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Culture Jun 21, 2019 12:21 PM EST

In 2019, the gender-neutral menstrual cup is a thing

Those in the burgeoning gender neutral product industry are all about changing the world. Take for example the new plethora of non-gendered products for bleeders, which any bleeder can be proud to use.

In 2019, the gender-neutral menstrual cup is a thing
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Products for non-gender conforming people are all over the place. There are so many non-gendered items, from undies to sex toys, that it’s almost as though this is merely a marketing ploy. But rest assured, those in the burgeoning gender neutral product industry are all about changing the world. Take for example the new plethora of non-gendered products for bleeders, which any bleeder can be proud to use.

Bleeders, formerly known as women, no longer have to associate their monthly bloodletting with their gender. Products like UltuCup, bloodcatching boxer shorts like the Affirming Boxer Short from Pyramid 7, and pads that aren’t packaged in pink let bleeders bleed, without all that pesky association of the female reproductive system to females. After all, bodies are just so reductive. No one wants to be defined or identified by their bodies, those external shells that don’t represent who we truly are on the inside, even if the entire concept of gender is derived from the associations of those bodies with assumed social roles and responsibilities.

Not wanting to be female is a big part of being female once the monthly flow starts during the pre or teen years. What is perhaps most insulting in this whole gender non binary bleeding products is this assumption that so-called cis women like the pink hued products that are marketing in their direction. Women buy the pink products because they need the products that happen to be pink, not because they like being infantilized by marketing companies and period product providers.

When my mom was pregnant with me way back in ye olden days, she was horrified by the clothing options for pregnant women, er, pregnant bleeders, or maybe it should be pregnant breeders. A long time devotee of wearing all black, she found that she couldn’t buy a swimsuit for her maternal frame that wasn’t pink, or covered with bows. Same was true for basics, and there was absolutely no such thing as maternity career wear. This contemporary impulse to determine that if women bought this trash they must have liked it is an affront to women like my mom, who dyed a blasted pink swimsuit black only to step out of the sea and find rivulets of black dye running down her legs like so much menstrual blood from leaking from a non-gender binary tampon.

Women who are not non-gender binary don’t like the packaging that goes along with that designation. This push to make products that are non gender binary but leave the prissy pink products in place for all those bleeders who must like it that way reinforces the superficial gender binary that feminists have been fighting to abolish ever since they were walking around in period belts. I bet you don’t even know what those are unless you’ve read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, but since that references actually coming up as a girl instead of as a non-gender binary bleeding Enby, and that’s just plum offensive anymore, you probably haven’t

Bleeders are more than just people with periods, they are also people with genitals. Enter Wild Flower, who makes sex toys that have nothing to do with bodies. The founders state that they “started Wild Flower two years ago, to create change. We wanted to disrupt the sex toy industry, educate our customers, and banish the binary by offering non gendered products.” Their premiere sex toy, called Enby, is for use no matter what your sex organs. Although it seems pretty clear that one sex toy does not meet the needs of all sex organs, given that some are innies and some are outies, Wild Flower leapt into the void to create Enby, which looks like a sea creature, and is designed to vibe with bleeders and non bleeders alike. They claim that “You don’t have to change yourself to use it, Enby fits to you.”

If only it were possible to differentiate between the types of bodies in the world, so that there could be products designed for specific use by the people who inhabit those bodies. If only there were a way to design sex toys for people who have innies, and people who have outies, so that we didn’t need this reductive one-size-fits-all approach. It’s also a shame that for those bleeders in the world, there’s not a way for them to be considered both socially and by advertisers as something other than the functions of their bodies. Hm. I wonder what word we could use to describe bleeding innie-havers who don’t dig pink and don’t want to be defined by their reproductive functions. I guess there just isn’t one.

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