Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If anyone misses that old Monday Misogyny feature...

Here's at least a month's worth. The majority of them are quite proud of it, and probably consider themselves very clever for their old, tired jokes. Granted, there are some decent people commenting there, but the rest of the posters are making fun of them. And it is not a good sign that this inane thread had reached ten pages by the time I saw it.

One repeated answer amazes me. In a community where it is not only perfectly acceptable to dress in tight spandex with a felt mask, but encouraged by picture-taking, we have a bunch of men who are embarassed to go to the store and buy tampons.

Not only that, but its a thread full of men desperate to flaunt their virility and tampons are one of few purchases that prove without a doubt that you live with a real, live woman.

It boggles the mind.

45 comments:

  1. Buying tampons has never been a problem for me. I also have no problem shopping for clothes for my wife. The one time I did get somewhat embarassed was when I went to Victoria's Secret to buy some frilly things for my wife. I thought going in I could handle it, but after about 1 minute I realized I needed to ask the salesperson for an assist.

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  2. The thread isn't all bad. Some of the stuff in there was genuinely funny, like:

    It's just some vag rags. I'm a lot less embarrassed to buy those than condoms or a animated series on DVD.

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  3. Now that I have a child it never even occurs to me to be embarrassed buying toys or cartoons, even when they're for me and not my daughter. And I agree that condoms seem embarrassing while tampons do not. Just last week I was trying to pick out some condoms and two ladies working at the pharmacy picked my aisle as the one they needed to use to cross the store. They brushed past, totally oblivious to me or the wares I was examining. Meanwhile I was thinking to myself "Pardon me, could you choose a different aisle? I'm trying to decide which of these products to put on my weiner and you're totally breaking my concentration." The only thing I find embarrassing about buying tampons and such is the prospect of coming home with the wrong product. But then I get that way when I go out for toothpaste, too.

    And "vag rags"? WTF? Who writes like that? No one I know uses a phrase like that.

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  4. Meh - I don't recall ever having a problem buying this stuff for my wife - I'm usually more worried about buying her the WRONG thing than I am about what the teenager running the register is going to think about me. (Besides, I worked register when I was a teenager, and I know I would have been thinking "Thank God, only 3 more hours of standing here until I get to go home.")

    I like that the first guy won't do "ironing, vacuuming, or scrubbing toilets". This is the mark of a guy who is either still living with his parents or has a bathroom that I really, really don't want to visit. Anyone who lives by themselves for any length of time learns how to do at least two of these three things (ironing is optional, depending on your job). And if you do any kind of travelling and have to look presentable, learning to iron your own shirts and sew your own buttons is a MUST. The last thing you want to be doing is making a big important presentation in a wrinkly shirt with a missing button (unless, of course, you're a college professor - then all bets are off).

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  5. The only thing I find embarrassing about buying tampons and such is the prospect of coming home with the wrong product.

    Well, that's a real problem, but it also has a quite simple solution: make sure you know which is the right product before you leave for the store. Take the old empty package with you if you have to.

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  6. By the thread title, it looks like a fairly interesting question.

    But it gets dumb the minute the OP heads things with "AS A MAN."

    AS A WOMAN, I totally don't get what the big deal about periods is. "OH SHIT GIRLS BLEED OUT OF THEIR GIRLY BITS OMG! AND I HATE BUYING PRODUCTS RELATED TO THIS BECAUSE... UM... I'M APPARENTLY AFRAID PEOPLE WILL MISTAKE ME FOR A GIRL OR SOMETHING, DESPITE ANY EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY!"

    Seriously, is that the problem? Because it doesn't make any more sense than me being afraid of, um, whatever products there are for guy bits. (Marvel as I demonstrate my vast ignorance in that area.)

    --lj furikku

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  7. Tampons or pads aren't embarassing.

    Three microwaver burritos and a six-pack of toilet paper: THAT's embarassing.

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  8. Ok, I made it up to page 6 before I started weeping and laughing uncontrollably. All these He-men keep talking about their wives. Who do they really think that they are fooling? Unless they are all over 50 I guess.

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  9. I love the one that compared tampon shopping to the weekly comics run. Because one is as essential as the other, of course.

    -- Anun

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  10. whatever products there are for guy bits.

    There's really no equivalent.

    Ok, I made it up to page 6 before I started weeping and laughing uncontrollably. All these He-men keep talking about their wives. Who do they really think that they are fooling?

    It could happen. I'm married, and I'm about four different kinds of nerd.

    I love the one that compared tampon shopping to the weekly comics run. Because one is as essential as the other, of course.

    It's a different kind of essential.

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  11. "Take the old empty package with you if you have to."

    God bless you, Matthew! I'd say you were a genius but I think what's really going on here is that I'm dim. Either way, great tip.

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  12. I've never been embarassed purchasing anything but then again, I've never had to buy anything labeled "EZ-Genital Wart remover" or whatever.

    When looking for tampons the first thing I always did was ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP. Not only does it get you fast service, you also get to see them embarassed to be helping a guy purchase TAMPONS.

    Semi-Related: Whenever you buy condoms, also buy Gatorade. By the gallon if possible. For best results, appear sweaty and out of breath.

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  13. No, it's not a different kind of essential. One is a hobby that theoretically one can kick at any time, the other is a biological imperative that happens to every single woman and can't be turned off until menopause, no matter how many wonder drugs will claim to limit it.

    I realize that there are women who will get all squicked out at the men they're interested in revealing their love of comics, but it's not like menstruation is done for kicks and it's not like men don't know that their SOs do, in fact, menstruate. The whole analogy of comics:tampons::nerding:menstruating is pretty darn ridiculous and a poor reason for not picking up a box now and then.

    There are probably many fine reasons that guys can come up with for not feeling comfortable enough to buy feminine hygiene products. Comparing it to comics shopping is hilarious but not actually valid.

    -- Anun

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  14. Sallyp said, Ok, I made it up to page 6 before I started weeping and laughing uncontrollably. All these He-men keep talking about their wives. Who do they really think that they are fooling?

    And Matthew said, It could happen. I'm married, and I'm about four different kinds of nerd.

    *raises hand*

    Mr. Reads is about four different kinds of nerd, too (video game, comic book, D&D, etc. etc.) and frankly, it was one of the things I fell in love with. Finally! I thought. Someone attractive and smart and funny who is *a bigger nerd than me!*

    Gentlemen, Ladies, people like *smart people*. Smart people read comic books, play video games, go to school, work, eat pizza, play D&D, and, oh yeah, purchase gender-specific items in stores for their SO because, well, love makes you do the wacky.

    I find it very interesting that the gender-specific drugstore item is the biggest squick fest over at the 'rama boards. I would have thought something like, well, "As a man I refuse to kill innocent creatures and/or people" would get more mentions.

    But I think I'm overly optimistic in all things.

    Also, I think Sallyp might be referring to something else here, and please, correct me if I'm wrong. But what I think she's saying is that all of these "He-Men" are talking about the things they make their wives do, or telling their wives what to do, etc., and Sallyp is scoffing at the very idea that these men have to hide behind internet handles to say how they lord over their family and home. i.e. if they're married and need to brag about the things they won't do and make the wifey do, then they're full of it.

    Am I right?

    Ciao,
    Amy

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  15. Holy Hell, Anun -- Matthew was joking, I'm sure.

    Besides, menstruation is nothing like the weekly comics run. It's monthly, for cryin' out loud.

    Which is why the tampon industry has never released anything like 52.

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  16. It's funny how the internets work at times. I commented on the newsarama thread out of sheer amusement at one excuse. I then patiently explained why it was funny to me. I was under the impression I was entering into the amusement factor of it all.

    Whoops, guess not. But I will say this -- that special time is once a month, yes, but it's once a month for a week at a time. I could illustrate all the ways in which a woman can go through a box of tampons within that week or how one can't always accurately track the cycle, but I wouldn't want to be accused of not being able to take a joke or anything.

    -- Anun

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  17. Sorry, Anun. I didn't mean to jump down your throat; it just seemed to me like you were taking Matthew more seriously than (I thought) he intended.

    Also I was looking for an excuse to say "Holy Hell."

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  18. When I write anything on the internet, I purposely don't use smilies because I believe that if I write well enough, everyone will know whether I'm kidding or not. It doesn't always work.

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  19. I guess I was laughing, because all of these guys were just being so incredibly MACHO and boasting about their manliness. I'm married and have given birth four times, so trust me, I can handle pain. I'm also the comic nerd in the family. My husband wouldn't be caught dead in a comic book shop, although he is nice enough to drive me occasionally. I guess I just can't imagine younger women putting up with some of the crap that these guys were spouting. *sigh*

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  20. man i didn't make it past the first page of that thread. what a bunch of jerks. i imagine most of them are single or in pretty unhappy relationships.

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  21. I stopped reading at the quiche guy. I've never understood why quiche is considered unmanly. I've made my fair share and I've always been amazed that what amounts to scrambled eggs in a crust is called girly. Poor misunderstood quiche.

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  22. Yeah, quiche is pie made out of scrambled eggs. What more could you want from a food? Maybe it's all in the name. I bet it wouldn't be the butt of so many jokes if it had a manlier (less French and more Anglo-Saxony) name.

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  23. Wasn't there a book out in the 80s called Real Men Don't Eat Quiche? That was probably my first exposure to the word was hearing that phrase (or Mr. Furley calling it "quickie" on Three's Company), and I doubt I'm alone. It's kind of imprinted that way, no matter how delicious it actually is.

    And mmm... scrambled egg pie...

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  24. Rob S said, And mmm... scrambled egg pie...

    with bacon! or ham! usually cheese of some kind!

    What's *not* to love?

    Silly anti-quiche boys...

    Ciao,
    Amy

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  25. Someone in the comics blogohedron (Scipio? Chris Sims?) actually posted something about that once. As accurately as I can recall: "It's scrambled egg pie. The only manlier food is, I don't know, raw shark or something."

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  26. I thought Real Men Don't Eat Quiche was a Bloom County collection.

    It's probably because it's French. What most men don't know is that it's French for "heart attack in a pie crust".

    -- Anun.

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  27. The Bloom County connection rings a bell, but it's actually the title of a tongue-in-cheek on how to be a Real Man by Bruce Feirstein and Lee Lorenz, published in 1982. Feirstein apparently did pretty well with it; he followed it up with Real Men Don't Bond in 1992.

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  28. What I don't get, whenever and wherever I see it, not just in that link, is that in this day and age there are still guys making with the grinning, strutting, chimp talk. I wanted to grab all the guys who posted other stuff and smooch their faces for simply existing, and lock the chimps in a small room decorated with their own feces that no one else will clean.

    Grouchous on my part, yes, but I spent the beginning of September diving through rhetoric based on the same macho illogic system in the science fiction community, and at this point I'm ready to crack heads. I wonder how these hypothetical wives/girlfriends would react if they read these pathetic pronunciamentos? Even if all this is just gas it's still being read by younger guys who don't recognize it for vapor, and it's still eating a hole in the ozone layer.

    ::off to browbeat my Spouse-Creature, who will then frown at me and make me feel like a brute::

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  29. I stopped reading before I finished the first page, since I was getting kinda nauseous...

    But to be fair, I'm sure that if somebody started a thread that went "As a WOMAN..." we would get equally sexist remarks (though maybe not as many).

    Anyone wanna try it?

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  30. There was a Doonesbury collection called "Read My Lips, Make my Day, Eat Quiche and Die!", which is probably what you're thinking of...

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  31. Bloom County had a minor character named 'Quiche Lorraine', a decidedly unfeminist woman. I'm sure we can all fill in the punchline.

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  32. A lot of the comments are pretty funny and also point out that many of the guys are either young or saying it with tongue planted in their cheek. I don't worry about defining myself as my gender - I try to define myself as a person and hopefully nine times out of ten I come across as a decent person.

    As to the Tampon question, even with a price check I can live with getting them if need be, but can we cut down on the number of varities they have (thank god for cell phones so I don't have to come home with the wrong type!).

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  33. I know that the term has some alternate meanings on your world, but these "he-men" are anything but. A real "he-man" would treat women with the same respect that all people deserve. A real "he-man" would do anything to help a friend or loved one. And a real "he-man" would see that there would be no "he-men" if not for equally strong women.
    I have superpowers, but my best friend is a normal woman, who is just as capable in battle as me, or any other warrior I know. Without her training, help, and friendship, I might not be here today.
    I battle against the forces of evil, but on Etheria those evil forces are in control of the planet. My sister leads a group of civilian rebels against the Evil Horde, fighting every day to reclaim the freedom that my people can take for granted.
    I've been to other dimensions, but my mo--er, the Queen was an astronaut from your world, who became lost in space and stranded on a foreign planet, with no hope of returning. Still, she adapted, and she has been one-half of the most peaceful and prosperous reign in Eternia's history.
    You see, a real "he-man" isn't defined by how well he can fight or how much he can lift. A real "he-man" isn't even defined by gender. A "he-man" should be defined by strength of character and conviction, by willingness to do the right thing no matter what. A real "he-man" might not be a "he" or a "man" at all. But these people? These are no "he-men."

    And I should know.

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  34. Thank you, He-Man!

    (by the way, love the page boy hair cut. Just love it)

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  35. Sadly, I did not write the bit about quiche being Scrambled Egg Pie, but I wish I did.

    Of course, I don't actually eat eggs, as I prefer to only eat food with a reasonable chance of defending itself.

    Also, sometimes I buy boxes of tampons just so people will think I have a girlfriend. Then I come home and build little structures with them for my action figures. Can the forces of COBRA survive GI Joe's Assault on Fort Kotex?!

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  36. "This cursed structure keeps soaking up my moat!"

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  37. He-Man, I think a lot more people would take you seriously if your superhero disguise consisted of more than...a tan!

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  38. I buy Tampons for science.

    Make of that what you will.

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  39. He-Man, I think a lot more people would take you seriously if your superhero disguise consisted of more than...a tan!
    Short list of disguises less plausible than a tan:
    *Glasses & slicked-back hair
    *Wig & Fishnets
    *Domino mask & Robin Hood cap
    *Domino mask
    *Nothing (I'm looking at you, Power Pack)
    Besides, every He-Man toy was a variation on the same ten body parts anyway, with color variations being the main way to tell them apart. It's a wonder that people could recognize each other at all.

    By the way, I missed Monday Misogyny, but only because I knew there was still material for it. If MM ever stopped because Misogyny went away, I certainly wouldn't be pining for it. But a weeklyish opportunity to feel simultaneous shame (at members of my gender) and pride (that I'm better than that)? It's sort of worth it, right?

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  40. Yeah, the whole "as a man" concept is pretty offensive from the get go. I could think of a few things I wouldn't do (principally pegging and mentioning old girlfriends), but if some other guy does them, he's still a man.

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  41. I think they were trying to be funny. At least, I hope that's the case. I have purchased many a tampon for myself. Huh? They're great for a applying/disturbing a variety of painting mediums in the mixed-media pieces I like to make.

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  42. I've only bought tampons for someone else once and the only embarrasment came when I reached the aisle and realized how many different products there were and that getting just a brand name wasn't enough. Wish I knew enough at the time to ask for an empty label of some sort.

    The most embarrassing purchases for me have been those side trips to the grocery store where the contents of the my shopping cart is more random than usual. One time, I wanted to make lemongrass-infused vodka (it didn't come out as good as I hoped) and picked up a couple things I knew we were short on at home. I think I had vodka, lemongrass, oatmeal, cold cuts and meatless breakfast sausage patties in my cart. I kept imagining people thinking of me as someone who combined the most off-putting meals ever with a drinking problem.

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  43. Tom -- I've never been good with a feature, but I might try to make this one come back.

    Oh, and Sims -- AWESOME idea. I'm so making a tank tonight when I get home from work.

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  44. Hell, my husband's gotten out of bed to make emergency midnight runs to the store for Midol!

    Of course, he adds, reading this over my shoulder as I laugh aloud at some of the comments (here, not @ Newsarama), that's pure survival instinct. He values his nuts...

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  45. Sorry I'm so late to this particular party.

    Anyway...I think I might have an answer to one of Ragnell's points. Yes, purchasing feminine hygiene products (my wife greatly prefers pads to tampons) is *the* surest sign that you're living with a real, live woman...but it is also the surest sign (among the "He-men" that are posting on that list, or the ones that they're parodying) that she has you "whipped" (defined as "so completely dominated by your woman that you are effectively emasculated"). By that measure, you may - technically - be male, but you're a pathetic, neutered shell of a Man.

    Mind you, I don't have much sympathy for this point of view - I've purchased my wife's pads since she was my college girlfriend, enough times that I know her preferences by heart - but I do understand it, having grown up among it.

    Actually, I must confess that, having grown up among it, it's a bit hard to shake. I don't let it stop me, but I do worry. "Whipped" was something you never wanted to be.

    Patriarchy pushes us all into pigeonholes, I guess.

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