British Sanitary Pad Ad Confuses Drag Queens With MTF Transsexuals

Comments

1
I'm just glad they seem to have stopped calling them "napkins."
2
Uh oh, the trannies are revolting.
3
I can't believe I'm the first person to complain about this?

Trans people (drag queens or transsexuals) aren't a goddamn punchline, and dysphoria isn't funny.
4
I thought it it was funny.
5
@3 Demanding that a group be taken 100% seriously only makes it that much more ripe for ridicule. (and where did you pull out "dysphoria" from this comercial?)

You may just be a bit too sensitive and tender for the internet.

6
I can't believe something this hilarious made it on tv in the UK. Their pc thought police are worse than ours.
7
Jesus, even if you DO want to be a woman, is menses actually a particularly desirable aspect of that?
8
I hear what Dan is saying, but he's taking this way too literally. I was a lot more put out by the use of women in viagra/cialis/levitra ads.
9
@7 Oh, for fuck's sake.
10
"British Sanitary Pad Ad Confuses Drag Queens With MTF Transsexuals" Maybe, sorta, except it's presenting ostensible males (could be masculine females born without uteruses, born without hormonal cycles responsible for menstruation, or who had hysterectomies and who really wish they could menstruate, possibly because doing so is sort of necessary for pregnancy) who DO want to have periods - it states that directly.

@3: I get that it's probably supposed to be funny, and actual gender dysphoria (biological gender or social gender) is not funny, but the ad is presenting a series of genuinely distraught characters with a somber/serious song: it's perfectly possible to read this as tragic and not the least bit funny; shame on YOU for casting trans people as a punchline. Too, to say that trans people can/should NEVER be the punchline to a joke is patronizing and paternalistic. Jokes are ways of diffusing social tension or discomfort, and jokes that play with contentious social categories don't HAVE to be hateful or marginalizing (though they certainly CAN be deployed or interpreted that way; I think it's important to keep a sense of humor about oneself, especially with respect to the non-normative behaviors in which one engages or the ways in which one is marginalized, lest one give in to despair; anger and motivation and empowerment, too, of course, but social movements that reject humor make me terribly sad).

I, for example, suffer from occasionally-severe (occasionally now that I have a medication regimen that works well for me; previously it was frequently sever) type 2 bipolar disorder. I certainly COULD run around claiming that no people with any sort of "mental illness" or bipolar disorder specifically should ever be a punchline and grant ignorant or even malicious comments the power to harm me or marginalize me, but I think I'm much happier maintaining a sense of humor about myself and telling any bigots I encounter to fuck off with a smile on my face.

There are no intrinsic meanings to signifiers, even in the context of an established sign system, as there are always alternate ways signs can be deployed and contentions to meanings (I had a conversation recently with a transman whose epistemological outlook is similar to mine; sie was describing hir view that "no homo" could actually be interpreted and therefore function as a helpful and quick way to parse behavior that might be homoerotic and a possible invitation to further homosexual advances from behavior that is not intended as such). If we refuse to equate "different" with "bad" and "humorous" with "bad", "trivializing" (I think humor has great subversive potential and isn't trivializing in the least; in fact, it's often the only way for societies characterized by strongly-enforced norms to bring otherwise "unacceptable" behaviors into the cultural discourse at all), or "marginalizing", then assignations of difference or invocations of humor lose much or even all of their power to harm, trivialize, or marginalize (basically: don't buy in to discursive systems that provide any space for you to be marginalized or dismissed). Obviously this is easier said than done in the context of a heavily privilege-inflected culture, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and simply give in and accept marginal status that get attached to our identity categories (whether ascribed or self-claimed).

I have no problem with you making a statement like, "I find this to be offensive, hurtful, marginalizing, disempowering, trivializing, dismissive, etc. because..." but I object to your use of universalized and essentialist statements, especially when they're just thrown out there without contextualization or support. Trans people CAN BE "a goddamn punchline" and gender dysphoria CAN BE funny, even or especially to trans people and others suffering from gender dysphoria.
11
@7: Considering that the ability to menstruate is directly connected to the ability to become pregnant and bear children (not all people who menstruate can be pregnant, but all people who can become pregnant can/do menstruate, as far as I'm aware and barring medical interventions that prevent menstruation), I'm willing to bet that there are plenty of people, though perhaps not a sizable percentage, who wish they could menstruate. Do you not think that there are not people who want to become cisgendered women, were it possible, with everything that would entail?
12
@7 trust me, it is, when you don't have any, and I can only imagine what it feels like knowing you'll _never_ have any.
13
@3 Aren't drag queens supposed to be punchlines, kinda? They're entertainers--the last vestiges of vaudville. Cross dressers and transpeople aren't categorically funny, just folks--some are funny and some aren't. But i'd say drag queens are. They're like non-terrifying, gender bending clowns. (note to self: get drag queens for future children's birthdays)
14
Aside from the erasure of trans women by having drag queens stand in for them, this commercial has a pretty annoying message:

"The only thing more unpleasant than being a woman: being a trans woman."

or

"If you have your period and it feels like your uterus is trying to eat itself, just take a moment to pity trans women everywhere, and you'll feel better in no time!"

Actually, I have a better solution: I'm gonna go watch some Current TV Target Women segments on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3g6B20jJ…
God bless Sarah Haskins.
15
That's fair, skipper Joe. I appreciate someone trying to make a funny pad ad instead of some weird shit about playing sports/ wearing white when you're menstruating (neither of which i EVER want to do) -- but it can be read as pretty patronizing to women, biological and otherwise. I guess I just want more drag in mainstream media...can we make that happen?
16
Is "Have a happy period!!" supposed to be a perky greeting amongst the menstruating masses? What we say to each other once we come to after passing out from cramps on the #7 bus? Well, it's NOT perky and not how real women talk. Indeed, it is the most annoying thing I've read in weeks. (And I read about 10 hours a day).

Women in the U.S. do NOT wish each other a "happy period!!" If they do in the U.K. I don't want to know about it.

Just one more reason this ad is, like many ads, a stinking and offensive piece of shit.
17
Wow, this was so much worse than I thought it would be. I know trans people who genuinely WOULD love to get their period--it's startling to see someone not only mocking but CELEBRATING that pain.
18
Where did they get the idea that transwomen want to menstruate? I never desired that.
19
Not that I speak for all transwomen ... but I've never heard another transwoman say that, either.
20
As a woman with horrifically irregular menses and accompanying infertility, I get the symbolism. But I've still never been like, "Man, I wish a bled more/more frequently. I wish I had to use more pads and tampons," and I've never met a transwoman who expressed anything but relief that that wasn't an aspect of womanhood that she had to worry about.
21
Don't know enough about transwomen but I know that a surprising subset of crossdressers wish they could menstruate, to the point where they, um, insert tampons in an alternate orifice for certain days of the month. But it's funnier and works better with the *cough* period music to have drag queens as stand-ins for crossdressers.
22
@10 Comedy gold.
23
Do other born women actually weep and wail over periods? I thought most of us just got on with our lives. I mean, yeah, kuddoes to the ad people for trying something different, but sheesh. I think they managed to insult pretty much everyone all at once.
24
P&G and Always had nothing to do with the ad.

http://talkaboutequality.wordpress.com/2…
25
As a woman who has put up with having a period on a absolutely regular basis (except when I was pregnant and nursing) for 43 years, the humor in this ad is totally lost on me. Sorry if others find it funny, I don't.