Transphobic Tampon Ad

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:31 am UTC

Are you seriously suggesting that it's wrong or somehow unequal treatment to use phrases like "trans person" in circumstances where said person's gender identity is relevant?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:35 am UTC

I don't believe I suggested that.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:38 am UTC

By sarcastically rejecting someone's clarification of the terminology? No, not at all.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:46 am UTC

It wasn't meant that way, and if you took it that way, I apologize and take it back. (Edit) My point was that in my experience, terms identifying people's minority groups are used far more often than when they are relevant. I have no issue with talking about trans persons when we're discussing gender roles, stereotypes, discrimination etc. But it irks me when someone feels to need to tell the story of how their trans friend had a funny phone call, or got a new job, or whatever where the fact that they are transgendered has nothing to do with the story.

I'm still unclear if gmalivuk's statements are to be taken as I interpreted them. Also, I heard it's a great way to win people over when they say something supportive and you call them privileged and dismiss them.
Last edited by mike-l on Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:57 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:55 am UTC

mike-l wrote:Or are you suggesting that I shouldn't ignore people's sexual and gender identities
This one.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:58 am UTC

And treat them as different (if they are different than my own choices)?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Hawknc » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Yes, just don't treat them worse. Diversity is something to be encouraged, not ignored. We're all people, but saying "we're all people!" in a discussion about how some people are treated worse because they are different is entirely useless.

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:40 pm UTC

Separate but equal. Got it.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

No, I think the goal is "Oh, you are trans? Didn't know that. Anyway, still coming out with us for drinks after?" rather than "Oh wow, you are trans? That's so cool! Tell me, what's it like? Which bathroom do you use? What did your parents say? Are you into cis men or trans men?"

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Belial » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:Separate but equal. Got it.


You don't actually know what that means, do you?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:57 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:Separate but equal. Got it.


Because acknowledging that different demographics may have different life experiences, face different social/economic/health problems, or may suffer different injustices than the dominant group is TOTALLY equatable to institutionalized segregation and the inevitable discrimination that comes with.

You're just trying to be obtuse at this point, aren't you?

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:No, I think the goal is "Oh, you are trans? Didn't know that. Anyway, still coming out with us for drinks after?" rather than "Oh wow, you are trans? That's so cool! Tell me, what's it like? Which bathroom do you use? What did your parents say? Are you into cis men or trans men?"

That's my entire point. That for most of our interactions, your biological gender and your identified gender are not overly relevant. When they are, that's fine, we should be respectful, accepting, accommodating, etc. When they aren't, yeah, I ignore it, because it's not relevant, and making it relevant when it's not is reducing someone to their gender.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Belial » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

And you figured the time to assert that was in a discussion when it was relevant, for no reason, out of the blue?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

I figured the time to assert it was after someone felt the need to write 24 examples of terminology exemplifying peoples gender choices (12 of which were made up by the minority and applied not to themselves but to the majority), for that reason, at that time.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Роберт » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:20 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:I figured the time to assert it was after someone felt the need to write 24 examples of terminology exemplifying peoples gender choices (12 of which were made up by the minority and applied not to themselves but to the majority), for that reason, at that time.

So you aren't trying to be obtuse, you just are obtuse. Jessica was clarifying for CorruptUser that all the common, non-derogotory terms have the descriptive part (trans or cis) as an adjective, separate from the noun.

Now you're getting all upset over the label cis? In a thread about transphobia? You're talented if you're doing this without even trying....
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:48 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:(12 of which were made up by the minority and applied not to themselves but to the majority)
Even if this is true, why is it a problem? What are they supposed to call non-transgendered people? Just "gendered"? That hardly makes sense. When the cis/trans dichotomy is already well-attested elsewhere, and "transgendered" and "transsexual" and "transvestite" are all well-attested words, it's hardly a stretch to refer to the non-trans majority as cis.

Do you have a similar objection to "heterosexual" as a contrasting term for "homosexual"?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

For the record, wikipedia says the first use of the word "cissexual" was in a German sexologist's paper in 1991 who, as far as I can tell, is not trans*.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

I admit, I'm not overly familiar with the trans community, and I apologize for any missteps I've made. I felt Aaeriele's post was overdone and tried to suggest that doing so had the exact opposite effect of the intent. Ie, the reason that was given for 'trans person' vs 'transperson' was that the latter reduced a person to the trans part, and writing 24 examples of trans this and trans that was doing exactly that.

My statement was taken as suggesting that using the labels at all was bad, and I specifically apologized for that, and said I didn't mean it that way, and clarified that I have a general issue with using labels when they aren't relevant, with the intention exactly summed up by CorruptUser in this post

No, I think the goal is "Oh, you are trans? Didn't know that. Anyway, still coming out with us for drinks after?" rather than "Oh wow, you are trans? That's so cool! Tell me, what's it like? Which bathroom do you use? What did your parents say? Are you into cis men or trans men?"


I really feel like gmalivuk and hawknc's comments are more towards the latter, or at the very least, taking issue with my attitude that the former is what's desirable, which is why I'm questioning their responses.

Further, my comments on the cis was simply that 12 examples were given that clearly do not fall under the category of 'acknowledging people's unique challenges or discriminations' or 'facing different social/economic/health problems, or may suffer different injustices'. I'm not upset about the label, but giving 12 examples of its use is, in my opinion, overdone, and reducing people to their gender identity choices.

Again, I apologize for any implication otherwise.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
mike-l wrote:(12 of which were made up by the minority and applied not to themselves but to the majority)
Even if this is true, why is it a problem? What are they supposed to call non-transgendered people? Just "gendered"? That hardly makes sense. When the cis/trans dichotomy is already well-attested elsewhere, and "transgendered" and "transsexual" and "transvestite" are all well-attested words, it's hardly a stretch to refer to the non-trans majority as cis.

Do you have a similar objection to "heterosexual" as a contrasting term for "homosexual"?


I think it would be useful to point out that "cis" is not three random letters pulled out of thin air, but a prefix of Latin origin, meaning "on the same side [as]" or "on this side [of]". I think that it gets misapplied to refer to heterosexuals on occasion (where the prefix would certainly not make sense), but in reference to gender identity it makes sense in the technical use of the prefix.

The thing is that the prefix "cis" isn't one that's in general use in common speech, certainly not to the degree of common-use exposure that the prefix "trans" has, beyond just gender identity and sexual orientation issues, but in words like 'transform' or 'transaction', 'transfer', 'transit', etc. etc. etc.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Роберт » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:...

Ah, so mostly it's just forums are terrible for communicating? I see. Well, thread derailment over.

Hopefully everyone knows that using trans in a noun is offensive to a lot of trans people (and allies, of course). Hopefully everyone sees how that commercial was offensive and could be triggery. Also, hopefully everyone understands, dbag or not, the drag queen actor was intending to portray a drag queen (using a women's restroom for some reason) and not a trans woman. So it was not intended to be degrading to trans people.

Right? We've solved all the world's problems now?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Well, we still have to deal with the fact that I can't get prewrapped bacon, but yeah, we're mostly solved. Also, for what it's worth, the first time I saw the term "cis woman", it was pretty easy to deduce what it meant, but probably only because of my dabblings in chemistry.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Noc » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:00 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:That's my entire point. That for most of our interactions, your biological gender and your identified gender are not overly relevant. When they are, that's fine, we should be respectful, accepting, accommodating, etc. When they aren't, yeah, I ignore it, because it's not relevant, and making it relevant when it's not is reducing someone to their gender.

The problem with this approach is that it quite often leads to attempts to "gloss over" aspects of someone's identity that they find important.

When you gloss over aspects of someone's individuality and reduce the to the generic "person," that's what you get -- the Generic Person. Which is generally a white male cisgendered heterosexual middle class dude. That's "normal." And what you're doing is the standard rookie mistake when confronted by the different: to assume it "shouldn't be a big deal" and thus stoically ignore its existence, erasing all aspects of their identity beyond the "normal" and reducing them to the "default."

For instance, suppose I was hanging out with an individual who belongs to the female gender. Saying "So I was chilling out with this girl I know when..." doesn't "reduce them to their gender," it just provides additional information about their identity, which may provide additional nuance and context to the ensuing story. Because, well, she's a girl -- this is an important aspect of the way she self-identifies, so I don't have any business deciding for her that it "shouldn't matter" and erasing it from the narrative. I know at least a couple of people who do self-identify as gender-neutral, so when talking about them I refer to them in gender-neutral ways.

On the other hand, broad generalizations ("Girls are [whatever]") often do do the reducing thing, because they posit that the group is sufficiently homogeneous that such a generalization is accurate -- that they're all the same, or mostly the same with some exceptions I guess. See the comments upthread about the difference between "black people" and "blacks," and "gay people" and "gays:" one refers to some people while giving additional information about them, while the other reduces them to an attribute.

This is especially problematic because more aggressive application of this principle leads to such complaints as "I don't like it when [minority] people make a big deal about being [minority], because [attribute] shouldn't be a big deal, right?" It's alright for people to "just happen" to be different in some way, as long as they're predominantly "normal" and don't "make a thing out of it." It's normativity masquerading as enlightened tolerance, and is both harmful and incredibly frustrating.

. . .

I understand that you mean well! You're just, well, doing it wrong, going about your well-meaning business in ways that do more harm than good. It's why others in this thread are jumping down your throat: because what you're doing is, in fact, part of the problem.

As a rule of thumb, figure: it's okay for people to be different! It's okay for them to be different from you, and it's okay for this difference to be an important part of their identity. Acknowledging this difference isn't tantamount to discrimination; assuming that this aspect of their identity is the be-all and end-all of their character is. Assuming the fact that they're different than you makes them somehow less is. "Othering" them, and thinking of them as "those people" (compared to "us people" who are totes normal right guys?) is. Glossing over their "abnormalities" because it's uncomfortable to talk about? Also kind of is.

But there's nothing wrong with acknowledging diversity. Different does not mean unequal -- and rather importantly, it doesn't mean separate either.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby addams » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
mike-l wrote:I'm honestly going to claim that it's ok for any actor to portray themselves.


This seems to be a case where the actor's (good faith) intentions were misunderstood. When I just watched the ad (which is here, in case no one has linked to it yet), I saw what the actor intended, which is a bitchy drag queen getting a non-verbal come-uppance from a woman who rebelling against getting out-"fierced". At the same time, I respect that reasonable people here (again, in good faith) saw a pre-op transsexual getting shut down by the matriarchy and feminine hygiene used as a tool of oppression. I think that this misunderstanding should be laid entirely at the feet of the ad agency and Libra and that the actor took conscious and noticeable steps to drive the first narrative.

There is another dimension of this ad that I haven't seen discussed yet but that I think deserves attention. What I think the ultimate (intended) theme of the ad is is to fight the anti-feminist idea that menstruation is "unfeminine" and unclean, and that to a certain degree a woman who does menstruate should fight society's shame to the point of it being a point of pride. Obviously, there are a lot of intersectionality issues there that I'm not prepared to sort out like whether it's wrong for a woman to be proud of menstruation because it slights women who legitimately don't for any number of reasons. If nothing else, I'd like to believe that it is a reasonable point of view for a tampon company to support and a voice that should be respected in the broader discussion.


Yeah. What you said.
And; The add was, kind of, cute.

I don't see the offence. Drag Queens are Great to look at. Well; Some.
As many before have noted. Not all women bleed all the time. That would be a medical problem.

What kind of a world do we live in? People are so easily offended and so loud about it.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:23 pm UTC

Noc wrote:As a rule of thumb, figure: it's okay for people to be different! It's okay for them to be different from you, and it's okay for this difference to be an important part of their identity. Acknowledging this difference isn't tantamount to discrimination; assuming that this aspect of their identity is the be-all and end-all of their character is. Assuming the fact that they're different than you makes them somehow less is. "Othering" them, and thinking of them as "those people" (compared to "us people" who are totes normal right guys?) is. Glossing over their "abnormalities" because it's uncomfortable to talk about? Also kind of is.

But there's nothing wrong with acknowledging diversity. Different does not mean unequal -- and rather importantly, it doesn't mean separate either.


There's a pretty big difference between 'being different' and 'treating people differently'. My issue is only with the latter, and only when it's not appropriate to do so. eg, CorruptUser's example. And the separate but equal comment was a snarky response to being called privileged and told that my comments are useless. I'm not immune to flipping off when insulted.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

The entire point of my post was to show that it's not hard to use any of the various trans or cis terms properly (as adjectives) rather than improperly (as nouns). No more, no less. I made no statements about how frequently the descriptors should be utilized or in what circumstances making the distinction between trans or cis is relevant.

Given that the entire discussion up until my post was talking about how to use 'trans' in a grammatical sense, that is how I figured the post would be read.

On a side note, being called privileged isn't inherently an insult...
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Aaeriele wrote:On a side note, being called privileged isn't inherently an insult...

It is when it's being used to dismiss you.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:On a side note, being called privileged isn't inherently an insult...

It is when it's being used to dismiss you.


mike-l wrote:And the separate but equal comment was a snarky response to being called privileged and told that my comments are useless.

It seems like you're more taking issue with the bolded portion then.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby mike-l » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

Does it matter? I think all sides have clarified now.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:40 pm UTC

addams wrote:Not all women bleed all the time. That would be a medical problem.
How does that make the ad any better? The focus of the ad seems to be that menstruation separates the 'real' woman from the 'fake' woman, that 'real women' menstruate. Which, even if in the advert the 'fake woman' is a drag queen as opposed to a trans woman, has implications for trans women and the rest of the non-menstruating population who identify as adult women. I imagine that women who aren't menstruating due to illness or medical issues, particularly if it's a symptom of serious illness that is having a large impact on their life or impacts their fertility when they had hoped to have a family, may already be rather sensitive about their lack of menstruation. To have an advert that supports a message of menstruation being what defines a 'real' woman, is rather insulting and hurtful, in my opinion, to post-menopausal women and women with medical issues in addition to trans women. And to me, as a menstruating woman, to have my femininity defined by the blood that comes out my vagina with the suggestion that once it no longer does, I'm no longer a real woman.

I can understand how the ad made it to TV, with everyone thinking it was just a bit of light humour, but I do think the undertone of the ad isn't a particularly friendly or humorous one.

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:No one has yet explained to me why we're supposed to assume anything other than "all the characters in the commercial identify as female". Is it common for people who identify as male to enter women's restrooms?

It is not common for people who identify as male to enter women's washrooms. But, it can happen that someone who identifies as male, but is presenting as female, to enter the female washroom, if they are in a location where the fact that they are presenting as female would imply to others around them that they identify as female (so, for example, a drag club).

Of course, in the instance in the commercial, we only have the appearance, and the actions to base the assumption of their identity on. They present as female, they act female, and they appear to be in public (not a specifically safespace to be gender variant). It isn't hard to assume they are a trans. It seems like the first obvious impression to me.
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby addams » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

philsov wrote:or there's a massive line for the male restroom and the female one is wholly vacant.

There; That's it. Transgender females can use the urinal, like, every day. A woman at bleeds once a month or so.

Being able to stand and pee like a man is such an advantage.
Where is the advantage to bleeding?

The add was cute. A Trans woman can go anywhere! They look so good, too. It is like they care about being female. Maybe, a little too much. But; Some women are like that too.

(Shrug.) Someone was being offended by something. What?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

Hey, guys. Leave this to me. I took a course in addams-eese back in college.

@addams: What is sad? Wet floors in public restrooms. Men weep like newborn lambs. Urinals; They have feelings too.

Being strong, that is key. Men must learn to sit and pee like women. Maybe then urinals will feel good.

Add was troubled; urinals ignored. Who weeps for urinals? I do. Maybe strange. Maybe not?

Who weeps for urinals when I am gone? You? Me? Weep together.

Urinals flush. Someone offended. What?

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Роберт » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

I thought addams takeaway was it's better to be a trans female than a cis female?
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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I thought addams takeaway was it's better to be a trans female than a cis female?
I thought addams' takeaway was more 'holy shit why are we trying to figure out an addams post it's like a goddamn inverted rubiks cube made out of time'.

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Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby addams » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:34 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I thought addams takeaway was it's better to be a trans female than a cis female?

Yeah. Depending upon the situation; That is true.
The whole standing up to pee easily is so??? Well; Damn it! It's not fair.

There were a group of studies done about wash room lines at fancy performances.
The 'facilities' were designed to service the same amount of people.

The conclusions were that woman all need stalls. Women need gidger bath rooms.
And; When men pee, they can all stand around together and get the job done.
Men are in and out. Women stand in lines.

The transwoman had great makeup on.
The cicwoman did not need any makeup on.

So; This is the way in the 'real' world. Some lovely young women do not need any more make up than God gave them. Some of us need lots and lots of makeup.

Peeing standing up! That is an important talent.

I used to spend time in the mountians. That exposing half an hectar of bare flesh to the elements for the wind and the rain and the snow is not all that fun. The men stand around and dig for their friend with cold hands. I have heard that the penis will do evasive maneuvers.
Yeah. Trans women have it all! They can flirt and play makeup with other women. They can pee standing up.

Hey! I am not that difficult to understand.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

quantumcat42
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby quantumcat42 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Hey, guys. Leave this to me. I took a course in addams-eese back in college.

@addams: What is sad? Wet floors in public restrooms. Men weep like newborn lambs. Urinals; They have feelings too.

Being strong, that is key. Men must learn to sit and pee like women. Maybe then urinals will feel good.

Add was troubled; urinals ignored. Who weeps for urinals? I do. Maybe strange. Maybe not?

Who weeps for urinals when I am gone? You? Me? Weep together.

Urinals flush. Someone offended. What?

Sir, I have 8 internets at my disposal. You have earned 7 of them.

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addams
Posts: 10331
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby addams » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:Hey, guys. Leave this to me. I took a course in addams-eese back in college.

@addams: What is sad? Wet floors in public restrooms. Men weep like newborn lambs. Urinals; They have feelings too.

Being strong, that is key. Men must learn to sit and pee like women. Maybe then urinals will feel good.

Add was troubled; urinals ignored. Who weeps for urinals? I do. Maybe strange. Maybe not?

Who weeps for urinals when I am gone? You? Me? Weep together.

Urinals flush. Someone offended. What?

Sir, I have 8 internets at my disposal. You have earned 7 of them.


You are a man, Right?
You have never walked to places Urinals do not exist.
There is a weird world out there.
There is a weird world in here.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

quantumcat42
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby quantumcat42 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:55 pm UTC

I have walked to places where not only do urinals not exist, but you need a poop-trowel to get all your business done properly. It is, truly, a weird world.

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Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
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Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Jessica » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

Not all trans women can pee standing up.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: Transphobic Tampon Ad

Postby Роберт » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Not all trans women can pee standing up.

In my experience, many cis men can't effectively pee standing up either. :)
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.


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