A tampon advertisement that sparked international outrage for being ‘transphobic’ is unlikely to be shown in Australia after being pulled from New Zealand television.
Tampon maker Libra pulled the advertisement this week following a massive social media backlash claiming the advertisement was transphobic.
TransGender Victoria spokesperson Sally Goldner agreed the advertisement was transphobic and called for more consultation with the sex and gender diverse community when advertisements are in production.
“If enough trans people say that’s not right, you’ve saved a whole heap of wasted money and they can go on and do something that might be better,” Goldner told the Star Observer.
Goldner said she believed the advertisement was portraying a trans woman rather than and drag queen and said it could be considered vilification.
“The assumption is that a drag queen is a male dressed up as an exaggerated form of femininity which is not necessarily the case. The character portrayed does not seem to fit that,” Goldner said.
“Anyone, any sex or gender identity can perform as a drag queen, so it still doesn’t change it because it comes back to this idea that females or femininity is about bitchiness and competitiveness and comparing people’s make-up, which is a negative stereotypical view of females and femininity.
“[But] going on the assumption the character is portraying a trans woman, to say that a trans woman is not a real woman is in the practical, day-to-day use of the word vilification.
“It ridicules a group because denial of someone’s existence is the most basic form of prejudice and vilification there is, so I’m glad it’s not going ahead.”
NSW Gender Centre spokeswoman Katherine Cummings stopped short of labelling the advertisment “transgender-phobic” but said it was still offensive.
“It’s one of those stupid ads that tries to take advantage of people’s gee whiz attitude towards transgenders and gays and drag queens,” she said.
“Really, it’s a schoolboy type of humour which is very hard to understand – adults putting it out and presumably spending thousands of dollars doing it.
“What they’ve demonstrated is they believe in a pecking order based on the ability to menstruate or not and that is plain stupid, it’s childish, it’s offensive. I don’t take it as a personal insult, but I take it as a general insult.”
In a statement, Libra said it regretted any offence taken to advertisement and said it never intended to upset or offend anyone.
“Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing,” Libra said.
“Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand.
“The advertisement has not aired in Australia and a video Libra placed on Facebook has also been removed.”