For many trans men, menstruation can trigger gender dysphoria, and the process of going to the feminine hygiene aisle to purchase some bubbly pink product certainly doesn’t help matters. A Finnish hygiene brand is looking to change that by launching its first line of tampons designed specifically for men.
Tampon for Men by Vuokkoset, Finland’s only manufacturer of disposable menstruation products, comes in a Navy blue packaging with a straightforward, minimalist design. “For men who have periods too,” the tagline reads.
“While the primary function remains consistent, the design, packaging, and branding of our tampon for men are consciously developed to not reflect traditional feminized imagery, making it more inclusive and reflective of the diverse menstruating population,” the brand explained in a press Q&A.
Vuokkoset put together the campaign in just four weeks, launching the product in time for International Transgender Awareness Week (Nov 13 to 19). Although the limited edition is available only in Finland, Vuokkoset is planning a wider distribution in 2024 after gathering feedback from the initial launch
The inspiration for the product came from a desire to reduce gender dysphoria in connection to menstruation. Vuokkoset cites a study in which 93% of participants reported gender dysphoria during their period, a fact made worse by the highly gendered nature of menstruation products.
None of this information has stopped TERFs from losing their entire minds over the concept, but that’s not surprising: as usual, TERFs will always try their hardest to make everything about themselves.
“Menstrual products — from visuality, advertising to store location — are strongly feminine,” said Sanna Karhu, CEO of the brand’s manufacturer. “It’s time to acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals.”
“When I was young, menstruation felt not only strange but somehow wrong,” said Dakota Robin, a transgender man and DEI consultant who is the face of the campaign. “Our culture does not really acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals.”
This is really, really bad
“This is definitely a step in the right direction,” Robin added. “By changing attitudes and broadening perspectives, we can also remove discrimination against gender minorities.”
Following this first step, the company is evaluating options for completely gender-neutral period products based on their learnings from Tampons for Men. In the meantime, total sales from Tampons for Men will be donated to Trasek ry, a trans advocacy organization that provides education and resources on sexual health.
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