Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's the worth of natural disposable products?

I was cleaning out my desk space and found this ad that I meant to post about a long time ago--I wish I could remember in which magazine I found it. For some reason, I want to say Time, although this seems like a potentially bold ad for them. 
"Not cotton? My pads and tampons aren't 100% cotton? Introducing Organyc, the brand with the unsurpassed advantages of 100% cotton. It's surprising when you find out your tampons, pads and panty liners aren't 100% cotton. Introducing Organyc. No brand offers better natural absorbency than Organyc. And you get 100% organic and biodegradable cotton. What else would you want so close to you?"

Anyway, it's an advertisement from Organyc, which sells disposable pads/tampons/panty liners made out of 100% cotton. I like this ad because it's straight to the point, without any stupid euphemisms or talk about being free. I also like that it draws attention to the fact that "mainstream" brand products are in fact not made of cotton (they're a strange blend of plastic and low-grade wood pulp leftovers).

However, I've always had a bit of trouble getting behind organic disposable products. Sure, they are a better option than most other brands. The cotton biodegrades, meaning less trash in landfills, and I imagine they're more comfortable to wear. But the pads are also much more expensive than mainstream products, so they're only an option for buyers with higher incomes.

I looked around online to find out how much a pack of Organyc pads would cost. At (not sure if they're available in the stores or just online), you can buy a case of four boxes for $19.99, a total of 40 pads. Each pad would cost about 50 cents each. When I compared this to data from the workshop I put together a few years ago, this is more than twice the cost of Always brand maxi pads (which where about 22 cents each).

However, I was surprised to find that the price of Organyc tampons is similar to the price of Playtex tampons. Four boxes of the tampons is also $19.99, which is a total of  64 tampons. Each tampon then is roughly about 31 cents, and again, comparing that to the data I used for my workshop, that's only about three cents more than buying Playtex tampons from Walgreens (at least in 2008).

But beyond cost, the thing that's never made complete sense to me about disposable natural products is the way they appeal to buyers' ecological awareness. It seems to me that someone who's in tune with helping the environment by reducing waste would be even more interested in reusable products such as the DivaCup which produce virtually no waste at all, so biodegradability or organic source materials kind of becomes a moot point. 

Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Menstruation Play

This blog post is about something that happened in my personal/academic life.

So, I have a drama class, and our final project is to write and produce a play. I had a really hard time thinking of a good topic for the play. I had two male actors and one female actor. After much debate, I came up with the idea of writing a play about menstruation. I thought that using the male actors to discuss menstruation in the ways we discuss it when it first happens to us would not only be funny, but also would shed light on the ridiculousness of the ways in which we discuss menstruation in our culture.

However, I have met people before and realized this might not go over too well, so I also wrote a back-up script. I took both scripts to the meeting between my group, after having emailed them the menstruation script. They were all mad, including my teacher. They said that my menstruation script was offensive. When I asked how it was offensive, they basically told me that nothing I said was offensive, it was the topic of menstruation. I argued for quite a while, and tried to explain my vision, but no one was buying what I was selling. So I pulled out my back up script which they rejected simply on the basis that it was "bad". So now, I have had to write three scripts for this group project.

I think it's really too bad that menstruation seems to be such an offensive subject. We are all grown-ups in the class, and we should be able to talk about things that we maybe couldn't if children were involved. One thing I said to my drama teacher was "I menstruate, you menstruate, every woman in this classroom menstruates, why is something our bodies do something we shouldn't talk about?" There was no real response. I can assure you all that I will be going to the department head, and discussing the issue with that person. It's ridiculous that I should have to do three times the work of anyone else in the class.

Good journey!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion

Just a quick post to draw to your attention my zine that I wrote while I was still in the beginnings of this blog. It's called Menstruator Extraordinaire, and it's again available for purchase in my etsy shop.

Satisfied readers have said:

  • This is officially my new favorite thing everrrr in the world. I can tell you put great effort forth and I really appreciate being able to enjoy the product of your hard work. 
  • I teach a Young Feminisms class, and needed recent zines to show them. Your work is amazing, and I hope it inspires my class to do some zine making of their own.
  • Great zine! As a fellow menstruation academic, I will put it to good use.

We're actually in the middle of a special where if you buy two or more zines (I have a bunch), you also receive a free bonus thingy, so why not get yours today?!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dr. Toilet

I'm a little behind on this, but has anyone heard of the Intelligence Toilet?

Actually, we're up to Intelligence Toilet II. It's a Japanese toilet that measures a variety of vital signs while you do your business: heart rate, blood pressure, weight... Apparently these are things that IT I did, but IT II is also able to keep track of your menstrual cycles. All of this info is sent to your computer and organized into presumably nifty-looking charts. I'm seeing similarities between this and Menstruation Clock.

I'm pretty impressed that this is possible, but I feel like this could be information overload for me personally... I'm satisfied with my limited amount of toilet activities. Yet it's pretty amazing that a toilet can be capable of so much though! This could be awesome for someone who needs to monitor all those numbers/rates on a regular basis.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to eat three tampons in one minute

The internet makes many things possible for us. We can collaborate with others around the world; we can build communities of online friends; we can search seemingly limitless amounts of information at the touch of a button.

Also, we can share with each other videos of this guy eating weird things. wtf?

I can't put my finger on it exactly, but something about this gives me the creeps.

h/t to BuzzFeed


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