Tampons - gfactor delivers!

Just wanted to be the first to say “Good Job!” on the tampon report. Well written, informative and exhaustive. I think I know about 17 times as much as I ever wanted to on the subject of tampons and sanitary napkins.

Also, he (she?) managed to refrain from any tasteless jokes and so didn’t make a bloody mess of the thing. :smiley:

[sub]I’m not that good at refraining myself.[/sub]

Your thread title makes me think of poor GFactor driving about in something like a milk truck, cheerfully dropping off the weekly order of sanitary napkins. :smiley:

I was going to start the thread! I think it’s a great article, too, and absolutely fascinating…I plan to forward it to many many people.

It does disgust me, though, thinking of how many centuries women were ashamed or embarrassed or thought disgusting/unclean for a perfectly natural function. Even now it has a slight taboo around it. I don’t generally get on this sort of soapbox, but it really irks me.

And this upset me and weirded me out, too:

20 tampons for $16? When you only make $8 a week? While the article says there is a “critical shortage of tampons and pads” it doesn’t really say if pads are in the same situation, or worse, or better. Makes me curious.

So, from now on whenever I think of tampons (not very often) I will think of gfactor. For what that’s worth.:wink:

Thanks.

My job here is done.

::Climbs onto cotton pony; rides into sunset:: :smiley:

Er, he.

:cool:

Yeah. There’s a lot to that, and there’s been a lot written about it. Sad, really.

Here is a link to the Dignity. Period! website. That’s the campaign that is discussed in the news article. http://www.actsa.org/Get_involved/zimbabwe_sanitary_campaign.htm

Seems like the pad situation is similar.

What I find puzzling is the sort of rampant consumerism. I’ve read the news reports on this issue, and they really don’t answer several key questions:

  1. What did the women of Zimbabwe do before commercial tampons and pads were available?
  2. Why can’t they do that now? I understand that they might prefer disposable products to flannel, but they need to use newspaper?

The closest I could come to an answer is this:

So she can’t afford cotton wool. Seems like old clothes, rags, or athletic socks would still work better than newsprint, but what do I know.

Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like a good time. Maybe some of those floral configurations would help?

I’ll take what I can get. :smiley:

Coupla band names in there.

Well, I don’t think they have athletic socks! But as late as my mother’s generation in India they were using cloth rags which they then washed. And I’m sure in a good portion of India they are still using cloth rags.

The linked-to campaign is engaging in a bit of hyperbole, it seems to me. I have no doubt that life in Zimbabwe is very hard for women. But it seems to trace all of their ills back to having no commercial sanitary products. STDs and vaginal infections, domestic abuse, and the mere difficulty of being a woman…all these problems seem to be traced back to having no sanitary products. As Gfactor says, what’s the deal? Why can’t they just use what they’ve always used? I’d be more concerned about a) education about STDs and natural bodily functions, b) improving the wages and working conditions or women there, and c) almost anything before I thought about commercially available sanitary products.

I’m guessing that this is one of the things Dignity! Period finds a relatively easily solved project. Rather than going after the things I listed, which are very difficult and are far in the future, they attack a goal that can be reached.

I’m not sure I admire that. On the one hand, it can be accomplished; on the other hand, it seems kind of like a publicity stunt. “Look! We reached our goal!” And I work for a nfp, and all nfps engage in these kinds of publicity stunts at times.

Good job, Gf.

Your reports just keep getting better! Glad you’re on board.

Thanks.

More on the Zimbabwe situation:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4805516.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4816558.stm

One wonders why Kozmo ever went out of business.

In the spirit of constructive criticism, I have to say that while I found the article to be filled with interesting tidbits, I was less than enthusiastic about the style and organization of the piece.

Let me start by saying I admire gfactor and all of the staff’s ability to write something for publication; clearly a lot of time, research, and effort went into the piece, not to mention the sheer anxiety of having total strangers criticize your work. Aware of this, please understand I post only in the hope that the criticism will be helpful.

The style of organizing sections of the article around multiple quotes from other sources is a practice I personally find uninspired. For example, the interesting anecdote regarding John Williamson and his father’s reaction could probably have been handled in a couple of short sentences tamed to emphasize the old man’s bizarre reaction. Ditto the description of the ingenious marketing methods for eliminating the “shame” of purchasing commercial tampons.

The idea of commercially-available tampons butting up against the entrenched prudishness of American society is a good theme within the article. I personally would have built the writing around this theme, highlighting this as the link between the various historical mileposts in the evolution of commercial tampons. This last point is why (for me) the article fell flat and lost my interest halfway thru; the laundry-list of items came, at times, as a disorganized jumble.

Please take these comments as a kind reflection of one reader’s reaction–judging from the posts in this thread I’m in the minority. And again, the wealth of data in the column, combined with research that was obviously thorough and well-considered, is much appreciated. Compared to this, the criticisms I raised are minor, and I sincerely hope to see more in the future!

In the spirit of constructive criticism, I have to say that while I found the article to be filled with interesting tidbits, I was less than enthusiastic about the style and organization of the piece.

Let me start by saying I admire gfactor and all of the staff’s ability to write something for publication; clearly a lot of time, research, and effort went into the piece, not to mention the sheer anxiety of having total strangers criticize your work. Aware of this, please understand I post only in the hope that the criticism will be helpful.

The style of organizing sections of the article around multiple quotes from other sources is a practice I personally find uninspired. For example, the interesting anecdote regarding John Williamson and his father’s reaction could probably have been handled in a couple of short sentences tamed to emphasize the old man’s bizarre reaction. Ditto the description of the ingenious marketing methods for eliminating the “shame” of purchasing commercial tampons.

The idea of commercially-available tampons butting up against the entrenched prudishness of American society is a good theme within the article. I personally would have built the writing around this theme, highlighting this as the link between the various historical mileposts in the evolution of commercial tampons. This last point is why (for me) the article fell flat and lost my interest halfway thru; the laundry-list of items came, at times, as a disorganized jumble.

Please take these comments as a kind reflection of one reader’s reaction–judging from the posts in this thread I’m in the minority. And again, the wealth of data in the column, combined with research that was obviously thorough and well-considered, is much appreciated. Compared to this, the criticisms I raised are minor, and I sincerely hope to see more in the future!

Thanks for you input CJJ*. That’s something I’ve definitely been thinking about.

I really enjoyed this report. It’s full of great information.

However, I must point out an instance of apparently conflicting data.

"In 1935, Kimberly-Clark was offered the patent rights for a “different method of taking care of menstrual needs,” according to Spector, but declined, taking the view that the $7,200 price would be “just like throwing money out the window.” Bad call. The product would eventually become Tampax, the first tampon with an applicator. It was patented by Dr. Earl Haas, who didn’t get anywhere with it. According to Harry Finley of the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health, “After failing to get people interested in his invention (including the Johnson & Johnson company), on October 16, 1933 he finally sold the patent and trademark to a Denver businesswoman, Gertrude Tenderich, for $32,000.”

How could K-C decline to buy the patent in 1935 if it was sold in 1933?
Obviously Gertrude Tenderich could have offered it to K-C at a huge loss, but it’s clearly implied otherwise.

The books are full of inconsistencies, sadly. That was one of the challenges of this report.

Apparently Tenderich was trying to sell the patent. Here is a quote from Shared Values:

The seller was female. Haas is male.

A second source for the 1933 sale to Tenderich is Kotex, Kleenex, and Huggies:

(Emphasis added.)

Sorry for the confusion.

I had no idea there was such a place. And at the risk of perpetuating unnecessary social taboos, I don’t think it’s a place I’m going to try to visit any time soon.

Interesting stuff, but I would have thought that any self-respecting history of tampons would have to include something on Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Great job Gfactor. Apparently back in my mom’s rural old days women used folded, re-washable towels that were sold for that purpose. I still saw them in the market by the time I could understand what they were, but not anymore.

A few years back, the American Chemical Society ran a sort of poll, asking members to nominate 10 products related to chemistry that we considered had changed the world. The entries had to explain why.

Talking about it with my family, Grandma (in her 80s back then, 92 now) expressed the following views:
The Pill is touted as being “chemistry’s gift to women” but it ain’t so. It’s yet another excuse for men to claim it’s our responsibility to handle anti-babies! On the other hand, I would gladly kiss Mr. Tampax, or whomever invented those. They were too late for me but God they’re wonderful!

FWIW my entry got one of the nominations :slight_smile: I lost the diploma, though :frowning:

(Please note that those are Grandma’s opinions. If you want to flame her, you have to do it in Catalan)