"Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." – Donna Haraway

Archive for the ‘Online advertising’ Category

Not a joke: Tampon-shaped USB flash drives.

 FLASH.DRIVE – Meninos Store.

When the ad for this popped up on my Facebook news feed, I didn’t hesitate before clicking it. It may be the first ad I have ever followed from Facebook.  I can’t specifically remember ever doing that before. But this one caught my attention and I clicked without thinking, fully expecting it to be a joke. It seems like the kind of thing ThinkGeek would offer on April 1st. Turns out, it’s real. I seriously don’t know what to think about the Tampon-shaped USB drive (with different sizes coded according to heaviness of “flow”). I really need more time to ruminate on it but I felt it warranted immediate blogging to see what other people thought.

On one hand, based on cultural discomfort with anything related to menstruation, I’d guess that this is probably pretty secure when left unattended in one’s bag. Nobody’s going to steal what they think is a tampon. On the other hand…I’m having incoherent thoughts about cyborgs, hyper-personal data, the abject, negative associations with transvaginal ultrasounds…I’m distracted by the image of the “tampon” in the USB drive, suggesting a parallel between a USB port and a vagina…I’m imagining oppositional uses of it where its very existence causes discomfort in the people around me…I’m also wondering why an 8gb flash drive, which one can get for less than $20 at Fry’s, costs $55 when it is in encased in a “feminine hygiene product” shaped shell? Who will buy it? All of these jumbled thoughts are happening pretty much at once. If I ever get them sorted out, I’ll get back to you.

According to the product manufacturer, Meninos,

“Our design is aimed at people with modern and bold lifestyle, which enjoy innovation and cultivate the forever young spirit. Funny, geek, vintage, technological…”

So I guess this falls under the umbrella of “funny” and “technological”? I don’t know what the equivalent male product would be to turn into a flash drive, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t be as “funny.”

Also, I wonder what about my Facebook profile suggested that I would be interested in this product? As I indicated above, I’m not sure I’ve ever followed an ad link from Facebook before this, which indicates they are usually pretty far from the mark.

While I don’t foresee myself buying the tampon usb drive any time soon, I have to admit that considering its existence is an interesting intellectual challenge. I don’t know whether to laugh or shake my head. Maybe both?

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That’s Vaginal.

I apologize for the lapse in posting here at The Spiral Dance. My “Spring break resolution” is to get on a regular posting schedule. Really. I have a plan. 

April 1, 2011 (the irony of which is not lost on me), I posted a link to an article in which Scott Randolph, a democratic representative from FL, was chastised for using the word “uterus” on the house floor. I ended the post with the quip, “Thank goodness he didn’t say vagina.” Fast forward to February 2012 when VA delegate David Albo uses the term “trans-v” instead of “transvaginal” in discussing abortion legislation. I’d like to be able to claim prescience but let’s face it, this has been circulating in the political weather system for some time. Vaginas are the hottest topic nobody is talking about right now. In a blog post  on FeministingKatie makes the excellent point that if you can’t say the word “vagina,” perhaps you should neither be probing nor legislating them. The fact that media commentators and conservative legislators are uncomfortable with the anatomical terminology of the female reproductive system indicates a much bigger, systemic problem.

Infographic on Women's Health Issues in 2011-2012

Anyone paying attention to the recent spate of legislation attempting to restrict women’s access to birth control can tell you that the vagina, and the people who have them, are under siege. Women’s sexuality and reproductive rights are being used as a pawn in the 2012 election season. I can’t even begin to succinctly summarize the variety of moves in this game. “On International Women’s Day Congress Debates Measure to Limit Reproductive Rights” by Laura Basset of The Huffington Post does a nice job of summarizing a lot of what has happened over the last year. In addition, here is a woefully incomplete “stack” on delicious that contains links to a variety of stories. And if you don’t have time to browse any of these, Bassett’s post included the timeline based infographic, pictured above, that shows a steady stream of restrictive legislation.

Sometime between when Iowa passed their new legislation and when Planned Parenthood was defunded, Summer’s Eve launched their “That’s Vaginal” campaign. Given the political climate, I had to admire their chutzpah*  (more…)

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