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Finally, a Menstruation Machine That Allows Men to Experience the Monthly Cycle!

Here's one gadget I won't be lining up for: a "Menstruation Machine" that allows men "to experience the painful bleeding of menstruation." Well, wow.

The device is the graduate project of Royal College of Art student Hiromi Ozaki. It's pretty horrifying!

"Fitted with a blood dispensing mechanism and lower-abdomen-stimulating electrodes, the Menstruation Machine simulates the pain and bleeding of an average 5 day menstruation process of a human."

And just in case you couldn't picture it in your mind, there's this:

To be honest I have never understood the stigma of menstruation. Anyone that knows me knows I've never been squeamish about discussing my cycle or my Diva Cup. I've even posted pictures of it filled with blood on my Twitter.

I'd like to see how the attitudes men have change if they had to wear this, perhaps in school as a part or a human sexuality course/sex education.
Why it costs more to be a woman
From haircuts to health insurance, moisturizers to mortgages, women are charged more than men for essentially the same stuff. There's only 1 way to fight this bunk.
The January issue of Consumer Reports just came in the mail, and what I found on Page 8 shocked me. There were two bottles of Nivea body wash: one for men priced at $5.49 and one for women costing $7.49.
Where women pay more

Why the 2-buck difference? Nivea's reason, according to Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks, is that the women's product is made with "skin-sensation technology," which makes it more expensive.

I tried to imagine a bigger load of bunk. I failed.

Consumer Reports compared six products that come in his-and-hers versions (or a neutral edition and a feminine one): shaving cream, antiperspirant, pain reliever, eye cream, body wash and razors. The magazine found that products aimed specifically at women can cost more than 50% extra.

OK, you might say, is it really worth jumping up and down about the cost of soap and razors?

Yes, because the body wash surcharge is just the latest in a long line of puzzling, outrageous gender-based price differences. Whether you're talking haircuts or health insurance, moisturizers or mortgages, women are typically charged more than men for the necessities of life.


The same but not equal

According to Consumer Reports, sometimes the company in question provided a decent reason.

For example, Barbasol Soothing Aloe shaving cream, 11 ounces, sells for $1.69. Barbasol Pure Silk shaving cream for women, 9.5 ounces, sells for $2.49.

As a Barbasol rep explained, "80% of women like to shave in the shower," so the product needs a rust-resistant aluminum-bottom can. The company also adds more fragrance. These things cost more.

OK, fine. But why is Neutrogrena's Hydrating Eye Reviver eye cream (0.5 ounce) selling for $10 when its girly twin, Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Eye (also 0.5 ounce), goes for $15?

Because we're suckers?

That's part of it. Didn't I once admit in this very column to paying some horrifying amount for deluxe shampoo and conditioner?

But there is a lot more going on beneath all this lather.


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February 2011

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