A sanitary napkin, pink glove, and tampon.

@Pinky_Gloves/Instagram

Men face backlash after creating a pink tampon-removing glove

They claim to be against period-shaming.

 

Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Published Apr 16, 2021   Updated Apr 19, 2021, 10:19 am CDT

Two cis men recently appeared on a German Shark Tank-style show called Die Höhle der Löwen, pitching a pink disposable glove intended for use by people who menstruate when removing and disposing of their tampons and pads. Somehow, the panel of judges decided this product was worth funding.

Featured Video Hide

The product, Pinky Gloves, was apparently inspired by a time when the men saw tampons thrown into a bathroom trashcan. Claiming to be against period stigma and to have got input from their cis women housemates, they still somehow created a product that treats your own menstrual blood and vagina as something too gross to touch without a layer of latex between you. The product faced immediate criticism when the story circulated on Twitter this week.

Advertisement Hide
"So these dudes designed pink gloves so tampons and pads can be disposed of properly and discretely. I shit you not. (The text is translated from German)." screenshots from the Pinky instagram where they discuss how they got the idea and how women love their product
@DomMaciejewski/twitter
So two German guys were given investment on German Dragons Den for the invention of a pink single use glove to be used while changing pads and tampons and the discrete disposal of said ones. That’s an insult to German engineering. And to women #pinkygloves #pinkygate
@MonMonro/Twitter
Advertisement Hide

Ironically, the distinctive hot pink color of the gloves would make the presence of tampons in the trash really obvious to any squeamish men who happen to be looking in it, as users are meant to wrap the glove around the tampon to dispose of it.

Well I don’t know about you but unless it’s pink I just *can’t* understand it’s for my teeny tiny lady hands. Thank god they thought not only to make something SO necessary, but to also make sure we look super pretty *twirls hair*
@JulieEBayley/Twitter
Advertisement Hide

Most infuriating for many is the fact that while this unnecessary, wasteful, and insultingly pink product got funded on the same show that once rejected an eco-friendly, actually useful product created by and for menstruators—the now extremely successful period panties company Ooia.

Two German soldiers "invented" pink plastic gloves for women to handle their menstrual products and received funding for it. Meanwhile,  @its_me_ooia , a female-led company with an *actual* idea, walked away empty-handed less than two years ago. #pinkygloves #PinkyGate
@meliinani/Twitter
Advertisement Hide
Note that the two women from  @its_me_ooia , who sell washable period panties, did NOT receive investment in the same TV show two years ago. Money comes when men sell expensive pink waste as a solution for a „women‘s problem“. #pinkygloves
@ijscreme/Twitter
Didn’t you know “women’s problems” are only worth solving when the actual problem is the ways in which they make men uncomfortable?
@ijscreme/Twitter
Advertisement Hide

There’s a tendency for cis male investors to sink money into predominantly cis male-owned companies and products designed to tackle “female problems” that don’t actually exist, and which also often create or encourage various stigmas which make women’s lives harder. At the same time, these investors tend to ignore products designed by and for women and other people who menstruate that would actually tackle real problems, out of the mistaken conviction there’s no market for these things. Part of why “Pinkygate “went so viral is it’s just such an egregious example of this, especially when compared to Ooia.

"Whereas a female-led startup didn't get funding in the same show for sustainable period panties - a great example for sexism in startup and the VC world. #pinkygate #venturecapitalsexism" Embedded tweet:  LangueDoc @ijscreme  · Apr 14 Replying to @DrJenGunter Note that the two women from @its_me_ooia, who sell washable period panties, did NOT receive investment in the same TV show two years ago. Money comes when men sell expensive pink waste as a solution for a „women‘s problem“. #pinkygloves
@bks/Twitter
Men, solving problems that aren't actually problems and then patting themselves on the back for *checks notes* keeping us safe from our own menstrual blood?
@bks/Twitter
Advertisement Hide

The makers of Pinky Gloves have responded to the backlash with a lengthy statement, acknowledging how much they have to learn and that they “have not dealt adequately and properly with the subject.” They also claim to be in favor of “removing the taboo from the subject” and will be rethinking their product as well as reflecting on the “history of its creation.” However, the gloves continue to be offered for sale on their website so it remains to be seen how sincere they are about this.

Advertisement Hide
I see some unbelievably amazing ideas never come to fruition because of funding, access, policy change (etc etc). But it’s ok cos if you invent coloured period gloves you’ll be minted. Check out #PinkyGate if you haven’t already. SIGH
@JulieEBayley/twitter

We have reached out to the creators of Pinky Gloves and will update this article if they respond.

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 16, 2021, 7:47 pm CDT