Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Keep Your Lips Sealed

Let’s talk about one of my favorite things, shall we? Mansplaining. I just love it when a man is kind (aka condescending) enough to dumb something down for me to understand, even if it’s something I know way more about than he ever could. The most recent mansplaining I’ve come across comes along with a wonderful future product known as Mensez. Soon, if creator Dan Dopps has his way, everyone with a menstrual cycle will be able to buy a wonderful lipstick for their lower lips. This lipstick doesn’t make them look pretty, though, it glues the labia shut, holding in menstruation until you urinate, when the moisture breaks the seal. This way everything goes directly into a toilet.

My favorite part about this is that Dopps believes that this will make menstruating SAFE. Gluing body parts together is not at all something that sounds safe to me, especially when you’re talking about genitalia. I also don’t know that menstruating is terribly unsafe now, at least not in areas of the world where the product is likely to be sold, other than the fact that having a menstrual cycle means dealing with people like Dopps or members of Congress attempting to control something that a large majority of them aren’t personally affected by. The only other safety concern I can think of with menstrual products is the possibility of toxic shock syndrome when using tampons, or “plugs” as Dopps calls them. However, as long as proper usage is taught, it’s very rarely an issue.

Don’t know why I might think this, but holding everything in with glue sounds much more harmful. Even if it’s a glue that is meant to be able to be washed away with urination, what happens if you don’t get a chance to use the restroom and it all gets held in for half a day? I imagine there would be uncomfortable bloating, and potentially other physiological problems that I don’t know anything about. Also, if the glue just requires a little bit of moisture to wash away, I’m guessing it wouldn’t even be possible to use while exercising, or when spending a day around water. So if a person is highly active or lives near an ocean or lake they spend a lot of time at, it’s not even a feasible option for them.

I will say that at least Dopps’ plan creates less waste than tampons and pads do, with both their packaging and being thrown away after use. But there are other environmentally friendly options that we could focus on, such as menstrual cups or menstrual underwear, both of which get washed and reused rather than thrown away adding to the world’s waste. This potentially eco-friendly aspect is also just not enough for me personally trust anything described as a glue to seal menses within the body, even though they say that it is made from natural oils and amino acids. It sounds like a lot of future health issues in the making, and like it wouldn’t work anyways, but this clearly hasn’t registered to Dan Dopps. Maybe it’s because he’s never personally experienced it and knows nothing about it, so maybe he should refrain from making a menstrual product, or at least not talking about it as if it will save the lives of every human who has ever experienced a period.

Featured image credit: Sara O’Malley on Flickr, CC

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