NOW before anyone jumps down my throat and gets annoyed- I'm not a prude about periods. I have periods. I talk about periods. And I call them periods too, no 'Aunt Flow' for me. They're totally natural and nothing to be ashamed about.
But that doesn't mean I'm ever going to buy a product called Period Panteez. Never. Ever.
Period Panteez, which actually exist, are 'just the hug you need' according to the blurb, though strangely it doesn't say anything about the lobotomy you'll need, because they spell it panteez.
These triple-layered boy shorts claim to prevent pad displacement, prevent leakage, protect clothing and perhaps most importantly "provide ultimate comfort and love'. [Single? Don't worry, these period knickers give you love!]
Period Panteez can also be used before and after your period, for 'lighter' days and you don't need to use a pad at all in them. Just the knickers as there's an 'innermost pad' built in. Isn't that just delightful?
They also claim to protect against ruined and soiled furniture and mattresses. Wouldn't it be fair to say that if your periods are so heavy that you're destroying your sofa you'd be better of, I dunno, going to the doctor perhaps? Rather than buying overpriced knickers on the internet?
And overpriced they are, at $28 each, plus shipping. The average woman would probably need four or five of these which adds up to a good chunk of change for something you don't need.
Here's the thing, cringey name and innermost pad aside, what annoys me most about this product is that it's yet another gimmick aimed at parting menstruating women from their money.
Let's face it, we're sitting ducks. We need pads, tampons or mooncups, because otherwise we'd be visibly bleeding from our lady gardens and that really wouldn't be pleasant. So, we're forced to spend our hard earned money on sanitary products. You're locked in from the age of 12 and there really is no getting away from it.
But let's be clear, these panteez are not sanitary products. They're big, thick, lined knickers, that's all. You don't need them. For the vast majority of women, periods are a bit of an inconvenience with a bit of mess and a bit of pain. Nothing an ordinary pair of knickers, a pad, a family bar of chocolate and two paracetamol can't cure.
Far from normalising periods and providing peace of mind, products like this actually prey on women's fear and anxiety that they might leak or stain something, by whispering 'You probably WILL leak, even with pads, buy this and you won't!' Madness. The vast majority of women don't leak or stain, they go about their business wearing ordinary knickers and are no worse off for it.
You could be a poor unfortunate who suffers very badly, of course, and if so you have my sympathy and maybe you would look on Period Panteez with different eyes - but I'd imagine the vast majority of us could spend that $28 on something much more worthwhile. Period.
What do you think? Would you buy this product? Is it a waste of money or something useful? I am, as always, open to hearing any point of view so if you've used this product and want to extol its virtues, please do say so in the comments. Convince me!