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Our Favorite New Ad — and What You Still Can’t Say on TV

A new advertising campaign by U for Kotex has done what no menstrual product company has done before: create an ad that is not only straightforward about menstruation, but also pokes fun at its own history of vague and sanitized ads. Both reasons make this ad campaign groundbreaking, but for some reason, you still can’t say “vagina” on TV.

The commercial stars a hip, 20-something woman mocking the standard menstrual product commercials, which feature young, pretty women dancing, doing yoga, or just being smiley in tight, white clothing. She also takes a well-deserved shot at the infamous “blue liquid” (and the other tampon ad tropes that The Sisterhood discussed here.

I think it’s safe to say this ad demonstrates a victory for feminists, especially those weighing in on pop culture and advertising like Sarah Haskins and the dedicated feminist communities online and elsewhere. Social media has also allowed the voices of women to be heard — letting advertisers know that women are paying attention and are ready for a change from the same old sexist “man” ads and patronizing “lady” ads. But, as you might imagine, the battle is far from over.

Watch the ad:

Leah Berkenwald is the online communications specialist at the Jewish Women’s Archive, and a contributor to its Jewesses With Attitude blog, which cross-posts regularly with the Sisterhood.

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