Who Would Buy This Thing? is a series that spotlights particularly egregious commercial objects and tries to imagine who might indeed pay money to own them.
Another year, another International Women’s Day passed with the expected amount of corporate feminist chicanery. A week out, we’re still sifting through the various products released in the effort to prove “woke capital” credentials—one of which is the weirdly named Femme Pouch. As noted by Racked, the pouch is a collaboration between the minimalist fashion brand Cuyana and organic tampon company Lola in honor of International Women’s Day. For the low price of $60 (or several boxes of tampons), owners of the Femme Pouch can carry up to two tampons around in what is essentially a pencil case made from pebbled Italian leather.
That’s right, this “lady pouch” allots you two tampons for a whole day—so you’ll have to think twice before handing half your stash to the unlucky soul in the bathroom whose period decided to arrive two days early. Described on the Cuyana website as “innovative new essential for the modern woman who is always moving,” the product comes in either blush pink with red accents or navy blue with white accents and can be clipped to your purse, belt loop, or whatever else you want to clip a fancy tampon holster to.
As some commenters have noted, the Femme Pouch bears a striking resemblance to an actual tampon, which pretty much negates what seems like its intended purpose: discretion. This raises the question of why, exactly, we feel the need to hide period products behind pebbled Italian leather. Cuyana co-founder Shilpa Shah insists that the Femme Pouch is not playing into the myriad ways people who have periods are made to feel ashamed of them, sending the following statement to Racked in response to the rising Twitter mockery:
As a women-led and founded company made up of a majority of women employees, we are excited to highlight periods with a beautiful product. Tampons, for many who use them, are often loose in our bags and get damaged. The Femme Pouch isn’t intended to hide our periods but rather to create a functional product that enhances the beauty and femininity of menstruation.
As an exclusive pad user, I was fairly surprised to learn from my colleagues that tampons can be damaged from being stored in a non-pouch receptacle. But I’m also not entirely sure how an Italian leather sleeve would keep a tampon from being crushed by the copy of Anna Karenina I keep telling myself I’m going to read on the train. Still, it seems like the Femme Pouch could actually have a practical purpose. And as Cuyana notes, it can also be used to carry a pen for “those other moments of the month.” What kind of pen they mean is unclear since, as several women noted, the pouch looks to be the perfect size for a vape pen. Or as suggested by the ladies over at the Cut, a churro or small vibrator. Perhaps a single emergency mozzarella stick?
Who would buy this thing? A leather dom with a bullet vibe and a love of minimalism