The California Milk Processor Board has just rolled out their latest ad campaign, which is an elaborate mock campaign to help men get through the symptoms pre-menstrual syndrome. With helpful tips like "puppy dog eyes" and scripted speech suggestions such as, "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant", the ad campaign plays to the tired myth of the emotional instability of women, and the emotional insensitivity of men. This ad campaign, which has been presented by the CMPB as "innovative" and in "good fun" is neither. Menstruation has become the punchline far too many times, especially when it comes to dismissing legitimate concerns that come from women. How many times has a woman "jokingly" been asked if she is on her period because she voices a strong opinion about something? The perpetuation of these attitudes is unacceptable. Furthermore, beyond the sheer offensiveness of this ad, the premise of the campaign plays fast and loose with the suggestion that calcium and vitamin D may help reduce the severity of the physical symptoms of menstruation. Studies in fact show that the high hormone content in cow's milk may actually wreak havoc menstrual symptoms. Regardless, these health benefits are far from proven, and the CMPB may find it more useful to stick to ads about osteoporosis in women. Please listen to the people who menstruate: we are not a joke. Bring back the milk mustaches, lose the sexism.
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