These are the best of times, these are the worst of times ~ Charles Dickens.
The age of information and technology has led to insightful studies on how women’s bodies work and has helped create menstrual products that are safer, more environmentally friendly and economical; case in point, the menstrual cup.
Women now have the choice to free bleed which is the decision to abstain from using any feminine hygiene products on your period and just letting the blood flow into your underwear or in special ‘period panties’ which are padded and washed after use. Heck, one woman, Indira ran the London Marathon without a tampon in an effort to raise awareness on women who do not have access to sanitary products.
Whatever the choice of products on your period, we have been conditioned to associate that time of the month with shame and advised strongly to hide this natural occurrence from the world as much as possible.
It is probably with this view in mind that Daniel Dopps, a chiropractor by profession, sought to end the period mind games by making your menstrual blood stay where it is so that you don’t have to see or touch it anymore. His product is called Mensez which he describes as a ‘Feminine lipstick that works by gluing your labia minora together and the glue does not wash off until one goes to the toilet where the ammonia in urine breaks the seal and washes away the blood and urine.’ This clearly calls to question his understanding of the female anatomy.
When asked on the motivation behind his invention by a user on Facebook, he commented by saying
“You as a woman should have come up with a better solution than diapers and plugs, but you didn’t. Reason being women are focused on and distracted by your period 25% of the time, making them far less productive than they could be. Women tend to be far more creative than men, but their periods that [sic] stifle them and play with their heads.”
Dopps’s argument does nothing to reduce the stigma around a woman’s period, instead revealing the sexist idea that is; that women are raging, hormonal, disgusting and unable to function on their period, which might have led to the genesis of Menzes. While he insists that his product is safe to use, Dr Vanessa Mackay of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) holds a contrary view, telling the metro.uk that the product could alter the fluid producing glands of the labia and this can lead to infection.
Another issue that was raised was whether the glue would be able to withstand sweat and how effective urine would be in washing off the glue completely further compounding the risk of infection.
The product has not been made available to the public as it is still undergoing trials and tests but it’s reception when news of its inception went viral was less that welcoming. Many women were in uproar with some Twitter users calling it the ‘most stupid thing that they had seen in a long time’.
As we eagerly await the official unveiling of his ‘novel’ product, I will leave you with the words of Dominique Christina in her Period Poem , Bleed, and bleed, and bleed on everything he loves, period.