Commercials for feminine products usually feature women in all-white demonstrating how effectively which tampon or pad of choice absorbs weird blue liquid better. A new ad for the New Zealand tampon brand Libra broke away from the norm by showing a ‘battle of womanhood’ of sorts between two people in a ladies room — one a “natural” woman and the other a drag queen/trans person — that has drawn accusations of discrimination. Watch the ad and see for yourself:
While many people have pointed out that the advertisement takes a jab at drag queens and not transgendered people, gender advocates are saying that the ad stereotypes transgender women as spiteful masqueraders who are not real women. Agender NZ president Cherise Witehira said:
“It’s extremely offensive because it’s pretty much saying the only way you can be a woman is to get your period. That’s where a lot of the anger in the community is coming from – it’s saying you are not a woman unless you can get your period. Obviously we can’t menstruate. However, we identify as female.”
In response to the uproar, Libra has pulled the ads and issued an apology. There is nowhere near public consensus on whether or not the advertisement meant to depict a trans person or a drag queen, whether that matters, or if it should all just be taken as lighthearted fun.