6 Reasons Mensez’s ‘Feminine Lip-Stick’ Is Stupid & Dangerous

On Sunday evening, I sat down to catch up on some work after a fun week off. I briefly took a break to browse Facebook and was definitely not expecting to uncover what came next. A new business (if you can call it that) came to my attention, one that sells menstrual products. As somebody who frequently writes about menstrual matters and tries to promote period positivity, I was of course intrigued. I love seeing this topic become more mainstream and I’m all for more products being out there. Except for this one.

I don’t even know where to begin with this as there is a lot to unpack. Basically, Dr. Daniel Dopps (I have no idea what he’s a doctor in) has patented a way for women to ‘stop menstrual leaking’. That’s right! A man, who clearly has no understanding of how vaginas or periods work, has come up with a product that essentially glues your vulva together. Pour yourself some tea, grab a snack, and let’s go over everything that is wrong with this product. Because apparently we still need to be having this conversation.

They clearly do not know how periods work

Mensez want us to essentially glue our vulvas shut to avoid leakage. They claim that their product is ‘healthy’ and ‘safe’ because ‘blood stays inside where it should be’. You do realise that’s not how periods work, right? I understand not everyone enjoys having a period, and that’s fine, but menstruation is healthy. Think of your period as a monthly health report card, you can learn a lot from it. My cycle is essential in helping me learn, plan and make choices that centre around my mental health. Why would I want to stop it? I digress..

Menstrual blood isn’t just ‘blood’. It’s a mixture of dead and dying endometrium (ever get brown discharge? it’s your vagina emptying out old cells), mucus and blood. In short, your period is when your body releases tissues it no longer needs. Every month or so (depending on your cycle), the uterus lining gets thicker in order to prepare for a fertilized egg. If the egg isn’t fertilized, the lining is released. Blood doesn’t need to stay inside, in fact that’s pretty dangerous. Not only does the company fail to acknowledge they have no understanding of the menstrual cycle, there is also absolutely no mention of the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) either.

They’re obviously in dire need of anatomy education

In addition to not knowing how periods work, it’s clear this guy doesn’t know how vaginas work either. First of all, a labia do not completely cover the vaginal opening. They’re usually slightly above and they also come in all shapes and sizes. Vaginas are frequently contracting, sometimes we don’t even know they’re doing it. Gluing it shut would not only be dangerous and unsanitary, it would also be extremely painful. Closing up a vagina would create an imbalance as it contains both good and bad bacteria. I dread to think what would happen if you created such an environment, it’s important to remember the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Lastly, we don’t urinate through our vaginas! How many fucking times does it need to be said? We can’t plug tampons into our bladders and we definitely shouldn’t be gluing our vuvlas shut. It’s not just a drop of blood we are talking about here, it’s a whole red sea. Imagine ‘blocking’ this for an entire day? Hell, an hours worth would be terrifying enough!

Mensez are contributing to stigma we are fighting so hard to erase

Whether this product gets made or not, it’s part of a much larger issue. The literature that accompanies this product and all the reasons they believe they need to make it all stem from one thing: a disgust towards menstruation and women who have periods. You only need to take one look at the founder’s response to somebody on a now deleted Facebook page and you’ll see this. Their website states their goal is ‘to better the lives of women around the world’, by you know gluing your labia shut…

On top of that, this is yet another company that assumes only women menstruate. I am really tired of seeing brands use such careless language and alienate transgender people in the process. Not everyone with a vagina is a woman and it’s not just women who menstruate.

The connotations are even worse

This product and ‘campaign’ is irresponsible in more ways than one. The most unsettling element to me is the fact that it makes me think of female genital mutilation (FGM). A procedure which has absolutely no health benefits and is a complete violation of human rights. An issue which is simply horrifying and something that is still  happening in 2017. If you are trying to sell a product that supposedly makes women’s lives easier, this isn’t the connotation you want.

They completely disregard other menstrual products out there

The funniest part to me is their claim that women haven’t come up with a better solution than nappies. Please! There is wide range of alternatives out there and it’s getting better everyday. There’s cups, periods pants, re-usable cloth padsperiod sponges, and even crotchet tampons for god’s sake.

Their social media is a complete joke and a lesson in how not to market yourself

Lastly, their social media presence has everyone questioning if this is a joke or not. Their Facebook page has been taken down and their website has been heavily edited since. However, a reader stated that the first time they glanced at their website, they were claiming to have a team of people involved. Despite this claim, there was just a stock photo of two other men and nobody had bothered to make up last names for them. The responses on the Facebook page were just outrageous and sexist, how is this man expecting to sell this product? Their Twitter account (which is now protected) is perhaps the most bizarre of all. I had a quick look at the page and it was full of poorly constructed tweets (the social media manager in me was cringing hard). For some reason, they have decided to rant about wind farms and kept using a Whitney Houston related hashtag. Very bizarre as neither of these things feel very on brand.

Final thoughts

The product itself hasn’t even been finalised or sent to FDA for approval, so with any luck it won’t actually be available to buy. With the company deleting and protecting social media accounts, it looks like the back lash is having some effect too. One only can only hope they take this opportunity to actually educate themselves, but I’m not hopeful. Although this may have all been one big hoax, I just had to say something about it!

 

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18 Comments

  1. bravemermaidElena
    February 21, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    Cunt glue. But it’s in a lipstick shape, so that makes it ok.

    Easily one of the most ridiculous products, made by the most ridiculous man baby, I have ever heard of in my life.

    • Reinventing Neesha
      February 21, 2017 / 6:42 pm

      This comment has made my day!!

      • February 26, 2017 / 1:42 am

        its just ridiculous,but ,seriously there are some major issues women are facing everyday all over the world-from gendercide,slavery,denied reproductive rights and education and still being stoned to death and sold.I would like to see us focussed on helping and raising awareness about real equality and human rights issues, who cares if some ignoramus is running a scam?There are bigger things to cry about-so you want your vagina not discriminated against because it was created by a plastic surgeon, fine.Compared to the millions of girls and women denied their basic right to life unmolested this is really small potatoes – women’s journalism used to be trivialized as fluff-women have risked their lives to be taken seriously-let’s not go backwards.

        • Tara | C&CO.
          February 26, 2017 / 7:23 pm

          News flash – I can (and do) raise awareness and talk about ALL of these issues.

  2. February 21, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    Oh wow, I’m really hoping this is a joke product and they don’t actually think this is a safe way for women to menstruate!! Thank you for bringing this to our attention!! x

  3. February 21, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    Somebody needs to glue this guys Ahole up so that his shit can stay inside him like it belongs.
    Ugh.

    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

  4. February 21, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Ugh I can’t even begin to explain how furious this makes me. I am tired of men (uneducated at that) telling us what we need, what we should be using and the continued spread of stigma we are so desperately trying to stop.

  5. February 21, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Does he not understand that it’s not meant to be inside anymore? Hence it leaving? How does he not understand how he makes no sense whatsoever?!

  6. February 21, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    Also – if it did somehow work, what if you sneezed and leaked a bit? Or rode a horse? How would you swim? So many questions!

  7. Reinventing Neesha
    February 21, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    PREACH PREACH PREACH! Everything you’ve said in this post covers all the emotions and thoughts I was feeling about seeing this!
    I literally can’t even believe they thought this up and are actually trying to market it, it’s completely blown my mind how idiotic some people are.

    Neesha

  8. randommusings29
    February 21, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    I’m sat reading this thinking this has to be some elaborate wind up complete with fake social media accounts, but there’s a part of me fears it isn’t!
    Debbie

  9. February 22, 2017 / 6:15 am

    Thank you SO much for this article. I saw this product (from you) and I was like “What is this nut job even talking about?” And now I’m horrified by this whole thing. I’m sharing this with everyone I know.

  10. February 22, 2017 / 8:30 am

    I really hope this product is a joke because it makes me so angry! It immediately reminded me of FGM and you’re totally right that they shouldn’t be proud of that connotation. Also, I just don’t understand how people can be so ignorant presuming a relationship between the bladder and periods. It’s 2017, am we STILL have to explain that they’re two separate bodily functions!

  11. Carrie
    February 24, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    You don’t understand why we are reacting this way. Sure. Hey, did you realize that even if you sealed the lips shut forever, for most women, that doesn’t actually cover the hole where your period comes from? Just in case you know, you’ve never seen a vagina up close.

  12. February 26, 2017 / 6:32 am

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, I got so angry reading about it! It made me think of FGM too, which is horrifying. There needs to be better education in schools about periods and other reproductive issues, I’m so sick of seeing men who clearly know nothing about biology lecture us about what we should and shouldn’t do xx

  13. February 26, 2017 / 11:23 pm

    Something inside of me died a little when I heard about this product. Never before have I encountered such a blatant disregard for women’s health, rights, and dignity. I’m mortified and hope to God the FDA shuts this thing down before anyone gets hurt.

  14. Nina
    February 27, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    ICould this this glue-lipstick be used for blocking the male urethra as well, to keep the all the sperm inside upon ejaculation? – nice, tidy and hygienic – no more messing around – for the man you want to be!
    And hey – don’t panic, it will unblock upon urination!

  15. February 27, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    If you read the articles about him, his community, co-workers, and even his own family have all come out saying “Guys – we tried to stop him, seriously, but he just wouldn’t listen… we don’t want to be associated with him…” 😀

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