For some reason, there's a stigma associated with the act of menstruating, even to this day. Now that could be chalked up to a lot of popular religious beliefs and taboos associated with periods: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism all contain textual references to a woman's menstrual cycle and the acts they're prohibited from engaging in during this time.
Whether it's putting the kibosh on physical intimacy, stepping foot inside of a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue, cooking, praying, or even sitting on the same chair as a man, many major religions have always deemed periods as being "dirty."
While there's been a global decline in religion over the years, these belief systems have influenced and been influenced by local cultures all over the world.
An NPR piece even went so far as to find cultures that don't view menstruation as some kind of "icky" taboo, and actually found a few tribes all over the world that either see periods as a time of "purification", as the Yurok do. Or they're looked upon indifferently like the Rungus Women of Borneo. The Ultihi tribes in the South Pacific don't look at menstruation as "dirty" either, and there are parts of Ghana, West African where periods are celebrated.
But it almost feels like a globally predominant sentiment that menstrual cycles are a thing to be ashamed of or that they need to be "handled" or covered up in some way.
So of course there are a slew of different products available that are specifically designed to "mitigate" the effects of periods.
Whether they're intended to make it appear as if a woman isn't menstruating at all, or they're masking the smells associated with a normal bodily function, there's no shortage of different hygiene products available.
You can now add the Pinky Gloves to the growing list of toiletries designed to "help" women deal with their menstrual cycles.
Developed by two German men who designed the gloves with a dual purpose in mind. The first, according to the product description, allows women to remove tampons without getting blood on their hands.
The gloves can also be used as miniature trash bags that the removed used tampons or pads can be placed in so they can discreetly be thrown away and no one has to see a menstrual-blood-stained product staring back at them when they throw something away in a trash can.
The founder of Pinky Gloves, Andre and Eugen shared that they both met in 2010 and first came up with the idea of the product after hearing their female roommates lament over the fact that "there was no good solution when it comes to the disposal of tampons."
According to an Instagram post, which has been translated from German, the two men wanted to design a way for women to discreetly dispose of their menstrual pads and tampons no matter where they are.
They went on to say that the confidence in their product began to really solidify after consulting with a women's advisory board and now they're working very, very hard to "put pinky in every woman's purse."
It didn't take long for their posts to make the internet collectively roll its eyes. Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB/GYN and author of The Menopause Manifesto and The Vagina Bible took to Twitter to dunk on these two dudes for their Pinky Gloves.
Dr. Gunter pointed out the fact that the product is not only steeped in the idea that menstruation is something to be ashamed of, but that the product itself is a bit redundant and seemingly useless.
Which is a sentiment tons of other people echoed as well. Why put on a glove to remove a tampon? Why not just use a piece of toilet paper if you're worried about people seeing your menstrual blood?
Never mind the fact that tons of women's restroom stalls have bins lined with small plastic bags to dispose of hygiene products?
Then people jumped on social media in order to comment on the awkward design of the Pinky Gloves.
While others mention that if women really wanted to wear a plastic glove in order to remove/dispose of their tampons or pads then they could just as well purchase latex gloves for way, way less.
It just didn't seem like they were solving a problem at all with their product and folks couldn't wrap their heads around how these two men thought that they were actually bringing a revolutionary and important product to the market.
Then there was the added outrage over the fact that there were women who pitched menstruation-themed products, like period panties, that had trouble getting funding from the same show that the two men who launched Pinky Gloves did.
Of course there were tons of people more than willing to roast the product and create a ton of memes and joke-alternatives that are actually viable replacements for the Pinky Gloves.
And some folks were just mad that a couple of men tried to "shame" women into being "unclean" while changing their tampons, meanwhile studies show that 69% of men don't wash their hands after peeing at public toilets and urinals. Nasty.
What do you think's going to happen to Pinky Gloves? Is this the kind of product launch that the company could've hoped for? Are they starting "a conversation" or just reinforcing harmful opinions and antediluvian ideas?