Monday, July 20, 2009

Jokes about menstruation  

Who else has seen the Midol commercials that feature woman comedians joking about periods? If not:

What does everyone think about these? For me, they don't seem to sit right. While I absolutely love and admire woman comedians because they are so rare yet so talented, why do they have to be used to joke about menstruation? Most female comedians have a wide variety of material that doesn't have to do with periods, so it bothers me a bit when Midol pigeonholes them into this one narrow category. Moreover, while I like the idea of laughing and joking and talking about menstruation, their jokes tend to take the stereotypical route - i.e. depicting women as wretched bitches while they're on the rag. That part I certainly don't like.

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9 comments: to “ Jokes about menstruation

  • July 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM  

    I'm fairly certain it's about periods 'cause that's what the product is related to.

    This is more cherry-picking than pigeon-holing, I think. So far, as a marketing campaign, I think it seems fairly positive.

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:08 PM  

    I understand that. What I was arguing is that female comedians are so rarely seen, and then Midol places them on primetime television telling jokes about periods. It's a bit harmful to the "women are funny and can talk about things other than menstruation" argument, don't you think?

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

    I have seen these commercials, and have thought about writing a post about them myself. I just hadn't gotten around to it...

    For some reason I am more bothered by the first commercial that you posted than the second. Saying that women become "monsters" without Midol is completely ridiculous. I don't take Midol and I don't think I become a monster once a month (I don't know how the people around me feel about that though).

    The second commercial falls into the typical stereotype that a lot of guys have (at least I feel like they have) about menstruation.

    Overall, I have not been too pleased with these new Midol commercials...and they have definitely not made me want to run out and buy some Midol.

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

    I don't really see anything wrong with female comedians talking about experiences they and other women have. Being a feminist female comedian doesn't mean you can't discuss any female subjects.

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

    Yeah, but comedians get to delve into hyperbole, that's their realm.

    Midol certainly won't make many of my friends less grouchy when they are, that's for certain, but the comedy comes from the basic pattern that one is less likely to be nice and patient when one isn't feeling good.

    Anyhow, maybe we would hear more if it weren't ten second spots...

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

    I agree Laura, I find the first one more offensive.

    Jen, there's a difference between "talking about experiences" and playing off of stereotypes. For example, Red Tent events allow women to sit in a circle and share their stories of when they first menstruated. Midol, however, is featuring comedians who are not so much sharing individual experiences, but feeding into the "women are bitches on their periods" stereotype. I don't see them saying anything positive about menstruation.

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

    You can't say something positive about mensuration if you're trying to sell menstruation pain medication. To sell it you have to remind women how horrible an experience it can be. That's from a marketing point of view.

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

    I was responding to your implication that this advertisement is equatable with "sharing experiences," which it is not. "Sharing" usually involves talking about menstruation in a positive way by relating to other women's experiences - but the women in these advertisements are talking about only the negative aspects. Therefore, I don't think "discussing female subjects" is an appropriate description of these commercials.

  • August 17, 2010 at 1:28 AM  

    The only joke i found on here was you ladies. In fact all of you have earned a midol. Also, why are so many women on computers? I had no idea they started building houses with computers in the kitchen??