I’m not this guy. Neither is my wife Sarah. And as long as women aren’t the punchline, and menstruation doesn’t mean ‘bad’ , the iPad jokes are cool by us. See below to find out who that guy is, though.
I must report on my friends’ (and the world’s) first reactions to the iPad by placing it firmly under the heading ‘not menstrual but should be.’ I would dearly, dearly love one made for me in flannel with wings that have little snaps on them. And please, folks, for the sake of the environment, consider using an iMenstrualcup. Think of all that landfill you’d save if you used reusables.
Right, those are the first ones I came up with off the top of my head, but there are plenty more to be had all over the internets. Including a gamut-running list on Feministing, Jezebel’s user-created photo manips, comments and round up, and NPR’s blog feature.
Interestingly, though, a gentleman named Ryan at untoldentertainment has, I think erroneously, gone on the defensive offensive by staging a general intervention for us iPad jokers (and this is a brand new addiction, folks, which surely does not need an intervention just yet), telling us:
But if you’re new to humour, here’s a hot tip: jokes about menstruation aren’t particularly funny. They’re actually kinda sleazy. Women, generally, don’t like them. And more evolved men don’t tend to enjoy them either.
Now we obviously disagree with that, and we welcome all you 24-hour-old menstural jokers to the club, but I think what he’s trying to do may have honourable intentions toward Apple (although working as a flash designer might make one a bit cross about a new piece of hardware that doesn’t support flash), and probably toward women, men, and menstrual comedy as well. He’s even made good on his threat to put all male ‘offenders’ in a hall of fame, and all women who make the irresistable a reality will end up in his ‘honourary hall of fame’. So I’m looking forward to appearing on that blog shortly. Hi!
We don’t need a moratorium, though. Periods are funny. Gross out humour is great! See our sidebar for our very well-thought-out list of reasons why. Ryan at untoldentertainment.com seems to not want to offend women, though, which is fair enough (although we can own that ourselves, thanks) and so we can suggest some guidelines.
Menstrual jokes can be funny in all the ways other bodily function jokes are funny. They have a time and a place and an audience. Recall’s always fun, puns are nice, observational humour if you must, and parody is win + cake. But…menstrual jokes are not cool (although they may still make you laugh, if you’re a jerk) when women are the butt of the joke. A major multinational corporation to whom all publicity is good publicity and who clearly put a lot of thought into this and still came up with ‘the iPad’? They can be the butt of the joke for a change. And so can maxipads!
Ryan also, worryingly, names and shames period joke tellers in the image above. We ain’t them. And we don’t need stifling. Queef Free, anyone?
Edited to add: This just in! Ryan Henson Creighton and I have exchanged a couple of emails today that were pretty funny in and of themselves. He didn’t mean to “incite the ire of the Menstruati”. I am still curious about what position of authority he’s imposed his moritorium and granted our amnesty from, but we have, indeed, been reprieved from the “Unfunny iPad/Menstrual Pad Joke-Telling Douchebag Hall of Fame”. So the upshot at the moment is: Apple have a dubiously effective new product, and we got a prize! And remember, kids, douche is bad for you!
Our facebook is still scrolling with lots of ‘Really, Apple?’ pad jokes, and my mind is reeling with what the inevitable nano version will be called…say it with us…the iPon, one assumes.
Edited to add: The New York Times tech blog got in on it with a comedy nod, although the comments belittle the ‘Bits’ section even further by insulting writer Claire Cain Miller, assuming all things menstrual are automatically perjorative, and ‘expecting more from the Times’ in equal measure. A few bright and sensible sparks shine through, though, so it’s worth a brief perusal. “Cringe” is the wrong word for it though, unless you’re not cringing about periods but Apple’s silliness. Who’d wanna keep the same company as the femcare industry – a bunch of multinationals who like to aggressively pursuade us that we NEED their product…oh, wait.
Thank you to our good friend James Parker for reminding me about Mad TV’s 2nd-place-award-winning zeitgeist-predictor.
And thank you to Apple, for this unintentional* period comedy moment. Menstruation is usually only discussed publicly with indifference or distaste, and pads are fair game. Keep the jokes coming!
*Or is it…intentional? Have Apple’s marketing teams tapped into the period comedy vibe and just decided to go for it? Nah…