Jezebel recently posted an article about a New Zealand ad campaign for tampons that transgender advocates claim is transphobic. The reason: the ad implies that only “real women” menstruate.
Due to the rising controversy, the company that produces the tampons, Libra, issued this statement:
"Libra regrets any offence taken to our recent tampon advertisement. It was never intended to upset or offend anyone.
Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing.
Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand.
The advertisement has not aired in Australia. The advertisement was placed on Facebook however this has also been removed."
In light of the recent controversy around ABC’s apparently abysmal new television show Work It, it’s not surprising that more and more people who identify as transgender and genderqueer are taking umbrage at the fact that their image is being used lightly or for comedic effect. Although many people might defend the ad (or the television series) by saying, “It’s a joke,” it still highlights the idea of trans people as “other” and “outside” the norm.
And that’s not funny.