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Just yesterday we posted "Yoppie menstrual cycle care company calls its potential customers "bleeders", attracts ire", noting in the post that it's only in the CEO's quote that they avoided the word woman. It's used in the rest of the Instagram post. The "breeder" image has become viral on social media, where both Yoppie's Instagram and Twitter has been inundated with upset comments.
The noise on social media reached the CEO's ear, so today, Daniella Peri made a blog post to explain her stance and announced said post on Twitter.
— Yoppie (@its_yoppie) March 16, 2022
I recently referred to women as ‘bleeders’, but also in the same post used ‘women’. I used the word ‘bleeders’ for our new campaign ‘Ride your cycle’ as I feel it best describes the point we are trying to make; that ‘menstrual health’ is so much more than the days you bleed.
Yoppie is focused on being a brand welcoming all those who have a menstrual cycle - it’s what we do. But, being at the forefront of menstrual health, how we describe it and talk to our customers is fraught with challenges, mistakes and learnings. After all that’s part of being a genuine brand.
We recognise the menstrual cycle is a biological function. We should be proud of this cycle, of bleeding from our uterus, it’s what makes us different. So we want to have this conversation, to bust the social stigma of talking about it publicly.
We strongly believe all women, girls and people with a menstrual cycle should feel welcome at Yoppie. We also understand there are many women who don’t have periods and some people who menstruate who are not women. We’re proud to host a safe space for anyone wishing to take charge of their menstrual health.
If this conversation increases discussion within families and friendship groups to the level that people now talk about mental health - surely this is a great thing? We must remove any stigma of the menstrual cycle and periods and open up the conversation.
The big question is how can brands like Yoppie talk directly to their customers, simply and eloquently, without causing offence to many. Can we, is that even possible?
We’re an open, straight-talking and transparent brand that is trying to navigate the right language. We will continue to promote that discrimination prevents all people from having equal opportunities - and we make no apology for that stance. This is the hard conversation everyone needs to have and we’re here to have it. Join the conversation.
The replies to the Twitter post are overwhelmingly negative, and some are rather funny. It's clear that the audience doesn't appreciate her doubling down on this topic.
Presumably any men who work in your company are referred to as “wankers”?
— Ciara McMillan (@CiaraMcMillan4) March 16, 2022
This didn’t help. So many women are here telling you it is offensive to us to be referred to as bleeders & you’re basically doing the same thing as those who won’t call pple by their preferred pronouns! The irony.
— I’d rather be in Hawaii (@transcended) March 16, 2022
Weasel words. Where was the apology for the dehumanising language or even the acknowledgement that it was offensive to some me included?
— Queen of F*cken Everything 💜 (@choclitlover1) March 16, 2022
Just like Always and a whole host of other feminine product brands, Yoppie wanted to be inclusive to all people who menstruate including those who don't identify as women, or girls. In hoping to include that tiny percentage of potential customers, they managed to piss everyone off. Bravo. "Target market: EVERYONE" is not a thing, you have to decide who you are talking to and try not to insult them.
You made it worse by doubling down on this.
How hard it is to say women, transmen and non-binary?
You are insulting 99% of your core demographic with a word used by misogynists and incels as a derogatory slur towards women.
Shame on you.
— 12 Daisies 🧟♀️ (@TwelveDaisies) March 16, 2022
They've insulted more than 99%. Idk any transmen that would prefer to be called a bleeder either.
— Shay 🌈♀️✨ (@ShayWoulahan) March 16, 2022
I've been watching feminine hygiene products brands try to rename their core customer group for years now, in a slow creep. An early adopter was Thinx who sold "panties for people with periods" back in 2016. But no matter how these brands phrase it, the takeaway for women and girls seeing these ads is that somehow even the word woman, or girl, is shameful. No wonder young girls don't want to grow up to be women anymore. The word itself is now like Voldemort, "Must-Not-Be-Named" as if it is a horrible thing.
As always, hire a professional copywriter to come up with your alternative phrases, because as I pointed out yesterday, this is an insult in British English. According to the CEO's LinkedIn and many profiles of her around the web, she has been established in London, UK since 2014. That's certainly a lot longer than I lived in the UK, yet I knew the meaning of this word and she apparently did not. If you find the ad and the choice of words offensive, that is something for ASA UK to consider.
I can only assume that you are not British, because we normally use the word "bleeder" as an insult, often for children as in "the little bleeders threw the ball through my window".
Please stop using words of insult to refer to women and girls who are having periods
— South West Wales ReSisters (@SWWalesReSister) March 16, 2022