Apr 302008

Don’t you just love it when companies get in touch with their inner misogynist in coming up with ad campaigns. Midol (a product for relieving menstrual cramps) has an ad out that ends with the line,

“Reverse the Curse”

Already plenty of great commentary out there on this one. From See Emily:

“(J)ust what women need: another reason to think they are being punished for being a female. Calling menstruation a curse is so Biblical times, we should be over calling it that by now. It’s just another way to put women down and make them think that they are being punished in some way, when really, having your period is part of the cycle that allows you to give birth, which is most important to any civilization.”

And from Savannah Blaze Lee:

“I was appalled by a Midol ad on the boob tube last night, which ended with a young woman frolicking on the beach and the tag line ‘Reverse the Curse’. Thanks for setting womanhood back a millennium or so, Midol; I haven’t heard menstruation called ‘The Curse’ since my high school days in the Stone Age!”

And then there is this on the Midol website, on a page titled, “The Menstrual Myth” (you can see where this is going):

“Some women call their menstruation the curse, that time of the month, the blahs, the monthlies, being un-well, our problem, our period, our little friend.

However we refer to it, every one of us can rattle off a list of embarrassing horror stories about it. Guaranteed, if it’s an important day in your life, you’ll get your period. When it’s late, we pray for that first twinge of cramp pain. When it finally arrives, we mutter obscenities under our breath.

Actually, negative attitudes towards this perfectly normal, natural, biological event have been with us since the beginning of time–passed down through the ages in myths, taboos, superstitions, and misinformation.”

Fortunately today we have pharmaceutical companies to help perpetuate those myths.

“Throughout different cultures and times, menstruating women have been blamed for everything from causing crops to blight, milk to sour, food to spoil, clocks to stop, and many other diseases and disasters to occur. In many societies, menstruating women were considered unclean, unhealthy, and repugnant and were forced into isolation in order to be “purified”.”

Like I said…

“Even today, some myths persist.

Many still believe that a woman must not swim, bathe, or wash her hair during menses. And it wasn’t so long ago that discussions about menstruation in mixed company were considered strictly taboo. And while society no longer physically excludes menstruating women from daily activities, remnants of this practice are still with us. Today, we still choose to isolate ourselves from our friends and families when we feel “un-well.”

Negative attitudes about menstruation continue to deeply affect even the most liberated among us…both consciously and unconsciously. We’ve been acculturated to expect and accept monthly pain “as part of being a woman.””

Yes, because we are bombarded daily with crap like this.

“And while both premenstrual tension and menstrual pain have very real causes, how we handle that pain is very much an outgrowth of these sociological influences.

Today, modern medicine is chipping away at the myths that have left women suffering in silence. New facts about the menstrual cycle and the causes of menstrual pain are leading to new remedies.

So now, it is within every woman’s power to shatter the myths and stop the pain!”

Oh thank goodness, sing praises to the pharmaceutical gods for rescuing us from our own bodies and then send an email to these misogynist cretins and tell them that what is painful is their ad campaign and that you are going to exercise your, and I quote, “power to shatter the myths and stop the pain” by not buying their product.

 April 30, 2008  Posted by on April 30, 2008

  5 Responses to “Reverse The Curse: Don’t Buy Midol”

  1. Hey Lucinda, I left a message for Midol. thanks for posting this!

  2. I used to have debilitating cramps, and yes, used Midol occassionally, although I eventually found that plain ibuprophen worked just fine as well.

    And then I switched to a reuseable menstrual product (The Keeper), and my PMS symptoms gradually went away.

    Might it be the dioxins used to bleach all of the menstrual products are actually what is causing the cramps and such? Perhaps rather than masking the symptoms of that problem with a pill, we should encourage women to fix the actual problem!

  3. My goodness, all the work I continue to put into teaching young ladies that having a period is a blessing and midol comes along with this negative commercial.

    The only thing I can come up with is that a man came up with that slogan. It’s only a curse to them because they can’t have their way during that time.

    Anyway, thanks for the midol link. I did email my opinion.

  4. As a Bostonian, I’d bet $5 the person who came up with this and though it was *so* clever is a dudely Red Sox fan.

  5. It’s hard to trace the origin of the precise slogan but the text was written by women. It is understandable that feminist activists have a more romanticised view of menstruation, and with good reason. But in day-to-day life, when you talk with day-to-day women, most of them consider it a pain in the ass. As the text says, they get nervous when it doesn’t come, then when it does, there’s the mumbled, “ah, shit.” And um, yeah, a lot of us have some pretty nasty cramps, and are unfeminist enough to rely on – gasp – pain relievers to help with them. They aren’t any less women than you are, but they don’t find it to be the most wonderful monthly experience they have to go through either. An often-painful inconvenience, maybe.

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