I wanted further discuss that my problem with femme-consumer goods is not about myself ‘being out of pocket’, but that it is a huge industry which targets our real or imagined issues. This not only leaves a strain on our bank accounts, but it perpetuates the myth that women’s lives are problematic and that we have to buy our way out of them in order to function ‘normally’ within society.
Here is the recent product, Carefree “Acti-Fresh”, which is a thin pad for women to wear daily (“days in between our period” – um, you mean the whole 24 of them?), used to prevent discharge.
The advertisement stresses that Acti-Fresh’s vibe is all about being comfortable and “knowing” one’s body. Yet, these pads are not only keeping discharge off of your knickers, but psychologically ridding the concept of discharge all together. “Let’s absorb it and pretend it never happened!” If anything, Acti-Fresh isn’t accepting the way our body works, it’s suggesting that people erase the traces of their bodily functions through a totally constructed bullshit ideal.
Acti-Fresh is yet another product which finds fault with a woman’s natural state, points it out for the whole world to acknowledge, and then charges for it.
In reference, author of The Equality Illusion (Ah, see where I got my blog name from, eh?) Kat Barnyard discusses female marketing tactics, stating, “As long as the beauty industry remains, businesses will keep picking at the scab and selling us a plaster.” Here, Carefree has presented themselves problem’s solutions, when in fact they are creating the problem themselves.
Personally, I have never been fazed by discharge, nor did I consider it to be problematic until the girl on TV started referring to it as being “damp” and “less-than-fresh”. Well, cheers, now I’m not only concerned about my physical wellbeing, but you’ve now made me psychologically anxious with your judgemental terminology.
Additionally, why is a vagina supposed to be ‘fresh’? It sits hidden away in a pair of knickers, how the hell did the word ‘fresh’ come to mind when describing a vulva? They’re genitals, for fuck’s sake, not clean linens.
This product not only contributes to severe social issues, but is also a source of unnecessary plastic consumption. Do we really need the additional waste and heavy strain on the environment just to keep our underwear discharge-free?
What really concerns me about the ‘sanitary industry’ (a title that is a problem in itself, “send in the troops with their gloves and masks – I’ve got my period!”), is the pricing of “hygiene” items? What is it based on? I can only assume that there’s a boardroom meeting in Carefree’s marketing department with an agenda written on a well-used whiteboard reading, “How much is a women’s period worth?” Obviously there is an expected capital exchange within all consumer production, but it doesn’t take a genius or a compassionate socialist to realise how unfair inflated profits on period products are.
For example, was my Naprofem really worth $10.95, or was it a double-figure cost because it could be? People have period pain, people need relief and with that concept, if it companies were to price it at $20.95, people would still pay because they have to. All companies relating to ‘period products’ hold a position of power when it comes to ‘supply and demand’, we need these goods and therefore have little choice but to pay whatever cost is embedded within the barcode.
So whether it’s $8 Libra tampons, $4.99 Black & Gold pads, or a $24.00 ‘Mooncup’, women are basically paying to have a vagina.