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What did she just say? AND WHY IS SHE NAKED?
July 17, 2012 3:59 AM   Subscribe

There's a new advertisement on Australian television that is causing quite a stir. Lots of women are grateful for the frank and honest language. Some not so much. Here it's discussed on a leading Australian social commentator's blog.
posted by taff (123 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I find this to be a refreshing ad. No pun intended.



(I think many Australian women agree that the most revolting word we ever hear is "panty".)
posted by taff at 4:02 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frank and honest language, and yet they still managed to sneak in that less than fresh feeling.

And yeah... why is she naked? You can't wear a (bleah) panty liner when you're naked. Unless you put it on upside down, I guess.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:08 AM on July 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Where do you sit on vaginal discharge?

Oh, you bloggers, with your clever way of putting things!

Anyway, obviously, I am not the target demographic for this ad, but -- yes, it's a little weird that she is naked (maybe she just got out of the shower and wants to keep feeling "fresh" as long as possible?), and I seem to suffer no ill effects from hearing the word "vagina." It might be mildly startling in some contexts -- perhaps while speaking to a teller at the bank -- but I can't imagine getting shocked or horrified by the word.

Perhaps I do not have as good an imagination as I have always thought.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:14 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I actually had to read the second link to figure out what was supposed to be controversial there. Sometimes I expect to look up while walking down the street and see neanderthals around me, because that would frankly be less surprising than how tightly people cling to their weird atavistic fears of words that involve normal biology.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:16 AM on July 17, 2012 [26 favorites]


Interesting.. I watched the ad and thought "they are upset about the word "discharge"??", and then read the article and realized that I hadn't even noted with any concern that they used "vagina" as well.

Let's move on, it looks like I'm sufficiently acclimated to hearing "vagina" in daily speech. What's the next word I've got to get used to?
posted by HuronBob at 4:16 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I saw this last night. Didn't realise it was meant to controversial.

I did wonder why she had to be naked. I mean, it seems like a whole male gaze thing. But the primary demographic is ladies, the majority of whom are straight, so...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:20 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I actually had to read the second link to figure out what was supposed to be controversial there.

Same here. I was typing up a question until I realized I ought to look at the second link first.

Is it the same for "penis" or are men's bits all fluffed up and ready for prime time?
posted by pracowity at 4:26 AM on July 17, 2012


I'm going to take a positive spin on things: if the most important thing the average person in Australia has to complain about today is somebody using the word "vagina" in a panty liner ad... well, it sounds like things are going pretty well.

But I am surprised that a full 16 years after The Vagina Monologues premiered that people still get their panty liners in a twist about the use of a neutral anatomical word.

Bollocks to that.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:27 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I saw it last night and didn't care about the vagina or anything, but was repelled by weird fifties-era "not so fresh and odour", with its connotations that something - as ever - is wrong with women's normal, everyday vaginas and the idea of that some cockamamie gimmick about oxygen could be the fucking solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

So yeah, to me, it kind of typifies the worst things about consumer culture in a lot of ways, and how it promotes a problematic relationships with our bodies - especially for women.

But I'm not the demographic.
posted by smoke at 4:28 AM on July 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


As someone living in a country where a member of a state congress cannot use that word without being banned from speaking, I approve of this ad.
posted by cthuljew at 4:28 AM on July 17, 2012 [30 favorites]


I was more grossed out by an advert that showed someone sneezing all over someone else (it was backlit and everything), than I was by this advert. For what that's worth.

Anyone would think they said c*nt or something.
posted by Solomon at 4:33 AM on July 17, 2012


That's a frequently used and cherished word for many women in Australia, Solomon. Not all, but we don't have the visceral reaction that American's have to it.... we're more on the English end of the spectrum. On my facebook page, I actually spell it out in all it's glory. Frequently.
posted by taff at 4:38 AM on July 17, 2012


This campaign is brilliant!! It has exactly the right combination of potential for confected outrage, potential for outrage at the anticipation of outrage, social media alpha user attention focus and hotness! After all that, the nudity is just the discharge icing on the vagina cake. Genius!

PS make the flowers smaller next time
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:39 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah, Down Under.
posted by spitbull at 4:40 AM on July 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Whaaaa... the logic in the ad boggles my mind. "Your body is amazing, look at all its natural ways of regulating itself! Oh, but this one particular way is actually gross, smelly, and unclean, so please buy our product to hide it." That is what people should be up in arms about.
posted by catch as catch can at 4:41 AM on July 17, 2012 [45 favorites]


I'd hardly say it's causing a stir. It received 5 complaints, and no MSM coverage. Hardly a case of the Australian public being "scandalized", as Jezebel put it.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:51 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina. Yes, they don't like hearing it and find it difficult to say whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his Johnson. "
posted by notsnot at 4:59 AM on July 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Someday, perhaps, we'll be able to say exactly what we want from "bathroom tissue": not to get shit on our fingers. And this commercial will be remembered as having started it all.
posted by tommasz at 4:59 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like the idea that they use anatomical terms. i hate the idea that they are trying to make one of the two self-cleaning parts of the body dirty for doing it's natural job.
posted by Hactar at 4:59 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


My immediate, visceral reaction to that ad is: the guitar music is lame lame lame.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:02 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's move on, it looks like I'm sufficiently acclimated to hearing "vagina" in daily speech. What's the next word I've got to get used to?

Va-jay-jay. So you see, they're getting worse.
posted by JHarris at 5:05 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Anyone would think they said c*nt or something.

No, they more usually quote in dollars.
posted by jaduncan at 5:07 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone would think they said c*nt or something.


Yeah, "can't" is kind of an awful word, if you think about it.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:07 AM on July 17, 2012


I watched it with the sound turned off.

Good news: no mysterious blue liquid.

Bad news: naked woman in all white room with sunlight and flowers.

They may be busting out the unbelievably cutting edge word, vagina, but they are certainly retaining the old-fashioned young, slender, white girl selling the product in a white (pure) setting. Normally we would be getting shots of her farfing around in white pants, but in this case the entire room is white. With white flowers to remind us of how vagina people are feminine.

I suppose the ad got us talking about the product, so there's that.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:10 AM on July 17, 2012


Someday, perhaps, we'll be able to say exactly what we want from "bathroom tissue": not to get shit on our fingers.


I'd say Joanna Quinn's Charmin Bears are getting pretty close. The sideways allusion to shitting in the woods is pretty clever, and those bears have some serious dingleberry problems.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:11 AM on July 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


...weird fifties-era "not so fresh and odour", with its connotations that something - as ever - is wrong with women's normal, everyday vaginas...

There are a lot of body parts I wouldn't want to just stick my nose into without any warning and the fact that it is "normal", or belongs to a woman doesn't change that.
posted by DU at 5:18 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I actually had to read the second link to figure out what was supposed to be controversial there. Sometimes I expect to look up while walking down the street and see neanderthals around me, because that would frankly be less surprising than how tightly people cling to their weird atavistic fears of words that involve normal biology.

This.
posted by odinsdream at 5:22 AM on July 17, 2012


DU: There are a lot of body parts I wouldn't want to just stick my nose into without any warning and the fact that it is "normal", or belongs to a woman doesn't change that.

Yeah, but that doesn't mean there's anything 'wrong' with those parts. Or that anything necessarily ought to be done to make them more pleasant for you to hypothetically implant your nose in. I think the part where the ad implies those things is where people's objections start. That's certainly how I feel.
posted by Dysk at 5:24 AM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


women's normal, everyday vaginas

This led to mildly-disturbing thoughts of ads for "special vaginas for special occasions." Like:

"My, is that your Sunday-go-to-Meeting vagina?"
"No, that's in the wash; this is just my normal, everyday vagina."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on July 17, 2012 [26 favorites]


Eh, the people who are offended by the frank language probably just have sand in their... *ducks*

Yeah, I personally found the "not so fresh" thing to be bit predictable and boring. But the good part of it was basically the ad saying, "stuff comes out of your vaginal even when you're not on your period, and that's natural and healthy". They even pointed out that this helps to clean the vagina. So it does two positive things. First, it's sort of an anti-ad for douches. Second, I imagine there are a fair number of young women who are too shy or embarrassed to discuss what's going on in their body and didn't know what was going on was totally normal.

Truth is, sometimes things don't smell great down there (for both men and women) and if a woman isn't comfortable with the smell this is something she can do that's a lot healthier than a feminine spray or whatever.

I personally stopped noticing that the woman was naked. I would have liked it better maybe if she had been dressing while she talked, that would make more sense.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:25 AM on July 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, but that doesn't mean there's anything 'wrong' with those parts. Or that anything necessarily ought to be done to make them more pleasant for you to hypothetically implant your nose in.

Do you wear deodorant? Wash your hair? Wipe your ass?

Making some body parts holy because of the gender they belong to is not the opposite of sexism.
posted by DU at 5:30 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the type of person for whom this is true, you must never refer to where The Real Power lies.

That's the only reason I can figure out for most culture's preoccupation/revulsion with their genitals.
posted by Mooski at 5:31 AM on July 17, 2012


I personally stopped noticing that the woman was naked.

I think there were too many goddam flowers in her room.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:31 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


DU, every once in a while, I wash. That seems to work for me, much like it has for most of the rest of humanity for at least as long as anyone can remember. Special pads to hide the shame of having a vagina don't quite have the same history, or implications.
posted by Dysk at 5:43 AM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wanted to quote Maud Lebowski, but of course some other cunt had beaten me to it.
posted by Skeptic at 5:44 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


One reason's she's naked is to tell you, the viewer, that the thing isn't itchy or irritating. It is so soft/pure/wonderful that wearing it is LIKE BEING NAKED.

For other helpful metaphors, see also: orgasms when eating chocolate, washing hair under a waterfall, rock climbing in white shorts while using tampons, sun shining after having eaten a healthy breakfast etc etc
posted by MuffinMan at 5:44 AM on July 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Also, you don't need to start sticking your nose in anywhere for the effects of a lack of washing to be apparent, something that is not true of the supposed 'problem' this product is offering to solve)
posted by Dysk at 5:47 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


What a weird mixture of woo-aren't-we-daring-she-doesn't-even-have-knickers-on and that whole not-so-fresh-feeling cliche that SNL was making fun of back when this model's mother was probably around puberty herself.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:48 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skeptic: "I wanted to quote Maud Lebowski, but of course some other cunt had beaten me to it"

Shut the fuck up; you're out of your element.
posted by notsnot at 5:54 AM on July 17, 2012


You've come a long way from chewing gum, Carefree.
posted by Rykey at 6:03 AM on July 17, 2012


First, she is not necessarily naked, she could be wearing a bikini with a strapless top. Like you do when you talk about feminine hygiene.

Second, I loved this ad and found it extremely refreshing to hear such frank and accurate language. And no weird blue liquid is a huge plus.

Third, the word "vagina" should only ever be said in an Australian accent.
posted by biscotti at 6:10 AM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Do you wear deodorant? Wash your hair? Wipe your ass?

Do you use dickwipes?
posted by kmz at 6:15 AM on July 17, 2012 [17 favorites]


I'll only be impressed if they can squeeze half a dozen different words for vagina into the same ad spot.

Also, it's worth observing for all the Brits around here discussing words for vagina : Are you offended by Americans' everyday usage of the phrase "fanny pack"? If so, there is an easy solution, simply make an appropriately themed porn called "fanny pack", and launch a reddit campaign to get it highly ranked on google's search results. Voila, American bum bag makers will soon rename their products to "hip packs" or similar.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:16 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you use dickwipes?

Every time I feel "not so fresh".
posted by DU at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2012


Panty liners, cunt pads, vagina pillows...who cares. (by the way, Dysk, women who use those things aren't necessarily ashamed of having a vagina, maybe they just don't want to walk around all day with a wet soggy crotch.)

However, I'm waiting for when they remake those "erectile dysfunction" commercials and the men start talking about the fact that "my [penis won't get hard." That would be progress.
posted by Kokopuff at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


For the first several seconds of this commercial I was thinking "Why does Alyssa Milano have an Australian accent?"
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2012


Someday, perhaps, we'll be able to say exactly what we want from "bathroom tissue": not to get shit on our fingers. And this commercial will be remembered as having started it all.

Wasn't Oops! I've crapped my pants one of the pioneers of frank and open advertisement of hygiene products?
posted by rh at 6:24 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most disturbing part about the ad was the way they made her speak her lines through a wretchedly fake smile, followed closely by the post-production addition of pseudo-bokeh blurred obscuratory flowers -- shoot it practically or forget it, people.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:35 AM on July 17, 2012


Also, bathroom is already a euphemism. It's called a toilet almost anyplace outside the English speaking world.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:40 AM on July 17, 2012


Imagining a Mad Men plot where Draper and co. need to come up with the first campaign for Feminine Deodorant Spray (as I believe it was called).

Euphemisms would never be the same.
posted by spitbull at 6:42 AM on July 17, 2012


I saw it last night and didn't care about the vagina or anything, but was repelled by weird fifties-era "not so fresh and odour", with its connotations that something - as ever - is wrong with women's normal, everyday vaginas and the idea of that some cockamamie gimmick about oxygen could be the fucking solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

I totally see this point and on the other hand I was really happy to see an ad where someone pointed out that vaginas are amazing for a reason other than, you know, doing it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:43 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Charmin Bear Dingleberry Ad
posted by jeffburdges at 6:44 AM on July 17, 2012


Why the bloody hell does their URL end with .nz! I'm outraged.
posted by peacay at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2012


It's called a toilet almost anyplace outside the English speaking world.

Toilet is also a euphemism.
posted by DU at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Urigro: Thicker stream, less spray, more froth, and louder, deeper-sounding urinations.
posted by odinsdream at 6:49 AM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Isn't it more precise to say that toilet was a euphemism in French?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:50 AM on July 17, 2012


However, I'm waiting for when they remake those "erectile dysfunction" commercials and the men start talking about the fact that "my [penis won't get hard." That would be progress.
posted by Kokopuff at 6:22 AM on July 17 [2 favorites +] [!]


There's a somewhat sketchy company in Australia that specialises in 'Men's Health' that used to (maybe still does in some places) have billboards that loudly proclaimed their special 'nasal insertion technology' which always used to make me think, well, there's your problem.

Also we have a famous former racing driver called Dick Johnson and a former politician called Richard Face.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:50 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shut the fuck up; you're out of your element.

Note that misquoting Lebowski may lead people to think you're just sort of shouting at other users for no apparent reason. The generally accepted form here when letting someone know they're out of their element is to refer to them as Donny, and to tell them to "forget it".
posted by cortex at 6:51 AM on July 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Those of us who rely on the craptacularly bad captioning from YouTube have other reasons to raise an eyebrow...
posted by humph at 6:52 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't it more precise to say that toilet was a euphemism in French?

No. Have you never read old books? It's endlessly hilarious to kids to hear about people "readying their toilet" or whatever, meaning getting dressed, combing hair, etc. Then bathroom. Then restroom. Etc etc. As long as the real thing is thought to be yucky, words associated with it will become yuckier over time until a new euphemism is found, at which point that euphemism starts to be yucky too.
posted by DU at 6:54 AM on July 17, 2012


What is controversial about this? That second link is just bogus, content-free clickbait. And the bit about men being uncomfortable with the word vagina says more about the sexist attitudes of the woman making the suggestion than the imaginary 'men' she is referring to.
posted by epo at 6:55 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"...he said the bottom was like punching an eclair..."

Zappa aside, though, yes to language, no to feeling weird about your vagina. Nobody sits with their head near your vagina (and if they do let's trade day-jobs).
posted by Mooseli at 6:56 AM on July 17, 2012


That second link is just bogus, content-free clickbait.

Yes, it is. "leading Australian social commentator"? The woman is in advertising. Jesus.
posted by Wolof at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


One reason's she's naked is to tell you

The only reason she's naked is to get you to look. That's the marketer's wet dream.
posted by DarkForest at 7:05 AM on July 17, 2012


I don't find it irritating or unseemly that she's naked. Aren't panties (and panty liners) like, the first thing you put on when you get dressed? Anyhow, agreed that it's aesthetically meant to evoke freshness, purity, and simplicity. I guess they could also have put her in a "Little House on the Prairie" dress to get that effect, but who wants to take hygiene advice from Laura Ingalls?
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


kmz: "Do you wear deodorant? Wash your hair? Wipe your ass?

Do you use dickwipes?
"

Actually, if they existed I would use those all the time especially in the summer. Although honestly not directly on there. Women aren't the only ones who get that not-so-fresh-feeling in their nether regions.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:06 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, bathroom is already a euphemism.

There is that cycle of "word is offensive; we need a euphemism; old euphemism is now offensive; we now need a new euphemism."

Also, if my memory serves, there was a Dr. Seuss book where a kid had to "go to the euphemism."

As an added bonus, I can now spell "euphemism." Who says MeFi isn't educational, useful, and practical?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:08 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I need to see a commercial for Daily Dickwipes.

Make this happen, people.
posted by likeso at 7:09 AM on July 17, 2012


>Do you use dickwipes?"

Actually, if they existed I would use those all the time especially in the summer.


If you don't take a break occasionally, you get chaffing. Did your teenage years teach you nothing?!?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:10 AM on July 17, 2012


It'd be better if they provided a graphic of a vagina with some cartoony-curly "stinky lines" coming off the vagina. And then animate the liner covering up the vagina and the smell lines turn into rays of sunshine and a bunny rabbit pops up from behind the vagina and gives a thumbs up. That would probably quell any controversy.
posted by ReeMonster at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


Also, if my memory serves, there was a Dr. Seuss book where a kid had to "go to the euphemism."

Unless it was somewhere in The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough" and I forgot it, I think that must be some other author.
posted by DU at 7:12 AM on July 17, 2012


What's the next word I've got to get used to?

Spork.
posted by yoink at 7:13 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wolof, I was referring to Mia Freedman. It's HER blog. And the prime minister visited her offices and engaged online with Freedman's readers, just a few weeks ago.
posted by taff at 7:14 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Secret Life of Gravy: “Normally we would be getting shots of her farfing around in white pants, but in this case the entire room is white. With white flowers to remind us of how vagina people are feminine.”

Hm. Yeah, I kind of wonder if anybody's tried actually going beyond that – thinking about it, I guess I can recall some hygiene products being marketed to youth demographics, so that brighter colors are used and the 'on-the-go' aspect is emphasized, but that's about it.

I almost think it would be really refreshing to see one of these ads with a electric guitar lick and women working in a mechanic's shop and drinking beer and shit; but then again it would still be marketing, and in the annals of failed marketing attempts to get attention by any means necessary who knows, maybe it's been done.
posted by koeselitz at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, apologies. The article itself is written by the idiot I was describing.
posted by Wolof at 7:22 AM on July 17, 2012


GenjiandProust: “Also, if my memory serves, there was a Dr. Seuss book where a kid had to ‘go to the euphemism.’”

DU: “Unless it was somewhere in ‘The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough’ and I forgot it, I think that must be some other author.”

I was wondering about this and googled a bit. GenjiandProust was kind of wrong, in that that doesn't occur in any Dr Seuss book. It actually happens in Halloween Is Grinch Night, which indeed was written by Dr Seuss.
posted by koeselitz at 7:23 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I need to see a commercial for Daily Dickwipes.

Make this happen, people.
posted by likeso at 7:09 AM on July 17 [+] [!]

I have the tagline(s) sorted:

Daily Dickwipes - For the cleanest penis.
Daily Dickwipes - Add a sheen to your peen.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:32 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What they're calling "vaginal discharge" is probably a mixture of (minimal) vaginal discharge and (sometimes copious) cervical mucus. (Yes, just as men have a second brain, women have a second nose, and sometimes it gets a little runny.)

The cervical mucus varies in quantity, color, pH value and texture throughout the menstrual cycle. Some days, we walk around with bone dry panties, and some days, we can see what looks like a bit of dried rubber cement in our underwear. Often we have just a little creamy smear, similar to what we have when we're sexually excited, but just less of it. When we're ovulating, we can produce quite a lot of thin "egg white" mucus and the pH is more alkaline, thus more sperm-friendly.

So while the vagina is good at keeping itself clean, it can smell more pungent and taste a little more like a 9 volt battery some days than others, even with reasonable daily cleaning of the pubic hair and the groin (sweat-prone areas that can add to the olfactory notes).

I'd rate this commercial more tolerable than any douche marketing (cue Hicks fans: "Redundant!") because it at least plays lip service to the reality that the vagina is a self-cleaning venture. I think any woman who feels she HAS to use a special wash on her vulva daily, or who has to wear a pantyliner daily, is over-reacting as much as women and men who use anti-bacterial hand soap. But given that you can get pretty wet just walking around some days, using a liner like this seems like a reasonable option if you want to minimize the squish.
posted by rosebuddy at 7:34 AM on July 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


...that can add to the olfactory notes.

This makes it sound like we are tasting coffee or something. Yes, I detect a bit of forest floor in this one.
posted by goethean at 7:42 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burnt rust surprise
posted by ReeMonster at 7:43 AM on July 17, 2012


Plus thrush is a thing which can lead to a very moist gusset. Liners themselves are not bad! It's a silly ad, in that it's just so impossibly polished. I could wear 5 liners and still my bathroom would remain the complete opposite of that one. Still, at least they mentioned where one puts the liner for all the novices out there. Also:

Eh, the people who are offended by the frank language probably just have sand in their... *ducks*

Please don't put sand in ducks. They are not oysters.
posted by h00py at 7:44 AM on July 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


(I screwed up the cut and paste: the "egg white", not the creamy stuff, is more like vaginal lubrication. But you all knew that, right?)
posted by rosebuddy at 7:44 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


jeffburdges: "Also, bathroom is already a euphemism. It's called a toilet almost anyplace outside the English speaking world."

The only person I know of who uses the word "toilet" for this purpose is my dad. Everyone else I know means exclusively the device. So as you can imagine, when my dad was at a potluck one time and said to another person, "We can wash the dishes in the toilet.", meaning "in the bathroom (in the sink)" he got a very different reaction than he expected.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:53 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


kmz: "Do you wear deodorant? Wash your hair? Wipe your ass?

Do you use dickwipes?
"

Also, there's Anit-Monkey Butt which, although clearly appropriate for both men and women's parts, is also obviously marketed towards men.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:16 AM on July 17, 2012


Nevermind, apparently now they have Lady Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. For ladies, who don't want monkey butt.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:18 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The word "discharge" is digusting.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:21 AM on July 17, 2012


Especially if it was dishonorable.
posted by elizardbits at 8:29 AM on July 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I noticed this ad on TV tonight, and thought. "Huh. She said 'discharge'. Guess they're tying to push the envelope slightly."

...but the way this post was framed as news of outrage and that second link? Pepsi Blue Liquid Vaginal Discharge?
posted by panaceanot at 8:33 AM on July 17, 2012


I think any woman who feels she HAS to use a special wash on her vulva daily, or who has to wear a pantyliner daily, is over-reacting as much as women and men who use anti-bacterial hand soap.

It's not over-reacting if you need to use a pantyliner daily - some of us have more discharge than others.
posted by MsVader at 8:34 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Vagina Vs vulva & others. Euphemisms are for pussies. The vulva is interesting to see, touch, taste, and even smell. Seeing and tasting the vagina is a little more, um, endoscopic than I'm usually up to dealing with. I find the word Vagina offensive for euphonic reasons. Vulva is better, but I sort of prefer cunny.

Jeez, I'm glad to not have such complicated plumbing.

The Aussies might have cut right to the chase and let Kevin Wilson do the commercial.

From Wiki:

"While visiting Canada on a world tour, Kevin alleges that he was told that due to the high level of taboo surrounding the word, he was not allowed to say "cunt" in Canada. It is unknown whether this was an order or a suggestion. Whatever the case, Kevin made a note of this and walked onto the stage in Toronto and the first song he sang was his now somewhat infamous "You Can't Say Cunt In Canada"."
posted by mule98J at 8:34 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yep, put me in the "didn't even notice the word vagina; assumed the *controversy was about discharge" contingent.

*manufactured by bloggers and magazine desperate for salacious titles to garner clicks, not real controversy involving actual IRL people.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:44 AM on July 17, 2012


Also, bathroom is already a euphemism. It's called a toilet almost anyplace outside the English speaking world.

It's also called a toilet in the original English speaking word, England.

But yeah, it's the word 'discharge' that I find kind of bothersome about this ad, because it seems to imply like a massive, gushing torrent, whereas it's probably (IHNV) just a little dribble.
Maybe they could have said dribble?
posted by Flashman at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2012


Or seepage
posted by Flashman at 8:53 AM on July 17, 2012


mule98J: "Vagina Vs vulva & others. Euphemisms are for pussies."

Ha.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:01 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


And yeah... why is she naked?

How do you know she's naked?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2012


I believe the most disgusting uses of discharge can be found by googling "officer discharged his weapon injuring" or similar.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:50 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


LOL! I didn't notice she was nude. For those who found that odd, are you unaware that drying is best finished in air? Nothing more "unfresh" than getting dressed while still damp. Eew.

For the vagina: That's right. It's just a word for just a thing. A boring, ordinary thing, really. Not worth thinking about unless you have one, actually. Otherwise, really over-rated.
posted by Goofyy at 10:55 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Deathalicious: "kmz: "Do you wear deodorant? Wash your hair? Wipe your ass?

Do you use dickwipes?
"

Actually, if they existed I would use those all the time especially in the summer. Although honestly not directly on there. Women aren't the only ones who get that not-so-fresh-feeling in their nether regions.
"

Prolly TMI, but most certainly as I am convinced about 80% of my body's sweat glands are in my taint.

As long as they dried quickly.
posted by Samizdata at 11:09 AM on July 17, 2012


So wait, is Monkey Butt technically the same thing as Swamp Ass?
posted by elizardbits at 11:17 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


a neutral anatomical word

Vagina isn't necessarily "a neutral anatomical word." It's derived, after all, from a Latin word meaning "a sheath for a sword," implying women's parts are unable to stand on their own, as it were. A vagina isn't complete without a penis. Cunt, on the other hand, etymologically speaking, just refers to women's reproductive anatomy, and is complete unto itself.*

So, 'vagina' as neutral term, not necessarily.


*See Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
posted by notashroom at 11:19 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


<oversharing>

Here's the thing: in my experience, panty liners, if anything, leave you feeling less "fresh," because unlike plain ol' underwear, they restrict airflow. They're useful for preventing blood-tinged discharge from getting on and staining underwear, but if anything, they leave your vagina, and its environs, swampier and smellier. I say this as someone who is wearing a panty liner right this very minute, on a 94-degree day. I sure as hell wouldn't be using it if I wasn't about to get my period.

The company in question is trying to expand its market share by getting people to use its product on a regular basis—instead of for a few days before and after their period—even though it delivers the exact opposite of what the commercial suggests.

And yeah, there are far worse terms than vagina. Like "blood-tinged discharge" and "staining underwear" and "swampier and smellier." You're welcome.

</oversharing>
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have used panty liners when I had unusual vaginal discharge or straggling menses that I didn't want to get on my clothes. They're useful for that.

However, they don't make me feel any more "fresh" than wearing a Band-Aid over a cut that I didn't want to bleed on my clothes would.

As for wearing a panty liner every day, isn't that what underpants are for? So the normal sweat and discharge of your genitalia don't get on your clothes? What next, panty liner liners?
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:40 AM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought this was one of the ads that appears on YouTube before the video you came to see starts. I sat there afterwards for a long time, waiting for the actual video to begin. Oh.
posted by staggering termagant at 11:53 AM on July 17, 2012


The real market for their pantyliners is the elderly; women of a certain age-- too young for diapers, too old to completely control their bladder when they sneeze or cough.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:49 PM on July 17, 2012


Panty liners are useless for urinary incontinence. Oh, chronic illness, what a constant education you provide in indignity!

(Let me say in the interest of having people sit by me if I ever get to a meetup that that was a temporary experience that cleared right up, thankfully, once the simultaneous bronchitis and kidney infection resolved.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:54 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for wearing a panty liner every day, isn't that what underpants are for? So the normal sweat and discharge of your genitalia don't get on your clothes? What next, panty liner liners?

Be careful. I remember when three-blade razors were a joke.
posted by yoink at 12:54 PM on July 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Panty liners are useless for urinary incontinence

It works for my mom. She doesn't have full-blown incontinence, she just has a little trouble with complete control.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:26 PM on July 17, 2012


Do you use dickwipes?


I can think of several guys who would use dickwipes. Gratefully.

I also think the commercials, with oblique references to "party stains" and whatnot, would be amazing.


I was joking with Mr. Mustachio the other day that he and our friend who is an avid cyclist and known dude should make mock-commercials for the anti-chafing creams and salves that those fond of long rides apply to their scrotal/taintal regions. References to "that not so fresh feeling," soft focus, concerned looks over teacups, and white bike shorts were to be featured.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:29 PM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


So wait, is Monkey Butt technically the same thing as Swamp Ass?


I think Monkey Butt refers to an ass that is chafed and red, whereas Swamp Ass refers to a butt that is humid, dank and admits of foul gasses.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


My grandmother is like Secret Life of Gravy's mom... she's not incontinent either, but an ill-timed sneeze or cough is not exactly her best friend, you dig? And she'd rather carry panty liners in her purse instead of packing extra undergarments. Takes up less space, et cetera.
posted by palomar at 1:45 PM on July 17, 2012


I sit corrected. If the liners work for other ladies' bladder issues, long may they rock the liners!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:04 PM on July 17, 2012


...whereas Swamp Ass refers to a butt that is humid, dank and admits of foul gasses.

Mm, yes, Monkey Ass just blames the dog.
posted by likeso at 2:07 PM on July 17, 2012


Be careful. I remember when three-blade razors were a joke.

"The first blade distracts the hair, while the second and third blades sneak up behind it, cutting off any escape routes. The fourth and fifth blades attempt to coax the hair from its hiding place using modern modern counselling techniques while the sixth blade, posing as a passing motorist, acts as a decoy, allowing the seventh and eighth blades to swoop down and quickly overpower the hair."
posted by andraste at 3:52 PM on July 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


As someone living in a country where a member of a state congress cannot use that word without being banned from speaking, I approve of this ad.

Yes, but we are talking about the freedom of corporations to profit from women vs the freedom of a woman to speak on the topic of a woman's right to control her reproductive freedom. That shit don't fly here.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:02 PM on July 17, 2012


So wait, is Monkey Butt technically the same thing as Swamp Ass?

Monkey Butt is the cure for swamp ass.


As for wearing a panty liner every day, isn't that what underpants are for? So the normal sweat and discharge of your genitalia don't get on your clothes? What next, panty liner liners?

Pantyliners aren't for everyone. I never used to use them at all. Funny how the body changes though. These days, if I don't want a soggy crotch, pantyliners are the way to go. You're not my doctor - don't make judgements about things you don't understand.
posted by MsVader at 4:28 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


vaginal discharge or straggling menses

"Vaginal discharge and the straggling menses" would be a great name for a band!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "not so fresh feeling" was a phrase I typically associated with douching, not with pantyliners. That was far more puzzling to me than the actual admission that yes, it's a vagina. Now if they were really honest in their advertising, it would be along the lines of "are you tired of ruining perfectly good underwear and puzzling at the physics involved in effluvia leaking through lead?"
posted by medea42 at 6:16 PM on July 17, 2012


You want offensive? How about watching Steve Price on The Project [sorry, couldn't find an advert-free copy] commenting that, 'No girl that hot would have a problem like that. Get an average looking woman on there'.
posted by unliteral at 6:26 PM on July 17, 2012


"(cue vulva police)"

I cannot read this without Radiohead earworming me. "Vulva police / arrest this man"
posted by Chrysostom at 7:15 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great, now when I hear Hitler hairdo it will bring to mind a landing strip.
posted by the_artificer at 9:16 PM on July 17, 2012


Just a further piece of information, douching is almost unheard of in Australia. I have seen them, 20 years ago I had an American house guest and we went of in search of them. Eventually found them at a touristy pharmacy on Manly Corso.

I've read stuff on mummy forums where alternate lifestyle folks use "natural" products for a do- it-yourself version, but I don't think it's at all part of Australian mainstream culture...the way it seems American women find it.

I've NEVER EVER seen an advertisement for one. In fact I don't even know what brands exist.
posted by taff at 9:26 PM on July 17, 2012


Yeah, Steve Price is a douche and a half. And The Project needs to stop acting like it's anything other than Today Tonight repackaged to appeal to people under the age of 65.
posted by harriet vane at 11:37 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh, most American women's experience with douches is with those of the colloquial persuasion.

As in, many of us have never even seen an actual douchebag (the device) but we certainly have encountered its human counterpart. Vast herds of them, here in America.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:06 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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