Anger · Rant

Ranty Friday – Feminine Hygiene Products

I am a woman just in case you hadn’t noticed. I have spent a lot of time in the company of other women. Let me demonstrate:

  • I attended an all-girls school from the ages of 11-17
  • I spent a good few years learning bellydancing in all-female classes and travelling around to workshops and performances
  • I used to play netball for my town
  • The majority of my friends are women and there’s a definite female:male bias in my family too, with dozens of female cousins and second cousins

Which is why this next statement may come as a surprise to you…I have never been offended by the odour of another woman’s intimate, female regions. In fact, I won’t stop at offended, I’ll go as far as to say that I’ve never so much been AWARE of the odour of another woman’s intimate female regions.

And that’s where I’m confused, dear readers. See, I’ve never seen extensive stashes of Femfresh or any other feminine washing products in the houses of my friends and family, but surely they MUST be using them if I’m not being overwhelmed by their ripe stench?

**If you haven’t realised so far that I’m writing with an enormous pinch of sarcasm, I suggest you stop reading now and go and read something which won’t offend the fluffy kittens that are currently taking up residence in your brain cavity**

FemFresh Monster

Women, listen up.

Evil FemFresh
This is an *actual* Femfresh ad campaign.
I know. It made me feel stabby too.

Femfresh is ridiculous. It’s a myth, peddled by companies to play on your paranoia and every time you buy one of their products, you’re perpetuating that myth. Have you ever been sitting around and thought “Wow, what’s that smell? Is it…my…fanny?!”? No? Okay, so if your nose, the nose which is presumably closest to your own foof on a daily basis, cannot smell your areas, the chances are that A.N.Other random passer-by isn’t going to be able to either. Unless they’re part bear. Bears have an amazing sense of smell, you know.

The thing that is really offensive about it all is the sheer range of products that Femfresh offer. Specialist “triple-action deodorising” fanny wash not strong enough to keep your olfactory-offender under control? Well, how about some handy portable wipes for keeping you fresh ‘on-the-go’? And if that’s not enough, there’s even a spray deodorant for your downstairs mix-up. With MOISTURISING SILK EXTRACTS, nonetheless. And finally, if you really cannot keep your quim under wraps, there’s a panty liner with ‘silver-care technology’ to really ensure you aren’t bothering anybody with your feminine effluvium.

The things is, men have privates too, but you don’t see supermarket shelves bulging with “Barry’s Patented Ball Wash” or boxes of silver-filled sheathes to encapsulate the bollocks, lest we ever catch a whiff of the breeze as it passes through their danglers. Sure, men probably wouldn’t buy ball-wash if it existed, choosing rather to embrace their manliness and let things marinate, but that’s not the point.

I would love, at this point, to make a cogent argument about how this is further proof of the demonisation of women and how we’re viewed as unclean and second-class, but this has gone on for too long and too many women have allowed themselves to be sucked in by this now. It’s become a vicious circle, we’ve played into the Ad-Man’s hands and made his job easy. We’ve run away with our paranoia and allowed ourselves to be manipulated. We don’t know right from wrong anymore. So, I’ll make it simple for women of all ages and backgrounds and end by saying this:

If your fanny is really that whiffy, GO AND SEE A DOCTOR. It’s not a specialist tuppence-wash you need, it’s medical attention and possibly some ointment.

The End.


27 thoughts on “Ranty Friday – Feminine Hygiene Products

  1. Great post. There is something distinctly creepy and blatantly misogynist about these products. It points to a real fear of that secret jungle “down there”. What lurks? Who knows! Hit it with some spray and kill it!

    This reminds me of that section in The Vagina Monologues in which one of the characters, a lesbian, talks about women’s natural smell and these products. She says — tongue clearly in cheek — something like, “I want to smell the fish — that’s why I ordered it!”

    Great post. Thanks for including in the end of year BritMums Carnival.

    1. Interestingly, I recently learned that the concept of B.O. was created by marketing men too. Apparently, someone discovered a compound with deodorising properties and in order to sell it, the Ad Men started a marketing campaign to stigmatise body odour, which up until then had just been considered a fact of life!

  2. *claps hands and cheers* that was brilliant and so so true. i have never understood why anyone would buy such prodcust, i mean if you have a smell either using good old fashioned unfragranced soap and water or go see your GP as you may have an infection!!! I wonder who does buy it???? x

  3. I’m sure there are a few ladies who do have odoriferous quims… I suspect, however, that few of them would pay much attention to it or spend money on ridiculous feminine hygiene products, because, lets face it, if your can’t be arsed to wipe your front bottom every now and again with a soapy flannel you’re probably NOT the consumer these products are being targeted at. As a male consumer, can I reassure lady readers that I have rarely encountered a vagina I have disliked or found offensive, or a young lady who lacks the self-awareness to realise that it might be a good idea, after (i.e.) long walks on hot days in tights, jeans or leggins, to freshen up a bit before presenting that part of her anatomy to the man (or woman) of her dreams for closer examination.

    That aside, the idea of covering a smelly ANYTHING in perfume to disguise the smell surely went out with the ‘nosegay’. It’s like spraying air freshener in a toilet – a temporary cloaking device at best that’s never going to take the place of or eradicate the need for regular flushing…

  4. Brilliant!

    All I think of when I see these ridiculous products is how sore I’d be if I scrubbed my clanker with chemicals.

    I prefer a naturally fragrant lady garden. That is all.

  5. I have just read this out loud to my Hubbie and there are tears rolling down his face (with laughter) at the thought of Barry’s patented ball wash! You my lady are a writing genius! I love you!

    However on a serious note i am totally with on the whole thing! Make us unclean and fill our pants with noxious chemicals, cos that’s got to be a good idea!

    1. Glad to cause a few laughs! Perhaps we need to set up Essex BlogFest and give away Barry’s Ballwash?!

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