December 4, 2023
Transphobic Trolls Melt Down Over Tampons for Men and Brand Spokesman Puts Them in Their Place
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.
A Finnish tampon maker's packaging may give buyers a wink with a package that reads "For Men" on one side and "struation" on the other, but its marketing message is serious – and brand spokesman Dakota Robin, trans himself, refused to bow when trolls attacked the ad campaign, clapping back to put the haters in their place.
"Earlier this month, Finnish brand Vuokkoset launched the world's first tampon for men," Newsweek detailed. "It is an attempt to meet the needs of trans men and non-binary individuals who might be experiencing having a period."
"In the case of trans men, some might have their periods while undergoing hormone replacement therapy, while others might decide not to undertake this kind of treatment," the report explained.
Vuokkoset unveiled its new tampons for Trans Awareness Week, and posted informative text on its website, Newsweek said.
Noting that "periods or a lack thereof do not determine who is a woman and who isn't," the company pointed out that "Women who have gone through the menopause do not have periods, and hormonal contraception can also stop periods."
"Some women have had a hysterectomy due to illness, and trans women have never had a womb at all," Vuokkoset added.
The company also spoke about how "changing attitudes and broadening perspectives" could "stamp out discrimination against gender minorities."
"The least anyone can do is to understand that periods do not define womanhood and understand the diversity behind them," Vuokkoset maintained.
But that was too much of an ask for transphobic trolls who piled onto the brand for its acknowledgement of a share of the market that identifies as male and yet needs the product, LGBTQ Nation recounted, citing social media messages that ran the gamut from ignorant to hateful.
"Anti-trans X account Two Genders One Truth (@2genders1truth) posted that the company hasn't 'invented something new for a bodily function men do not have,'" the site related.
The transphobic X account went on to declare, "Companies like Vuokkoset perpetuate a belief in 'transgenderism' out of pure self interest. They profit from creating a market of mutilated, medicalized, and confused women."
But Robin – a "DEI consultant... who worked with Vuokkoset on the product and also appears in its ad campaign" took to social media in turn and threw some cold water over the blaze of outrage trolls attempted to kindle.
"This is not a matter of opinion whether our society needs these products or not," Robin posted. "The research speaks for itself, so we have people who need these products whether you like it or not," he wrote.
LGBTQ Nation pointed out "research showing that 93 percent of trans men have experienced menstrual-related gender dysphoria."
"Today, I am privileged as a trans man because I don't have periods, but unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky and there can be many personal reasons for that which is nobody else's business," Robin went on to say. "So why am I participating in the campaign if I don't have periods?"
He listed a number of reasons for his involvement, posting that he "would have needed products on several occasions during my life and I still know how it feels when you are not seen or heard and your needs are not taken seriously."
Moreover, he added, "I've grown a thick skin and I'm more than happy to use myself and my platform to fight for my community and vulnerable people like trans youths."
Continued Robin: "By shaming, bullying, and harassing, prevailing stereotypes and norms have been and are still being maintained. Although the comments don't hurt me, I know how it hurts my community and especially young people."
"We can & should talk about things because we have freedom of speech, but the conversation must be respectful," Robin insisted, before leveling trolls with a final volley: "If you don't think I'm man enough, still I think we all agree that you need to have the balls to do this kind of move so for all the transphobes I want to send peace & love and BIG DICK ENERGY."
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.