Is it cispatriarchal to use gendered language when discussing menstruation? Can men bleed from their vaginas if they fail to become pregnant that month? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, well, that’s problematic.
Meet Toni the Tampon:
Toni is the brainchild of Cass Clemmer and the protagonist of The Adventures of Toni the Tampon: A Period Coloring Book. In addition to helping to de-stigmatize menstruation for children, the book also disabuses impressionable young kids of this absurd notion that ONLY women can have periods. Come on, folks. It’s 2017.
Clemmer was raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she says the conservative environment meant she grew up not knowing “what a uterus was, and [she] didn’t know where this blood was even coming from or why.” She said she had to figure it all out herself—what a uterus was, where the blood was coming from, and that men were also capable of those same experiences.
That’s why Toni isn’t female. Or male. Refusing to assign a gender role to Toni is intended to be “affirming to all menstruators.” Yes, EVERYONE who menstruates, be they man, woman, genderqueer, trans, non-binary or any of the other completely valid gender identities that have been invented since I started typing this sentence.
And Toni’s Instagram is sooooo cute! It’s picture after picture of a tampon affixed with googly eyes!
Hey, shouldn’t that be womenstrual pain? Just kidding, that would be gendering. I meant personstrual pain.
Make sure you buy your children a coloring book from this anthropomorphic tampon reminding us not to equate pussies with womanhood.
Here we see Toni the Tampon surounded by pregnancy tests that men and women can use to tell if they’re pregrant.
Thanks for the woke inforgraph, Toni! Another way to eliminate gender from our language includes replacing “parallel parking” with “asking your friend to get out of the car and help you back in.”
Excuse me, sign holder, I think you meant to say ALL the world is CAPABLE of menstruating?! Well, if Toni’s cool with it then I guess I can let this one slide.
Sadly, the Instagram does have to deal with vile instances of hatespeech.
Pick up your copy of the coloring book celebrating that most universal of experiences—menstruation—here!