Saturday, 30 July 2005

Oh, not again!

Apparently they’ve now come up with a scented tampon. What a good idea! What we, women, want is to have more chemicals on (or, in this case, in) our bodies. What we also want is for PR companies to make us feel even less confident about said bodies. No wrinkles, no cellulite, no hair, no smell. Back to the little girl thing again. If we look like young girls we have no power and we can be told what to do.

For goodness’ sake, I thought this “intimate deodorant” nonsense had been eradicated 30 years ago. We fought against it and won. It's all part of the anti-feminist backlash. I had already noticed the reappearance on the shelves of Boots and Superdrug of sprays, powders and “towelettes” (MS Word is telling me that’s not a word and is suggesting “omelettes”, “novelettes” and “tweezers” as replacements – thought I should let you know) to be used down there and had bemoaned the fact to myself, but scented tampons! That takes the biscuit! What about toxic shock? Who’s going to sniff those tampons? I don’t want to be crude, but once inserted that’s it, isn’t it? There are already scented panty liners – they’re not as soft as the unscented kind because, just like dye stops towels being soft and absorbent, perfume takes up space in the fibres and makes the material more cardboard-y.

Anyway, apart from underarm deodorant, which is really an essential item if you’re over 13 (I hope the male sales assistants at my local TK Maxx are reading this), there is no need for anything else, and telling women they would feel better (or be more lovable, as I expect the implied message is) if they used scented products of that kind is undermining their confidence and shouldn’t be countenanced.

A slap to whomever (and I’m not even sure it’s a man) decided to tell women again that they “smell”.


  1. hontapocasgreen30/07/2005, 23:43

    I would like to join you on this slap! It's ridiculous. I never understood the need for scented feminine products of that nature. It reminds of a punch line from an African-American comedienne -F.D.S. does not mean "forget da soap". Well, she used a more colorful f word, but the meaning is all the same-- there's no substituting for good ole soap and water for just keeping clean.

    You know I love perfume, but this is one of those things I feel I can do without being scented.

  2. i will join as well :-)

    and add a related slap: tampons with "applicators" (card-bord, plastic, whatever. HARD, is the thing.)

    so here's my call to abandon all applicators and just use your own, pliable, nimble fingers to apply a tampon.

    the only brand that comes to mind is o.b. the u.s. is,in fact, the only country i'm familiar with that has only *one* brand of applicator-less tampons available, while those *with* applicators are legion: and yes, now also scented. to make sure that you will definitley mess with your vaginal environment and use their numerous yeast-infection products as well...ack!!!

    but i digress.

    using your fingers to apply a tampon was what i was going to focus on.

    but wait: you mean -- YOU WOULD HAVE TO TOUCH YOURSELF (inside and out, no less)????????

    that's what i mean.
    you will see: it is EASY.
    and no, it doesn't smell bad.
    plus: we all wash our hands after using the bathroomn, right?


  3. joining you, J, with a resounding *slap*, and jumping on harper's bandwagon, too.

    are there other applicator-less brands in the rest of the world? that's heartening! i've been using o.b. exclusively since they were first introduced and have always feared they would be discontinued - they get so little shelf space in most drugstores.

    when my then-13-y.o. daughter came over squeamish at the natural insertion method, i simply said, 'hey, you use your finger to pick your nose - what's the difference? mucous membranes are mucous membranes.'

  4. I'm with you on this one. Not everything can smell like a Rosine decant at all times -- and frankly, the idea of garden-scented tampons makes me feel sort of queasy.

    Get comfortable with your body. In the end, you'll be much happier. (Oh, and in a final TMI note, I also support the use of non-applicator tampons. I mean, for God's sake, people, it's your BODY, not something to be feared or avoided.)

    Sigh. I feel better now.

  5. I'm glad I'm not alone to be appalled.

    Do you remember that hilarious scene in Fried Green Tomatoes...? The one with the feminist group and the mirrors? Perhaps there's a need for such workshops again. *grins*

  6. The first thing that sprung to mind when I saw the ad for this was of the character The Dutchess from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and his repulsion at anything natural to women.

  7. Ooops, sorry, I forgot to add: I love the "grumpy comments" change you made. Heh.

  8. K, I haven't seen Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; sounds interesting. And thanks for the compliment: I thought I should make sure everyone knew what kind comments to post - in case, there were other people out there, like my cousin Elan, who thought we should see the best in everything. LOL! ;-)

  9. Oh no, no! Skip the movie! To be kind, I'd say it's an inept retelling of Tom Robbin's book. A slap to the well-meaning but clumsy Gus Van Sant for making it. The book, you must read the book if you ever happen to find the time. It gets a bit overly quirky and twee at points, but it's worth wading through to get to the more interesting and funny bits in the story.

    I think I'm the only person alive who hasn't seen Fried Green Tomatoes. One of these days I'll get around to it.

  10. LOL...

    Let me play devil's advocate: What if the tampons were scented with Serge Lutens fragrances?

    Sit well, or not?

    Hope all is well, J.

  11. K, you must see that film: it's wonderfully life-affirming and the acting's out of this world. I'm afraid I haven't read the original novel; I know it's great too, but it doesn't have Kathy Bates in it. LOL!

    Will look out for the book you recommend.

    B, no, not even that. Can you imagine how much those tampons would cost?!

  12. I agree, it is completely ridiculous!

    A couple of days ago I read an article and thought, yes, once again, the burden is on a woman, because the existing male dominated social structure is just impervious to change:

  13. It's everywhere, V, and very depressing.

  14. I couldn't agree more! I remember them showing those douching commercials all through my childhood with the tagline "Mom, what do you use when you have that not quite fresh feeling?" *groan*

    Regarding tampons, my friends freak to hear that I use an applicator free tampon. I can't work the applicators - too much fuss!

  15. J, take it easy, hold your horses.
    I am lucky enough not to use these products. However, please bear in mind that those manufacturers does not care for you, all they want is to boost their sales and one of the ways to do so is to provide the same known object with extra features, features that the competitor doesn't have yet. They don't expect you or me to smell it, they just want you to try it because it is new and give you confidence (This is my guess in this case)
    Do you think people choose to purchases new car because of the rain sensor and automatically window wipers?
    It is all about selling don’t take is seriously.

    waiting to be slapped by you, Elan

  16. Aha, a man's opinion!

    You've said it, Elan, "...they just want you to try it because it is new and give you confidence..". That's exactly why we object to the whole thing. It's nasty and it plays on most women's fears about their bodies. Self-loathing is very common.

    We have to take the business of selling seriously (but with humour): it shapes our lives.

    Consider yourself slapped. :-)

  17. Days after thsi post:

    Bela, I want you to know that I actually stopped conversation ranting about this last night. Sitting around a dining room table, no less -- surrounded by men (only one other woman there) talking abut advertising. Clearly, since this has been on my mind, it HAD to be flung out for discussion.

    To their credit, the men held their own remarkably well in terms of comfort level until I began lecturing about yeast infections and applicator-free tampons. I sure made them blink, though.

    One more blow struck in the name of consciousness-raising. Sigh.

  18. Good for you, M! They won't forget that in a hurry, will they? LOL!

  19. This makes me think of the current ad campaign for Bodyform Confidence Everyday Liners which is based on the premise that women smell so bad naturally that the only way they can confidently use public transport etc is to use a scented liner, every sodding day. Now if this was a product for fat men's armpits, I could understand the reasoning but this just makes me want to take the copywriter of that ad and slap him (or even her) till his head spins.

  20. Yes, it's the same. I get more heated under the collar about tampons because they should be as hygienic and chemical-free as possible. You can't get toxic shock from panty liners, so the fact that they're scented is stupid, patronizing, etc. but not dangerous as such, although, I suppose you could get skin problems from them... oh, why don't they just stop doing it?

  21. one word (at least, i THINK it's one word): mooncup

    i'm sufficiently intrigued to be threatening to buy one

    slapping the manufacturers of scented tampax for you...

  22. I've just been reading about the Mooncup (I had no idea what you were on about). It's too late for me, but I wish it had existed when I was still young enough to use it. Sounds like a very good idea.

    Thanks for your support. :-)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.