In time for International Transgender Week, TBWA\Helsinki and Finnish hygiene brand Vuokkoset have launched the Tampon for Men to alleviate the distress transgender men feel related to menstruation.
The product has sparked a discussion in Scandinavia surrounding inclusivity within the health and wellness industry.
Research has shown that 93% of transgender men have experienced gender dysphoria related to menstruation. With a tampon designed for men, Vuokkoset sparked a vivid conversation in Finland aiming to change perceptions of menstruation and reduce the distress it causes to transgender men.
“Marketing has a huge role in shaping the world around us. As Finland’s leading creative agency and the leading global agency collective, we have an immense responsibility to actively make the world more inclusive. Vuokkoset is a brand that shares this value base and was brave enough to put the campaign together with us in just four short weeks” said Heidi Taina, creative director from TBWA\Helsinki.
Transgender men and non-binary individuals may still have menstrual cycles, regardless of hormone therapy choices. The new product addresses the need for diversity in experiences related to menstruation among different gender identities and takes steps toward eliminating the shame surrounding what is a very natural experience for a large portion of the population.
“When I was young, menstruation felt not only strange but somehow wrong. Our culture does not really acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals,” says DEI consultant and face of the campaign Dakota Robin, who has been through the gender-affirming process himself.
The Tampon for Men will be available as a limited edition in Finland, and wider distribution will begin in early 2024. Total sales proceeds are donated to Trasek ry, an organisation focused on gender diversity and sexual health. A entirely gender-neutral tampon product by Vuokkoset is also being considered for future release.
“Menstrual products – from visuality, advertising to store location – are strongly feminine. It’s time to acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals,” said Sanna Karhu, CEO of Delipap Oy, the company that manufactures Vuokkoset products.
“This is a step in the right direction. By changing attitudes and broadening perspectives, we can also remove discrimination against gender minorities,” said Robin.
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