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Angry Letter to Midol

To correctly set the mood of this new blog, I'd like to first REpost something that I've already shared with a lot of people, but it's a very good representation of me and what I "do" (I guess).

FACT: I am an angry-letter-writer. I don't do it often enough, but when I do, I don't mess around.

If you haven't seen the TV spot yet, Midol has a commercial out whose tag-line is "Reverse the Curse". My response followed thusly:

Bayer HealthCare LLC
Attn: Consumer Relations
36 Columbia Road
P.O. Box 1910
Morristown, NJ 07962-1910

To Whom It May Concern,

I just saw your recent ad campaign for Midol on a commercial before leaving to go to work yesterday. And let me say, it was one of the worst ways I can think of to start off a Monday morning. I even began my period this same morning, which perhaps made me even more offended. I heard the words "Reverse the Curse" and I almost choked on my Eggo waffle.

The commercial starts off by saying "There's a reason they call it a curse." Yes, there is. The reason is that the "curse" of menstruation is part of a popular Christian myth. Eve was "forsaken" by God because she ate from the tree of knowledge and thusly "doomed" her entire sex to the pain of child birth and the "shame" of monthly blood. Though, anyone who acknowledges science will be able to tell you that the menstrual process is healthy and necessary to even have children in the first place (and if you need that process explained to you, you probably shouldn't be selling anything relating to a woman's period!) Perhaps it may seem like a burden at times, but a curse? Hardly.

There are already so many products and ads on the market trying to tell women that their bodies are dirty and their bodily functions are unholy and should be hidden from the world and never discussed, even amongst other women. These are the values our daughters are being raised with. These poor girls are going to grow up confused and scared. They are going to be disgusted with their bodies and ashamed of natural, healthy events that are all a part of growing up and being women. A girl's first period is difficult enough without you trying to make a quick buck off of her discomfort.

And even if period symptoms are a "curse", do you really think taking what is basically Tylenol with caffeine added would be what can "reverse" it? What about some of the real curses that Western women have been given? The fact that we are looked upon so lowly that we are condescended to by the media, that we are only considered valuable if we are attractive, that the parts of our bodies that men don't like or don't understand are considered "dirty" (nobody ever called breasts a "curse"), that we are used as objects often to the point of violent attack and rape, that the government is constantly telling us what we can or can not do with our bodies, how we should express our gender and sexuality, with whom how and why we should have sex, and that "women's issues" are not of major concern, and the fact that feminists or anyone that longs to change the status quo are considered "uptight". Yes, I think these are all worse than feeling a little bloated a few days out of the month.

So before you go around selling some snake oil cure for women's "curses", maybe you should ask one if she even thinks she's cursed to begin with- and if she wants to be cured. Sure, I could do without cramping and fatigue. But I'd rather just use a heating pad a drink an extra cup of tea than use your product. And as far as actual menstruation goes- considering the fact that it allows me the awesome privilege of one day possibly choosing to create a life, I think of it as a blessing.

Most Sincerely,
Danielle Thillet

Footnote: In reply, they sent me a very polite form letter and then coupons for Bayer products, proving that they didn't actually read what I said, I was just filed in the "uptight customer" log and handled as company policy dictates. I plan on writing another letter and mailing the coupons back, but I haven't had the chance. I just want them to know where they can cram it (and that 50 cents off a product I don't buy does me no good).
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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