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Shut up with the iPad jokes

02.04.2010 iPad

If I hear one more person make an iPad1 joke… I might flip. It is increasingly difficult to contain my frustration with these near-constant jokes.

I hate the absurd prevalence of these jokes. It stopped being funny 5 minutes after Steve Jobs announced the name of the new god-tablet. People stopped coming up with original, funny material about the iPad years before it even existed.

I would say that 80% of my frustration is related to the predictable, overplayed attempt at comedy.

The other 20% of my frustration is related to the actual butt of the jokes. Menstruation. How funny!

Actually, I find this really annoying. For one, it’s unbelievably immature. Particularly when people won’t just move the fuck on and find something else to joke about.

Furthermore… I don’t actually find menstruation jokes funny. PMS jokes contribute to the idea that I, as a woman, am less effective and extra moody once a month for about a week. Really, anytime I am upset, bitchy, angry, or annoyed, I am written off. “Oh, you’re just over-reacting because it’s that time of the month.” And I’ve internalized this shit. When I get upset at work and need to communicate as such, I actually do a self-check to make sure that I’m not actually PMS’ing. It’s as though even I think my thoughts and opinions aren’t valued if it’s that time of the month.That’s bullshit.

Diva Cup, a reusable menstruation option

Better yet - skip the pads and tampons and use a Diva Cup. It's better for your vag (no bleached cotton on your delicate skin).

Then there’s the actual menstruation piece. It’s fucking blood, get over it. Half the world’s population currently personally experiences this (or has experienced it before menopause or will experience it when they reach puberty).  What’s NOT funny is the way that menstruation leads to very real, very scary consequences for young women in Africa (and I’m sure, elsewhere around the world). Access to sanitary pads greatly impacts2 the experiences of these young women.  What privilege we as a culture have to laugh at the name of a $500 computer. I’m glad that some people realized this2.

What’s NOT funny is the number of young women in this country (and all over the world, really) who will feel shame about their period, the number of young women who will feel “dirty” for something that is 100% natural and that they have absolutely no control over. What’s not funny is how easily this shame and sense of feeling “dirty” will translate into shame about their sexuality and sexual pleasure.

I don’t make jokes or find comedy in erectile dysfunction because I know that men who struggle with E.D. feel like less of a man because of this medical issue. I don’t make jokes about menstruation because I know that the shame young women feel about bleeding every month makes them feel like less of a human.


1 While I can and will agree that it’s a terrible name… I also appreciate that this is an opportunity for our culture to change the absurd associations we have with the word “pad.” Doesn’t it seem absurd that the word “pad” has such a strong association to menstruation with it? Can we get over the tabooed definition and start to think about other versions? Writing pads, tablet computers, landing pads, lily pads… good god.

2 Please read this article about the environmental impact of pads in Africa (though really, we should worry about the environmental impact everywhere).

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