OPINION: Feminine hygiene lipstick? No thank you


Brooke Williams , Opinion Contributor

Dr. Dan Dopps, Kansas-based chiropractor, CEO and president of Mensez Technologies, recently patented  a “revolutionary new natural approach to feminine hygiene,” according to his Linkedin page.

“Natural” would be an appropriate word choice for his proposed idea of “feminine hygiene lipstick” if the lips of the labia minora were meant to be fused together.

Dopps said the lipstick will serve as an alternative to traditional methods of controlling menstrual blood flow, like tampons and sanitary pads. Composed of amino acids and oil, it will seal the lips of the labia minora together once applied to contain menstrual fluid until urination, which washes it away. Apparently, the seal will resist breaking from perspiration and menstrual blood.

This may sound like a broad generalization, but most people, even those who do not have a vagina, would likely find the thought of gluing a part of their body shut pretty horrific. Considering the extreme sensitivity of the labia, applying an adhesive could result in cuts and tears from the most basic movements, which does not sound pleasant at all.

A man proposing an alternative to traditional hygiene products is not the issue here. As a feminist, I fully embrace the idea of men and women helping one another, provided that each group respects the other and has knowledge of their needs.

If a man claimed he had a groundbreaking idea that could revolutionize the menstrual cycle, I would encourage it. In fact, a man patented the first compressed cotton tampon with an applicator in 1933 to help his wife. Thank you, Earle Cleveland Haas.

However, Dopps is no Earle Cleveland Haas. He shows zero respect for women, and his idea is hardly groundbreaking.

In a viral Facebook post, the Mensez page responded to criticism with a comment that said women should come up with better ideas than “diapers and plugs,” but cannot because their periods distract them 25 percent of the time, making them “less productive,” “stifling them” and “playing with their heads.”

The comment left by the Mensez page also said periods could be “gross, crusty, smelly and incredibly awful.”

Women actually have come up with better ideas than “diapers and plugs.”

A woman named Leona W. Chalmers patented the menstrual cup, a flexible device that gets inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid, in 1937.

Since then, companies like Diva International Inc.  and Mooncup adopted the idea, both of which have female founders.

I would even venture to guess that these women still perform their jobs adequately during their periods, because women have the same intellectual capabilities every day of the year.

That is, unless my “incredibly awful” period is stifling my brain and preventing me from forming coherent thoughts as I write this piece.

Word of advice, Dr. Dopps: Shaming women for their natural bodily functions and acting superior to them on the intelligence scale will not make them support your bizarre ideas.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @BWilliamsTWW