Transgender advocates claim a new tampon advertisement takes the cringe factor surrounding women’s sanitary products to new lows by stereotyping its community members.
A preview of a Libra ad featuring a drag queen character and a blonde woman was uploaded to YouTube at the weekend to a storm of criticism. It is also playing on New Zealand television.
Both women sneak glances at each other while they get competitive about putting on their mascara in a mirror, lipgloss and adjusting their bras.
In an apparent coup de grace the blonde pulls out a tampon and the drag queen walks out of the bathroom.
Agender NZ president Cherise Witehira, said many in the transgender community were outraged at the ads which were “blatantly transphobic”.
“It’s extremely offensive because it’s pretty much saying the only way you can be a woman is to get your period.
“That’s where a lot of the anger in the community is coming from – it’s saying you are not a woman unless you can get your period.
“Obviously we can’t menstruate. However, we identify as female.”
The “bitchy” ad also stereotyped all transgender women as drag queens, and reinforced the belief that transgendered people were not normal, Ms Witehira said. She would be asking for the ads to be pulled.
SCA, the company which owns the brand, did not return Herald calls yesterday.
Many vented on the company’s Libra Facebook page yesterday, saying they were boycotting the product.
Bex Alphabet said: “I don’t think I’ve been so disgusted or offended by a tampon advert before (and let’s face it, most of them are terrible). Shame on you Libra. Not only is this a terrible, cruel reminder to people who might struggle with their gender, but also an insult to all women – how dare you imply we are that competitive and spiteful over a godamn period? So glad I don’t buy your products.”
However, one woman said people should grow a funny bone: “Liking the new Libra ad! I don’t find it offensive at all. People we are in 2012! Time to lighten up a little & get with the times!!”