Culture

This Week In Sexism: Playtex Thinks Your Vagina Is Gross, Obama’s Gendered Speech

Culture

This Week In Sexism: Playtex Thinks Your Vagina Is Gross, Obama’s Gendered Speech

It’s been a great week in sexism, although you could also say that about every other week in recorded history, so let’s not get too excited. First up is this reminder from Playtex that you’ve got a filthy shame-hole between your legs that needs to be chemical-bleached into sterility or you’ll never find a husband.

Introducing Fresh + Sexy Wipes, the company explained:

“This product was designed to address an important consumer need,” says Erik Rahner, Group Marketing Director, Energizer Personal Care. “Sex isn’t always a planned event that can be prepared for. With Fresh + Sexy wipes, couples now have a way to be clean and ready for even the most spontaneous moments. They can be ready for intimacy whenever – and wherever – the mood strikes.”

Finally someone has addressed the millennia-old problem of convincing people to have sex with each other. The advertising campaign, by Grey New York, features “arresting images and cleaver [sic] innuendos”, which, unless that’s also another form of clever innuendo, appears to be a typo.

“We wanted to be fun and playful and bold all at the same time,” says Elaine McCormick, Creative Director at Grey New York. “And the campaign lets us be all those things.”

“Also gross and sexist,” she should’ve added.

“The brand’s tagline: ‘Clean where it Counts’ came out of the strategic insight that sex is more fun when you’re confident. ‘Because when you’re clean where it counts you’re ready for anything,’ Ms. McCormick ads.[sic]” And we all know there’s nothing more confident than turning to the person you’re about to pork, handing them a wet nap, and saying “clean that shit off, slob” like your grandmother yelling at you to take off your shoes before you mess up her nice sofa.

They’ve also got a line of ads marketing toward men, which, ok, I have no problem with that. Most dudes are walking around with some nasty swamp-ass business. Scroll through the rest above.

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In other vagina-focused news, the possession of which is how the President of the United States defines half the country lately in his rhetoric, including at the State of the Union address last night. You are, as he reminds us, important because you’re “wives, mothers, and daughters.” (Sisters got screwed).

As a petition on WhiteHouse.gov right now explains:

This “our wives, mothers, and daughters” phrase is one he routinely employs, but it is counterproductive to the women’s equality the President is ostensibly supporting.

Defining women by their relationships to other people is reductive, misogynist, and alienating to women who do not define ourselves exclusively by our relationships to others. Further, by referring to “our” wives et al, the President appears to be talking to The Men of America about Their Women, rather than talking to men AND women.

Others have been arguing against this language, quite a bit lately. It’s obviously reductive, and assumes that men can’t empathize with women without reminding us of the existence of the vaginas that are most special to us (the ones we came out of, and the ones we want to get into). It’s the equivalent of the argument that is often trotted out when men are acting like pigs that goes: “You wouldn’t want to see your wife treated like that, would you?”

There’s nothing wrong with a human man empathizing more specifically with the women in his family or his female friends . Maybe wrong isn’t the word, but there’s nothing surprising about it. Obviously we’re all going to identify with our close ones more on a visceral level.  The difference here is that this is the president of the United States, his “family and friends” include every single citizen in the country, not just the one’s with nasty-ass ball sweat. He should speak to all of us at the same time.

 

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