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New Zealand company pulls “transphobic” advert

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  1. Kay from NZ 3 Jan 2012, 11:40am

    Lots of comments still going on the Facebook pages and on Twitter under #transphobictampons

  2. Jennie Kermode 3 Jan 2012, 11:42am

    This isn’t about the acknowledgement of the fact some women menstruate. It’s about the implication that those who menstruate are innately more feminine, more successful at being women. This is a stigma that exists in real life and causes great distress for many trans women, infertile cis women and others. It’s essentially mocking a disability.

    I’d hate to see any form of speech banned, but advertisers must take responsibility for the messages they send and consider the impact those messages ae likely to have; otherwise they cannot expect the respect and support of the buying public.

  3. Pink news, why is the word transphobic in quotation marks? You’re not the Daily Mail.

    1. Because not everyone agrees that it is transphobic… it is uncomfortable to watch for some people and maybe the wording used at the end of the advert was ill advised… but is it transphobic?

    2. The Daily Mail’s peculiar habit of using quotation marks as a shorthand for saying that its editorial board disagrees with what is enclosed in the quotes (and therefore so should its readers) is not a habit that is shared by quality news media such as Quotation marks mean simply quotation.

      1. Quality news media? PN?

    3. GingerlyColors 3 Jan 2012, 2:51pm

      I don’t think the Daily Mail is all that bad. Last week they carried a page full of photographs from Sir Elton John’s and David Furnish’s album showing the progress of their child. I used to post under the name ‘Gay Daily Mail Reader’ before using my current ident which is an anagram of my name.

  4. Was it a transgendered woman or a drag queen?. The difference is important in determining whether the ad was stigmatising or funny. Does anyone have a link to the ad (if it is still on-line anywhere)?

    1. I’m not sure that matters – how would you determine that from the advert – trans women come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It’s about what can be interpreted from the advert and clearly it has upset a lot of trans people (and their supporters).

      There is also the issue of demeaning women who, for whatever reason (perhaps menopause, hysterectomy), do not menstruate.

      1. By that logic low factor sun cream adverts are demeaning to people with fair skin as are tanning products as it comments on the fact that some people do not tan easily or burn in the sun.

        Condom adverts are demeaning to transmen….adverts for shoes are demeaning to people without legs… milk adverts are demeaning to lactose intolerant people…bread adverts to coealiacs.

        I’m sorry but screaming privelege/prejudice at everything that could possibly upset someone makes us just as intolerant as the religious nuts who want any depiction of gay people banned because it is demeaning to their belief system.

        Live and let live, unless something has a direct (and significant) impact on your life there are better things to worry about.

        1. Commander Thor 3 Jan 2012, 12:48pm

          It is transphobic.

          “Haha, look – some people can walk, and some can’t. Let’s see the humorous side of being in a wheelchair.”

          None of these adverts you mentionned made fun of people who were excluded from the category targetted for the product.

        2. That was such a stupid reply. Condom and milk adverts are not making fun at someone elses expense.

        3. What a silly comment – when we see an advert which depicts a trans man and a cis man buying condoms in a mens loo, there would be a similar outcry. The fact is the advert depicts a trans woman being ‘pitted against’ a cis woman and the inference is that you are not a woman if you don’t menstruate. The point is, that in any of those other adverts, a ‘normal’ person is not being put into a competition with another person, who for medical/genetic reasons cannot compete.
          I have absolutely no problem with ordinary commercials for sanitary wear products – it is only when a trans person is depicted as an ‘inferior’ person that I have objections.

          1. I find your comment rather silly, carol_s – there’s no discrimination to argue on transmen/cis men condom purchase. Using condoms is a really good move for safer sex regardless of whether you’re using a penis, dildo, strap on or whatever and regardless of your sexual or gender identity. All it says is ‘I’ve got lucky’, or ‘I hope to get lucky’ and hints that a penetrative sexual act might be performed. When buying condoms everyone’s a winner.

          2. “when we see an advert which depicts a trans man and a cis man buying condoms in a mens loo, there would be a similar outcry”

            Why???? Are you saying that trans men cannot use condoms? Dimwit alert…..

      2. If it was a Drag Queen then there is no issue of menstruation, they can’t and any I have met don’t want to, so perhaps they erred by not choosing a more obvious Drag Queen but that is a error of execution of the idea (not the idea itself) rather than an intention or wish to offend. If it had been a Dame Edna type would you be OK with it?

    2. OrtharRrith 3 Jan 2012, 12:13pm

      Whilst the performer is an Ausie Drag Queen, the ad does not specify and unless the viewer was familiar with the Australian Drag Scene then they wouldn’t know or recognise the diference (stereotypes) – not in a thirty second advert. The only way it would’ve been obvious to all and sundry that the performer was a drag artist is if it was Dame Edna Everage.

    3. i saw the ad and you know what as a woman i think that doesnt menstrate often that there are a hell of a lot of people that just need to lighten the heck up who really cares what each woman out these uses or doesnt use for her cycle or who cares if some get their period or not who really cares its just advertising a stupid product who knows for sure the other woman may not have libra in her bag but a product that was not as pretty wrapped or plain wrapped or maybe she should have smiled and said i’m not on my rag so i can get laid too bad for you lovely and walked off . people take stuff far too seriously now days too politically correct everyone just needs to take a chill pill and relax for the record i dont use libra i use carefree

  5. Maybe if she started to scream “Thats a man!” and called the bouncers to remove the other person from the hallowed sanctum of the womans bathroom… that is transphobia.

    Girls menstruate (not all women do though) but drag queens don’t, even if they can match them in every other way… Thats what was being commented on.

    Overanalysing something you can imply almost anything from it sometimes things are just what they appear to be in the surface.

    The word is bandied around far to easily whenever something makes one section of the ‘community’ a bit uncomfortable reminding them of the fact they weren’t born female bodied…. The reaction to things recently feels a bit over the top.

    1. Commander Thor 3 Jan 2012, 12:48pm

      It is transphobic.

      “Haha, look – some people can walk, and some can’t. Let’s see the humorous side of being in a wheelchair.”

      None of these adverts you mentionned made fun of people who were excluded from the category targetted for the product.

      1. Is it possible you are being Dragqueenphobic by not allowing them to appear as themselves as non menstruating men in frocks.

        1. Commander Thor 3 Jan 2012, 2:57pm

          I’m being -phobic for asking we don’t portray an arbitrary class of people as inferior?

          Inferiority complex much?

          1. I fail to see what you are on about – it has been clarified that this was a Drag Queen not a Transgendered woman. The outcry from transgendered people seems to be that either they or the public are not intelligent enough to make that distinction or that not so comical Drag Queens should not be allowed to be themselves and act in a way they see fit.

            Where does it say anyone portrayed anyone as inferior – you might have construed that but that is not what was portrayed.

          2. Twat complex, for sure

  6. It doesn’t appear as though the makers of the advert intended to be transphobic. I think they must have thought of the person as a drag queen and if this had been made clear the ad would have worked, but it’s the ambiguity that allows viewers to think that it may be a trans woman which is a mistake. All they needed would have been a few seconds of footage at the beginning of the ad showing the two of them going into the toilets and behind them a sign saying ‘drag queen ball’ and a drag performer on stage.

  7. What I find amusing is the trans-women and drag queens who take me to task for not being a real woman because I do not wear make-up, heels, nylons and dresses. As if that’s what makes a woman a woman!
    Fortunately, there are plenty of trans-women and drag queens who know better and who respect my gender expression, making it very easy to respect, honor and celebrate their chosen gender expression.
    Yes, off topic but as a biological female, I really do not feel it is my place to tell a trans-woman what is offensive to her and what is not. That would be trespassing on her gender expression and her feelings – poor form.

    1. Helen Wilson 3 Jan 2012, 3:59pm

      Well those who transitioned in the 70s, 80s and part of the 90s had to conform to the misogynistic ideals of the male gender specialist of the day that usually consisted of flowery dresses and high heals in a Tory wife sort of way. They do tend to have a ultra fem view of the world, what they went through could almost be considered brainwashing but it was the only wat they could get treatment at the time.

      I really don’t live up to the ideals of womanhood those early gender specialist imposed on transsexuals. Strangely enough I’m more attached to my jeans than I am my skirts and a pair of flats are far better suited footwear for everyday life. Its not about what I look like on the outside it who I an on the inside that make me the woman I am.

  8. What irritates me is the notion that somewhere there’s a competition that has to be won.

  9. Helen Wilson 3 Jan 2012, 2:59pm

    We in the trans community use transphobic too often, the ad is not transphobic….its made from a position of cis gendered privilege and probably better labelled as cis gendered misogyny or cis sexism.

    This ad just propagates the idea that somehow as trans people we are a threat, do not belong and that conflict should exist between cis and trans women. It uses imagery like showing the cis gendered woman as natural while the trans gendered woman is fake in every way.

    1. You are 100% on the money I think. Unfortunately I suspect that only a transwoman (or a redical feminist – but we don’t mention them) would understand what you just said lol.

  10. Katie-Kool eyes 3 Jan 2012, 3:18pm

    Although I don’t think the company intended to insult the trans community with this advert, I do believe they were rather careless with their advertising on this occasion.

    I cannot help but think the underlying message in this advert is that Trans-Women are “wolves in sheeps clothing”.

    I, like most the trans community here do feel the pinch of this underlying note, and cannot help but feel annoyed at yet again someone stating that we’re not “real women”. Of course, like the condom advert example above, this goes for Trans-men also.

    I think this was a cumbersom and insensitive attempt at trying to get a quick “shock laugh” by Libra.

    Katie x

    1. The condom advert example given above is not in any way at all similar. Buying and, more importantly, using condoms is a sensible thing for anyone having penetrative sex to do, regardless of what object, human or otherwise, the condom is going on to. In no way at all does this example denigrate trans men.

  11. IF this person WAS a drag queen, then why would she get the huff about not being able to menstruate?
    So the person is obviously playing a Transwoman who is upset she cannot menstruate. The fact that the cisfemale pulls the tampons from her bag and waves it at her like some kind of badge if honour is clearly very cruel.

    1. obviously? go read Sandee’s statement. the ad is about a drag queen, hence its title “tampons drag it”

  12. H. Jacobs 3 Jan 2012, 6:36pm

    Before I make a comment on any phobia in the ad I would like to say that there are drag-queens and transgenders who beat ‘regular’ women all the way, and I don’t think they mind not being able to menstruate once a month. The ones I know don’t seem to suffer because of it.

  13. Er, what about Les/Leslie in Benidorm? I refuse to watdh that programme on the basis of its transphobia. Could someone please do something about it on your end?

  14. Read the advert another way and it shows the drag queen being dismissive of the bimbo who thinks she wins due to the fact she menstruates monthly and suffers the associated side effects.

    It is getting tired that the trans ‘community’ appropriates any male bodied person in a dress just as when the Gay community approprates a trans person or their partner (ie Barry Winchel) erasing each others identities.

    1. friday jones 3 Jan 2012, 11:05pm

      What the what? That’s like complaining that the black community “appropriates” minstrel shows and innocent instances of college kids celebrating in blackface. You’ve got it the wrong way ’round.

      1. ok…so lets ban drag queens as well

  15. If you liked this ad and believe drag queens have a right to be in a tampon commercial please sign our petition to bring it back to air!

    Go To:

  16. Cherise Witehira spoke without consultation. if she had asked, about 4 people out of 60 in Agender christchurch had an issue. none of them were transsexual.
    the wider trans community seems to quite like the advert, and thinks Sandee did a great job, playing her Drag role.
    we do not associate drag queens with transgenderism, and neither do drag queens.
    personally, i think much of the ‘outrage’ has come from a few individuals at the begining of their journey who are afriad that they look like men in dresses, and so they’ve been triggered by this advert and have attempted to squash the stimulus instead of dealing with reality. I and many of my post operative friends do not support their actions, but rather support Sandee’s role in this reasonably funny ad.
    i think a lot of harm has been done to our community by arrogant individuals who had no right to speak for us, and who have unfortunately reinforced the link that gay men in drag are the same as transwomen. we are not.

  17. I really don’t think the trans community is winning any friends or doing itself any favours by reacting in such a hysterical manner.

    This advert is not transphobic, because that is a man in drag in ther advert,. It is not a transwoman.

    Transwomen do not have the right to tell drag queens how to dress. How drag queens dress is their own business. No-one else’s.

    I’m seeing a lot of stories about ‘transphobia’ lately.

    However about 50% of the time the ‘transphobia’ does not involve discrimination against the trans community. Instead it is about how angry certain elements of the trans community are, at how they are perceived.

    Take the word ‘tranny’ for example.

    Apparently this is now a transphobic word. Despite the fact that it is in wide usage among the trans community, and has until recently been used to describe transvestite men (who do not necessarily consider themselves trans).

    Is there really no other battles for the trans community to fight?

  18. it’s not a transwoman – it’s a drag queen. The drag queen Sandee Crack has actually made a statement that she’s quite proud of the ad and I think it’s funny… I really don’t see how anyone could think it’s offensive or even transphobic. <- Sandee Crack's statement on the matter

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