Tampon Companies, Please Hire Me (Originally published October 10, 2009)

I was recently urinating, as many a man does, standing up.  This time I happened to be standing in a girl’s dorm bathroom.  I usually take a gander at my surroundings in moments like this, as I’ve already seen how my body relieves itself innumerable times before.  Behind her toilet stands an aluminum shelving unit that looks straight out of a prison.  It’s pretty bare; just some Kleenex, a box of band aids, etc.  But all the way at the end of the shelf is a big box of what can make even the manliest of men cringe: tampons.

Tampons don’t bother me.  I grew up in a house with a tiny bathroom, and there wasn’t much room for my mom and sisters to hide their time of the month necessities.  Plus, my family’s always really open with each other, usually to a fault, so these things never seemed anything but ordinary to me.  I didn’t know anyone had a problem with these things until I got to high school and all my recently “aware” friends (hint: they discovered pornography) would talk about girls.  Fat Ass, a friend of mine since we were little kids, was absolutely disgusted by the sight, thought, or implication of blood, particularly blood from a woman’s “down there.”  One time we were at a football game and a girl we knew–who knew about his issue with blood–threw a tampon at him; Fat Ass lost a few of those pounds vomiting over the side of the bleachers. Oh how I giggled…

But back to my main point.  This recent urination excursion got me thinking.  Why is it that men are so disturbed at the thought of a woman’s period?  I mean, we make each other bleed for sport.  Then it dawned on me: maybe it’s not the natural act at all that bothers them, it’s just the name.  Tampon sounds menacing, like some sort of government protocol that only gets implemented during times of nuclear attack.  “Mr. President, it’s time.  Plan Tampon is in effect.”  See what I mean?  There’s got to be a better name to garner a less violent reaction from men.  Little did I know that Latinos had it right all along.

Living in this wonderful melting pot we call America, we are provided lots of opportunities.  In particular, we are given the ability to read what our household products are called in other languages, with French, and especially Spanish, instructions given on everything we buy.  The Spanish inscribed on this tampon box shouted loud and proud: “Tampones!”

Now, isn’t that an infinitely better word for it?  Instead of hawking a product that sounds like impending doom, Tampones sounds like you’re having a party.  A fiesta, if you will.  You’re not waiting out her period, guys, you’re relishing it!  You’re looking forward to that week-long kegger of fun, brought to you by good ol’ Mother Nature.  The commercials would be a hit, with celebrities like Antonio Banderas giving spirited voice overs with mariachi bands playing in the background, while men and women dance like mad.  “Tampones,” Antonio says with that silky Spanish accent, “come join the party.”  He’ll sign off with a wink and a Spanish horn blast.

I could turn an industry that survives on being necessary into one that has people flocking to the grocery store to pick up the limited edition Tampones Del Mes (Tampons of the Month, for those non-Spanish speakers out there), featuring famous Latinas with vaginas.  Who wouldn’t want to have Salma Hayek looking at them when they pee?  That’s right, Tampax, I’m gunning for a bigger market share.  You should put me on your payroll and reap the benefits along with me, or be left in the dust.


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