Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

“When it comes to their balls, guys just don’t seem to have any”

November 18th, 2011 by Elizabeth Kissling

I’ve spent so many years as a professor of Women’s Studies telling students that feminism is about equality, and that being pro-woman doesn’t mean being anti-men. I thought perhaps we’d moved past that 1990s meme of seeing everything that is for women as male-bashing, but here we go again.

The latest marketing strategy of Essure, a permanent birth control method for women that destroys the Fallopian tubes, is to appeal to men’s fear of vasectomy: “because you can only wait so long for him to man up”.

Le sigh.

5 responses to ““When it comes to their balls, guys just don’t seem to have any””

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    Liz, This is truly disturbing. Women are supposed to watch this and say, “Well, I guess that’s it, gotta do it myself?” This confirms that it is, mostly, 20-something guys dreaming up ad campaigns. And my guess is, the advertiser intends for it not just to convince women but to convince men to convince the women in their lives to take one for the team.

  2. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    It is disturbing, Laura, but I’m not so sure it’s just 20-something guys developing ad campaigns. My scholarly writing over the last few years has shifted focus from representation of menstruation and women as ‘the other’ to how postfeminism is deployed in marketing to women, so far in products related to women’s menstrual and reproductive health (birth control pills, menstrual products), and you certainly don’t have to be a young man to buy into postfeminism.

    On a completely unrelated point, I’d like to note that you just posted re:Cycling’s 1000th comment! (And with the help of Akismet, I’ve deleted 11,372 spam comments.)

  3. Laura Wershler says:

    What an honour! Now, let’s see if we can double that in three months!

  4. Lauren says:

    Have any of the blog contributors looked into Essure? I googled it and didn’t have a hard time finding a page expressing concern for the prevalence of some long term and serious side effects women are experiencing because of this product.

    Another search about vasectomy side effects produced a list of things that are directly related to recovery and don’t seem anywhere near as damaging.

    This ridiculous commercial aside, how is it that dangerous products for women can be advertised like this, as an alternative to a much safer procedure for men?

  5. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Good questions, Lauren. I think we’ve *mentioned* Essure a couple of times on re:Cycling (a quick search bears this out), but never really written about it. I’ll bring it up with the other contributors, and see if anyone else has any special interest or expertise; if not, I’ll try to take it on myself.

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