In February, a company called Mensez—which we assume was meant to be a play on “menses,” but is really more like “men says”—came under rightful scrutiny for marketing a product called ”Mensez feminine lipstick.” Unlike lipstick applied to the lips on your face, Mensez created a product you apply to your labia, effectively glueing them together. (The website insists, “It Is Not a Glue.”)
If you don’t have labia, rest assured that they are not meant to hold menstrual blood inside your body. Regardless, the Mensez website contains a long list of activities that ”could be improved” by glueing your labia together during your period, including weekend staycations, final exams, and, perplexingly, “casino luck” and “boardwalk on your longboard,” neither of which seem related to your choice of menstrual product.
The creator of these products is, according to the company’s Facebook page, a man named Daniel Dopps. Dopps compares labia-gluing during your period to the ladylike activity of chewing with your mouth closed, as opposed to the very un-ladylike activity of bleeding with your labia wide open:
Now Patheos has alerted us to another, perhaps even more baffling, Mensez product: a pantyliner that has a colorless powder on it that turns to glue. If you’d prefer to not apply “lipstick” to your labia, Mensez has created a way to glue yourself together without having to actually touch your vulva. The powder transfers to your labia and effectively glues them together (“It Is Not a Glue”). As with the feminine lipstick, it’s supposed to keep your labia sealed tightly together during your period, keeping menstrual blood out until the seal is broken with either urine or soap.
We have a few questions for Dopps. Is he aware that labia should really not be glued together? Does he know that there are several products, including a huge variety of disposable and reusable maxi pads, many different sizes of tampons, and assorted menstrual cups that women already use to keep ourselves from bleeding everywhere? Has he imagined what it might feel like to have, on the first day of your period, all that blood sloshing around your vulva and vagina? Is he aware that having periods do not make a person a woman?
Mensez’s new product, right now just called “pantyliner with Mensez technology,” has about the same caliber of thought put into it as the lipstick. The website claims that “Moisture activates the powder and creates the Mensez seal, without the panty liner ever sticking to you” and “The panty liner stays clean and dry, you are leak free until you urinate.” But if you put a powdered pad on, it must take a little while for the powder to be absorbed into your labia, during which time you are presumably bleeding onto the pad. If the seal is broken when you pee, do you have to replace the whole pad? Instead of changing a tampon, do you secret a salt shaker full of labia glue powder into the bathroom every time you pee? What if you go straight into the bathroom from a meeting and don’t have extra powder with you?
The pre-powdered pantyliner will transfer the magic glue-powder to the labia minora (but not the labia majora?), forming a seal. If you need a refresher on female anatomy, Orange Is The New Black covered it in season two:
To paraphrase a comment on the Mensez Facebook page, the company’s logo looks an awful lot like a pair of bollocks.