April 24, 2017

"We did not want to make this pink-washed. This is not a girl’s condom."

"It’s not just like, ‘Hey, I’m the guy, I bring the condom.’ It’s people involved together making decisions for their sexual health."

Said Bruce Weiss, Trojan’s vice president of marketing, explaining a new product with "more gender-neutral purple packaging" and "a carrying case that could slip easily (and discreetly) into a purse," quoted in a NYT article titled "XOXO Campaign: Will It Spell Profit or Trouble for Condom Maker?"

The "trouble" is, we're told, that in today's "unforgiving environment,"* Trojan could get criticizes for seeming to shift responsibility onto the woman when it — like the condom — belongs on the man.

Fortunately for Trojan, the NYT extracted a quote from Naomi Wolf, who enthuses:
“It wonderfully addresses women as adults who can take responsibility, not victims of whatever the guy happens to have in his pocket or not,” Ms. Wolf said. “It addresses women as adults who are thinking about their sexual health.”
Victims of whatever the guy happens to have in his pocket — great phrase.

_________________

* E.g., the reaming given to Pepsi for seemingly trivializing Black Lives Matter

56 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Color? What about flavor? The choices abound.

J. Farmer said...

Wasn't this the exact argument for the invention of the female condom back in the 1980s? I think marker penetration (pun intended) is something like less than 2% of the female population.

Michael K said...

"whatever the guy happens to have in his pocket"

"Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just glad to see me ?"

Mae West,

Michael K said...

"the invention of the female condom back in the 1980s?"

A urologist friend invented a female condom about then. I don't know if that is the same one but it was intended to protect against herpes, not conception.

MayBee said...

Maybe now that there's a condom marketed toward a female payer, insurance will cover condoms like other female-based birth control.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

I don't know if that is the same one but it was intended to protect against herpes, not conception.

The one that is on the market was invented by, I believe, a Dutch physician, but I am not sure. And it does offer protection against STI's and pregnancy , because it is essentially an inside out condom inserted into the woman's vagina that would catch the sperm and thus prevent its passage through cervix and into the uterus.

tim in vermont said...

I'm just a soul, whose intentions are good.
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.

walter said...


"insurance will cover condoms like other female-based birth control."
Where is Sandra Fluke on this?

But hey..though marketing saavy has allowed them to get past being named "Trojan", maybe their vulnerability will be on foisting such a hetero-centric campaign on us.
Perhaps there is another..untapped..market:
Are Condoms Over? Research and Reality for Gay Men

Gahrie said...

Trojan could get criticizes for seeming to shift responsibility onto the woman when it — like the condom — belongs on the man.

Silly Trojan...every one knows women have no responsibilities..only men do.

Lem said...

Make a needlepoint pouch for men.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Silly Trojan...every one knows women have no responsibilities..only men do.

Receptionist: "How do you write women so well?"

Melvin Udall: "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

As Good As It Gets

Scott M said...

"Is that a victim in your pocket, or are you just unhappy to see me?"

BDNYC said...

Wait, what? Aren't most condoms basically transparent with slight tan or cream tones? That seems pretty neutral to me. And the outside packaging is usually gray or blue, I think.

Aren't we all supposed to be evolved beyond thinking of colors as "gendered"? I thought women were supposed to be way ahead of men in that regard. Women are reputedly more comfortable with gender fluidity, androgyny, etc.

Finally, if you feel embarrassed, why not just buy condoms on the Internet?

BDNYC said...

Of course, I'm commenting without reading the article because the NYT thinks I like their newspaper and is demanding that I purchase a subscription.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe not every woman wants to have sex only with players who have the whole thing planned in advance.

walter said...

To embrace "choice" and family planning, a needle could come with the woman's version.

Gahrie said...

Only a splooge stooge would rely on the woman to supply the condom.

Michael K said...

"it is essentially an inside out condom"

The one my friend invented covered the labia. Herpes can be passed by contact with any genital area.

walter said...

Voice-over tagline: "You've got this.."

Darrell said...

Rubber baby buggy bumpers.

Birches said...

I didn't know grey was not a gender neutral color...I also didn't there are women that might be embarrassed to walk around with a condom in their purse without a special case. I guess it's the same women who are afraid to carry around tampons without a special case. I'm not one of those women.

The Godfather said...

In my day, any guy who was, or wanted to be, "sexually active" always had a rubber (or two) in his wallet. Of course, that was a long time ago. I think they were made from megatherium skin.

If you found a girl who had a rubber (or two) in her purse, you knew that either (a) you'd struck gold or (b) she was a hooker.

Ann Althouse said...

Trojan isn't marketing a "female condom" (to be put IN the woman). It's just the idea of a woman buying the condom that the man will put on. This is a very old idea, and I don't know why it's even in the news. It's just another ordinary condom in a purple package with an ad designed to appeal to women.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, so why did I blog it?

I thought the quotes were funny.

Rick said...



Why does the responsibility lie with the man? How would this "shift" responsibility rather than make it easier for either party to take responsibility? A good marker for extremists are complaints that something good is really bad because the wrong people might act. If condom use is good anything that increases it is positive.

Stealth Removal

Here's another condom related issue which seems confused about responsibility. The argument is that consent is conditionally granted and thus violating the terms (like condom use) removes consent and transforms sex into rape. I hope this passes since one result will be that women who falsely claim to be using birth control will be committing rape.

Obviously "feminists" will argue this shouldn't apply but reasonable people will override their self-serving restrictions.

walter said...

Ann,
Are you host-splaining? ;)
If you're referring to Farmer's comment, he's not confusing the two...just suggesting a similar mindset behind them in this case.

Fernandinande said...

Darrell said...
Rubber baby buggy bumpers.


Haven't heard that for about 40 years.

Gahrie said...
Only a splooge stooge would rely on the woman to supply the condom.


And only a cum bucket would rely on the man to supply the condom.

walter said...

Reads like a sort of condom impasse, Fernandinande.
He: I got this...
She: No. I got this..
She#2: Oh come on!!

J. Farmer said...

@Ann Althouse:

Trojan isn't marketing a "female condom" (to be put IN the woman). It's just the idea of a woman buying the condom that the man will put on.

I understand that, Ann. I was simply pointing out that it was the same mindset that resulted in the creation of the female condom over 30 years ago. Men were making excuses for not using condoms, and it was a way to empower women in their reproductive health, because female contraceptives (e.g. pills, IUD, etc.) do not protect against STIs. Even so, female condoms never really caught on, and I am skeptical if Trojan's new scheme will catch on, either. But we'll see.

Michael K said...

"If you found a girl who had a rubber (or two) in her purse, you knew that either (a) you'd struck gold or (b) she was a hooker."

Back in the dark ages, the interns would all line up to check the urine reports on the new student nurses. If any showed sperm in the urine specimen, it was a winner and she was the popular girl of the month.

walter said...

"Better living through science", eh Michael?

J. Farmer said...

p.s. No company interested in growth really wants a market share whose ceiling is 50% of the population. I think this is clever marketing by Trojan to increase market share, even if I'm skeptical of its success.

walter said...

More than interested, Farmer..entirely dependent on "growth".

Static Ping said...

Ann: I thought the quotes were funny.

They are. Ten years ago. Now they are more depressing than everything because these are not meant to be jokes. They are dead serious. I suppose that is funny on some level, in the same way of being sarcastic about Pravda in the Soviet Union days was, or perhaps the concept of pigs walking on their back legs as sheep bleat about the superiority of two legs.

What we have here is the classic feminist conundrum: are women victims of the patriarchy that must be protected from predatory men, or are women equal to men in every way and therefore just as responsible and capable? The answer is very dependent on what forces the man to shut up. Of course, the real female responsibility here is to find a man who is worthy of sex, something that was expected of women before feminism was a thing, but apparently that is not something that is to be discussed in polite company. Basically, the default position here is women are always right and then emotionally lash out in however that assumption leads.

walter said...

Interesting pattern in the XOXO packaging.
Too bad they didn't go with egg and dart..

Withe "stealthing" getting press, I poked around to see whether there are terms for those who intentionally compromise condoms.
I suppose there are far more, but..
Urban dictionary sayyyyys!:
condombobble
Condom popper
and..somewhat related, and for Laslo:
Condom pooper


rhhardin said...

Girls' movies tend to come in pink covers.

n.n said...

She chose. She prevented. An acquittal. Planning. Think of the baby.

walter said...

I want to see the ad where the guy provided the woman with a "female condom".
You know.."people involved together making decisions for their sexual health".

I just remembered the Trojan tag is deep throated "Trojan Mannnn!"
Oh..what to do.

Owen said...

"Victims of whatever a guy happens to have in his pocket." - Naomi Wolf.

"Is that pistol in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" - Mae West.

Hunter said...

Ann Althouse said...
This is a very old idea, and I don't know why it's even in the news.

Too obvious to point out? It's an old fashioned idea out of fashion now with feminism. To suggest women might want to have condoms and not rely on men having them, is almost as bad as suggesting women should avoid getting really drunk at frat parties and not rely on men to not take advantage of them.

J. Farmer said...

"Victims of whatever a guy happens to have in his pocket."

The strange thing about this quote is that couldn't a woman simply say no to sex with a guy who had no form of prophylactic? If a woman wants to have sex with a guy who has no condoms and decides to anyway, she is not a "victim" of anything but her own bad choices.

walter said...

Farmer,
I think it is more referencing the likelihood of an ineffective/damaged condom, not a lack thereof.

Laslo Spatula said...

"* E.g., the reaming given to Pepsi for seemingly trivializing Black Lives Matter."

Was that reaming given with or without a condom?

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

The problem isn't with a woman pulling out a condom from her purse, it is the woman pulling out the condom for her cock.

I am Laslo.

walter said...

"Trojan Traaaannss!!"

J. Farmer said...

@walter:

Farmer,
I think it is more referencing the likelihood of an ineffective/damaged condom, not a lack thereof.


But if a guy has a condom and is willing to wear it, presumably he is as interested in it working successfully as the woman. We presume he does not wish to impregnate the woman or contact an STI. Unless a woman is willing to closely physically examine a condom for potential defects, how can she be any sure that the box of condoms she's had sitting in her dresser drawer for a year would be less ineffective or prone to damage than a condom provided by the guy?

walter said...

I think the presumption in the referenced statement is that the guy might not weigh the condition/reliability properly when the opportunity..arises.

walter said...

Of course, that presumption suggests a scenario other than the more sober "people involved together making decisions for their sexual health".

J. Farmer said...

@walter:

Hmm. Perhaps. But I did not read it that way at all. Wolf's quote is, "It wonderfully addresses women as adults who can take responsibility, not victims of whatever the guy happens to have in his pocket or not." Emphasis mine.

I think it's pretty clear she is saying that women should not rely on men to have condoms but should have them themselves. I don't think the issue is really women being scared of the man having a defective condom but not having one at all.

BJK said...

Did the NYT also get Ms. Wolf to recommend dressing the condom in earth tones (rather than purple)...or does that advice only apply to Al Gore?

walter said...

Well..I suppose he could have anything in his pocket..only one thing here would be relevant.

walter said...

I guess it could refer to both having a shitty condom or none.
So nice she can be Johnuy on the spot with a solution that avoids any uncomfortable discussion.

walter said...

"It's high time.and she wants it."

southcentralpa said...

Okay, I'll go there ...

Is that a cylindrical package of condoms in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me ...?

(Or, more relevantly to the article, "Is that a cylindrical package of condoms in your pocket, or is it a good thing that I brought some...?")

walter said...

Dunno..having women buy the condoms might bump up against the "pay gap" thingy.

openidname said...

"I think it is referencing the likelihood of an ineffective/damaged condom, not a lack thereof."

But if the woman provides the condom, then the man will be a victim of whatever she has in her pocket -- when he gets sued for child support.

Either way, there's a victim.