Not Get That Raise You Were After? Maybe You’re Not So Fresh

A recent post on the Daily Kos caught my attention; it featured a Summer’s Eve ad from Woman’s Day magazine that suggested that, in order to get a raise, women ought to try using a feminine hygiene product.

As a feminist, I’m already a little annoyed that on average I don’t make the same salary as my male counterparts, but now I have some company implying that using a “feminine wash” will help give me that confidence to talk to my boss? I get that Summer’s Eve wants to sell their products and make money, but this is going a little too far for my personal liking. I’m glad that there are blogs out there that are bringing advertisements like this to my attention (as well as including e-mail addresses for readers to share what’s on their mind with not just Summer’s Eve, but also Woman’s Day magazine which featured this advertisement).

Ad image from the Daily Kos.

Updated, with a note from Debby:

I’d like to thank Holly for bringing this to our attention. I saw various blog posts about this ad circulating the internet last week and held off writing about it, thinking that this ad had to be a fake. There was no way that Summer’s Eve would actually go this far! But I still can’t find any evidence of it being a hoax (sadly). As someone who studies how women feel about their genitals and how these attitudes relate to their healthcare behaviors, sexual behaviors, and their consumer behaviors, it always surprises me when certain corporations take a misdirected path in their marketing or package inserts. So many things could be different for a company like Summer’s Eve or a birth control method like NuvaRing (which requires vaginal insertion) if only they’d consider the broader picture. I should note that, some years ago, Summer’s Eve did try to consider issues related to genital self-image but the data I saw from that project were shoddy and misinterpreted, thus never making it into a quality peer-reviewed scientific journal, so that probably didn’t help their team’s cause either. Quality matters in science and in consumer messages and, unfortunately, they really  missed the mark with this ad campaign.

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About Holly Moyseenko

Holly Moyseenko is a sex educator living in Ohio. She is an advocate of positive and healthy sexuality. Holly currently works for a non-profit health organization as a health educator, and also teaches workshops that focus on many topics within the realm of healthy sexuality. In her spare time, she also is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, gardens, reads anything within reach, drinks copious amounts of tea, and naps with her two dogs.

  • Kait

    Care to share the e-mail addresses? I have more than a few things to say about this!

    Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1173150957 Holly Moyseenko Kossover

    Kait -
    To send it to Woman’s Day it is womansday@hfmus.com (or call if you prefer (212) 767-6000). For the people at Summer’s Eve, their website is summerseve.com and their number is 866-787-6383 . I’ve already given them a piece of my mind and encourage anyone with something to say to do the same. Thanks!

  • Kait

    Thanks so much!

  • http://twitter.com/foxyfolklorist Jeana Jorgensen

    Thanks for an intriguing post, Holly. I am similarly befuddled and pissed off at the logic behind those ads.

    To use a rather second-wave feminist technique of analysis, imagine that men were in the same position. When are men ever told that they smell badly, and moreover, that it might affect their job performances or how others perceive them?