Tampon commercial marginalizes transgender womenOnline Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
A New Zealand tampon company is apologizing for an offensive television ad that depicts a transgender female competing with another woman in what the company alludes to natural differences between the two.
Libra is removing the ads after equality groups say the commercials “ridicule” transgender women.
The ad features a blonde woman and what appears to be a transgender woman competing in womanhood. The two are depicted applying makeup, adjusting bras, and fluffing their hair. The blonde woman finally produces a tampon as the seemingly defeated contender leaves the room.
The tampon says it “regrets any offence taken to our recent tampon advertisement. It was never intended to upset or offend anyone.”
As to airing the commercial, the company decided on keeping the ad based on “independent research” and added that the ad was viewed positively during its testing period.
“Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand.”
Transgender activists including Wellington Gay Welfare say the ads “ridicule” transgender women and are a “cheap shot” to the community as a whole.
“Somebody got paid an enormous amount of money to come up with that and at the expense of a minority in our society who the last thing they need is inane comments like that being made about them,” said former Labour MP Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transgender MP.
Comments on Libra’s Facebook account included the following:
“Your commercial is disgusting. It’s misogynistic and transphobic. WOMEN ARE NOT DEFINED BY THEIR PERIODS.”
“Accepting people for who they are, not what they are, is not political correctness. It is basic, human decency.”
“Transphobic media like this ad contributes to bullying and youth suicide.”
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