The Vagenda

Why #LikeAGirl is Just a Load of #CorporateBullshit

Always are just riding the crimson tide of the latest feminist wave and it’s pissing me off.

Everyone on Facebook is crying again.

What is it this week? Kony? Nope. Ultimately, we got rid of him and his evil deeds by crying and reblogging. Didn’t we? *tumbleweed blows by*

This week, it’s an advert for sanitary towels that’s getting everyone all emosh about gender equality. Viewed over thirteen million times, the Always #LikeAGirl ‘documentary film’ has gone viral and everyone is loving it. Everyone except grumpy old me (if you haven’t seen it, check it out above. You can even use a scented sanitary pad to mop up your tears afterwards).

So why is a well-made film that aims to boost the self-esteem of adolescent girls pissing my feminist arse off? Shouldn’t I be glad? Isn’t this what I want? In the immortal words of Maximus Decimus Meridius, AM I NOT ENTERTAINED? Will my whinging feminist butt never be happy with any attempt to mend inequality?

Probably not, and here’s why:

Always already make LOTS of money out of female insecurity

Since when does period smell? Since when did our vaginas have to live in a perpetual state of ‘freshness?’ Since Always, that’s since when. They’re the ones that suddenly decided to market scented sanitary towels and tampons, the latter of which my flatmate is convinced gave her thrush although I must state for legal reasons that it could have been any number of other factors *glares darkly*

Unless you’ve not changed your sanitary pad in two days and you’re in the middle of a heatwave, whose vag emanates a grotesque whiff whenever they menstruate that’s so severe it needs to be dowsed with perfume?

And, yet, getting young girls to worry that their perfectly functioning downstairs is suddenly an un-fresh stink station? That’s just great for self-esteem, isn’t it? Making them think that they need to hide their pads in cutesy little tins because periods are inherently embarrassing? That’s just fucking  great too.

They also make Wipes-To-Go for an ‘enhanced everyday freshness.’ Because your usual everyday freshness is disgusting, obviously.

…and they seem to think period blood is blue

If we’re going on a quest to get rid of unhelpful female stereotypes, maybe we should start with the TV adverts that use clinical blue goop as period blood?

And don’t get me started on their adverts for Tampax, wherein your period is depicted as ‘Mother Nature,’ a prudish hag in a twinset who keeps trying to ruin your fun at a music festival, thus implying that women are in constant battle with the completely natural processes of their bodies, processes which, when you really think about it, are creepily depicted as outside and/or separate to them. Oops, looks like I started.

They are owned by Proctor and Gamble

Always fall under the conglomerate umbrella that is P&G. If they’re so ruddy gender-equal and self-esteem-building and brilliant, why do they sell Venus razors, promising that hairless legs will make you a ‘Goddess’? Why do all their TV adverts for Ariel only ever show the woman doing the laundry? Seriously, go onto the Ariel website, there is only ONE bloke on the whole thing, under the tagline “Your mum has gone on strike”.

Why do they peddle out expensive Olay wrinkle cream? Why, last year, did Olay say that “it feels a responsibility to celebrate African-American women and challenge the sometimes difficult ways our beauty is reflected in popular media”, when they profit from selling skin-whitening creams in Africa and Asia?

 Where are the ‘unattractive’ girls in the video?

Half of the older actresses are plastered in makeup and look like they haven’t eaten a cake since 1986. And the kids? They look like they’ve just wandered out of Shutterstocksville , after you typed ‘perfect All-American cute child’ into the search box. If this campaign really wants to build young girls’ self esteem, where is the overweight child please? Where is the acne-ridden teenager? They briefly discuss how confidence evaporates during adolescence, but your typical teenagers are notably absent. Can only young pretty things fight for self-esteem? Are we complicit, in that we will we only reblog videos containing All-American perfects who are good at baseball?

And why does feminism suddenly mean being good at running and PE?

It’s like a Katniss Everdeen hangover. I get that ‘throwing like a girl’ and ‘running like a girl’ are insults, lodged in linguistic gendered fuckery but still…SOME GIRLS ARE STILL SHIT AT RUNNING. What about us? When did being a feminist and being ‘strong’ mean strong in the literal sense? Suddenly in this video all the girls run really well and boast about winning ‘the race’. I have never won a race. I have never thrown a ball that has gone where it was supposed to. This doesn’t make me #LikeAGirl, this makes me not great at sport (but, hey, I can probably beat you at Scrabble). Can I not fight gender inequality and still not be able to run for the bus without hyperventilating?

What is the aim of #LikeAGirl?

Umm…. How about to #LikeMakeALotOfMoney? I get that it’s good a huge company are using their reach to spread a positive message. And the message, let’s acknowledge, is positive. Of course I don’t want little girls’ confidence to be eroded by the time they are teenagers. But that is not why they spent all this time and money making the video. When all the number-crunchers of P&G got together in the planning meetings, were they saying: “Let’s use our reach just to help all the young girls?” And, if so, why have they plastered their branding over every part of the campaign?

I searched every inch of both the UK and USA Always website and I couldn’t find ONE thing they were planning to do to build self-esteem in young girls….other than getting people to retweet the viral video plastered with their branding. They’re not using the profits to fund self-esteem classes in schools, and they’re not planning to look at the hypocrisy in their own advertising, either.

They do do some good stuff, and credit to them. In 2011, Always teamed up with UNESCO to give puberty education and literacy to thousands of African girls. This. Is. Amazing. But, as far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with the #LikeAGirl campaign.

Increasingly big corporations are realising that viral marketing is A Big Thing. And us savvy internet folk pretty much reject any attempt to manipulate us into sharing a sponsored ‘funny’ Buzzfeed story. For something to go viral it has to resonate, it has to pull heartstrings, it has to have people yelling ‘HELL YEAH’ while clicking repost.  The #LikeAGirl does all that, but at the end of the day, whenever you’re clicking repost you’re essentially doing free advertising for a large conglomerate who thinks periods are blue and your vag needs to be perfumed.

- H Bourne


37 thoughts on “Why #LikeAGirl is Just a Load of #CorporateBullshit

  1. I completely agree with your point – some of Always’ marketing in the past has been truly abhorrent.

    But I kind of feel that the way to encourage steps in the right direction – which I see this as – is to praise companies when they get it right, followed by a friendly, ‘Hey, now let’s try this next!’ The tide is slowly turning (kind of like praising a naughty child when they do good rather than bollocking them for everything they do wrong. Positive reinforcement etc). The public has said what it wants and while it is a baby step, at least Always have taken it.

    Always are far from perfect (wtf is a happy period?) but this ad is great and I wholeheartedly support it.

  2. Given that my eight year daughter told me that I run like a girl, and failed to understand when I tried explaining that she was doing herself down when she said it, I’m happier that this campaign exists than I’m unhappy at who is doing it.

    • I wanted to believe the message in the “Like a Girl” campaign, but something didn’t ring true. Then I realised that, as a teacher, I know that 10 year old girls don’t act like the ones in the advert.

      In fact, when asked to “run like a girl” my 7 year old girl flounced just like the 20 something woman. Worse, in fact. This is bullshit, scripted and edited to a formula, with paid actors, and I swallowed it because I wanted to believe it.

      Do I care that a big feminine hygiene corporation is doing this? Not really, though I see the points made by other writers here.

      However this is advertising executives telling us that if we stop saying “like a girl” we’ll have a chance of changing gender attitudes. The hypocrisy stinks. As if tens of thousands of advertisements formulated, approved and published by advertising executives aren’t a bigger influence on the public image of women. And as if the executives concerned aren’t going back to exactly the same kind of crap on their next advertising campaign.

      The message of empowerment is fine, but the subtext is that social change is easy: just buy the T-shirt, forward the link, like the page, buy the product, tweet the bullshit slogan and the world will be a better place.

      We try to change things not because it’s easy to do, but because it’s worthwhile. The world becomes a better place one bloodied, bruised eyeball at a time, and the mindless conformity bred by advertising — even “socially aware” advertising — *is* the problem, and not the solution.

  3. Ha – I got ‘told off’ on Facebook for making many similar observations by a lady who told me she wore fairy hammocks because she would ‘rather not smell like a decaying steak’! Perhaps it’s the way I tell ‘em!

    And yes, the ‘mother nature’ hag at the music festival got me champing at the bit too…

    As a complete aside, I was at a poetry slam the other night where a male poet was ranting – very eloquently, to give him his due – about the evils of the make-up / beauty industries. I was reassured when a lady friend voiced my concerns for me with the observation, ‘I think I would take him more seriously if he wasn’t wearing about three tons of ‘product’ himself.’ :D

  4. I think the writer may be being a little too optimistic here. It’s unrealistic to expect P&G to drastically change all of their marketing strategies for all of their different products all at once and all in one go. And let’s not forget, P&G’s marketing priority is to create adverts that increase sales. It’s not actually their job to promote self-esteem in girls or to change perception of traditional gender roles; it’s their job to deliver a return to their share-holders.

    I would suspect, the only situation in which P&G will stop pushing Ariel as a women’s only product, or Always will stop flogging their totally unnecessary imaginary-problem-wipes, is if there is a genuine change of feeling about women’s place in society. And what if this marketing-spin-filled, main-priority-is-brand-building viral ad can act as teeny tiny step towards that? Those 12 year old who are watching this ad on their phones and sharing it with their friends might end up working in P&G’s marketing department in 10 years; what if this ad is the first thing that gets them thinking and questioning how the world around them is relating to them as a girl.

    It’s the same issue as with Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign (now 10 years old- how did that happen!): yes Dove sells horrible imaginary-problem-cellulite creams and is owned by Unilever which also promotes SlimFast and Fair&Lovely whitening creams and king-of-all-the-misogynist-advertising-campaigns Lynx. That background brings the authenticity of the Dove campaign into serious question. But then again, the Dove campaign does mean that for the last decade we have had billboards featuring undeniably gorgeous, life-full women who are all not all white, stick-thin teenagers with vacant looks in their eyes. That’s got to be a good thing right? Regardless of whether Dove’s intentions are genuine or whether they are marketing spin.

    Baby steps are good! I hope so anyway.

    • I’d like to agree, but I wonder though if the 10 year old girls in question might be saying that something is wrong with them if, as 10 year olds, they’re not as enlightened as the 10 year old girls in the advertisement?

      The problem is deeper, and starts earlier, as I said in my post above. Advertising needs root and branch change. As do we all!

      Not just cosmetic change. Pun intended.

  5. “but at the end of the day, whenever you’re clicking repost you’re essentially doing free advertising for a large conglomerate who thinks periods are blue and your vag needs to be perfumed”

    I completely agree. I thought it was an interesting video until I started to see all the Always branding and it put me off completely. They are not doing it for the good of their health, that’s for sure. I find all this faux-feminist advertising almost worse than the easily identifiable sexist shit out there. The beauty and diet industry now likes to shout that women should be confident while not addressing the reasons why women lack confidence (uhh you keep telling us to buy your product because we are fat and ugly and have a smelly vag?)

  6. I agree with every single point made here, you couldn’t be more right. And I don’t think it’s about the writer implying P&G should change all their products and marketing, it is focusing on the hypocrisy in what they are doing now in comparison to the message they send out through the majority of their advertisements. And again, as it has already been said, it is highly unlikely that #likeagirl is anything more than a money making method for them, and any ‘self-esteem boosting’ that does come from it? Well of course that’s great, but I doubt deep down that P&G really give a crap about the teenage girls or their self esteem.

  7. I like the little tins. They stop the pads getting crumpled in the bottom of your handbag. You can fit two in a tin!

  8. I’m sure it would be possible to make girls proud (or at least not ashamed) of menstruation while still making a heap of money. (And using red liquid, so that girls don’t expect to be leaking blue blood into their pants)
    Incidentally I did get told off for fighting ‘like a girl’ at a martial arts class the other day. Maybe, but I could name plenty of females who could eff you up in a fight. I hope this advert is a step in the right direction for the general public, even with it containing some feminism snags.

    • Re ‘like a girl’ comment – I got told I was throwing like a girl the other day by an older male friend. Well, 1) It was a netball throw actually and 2) The thing I was throwing landed perfectly in the thing I was aiming for so what’s the bleeding problem. Frustrating, isn’t it?

  9. Yes! Finally! Thank you!
    Finally some voices raise to criticize this ad!
    I had this feeling all week end, thinking that yeah this ad is bringing something (positively?) new, but at the same time, there are so many things that are just soo wrong in it.

    Like you, I hated this corporatebullshit.
    I particularly hated the documentary style of this ad. It’s obviously terrifically brilliant in terms of marketing. But I can’t stand when propaganda hides underneath the cloak of a documentary’s objectivity (oh well, a documentary is not always objective of course).
    Ads will never be about offering options to a consumer, but about forcing options, it is using every means to persuade the consumer that he will feel empowered thank to a new product. It forces conformity. Hence I don’t quite believe in the possibility of ethic ads. And I probably prefer that an ad stays openly and ridiculously manipulative: that’s its nature and purpose; and not pretend to be an objective documentary. Let’s call a cat a cat, at least we’re forced to see the abuse.

    Now I have to say that it is not what I found so wrong about it. It was sort of sadly expected from an ad.
    Instead, I was shocked by how little the ad what being criticized! Damn!

    And to be honest, I created reactions of disbelief among my friends when I mentioned my feelings. They mainly said that of course, as an ad, it’s expected to be manipulative, these guys want to sell their product, but they were mostly underlining that the message is so nicely feminist! For once an ad is not that sexist! For once it shows that feminists are not just hysterics! (Hi girls! if you come to read this, no harm intended ;) )

    Which made me think that actually, despite the fact that we’re trained to expect a manipulated “truth” in an ad, we did not agree about how its message could be (or couldn’t be) so wrong.

    The only good point really, was the message saying: stop associating girls and weakness. Even if it didn’t quite match with the visual, at least it was implied to some extent.

    What REALLY aggravated me was these assertions:
    “A girl’s confidence plummets during puberty. Always wants to change that” and the audio: “So when they’re in that vulnerable time, between 10 and 12, how do you think it affects them….”

    -First of all, it really seems that they’re trying to say that girl shaming or sexism is something that starts at around 10 years old. But sort of saying that it only ADDS to the already very difficult 10/12 years. Interestingly, what’s obvious for many of us (that sexism and patriarchal morals are a major cause of “confidence plummeting” among teenagers) is not obvious for Always.
    Also, it serves no one trying to pretend that children have no idea, and shouldn’t know about gender and sexism. Actually, when I come to think about it, no one feels so much compelled to define hard lines about what it means to be a girl or a boy, than young children (like it was so understood that pink was not for boys. In my kindergarten the idea was almost as absurd as that of a boy dressing in a skirt).

    -Also, “between 10 and 12″ “vulnerable time”: Well, girls, you’ve been warned, you know that it IS GOING TO be shitty. It’s scientific.
    Seriously? They say that like it is ineluctable, undisputable. I’d prefer they understate that they also have the possibility to oppose that and gain self-confidence by not trying to conform to anyone’s but their standards.

    And honestly, 10/12 yo : who didn’t think they were talking about the first menstruation? (even if to be true, it was not so much difficult in itself, but if it was, then certainly because of the stigma and/or lack of information around it). If we keep associating bleeding once a month and vulnerability, it completely backfires any attempt to broadcast any feminist message. Shame and menstruations should not be associated anymore.

    -Last but not least:
    The whole ad based its argument on a commonplace whose very existence is only due to a patriarchal system: the message uses the unquestioned and indisputable fact that we must expect difficult and vulnerable teenage years per se. Like it is not contingent. But, let me say that vulnerability among teenagers would not exist if not for the impossible moral and identity expectations imposed by a patriarchal system, and not only on girls. How is it not incoherent to conclude a feminist message (stop saying like a girl to say weak) from a postulate which owes its existence to an oppressive patriarchal society ?

    Now, I get the point about positive reinforcement, but I wouldn’t advocate it in this case. It sort of makes me think that criticism is definitely badly perceived sometimes. I am not sure if it is because we’re in a society where being strong, being weak, being right, being wrong, are such sought after/dreaded positions, that it annihilates criticism as being perceived positively (like truly positively, not as a failure. Yeah… I’ve recently watched Brené Brown’s TedX conference. ).
    Of course we should encourage good steps, and suggest what we think are better ways of doing things, and come with ideas instead of just comenting on the bad points: but that’s exactly what criticism is about=judging the merits and the faults.
    And let’s be honest, Always is not a vulnerable child lacking confidence, that we should be careful not to break while educating him: they can handle criticism, even a good roar if needed. They’re grown ups making money by creating dreams you did not even think you had. They can definitely handle it. Actually, they did everything to deserve it.

  10. Could agree more with you. This was exactly my reaction and the only reason I liked it was because it actually got my mom to post about gender equality on Facebook. Otherwise, it’s a corporate crock of bullshit.

    And you know what I hated most? That, conditioned thoroughly, even as my mind recognized how stupid the movie was, and even (on the ‘entertaining’ topic) boring, I still felt the tears rising at the end. That’s what I hated most.


    • Emily
      Thanks — you said exactly what I felt, though in a fraction of the words. Although I swallowed it entirely, until my 7yo daughter helped me understand the problem!

  11. I like the ad, I love this piece of writing and I like the replies. I’m a rugby coach coaching girls from U13 to U18. I see the way the right sport can hugely help the self-esteem of both the running type girls and the girls who have body weight to use to their team’s advantage. Watching the latter stand taller and play stronger and fight for ball possession because they know they have a job that they can do on a sport’s field is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done. Part of my role is to ensure that all of the girls accept each other and have total respect for each others’ abilities and skills, and to see them putting their bodies into potentially damaging physical contact for each other brings a lump to my throat. The 4 stone overweight girl (what does that really mean when she can still run round a rugby pitch for an hour?) deserves her place just as much as the speedy ones, if not more because of the pyscho-baggage she has to carry. And given that we’re out doing sport together for an hour or so, we all come off wet, muddy and stinking and take huge pleasure in it. I’m also totally open with my own team about the benefits of using a mooncup, rather than tampons and towels – if I can convert just a few I’ll be happier still! So yes, I’d like to see some rugby girls in that ad; no, I don’t like the advertising of ‘clean’ periods, but yes, small steps has to be good (even tho we’ve been at it for years); thank you for mentioning the blue because I’d kind of not noticed in my indignation about the cleanliness/mother nature crap. I’ve shown my daughter the ‘mouse on the ceiling’ tampon trick to try to take away some of the Praise the Holy Tampon rubbish that’s out there, and given her the mooncup option so she can make her own decisions. (That may be a little off-agenda, but I think that being a good parent will make the most difference to gender equality – I’ll be a happy woman if my boys grow up as feminists too.) Enough now.

    • Sarah
      I don’t know if this counts, but I’m immensely proud of my mother as a 60-70s feminist who raised 5 kids (2 girls, 3 boys) and let us know that none of us were going to get away with substandard behaviour, regardless of gender. Now I’m 46, and I she’s even more awesome at 73!
      Your kids will think the same of you, I’m sure.

  12. Thank you for putting into words exactly the disquiet I felt on viewing the ‘like a girl’ clip. Am forwarding this to my daughters

  13. You make a lot of good points, but I think one thing the video did achieve was getting people, especially young girls themselves, to rethink phrases such as “like a girl” that are tossed around all the time.

  14. You make a lot of good points, but I think one thing the video does achieve is that it makes people, especially young girls, think about phrases such as “like a girl” that are constantly tossed around. Getting people to change the way they think is often half the battle.

  15. Sure, it could be better, but let’s not neglect the fact there’s a major victory in any campaign (advertising or otherwise) that gets people thinking. It could be an ad precisely like this one that gets a person interested in feminist issues to begin with (I think for me it was a Pantene ad). It appeals to the mainstream, and that’s worth more than any ideally constructed message that only reaches the already ”converted”, let’s face it, minority.

  16. The fact that advertisers are even marketing products in this way is a huge indication that things are changing. Advertisers look at their demographic and try and figure out what it is they want, if P & G are now seeing that THIS is what women want, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  17. I love this blog, but only periodically – see what I did there?

    It’s just so relentlessly negative. And the comment about none of the older actresses having eaten a cake since 1986 was just sloppy. They all look normal to me and were fairly diverse in looks. Would you rather they were a little fatter? Cos body fascism is perpetrated against slim women too – a subject that this blog has commented on several times before.

    Maybe (probably) always are being cynical and hypocritical. I for one want to stab things when that melodious belfast accent tells me to ‘have a happy period’ but a seriously pig-headed bastion-of-the-patriarchy acquaintance of mine linked this to me on facebook with the comment ‘this is sort of cool’, and that made my freakin’ week. The net result of this is good. If we jump on every attempt at mainstreaming feminism and point out its every flaw and inconsistency everyone will get bored of us and go elsewhere. The net result of THAT would be bad. And aren’t results what we’re all after here?

    Now I’m off for a short break from reading this blog because honestly – and I really am being honest here and not saying this for effect – you guys often make me feel really down about being a woman.

  18. The described advertising campaign by a toiletry brand is not only professionally implemented, it also shows considerable sophistication. The commercial in the style of a mini documentary suggests to the viewers an irrefutable empirical approach to a highly emotional subject: the female self-consciousness, on which the brand takes a stand. However, precisely this is the task of advertising. It is and remains (professionally designed) advertising.

    The attraction to the opposite gender depends on contrasts and their idealization. The female stereotype is round, the male is edged. It’s good that genders are different – that’s not judgmental per se. ‘You’re like a girl’ is just as ‘offensive’ for a pubescent boy, as ‘You’re like a guy’ for a girl. Of course there are different types of girls and boys, and all become more insecure about themselves during puberty, in a phase of redefinition.

    The commercial declares the expression ‘like a girl’ to a generalized swear word and polarizes so at the expense of female self-consciousness. The advertising brand presents and associates itself thereupon as a fighter against the staged injustice. It takes with one hand and gives with the other. Against real injustices, however, more public education or psycho-hygiene can helb, but not an emotional advertising campaign of a hygiene brand.

      • Please, excuse my translated English. I’m not advocating strict gender binarism. I just wanted to reveal the psychological strategy which makes this commercial so successful. Under the guise of a documentation it declares the expression ‘like a girl’ as generalized insult, eroding pubescent girls’ confidence. I wanted to point out, that the meaning of ‘like a girl’ is depending on which gender is addressed, that both genders lack confidence during puberty, that both genders can be letigimately different and physical abilities vary individually. (This is, what psychologically causes tension and attraction in partnership.) Precisely this commercial spot takes confidence by polarizing, while introducing and associating a brand as bastion against injustice and for woman power. The highly emotional narrative way to this conclusion involves the danger to overlook the dedication as a commercial and its mechanism of action.

  19. The “blood” has to be depicted as blue because you can’t show bodily fluids in TV advertising (no idea why but apparently its an advertising standard). It’s the same in ads for nappies – the “wee” is blue.

    • Australian advertising standards, as far as I can find, and from having worked in a broadcasting regulator, contain no mention of bodily fluids. The laws certainly don’t! Anyway, advertising standards are not laws — they’re accepted practice within the industry. Meaning — the industry says what goes.

      You can guess how that works — profit, profit, profit.

  20. The thing I don’t like about it is that it feels like it blames the victim.

    I suppose it’s good to bring to light the internalised self-loathing that young girls have unfortunately already succumbed to, but it proposes nothing about the source of the problem.

  21. I hated the video. Properly loathed it in fact.
    Not because I think it’s hypocritical of a megabrand ito do it but because i genuinely don’t believe it’s such a great message.

    a) this is not an experiment. it’s an ad! it’s scripted! No single person in that clip reacted spontaneously. It was written to be touching and it’s an insult to actual social psychological experiments.
    b) it is insanely patronising. I am 28 years old and i do not identify as a “girl”. i am a grown woman and i resent the implication that my gender identification is the most important part of my identity. Frankly, i believe the assumption that my being a woman means I need a big brand to act like the protector of my self-esteem and give me hollow pep-talks is fucking insulting. If i want to be inspired, I go to pinterest, thank you very much.
    c) if it’s feminist, it’s only career feminist. You want some respect? well, then you gotta win that race, d’uh! Be a strong, kick-ass woman! Go get into that boardroom!
    Just the usual business-as-usual denial of any social or cultural factors that might have an impaft on gender inequality.Good news, boysys and girls – it’s all in your heads! Wohooo!.Now let’s go on pretending we’d all be happy if we’d start the day with positive affirmations in our bathroom mirror.

  22. your point about unfit feminists is like super-important.

    because the issue isn’t that girls are told they can’t win races when they actually can.

    it’s that “winning races” is seen as gendered at all.

    like a girl isn’t an insult because girls can’t throw, which is what “showing girls winning races” is trying to address. it’s an insult because misogyny and patriarchy lead to the systematic devaluing of the achievements of 51% of the population through implicit associations like this one and combine with humanity’s natural confirmation bias and incorrect perceptions of the world to lead to global oppression.

    Research has shown time and time again where this stuff comes from. How it works. People who listen to a conversation between a man and a woman rate the woman as talking twice as much as the man when it’s the other way around. People who view a behaviour performed by a man or by a woman use entirely different language to describe it. People homogenise their outgroup, so that the behaviour of a woman can confirm truths about other women, while the behaviour of a man can only falsify such truths.

    Psychology has told us, TIME AND TIME AGAIN, that the fundamental issue here is the mechanisms of prejudiced norms and the set of essentialist assumptions that say that there are behaviours that are linked to or typical of one gender (which is also directly harmful, as well as indirectly). That is, the problem is that we take gender and attach attributes to it, like bad at math, good at sport, nurturing, empathetic, aggressive.

    Attaching a new attribute to gender – whether that’s “real women have curves” or “girls can too throw” – is so far away from addressing the problem that it’ll make it worse. Sure, it’s nicer if we attach positive messages. But positive stereotyping IS STILL HARMFUL.

  23. Thank you!!! The insincerity of this advert made me want to puke! Thank goodness I have The Vagenda to sort it all out.

  24. Poor poor girls….whaaaa! No one gives a shit about little boys though?…oh yeah they’re the supposed problem! This is total bullshit since it has nothing to do with tampons!
    Second, “like a girl” is a legit stereotype that’s why it lasts because girls DO suck at sports. Embrace that with pride instead of denying it and inventing sexism where none exist.
    If this isn’t blatant misandry then its subtle misandry in its total neglect of an equally insecure and just as numerous young populace…little boys…..!!!
    Dumb feminists never quit this crap and ruin the football games with it and crap about domestic violence. Go read the statistics….women start half those fights or more!

  25. I completely agree- when did feminism or even being strong become about being able to run fast, win, or throw? I would suggest that misguided feminism improperly placed importance on trying to prove that females could do everything the exact same way that men do it, and inadvertently severely damaged young women’s self esteem when reality set in. That reality is this; young women should ABSOLUTELY and without question be encouraged to pursue what they love, demand to be treated fairly, and to be judged on their merits. From a physically competitive perspective, if my point of comparison is someone who has a hormonal physiological advantage, I’m setting myself up for a letdown. If we truly want to empower women, the PC police aren’t going to do it. It starts with parenting, and is followed by a close second of personal accountability. Victimhood or the inability to shrug off the insinuations of the world doesn’t do any good at all. “They make me feel..” Is not constructive. Own your feelings. Own your world. People are idiots, but if getting offended by it is hurting you, then STOP.

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