So today, I came across this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lReX1dAUAE
It’s Libra’s new ad for their tampons, and it features a cisgendered woman and a transgendered woman in a public bathroom. They compete over mascara, lipgloss and an adjustment of their bras, before the cis woman opens her bag, removes a box of Libra tampons, and triumphantly takes one out and displays it to the trans woman, who walks away in a huff.
The ad then switches to a title card, featuring a package of Libra tampons and the tagline “Libra gets girls. Love Libra.”
Sure, Libra gets girls. If, of course, the girl Libra is getting is not transitioning from male to female, still in possession of her uterus, not suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome, not using the contraceptive pill to regulate or stop her periods, pregnant, or doing or suffering from anything else that may interfere with, cease, or otherwise render her incapable of menstruating. Basically, as long as she fits into the defined ideals of “woman”: straight, cisgendered, pretty, bitchy, competitive, then she is a real woman, and everyone else is naught.
Using transfolk for cheap laughs is nothing new. In December 2011, New Zealand’sHell Pizza copped criticism for their “misfortune cookies”, one of which contained the misfortune “you will marry a transgender”. Transgender people are one of the most discriminated against groups in our society, and regularly subject to violence because of their gender, but it’s still seen as somewhat acceptable to be transphobic. Libra MORE than proves that with this latest advertisement.
Kick the boot in a bit harder Libra, and recast the ad with a young woman who’s just lost her uterus to cancer, or a middle aged lady going through menopause. Still think it’s as funny?
I didn’t think so. Just because the joke’s on transfolk doesn’t ACTUALLY make it a joke.
The good news is, if you’re as disgusted by it as I am, you don’t have to buy into this bigoted nightmare. If you have need for menstrual products, there are plenty of other places to buy tampons apart from Libra. You can also buy a Mooncup, or aKeeper, or a JuJu cup – these have the benefit of not being from a multi-national company, as well as being washable and reusable. Good for the environment, good for your bank balance, and good for you!
If you don’t have need for menstrual products, you can tell the ladies in your life – and the transmen who may still be menstruating (another group Libra and their advertising agency obviously didn’t think about when they dreamed up this ad), about Libra’s ignorant and bigoted depiction of transwomen.
It’s 2012!! How much longer are we going to have to be subjected to this nonsense?!