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What do Sanitary Pads Have to do with Rape Culture?

Giving Feminism a Bad Name

Since when are sanitary pads synonymous with social awareness? Since a German feminist named Elonë married the two to get across an important message about "rape culture and victim blaming."

After seeing the influential tweet by @CuteQueer69 ("Imagine if men were as disgusted with rape as they are with periods"), Elonë was inspired to plaster her hometown of Karlsruhe with this and other feminist rhetoric typed on panty liners. She posted photos of her pad trail on Instagram and Tumblr to mark International Women's Day.

"Rapists rape people not outfits," read another statement.

The reaction to Elonë's project has mostly been positive, yet some saw her gesture as wasteful of a resource that could benefit homeless women at a certain time of the month!

Feminist Receives Rape Threats on Twitter

Though there is no denying this is a conversation we need to have—and at a global level—some of the statements Elonë has posted are clearly polarizing.

For instance, inferring that men aren't disgusted by rape does little to advance that discussion, and does little else except pit men against women.

Such statements are what sometimes gives the word "Feminism" a bad connotation. Such statements may be behind reasons some women are reluctant to label themselves feminists in the first place.

While I'm sure Elonë's heart is in the right place, the shock tactic element leaves me a bit cold. The vast majority of men out there aren't opposed to equality and mutual respect, and we need to be mindful of that fact. 

If you want to call yourself a feminist, if you want to see real change, then maybe the best place to start is to stop treating men like enemies and treat them as allies working toward the same end goal. Just saying.

Image Source: Instagram