course was that women feel the need to hide their natural bodily functions while men have no such concerns, but for me, it’s more about how thinking of code names for things is fun. I mean, I would much rather say “crimson wave” (Thanks Cher Horowitz!) than “menstruation” but that’s just me. It’s not about shame- it’s about trying to be more clever than everyone else.

So, you’ve probably seen tampon commercials. My guess is you’ve seen a lot of them. I know I have. And while I have always found them ridiculous, it wasn’t until recently that they started offending me. Not because they are almost all campy, unrealistic, and feature only thin and peppy young women (apparently they are the only ones entitled to “Happy periods”), but because they insult my intelligence. I mean, I’ve had my period for over a decade now. I’ve pretty much got it figured out, I know which products I like and which products I don’t. Sure, I’m willing to try something new, but you have to give me some real qualifiable information to convince me. And that is something all tampon commercials are short on- information. It’s lots of cheerleaders doing splits, and girls in white running through meadows, and most recently, snarky brunettes calling those other commercials ridiculous while being only slightly less ridiculous (Finally- a tampon that comes in box with an edgy design- *that’s* what I’ve been waiting for!). What I don’t hear much of is what those tampons will actually do for me. Is it more absorbant? It is less likely to give me toxic shock syndrome if I leave it in for more than 8 hours? Will it make me more qualified to recommend myself to strangers? Will it make all my PMS symptoms disappear? Will it enable me to become invisible? Seriously. These are questions that need answers. I need information. I need facts. I need science.

Apparently, facts and science is exactly the opposite of what tampon commercials think women understand or respond to. And that’s insulting. Listen, I know lots of market research goes into creating these commercials, so I’m sure the commercials were made with every intention of being most appealing to the targeted consumer, you know, women who menstruate, but I have to wonder what options were given for consideration. I mean, if asked to choose between a black box and a pink box, I would probably choose the black box. But if you told me that the black box was filled with the same old tampons and the pink box was filled with new and improved tampons that are more absorbant, more comfortable, and would do my laundry for me, then I would absolutely choose the pink box. It’s in the details people- it all about information.

Yeah– that’s right tampon advertisers, I want information. And I understand it. And I make most of my decisions based on solid amounts of it. In your face! Now, please stop making tampon commercials like this:

You see, you’re making fun of tampon commercials in a tampon commercial but you still didn’t tell me anything about your “new” tampons. All you showed me was a snarky brunette and your new “edgier” box design.I do very much appreciate your point about the blue liquid (because that’s ridiculous) but I also noticed you didn’t offer up any images of red liquid….so….not good enough Kotex. Not good enough.

Am I right, ladies?

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We Can Do It

Ladies, why are we so hard on one another? Why do we spend countless hours berating, degrading, gossiping, and judging one another? Why do we have to put so much effort into hurting one another? How about a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T and a lot less H-A-T-I-N-G? I don’t get it. I truly don’t. And that’s not to say I’m not guilty of it myself although I would like to think in the past few years I’ve made an effort at being more encouraging and supportive to my fellow females.

I started really thinking on this after attending a friends party. I had the following conversation with a friends girlfriend.

Her: Did you dye your hair blonde?

Me: I did indeed. I thought it would be fun to change it up a bit.

Her: Well, it looks a lot better than that ugly color you had before.

Me: Actually, that was my natural color.

Her: Exactly. So, are you dating anyone?

Me: Not at the moment no.

Her: Yeah, I don’t think most guys go for your type.

Me: What type am I?

Her: You know, “funny” (she was using sarcastic air quotes).

Me: Huh.

Usually, I wouldn’t let someone get away with talking to me like this without handing them a very large can of verbal whoop ass, but I didn’t want to make a scene at the party. Afterwards, though, I got a little angry. Not because she had insulted me but because I felt like she was slapping female solidarity in the face. Why couldn’t just talk about period cramps and preferred tampon brands? Or, failing menstruation chatter, couldn’t we talk about the one thing we have in common besides our vaginas, which is her boyfriend and my close friend. If it wasn’t for him, she and I wouldn’t even know or speak to one another but because we both care about him, shouldn’t we at least make an effort to be polite if not friendly to one another? I’m happy to be civil but she was determined to try and start something that would no doubt lead to fisticuffs. Why?

I don’t have the answer to this question but I see evidence of it everywhere. It’s particularly apparent and virulent in middle and high school, and there seems to be misconception that we grow out of it. Some of us do. Most of us don’t. But why does it even start? Who told us we are in constant competition with one another and that every chance we have, we need to humiliate, shame, and metaphorically piss all over one another?

Well, I’m not going to do it. Not. Going. To. Do. It.

I propose a girl code. And not just the girl code you already know about like, don’t flirt with other girls boyfriends/husbands. This is a new girl code.

1. Don’t hate on a girl if you don’t have a reason to hate her. Being pretty, smart, funny, or Gisele Bundchen, is not a good reason to hate someone. If they ran over your dog, hate away.

2. If your boyfriend/husband has a nice friend who is a girl- that doesn’t give you automatic license to criticize her everything. She probably doesn’t want to sex up your man. Unless she does and tells you or him she does, then criticize the hell out of her.

3. Don’t flirt/sleep with other girls boyfriends/husbands. I know I said this wasn’t a part of this code, but it’s a respect thing, ok? Just don’t do it. If you are flirting/sleeping with a guy and he doesn’t tell you he has a girlfriend/wife then he is the major douche-bag, if you know about his relationship then you join him in the douche-bag hall of shame. Again, this is a respect issue. Respect her, and respect yourself.

4. Say something nice. You don’t have to say something nice if you don’t really feel or think it, but when you see a girl with a cute new haircut, or cute shoes, or a pretty top on, tell her you think so. Sew the seeds of positivity within the female ranks.

5. When all else fails, operate under the laws of common human decency.

Are you with me ladies?? If so, raise your bras in the air! Together we can eliminate like 85% of the worlds bitchiness. True fact.

 

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Men's and Women's Toilets

There are separate bathrooms for a reason. Like this one.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the Women’s bathroom at my office and found myself facing a man. I froze. Usually, I’m not lost for words but this one had me befuddled. My first reaction was embarrassment for walking into a Men’s restroom. That would be so like me. My second reaction was indignation because I knew I hadn’t walked into a Men’s restroom- I was definitely in the Women’s- and how dare this guy make me feel embarrassed about walking into my own genders restroom. I mean, I really loathed him for a moment. My third reaction was like, uh, now what happens? Do I tell him he is in the wrong place? Do I just turn around and leave? What is happening here??!!!

We stared at each other like each of us was seeing an alien. It was seriously awkward and surreal. Finally, he says “I’m just checking the toilets.” and then he walked out of the restroom while I was still standing in the exact same position with my mouth wide open and my hand somehow pointing toward the door as if to say “One of us should be walking out of that door but I’m not sure which…” Then, I just started giggling like a little girl and went about my business.

I accepted his “checking the toilets” excuse at face value at first but then all the facts of this mystery started coming together. 1. He was a Man in a Women’s restroom.

2. He was not wearing a uniform of any type.

3. He was dressed business professionally.

So now I’m thinking that there is no way that guy was “checking the toilets”. I mean, why would you wear slacks and a button-down shirt to check a toilet? I don’t think you would. Even if you took your toilet-checking job very seriously I still don’t think you would dress that nice. I mean, what if the toilet didn’t work and then it exploded all over your nice clothes? It seems like an awful waste of a button-down. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that Mr. Man was in the wrong bathroom. Maybe it was an accident. Or maybe it was something more sinister, like he was installing cameras for a yucky fetish website or he was like personally trying to spy on Women using the potty, or maybe he finds the sound of Women urinating comforting. I don’t know. No matter what, I really can’t support  his reasons. The whole incident made me very uncomfortable. I would like to be really progressive and say that Men and Women using the same restrooms is no big deal but I just can’t go there. I like having separate bathrooms. I’m sorry Mr. Man, I hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings, it’s just  this experience was very unsettling for me and I don’t want to repeat it.

Also, the stall he was walking out of when I walked in was the very first stall, which happens to be the stall I typically use. Never again. I will never ever use that stall again. I just can’t. Thanks a lot dude.

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Sometimes Blogging Hurts My Feelings

Crying Woman

She poured her heart and soul into her blog. Alas, no one visited.

This is what I look like on days with low visits. It hurts me, it really does. Am I being overly sensitive and dramatic? No. You are being overly sensitive and dramatic- now leave me alone! (Flees room crying and slams the door).

Please stay. I’m sorry I cried and yelled and slammed the door. That was very wrong of me indeed. I just got caught up in the emotion. Heat of the moment and all that. Deep breaths. Ok? Now let’s blog.

I don’t know why I want people to read this blog. I really don’t. I’m not sure what I think I’m going to get out of it. All I know is that I absolutely adore writing it. It brings me great joy and fulfillment. I like laughing and I love making other people laugh. I like sharing my bizarre short stories and not so good poetry. Also, I really like for lots of people to read it. Like a lot. I don’t know why that matters. It just does.

Blogging is like crack. And if lots of people read your blog then that makes your blog like the most expensive kind of crack. And you totally get hooked on it, and then all of a sudden you don’t get any views and it sends you into detox. And I don’t want to detox from blogging, ok people?! Stop trying to send me into blogging detox by not reading my blog. I like my blog addiction. Please make it sweeter by visiting my blog lots and lots. The more you do, the funnier I will try to be. And I can be pretty funny when I try.

I don’t want to sound desperate. But I am. I am desperate for more blog readers. I am also very self-aware. So, if you like self-aware humor then you should read this blog. If you like desperation, you should read this blog. If you are male, you should read this blog. If you are female, you should read this blog. If you are a robot, you should read this blog. Please read my blog- 0therwise my feelings will get hurt. And when my feelings get hurt, I’m not so funny. Actually, I’m funnier- but that is beside the point.

Just read my blog. Ok? Please? Thank you. Really, thank you for reading!

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Feminae (Part 1)

It’s been twenty years since the coup. The bloodless, victimless, almost pleasant coup. The women’s coup. The coup that made me, a man, a completely powerless citizen of the world. As it turns out, that was for the best.

I don’t know how they did it. All I know is that somehow all of the women of the world were able to communicate with one another silently and without evidence. My belief is that they used their eyes but I have no proof of it- only a sneaking suspicion that they discovered a form of communication no man could follow or trace. We never looked in their eyes before. I’m pretty sure they used their eyes.

What the women communicated was that they were sick and tired of being treated poorly. Sick of never being looked in the eye. Sick of always being victims. Sick of never being paid equal wages. Sick of wars, and poverty, and suffering that men created and they paid for. The women were sick. They were also angry. Angry that many of them had to starve themselves to get a vote. Angry that almost no one acknowledged their contribution in almost every war known to man (most of those contributions being non-violent and entirely more useful). Angry that men didn’t carry the same burden they did even though Adam took as big a bite of that apple as Eve did. The women were angry. Sick and angry those women were.

So, they decided they didn’t like feeling sick and angry and once they decided that it was all over for the men. The women told each other (I’m sure it was through the eyes) that they were going to overthrow the men- without gore of course, they were ladies after all- so they did. One day, or night depending on what part of the world they were in, all of the women at exactly the same time told all the men, as sweetly as possible, that they didn’t run things anymore and that the women would be managing the world from now on and that there were going to be some very big changes in life. Shockingly, almost no man resisted it. I know I was relieved. When my wife told me she would be taking over I thought it was a splendid idea. She managed our household to perfection and I didn’t doubt she could help run the world that way.

Some men did attempt to fight back but it was short-lived and even weaker-hearted. I think the only reason they fought was out of pride and even they could see that was an awfully silly reason to fight. Where had pride ever gotten us anyhow? So the women triumphed and ever since then world has been a much prettier place to live in. No one is fighting and dying in wars, no one goes hungry, no one sleeps without a roof over their head unless they want to, our ozone has grown back, the rainforests are flourishing, and before bed every night everyone in the world says the same prayer ” I am thankful, I am satisfied”.

I won’t say there haven’t been a few changes I don’t wholly approve of. The way men are separated into two groups, sperm donors and sexual partners, seems a little crude. Sperm donors are men who are of above average intelligence and possess many pleasing physical attributes as well as having all the most desirable genes. The women harvest their, ahem, “samples” and use them to get pregnant and procreate. That may not sound all that different from the way things use to be but for the women it sure is. They uncovered a way to have pain-free birth. I can’t tell you what it is- I don’t know myself. What I do know is that apparently a male doctor discovered pain-free birth hundreds of years ago and forgot to tell anyone. Well, I think he forgot- the women understandably think otherwise. So, having children doesn’t hurt and the women are more than happy to raise the children in a world as lovely as ours is these days.

The other group of men, the sexual partners, are men who showed an aptitude for giving women pleasure. Not just sexually, although that certainly is a large part of it. Men who are sexual partners also give to the women they are paired with what they need emotionally. The men in this category are usually partnered with one women for their entire adult life. Both the men and the women are screened very carefully and then the women is given a choice of two men who are believed to best suit their needs sexually and emotionally. Usually the woman chooses the right man although sometimes she doesn’t and in that case she just goes back to the store and picks another. Some women go through many sexual partner men but that’s because they want to not because the system doesn’t work. I don’t understand the system but it’s something the women worked out and it seems to work rather well- although as I mentioned before, I consider it a bit crude.

I happen to fall into the sexual partner category. I wasn’t too happy about being separated from my wife and being seemingly through into a lifetime with some stranger. I was wrong. As it turns out, I was paired with my wife anyway. It is nice to know that even before the system some women knew how to choose.

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The Women from Whence I Came

I never realized. I didn’t know. What’s worse is, I didn’t ask.

Thankfully, luckily, blessedly, my Grammy and Popsie shared with me some pretty astounding facts about the women from our family. They were strong. They were superhumanly strong.

They owned and worked on farms- I mean they worked- farm life isn’t easy, on the contrary, it’s rather difficult. They never complained, early mornings, calloused hands, wailing children, mud, manure, harvest, long winters, and no rest. My great-great-grandmother, my Momsie, who I was lucky enough to know before she died, lost her husband, her “dearest Willy” , when my great grandmother (Nana) was only 5. She was left by herself with a farm to run and a child to raise. Who came to her rescue? Another man? No. Her sisters were at her side instantly, not to only offer condolences and casseroles but to work the farm with her. These were real women, quiet but powerful, seemingly unbreakable. When my Momsie and Nana moved to Ft. Worth it was her sisters who took over the farm and kept it until they passed, and it was to that very farm that my grandmother and then my mother visited during their childhood summers, and it is my belief that it was at that farm they learned to be strong women.

My Popsies mother (Mom Riddle) survived a fire that took the life of both her parents and burned the hands of her little sister. She survived an orphanage, and in the early 1900′s that was truly an accomplishment, and she was able to keep what was left of her family together. She never succumbed to the rampant tuberculosis or the nightmares of the fire. She met the love of her life there, a man named James who lost both of his parents to TB, they married and with her sister moved to Ft. Worth. She was the first one at your house with a casserole when there was sickness or death. She was the first to offer to mend the clothes for those who couldn’t do it themselves. She was the one who would give money whenever it was needed and usually more than was asked for. She was compassionate, she was the hardest or workers, and her love was given unconditionally. She overcame and she thrived.  She died when I was 10, but she never told me any of these things about herself, that wasn’t her way.

They didn’t discover anything, or create a fashion trend, they weren’t famous, but these women, my women, were extraordinary. Nothing ever broke them, there wasn’t anything they couldn’t do, they loved their men fiercely but didn’t crumble without them, they were strong. They were powerful. They are the women whose blood and legacy flow through me and remind me that because they were strong, I am too.

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