Tampax is facing potential backlash after being accused of “sexualizing women” in a controversial tweet that ended up going viral.
In a spinoff of a popular internet meme, the US arm of the tampon brand wrote: “You’re in their DMs. We’re in them. We’re not the same.”
The meme features “you’re in their direct messages,” meaning to have a romantic conversation with someone online, followed by the phrase “I’m…,” often ending with a self-inflated comparison.
In short, it means you have something, but I have something better.
It first went viral on Twitter in 2019, but it started to resurface last year after someone gave an example showing Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito.
Tampax’s tweet has been shared more than 46,000 times and liked by more than 360,000 accounts.
It wasn’t popular with users, and Tampax added fuel to the fire when it posted a second message saying, “Refused to let Twitter shut down until we shared this tweet.”
This refers to rumors that Twitter may have collapsed due to Elon Musk’s recent takeover of the site, which has seen controversial numbers such as donald trump and Kanye West returns to the platform.
‘Creepy’, ‘insulting’ and ‘really weird’
The hashtag #BoycottTampax became trending on Wednesday morning, with thousands calling on menstruating men to stop buying the company’s products.
Many began pointing out that children as young as 9 menstruate, calling the tweet “creepy,” while others accused the company of not referring to women directly and using gender-inclusive pronouns,” alienating” their customer base.
One user wrote: “This is an offensive statement. You [Tampax] is a supplier/manufacturer of available products for menstrual care for women and girls.
“You could even describe it as being inside us and that’s just insulting. Shame on you and show respect to the women and girls who are your customers.”
Another added: “Really weird for a company that sells products that target women’s natural bodily functions to sexualize women who use their products on twitter… I’m going to fire you from social media Manager, this is disgusting.”
“We don’t exist as sexual vessels”
One woman spoke of using her first tampon at the age of nine and said knowing the company that made the tampons would “sexualize” her made the experience “worse”.
“We don’t exist as sexual vessels for men,” she added.
“This statement is disgusting. Do you really think alienating your customer base is a good business plan?” one user wrote.
While many fired back at the brand, some defended it, calling the tweet “hilarious” and urging people to “don’t get mad at anything”.
Tampax US, a division of Procter & Gamble, has campaigns calling for dialogue on normalizing periods.
Sky News has contacted Procter & Gamble for comment.