The internet is seriously upset about this man’s reaction to a tampon drawing
The ‘tampon guy’ has had his say, and no one’s happy about it
Great news – the tampon tax has been abolished! Bad news – there’s already been massive uproar on Twitter about one man’s response.
It was the first day of a brand new year (good riddance 2020), and the government announced that it would no longer be taxing tampons and other sanitary products. *Pause to appreciate this moment of pure joy for women and menstruating people everywhere.*
Previously, EU law required members to put a five per cent minimum VAT rate on these products, but now that the UK is no longer subject to EU rules on sanitary products, this “sexist tax” is being done away with for good.
Almost all Twitter users will have seen HM Treasury’s tweet announcing the end to the tax on the first day of the year, not because of the tweet itself, but because of this viral reply from radio host Adam Garrie, calling the illustration on the tweet “obscene”:
Good policy but is this obscene image really necessary? https://t.co/LMqTABtESd
— Adam Garrie (@adamgarriereal) January 1, 2021
If you think that’s bizarre you’re not alone. Twitter users have not stopped rinsing this man on Twitter. Adam quickly defended his position with a series of Tweets explaining that he finds the “curvature” on the image somewhat too suggestive:
The imagine in question is. There is an implication of bodily fluids and the particular curvature of the specific image is overly suggestive.
— Adam Garrie (@adamgarriereal) January 2, 2021
Asymmetrical images/curvature in drawing, especially in the context of a bodily function which occurs below the belt, tends to conjure thoughts of mischief. This is unhelpful
— Adam Garrie (@adamgarriereal) January 2, 2021
Sadly for Adam, this only intensified the backlash. People are coming up with new and exciting ways to let the man know that they’re angry, concerned, and honestly just confused. Here are some of the best clapbacks to queen of “obscene”, Mr. Adam Garrie:
1. Twitter has affectionately crowned him the ‘tampon guy’
Despite Adam’s resistance to the image of a tampon, he’ll likely be seeing the word everywhere he turns from now on. Twitter users are exclusively referring to Garrie as “tampon guy” or “tampon man”.
Nah your the tampon guy now
— G-Bone (@geebone24) January 3, 2021
Seen some of you referring to Adam Garrie as "tampon man" and "tampon guy", please stick to his official designation of "tampon boy".
— Nat Guest (@unfortunatalie) January 3, 2021
2. ‘I fixed it for you’
There has been no shortage of people jumping on the opportunity to help Adam out by editing to make the image look a bit easier on the eye. Hopefully he won’t think these are too “suggestive”:
— Jenny (@jennyOerlich) January 2, 2021
I understand. It's pretty graphic imagery to subject an adult to, so I made a censored version for you. 😊👍 pic.twitter.com/P6VBOF4cff
— Rob Downie 🖍️ (@RobArtDownie) January 2, 2021
— cheeses of nazereth (@Cheeses0fNaz) January 2, 2021
3. Tampon pictures EVERYWHERE
Of course, a knee-jerk reaction has been to shower the man with tampons, tampons and more tampons:
I just want to jump out of the bushes at Adam Garrie in one of these pic.twitter.com/eOcATaS7Vu
— nightmare scenario 🏴🇪🇺 (@twinkleflange) January 3, 2021
Obscene? Just wait til he sees Tamponhenge…. pic.twitter.com/ElXrs4sE3p
— *•.¸♡ ӄǟʏ ♡¸.•* 🐝🏴 (@265kay) January 2, 2021
Just popped by to say 2 words;
Enjoy your day!!
— retro_nicky 🍩💜🐨☕🎨💚 Thanks Dan (@nicky_retro) January 2, 2021
4. It’s literally just a drawing…
What confused most people was the fact that the image in question wasn’t a bloody tampon or even a photo of a clean one. It was a pretty standard illustration. Many people took it upon themselves to make sure Adam realised this:
It's a drawing of cotton wool and thread you absolute melt.
— Sooz Kempner (@SoozUK) January 2, 2021
imagine growing up to become a whole-ass adult and being this upset by an illustration of a tampon pic.twitter.com/1WTytUZpD4
— Elizabeth May (@_ElizabethMay) January 2, 2021
If you find a drawing of a tampon obscene but have no problem looking at photos of toilet paper your concern is not public decency, it’s misogyny.
— Kate van Hooft (@vanhooftwrites) January 2, 2021
5. Yeah, what about toilet paper?!?
People have been quick to point out that if Adam is offended by the suggestion of “bodily fluids”, then there must be a range of other products he’s not okay with, toilet paper being one. Does loo roll upset Adam? The people are dying to know:
every time i see these paper rolls i have to think about the obscene places that paper goes….penises, vulvas, anuses. it’s haunting. pic.twitter.com/8cbwNimeOe
— Complex Nightmare (@debatante) January 2, 2021
Tampon guy walking past all the other houses in his street, knowing they have lavatorial equipment inside. pic.twitter.com/skMcBHs7yE
— Burdizzo Books (@emdehaney) January 3, 2021
6. Some men are apologising on Adam’s behalf
You know it’s bad when you start seeing tweets “on behalf of men everywhere”:
Been reading the tampon guy tweets and now for some reason I feel like I have to apologize to women everywhere.
Sorry, ladies. I’ll just say this outright, in behalf of men everywhere: we have no idea what we’re doing.
— kleptolia (@kleptolia) January 3, 2021
As one old white guy commenting about another, yes, the idiot called a tampon obscene.
— Gentleman Scientist Wannabe (@awrobinson79) January 3, 2021
7. Women have just had enough
On a serious note now, Adam’s tweets have meant a lot of women and menstruating people are sharing upsetting stories about their experience with periods, and how much they’ve been made to feel ashamed and uncomfortable with their own bodies, because of the way men react to menstrual products, period blood, or menstruation as a whole being brought into conversations.
These stories are all too relatable and show that society really needs to fix up and destigmatise the conversation about periods. Here are just a few stories that people shared:
Guys like him are why I tend to only pick out tampons when nobody is in the aisle and why I get really really anxious if a guy cashier is ringing my stuff up 🙁
— Gamingmentor101🛡 (@gamingmentor101) January 2, 2021
Those replies to Tampon Guy’s tweets reminding me that men don’t often know anything about periods 🙄
Reminds me of the convo with a teacher on here who insisted that girls only need to change their pads a maximum of 3 times per day so should only go at set break times 🤷♀️
— Kay Sidebottom 🌿🕷 (@KaySocLearn) January 3, 2021
Many are raising concerns and even joking about the fact men simply don’t understand as much about period products as they should:
This reminds me of a guy I briefly dated in middle/high school who, while trying to be seductive, asked me if putting in a tampon felt "good" https://t.co/gW3d9GiU1L
— Human LUCAS (@PulseCheckTech) January 2, 2021
This callback to a brilliant TikTok by @christaallen is a personal fave:
All this tampon talk reminds me of my favourite TikTok pic.twitter.com/ZJ4muRoZrg
— Jamie Klingler (@jamieklingler) January 2, 2021
So while all these tweets have been funny, cheeky and unashamedly beefy, they’ve also got a lot to say about how much work needs to be done to reverse the stigma and eradicate taboos around periods. I’ll leave you with a tweet from BBC journalist Emma Barnett, who also said her piece when the whole internet drama kicked off:
‘Menstruation is the only blood that is not born from violence, yet it’s the one that disgusts you the most,’ Maia Schwartz, an artist. https://t.co/vxwSYf0WTK
— Emma Barnett (@Emmabarnett) January 2, 2021
As we’re not even a full week into 2021, let’s hope we’ll all have better things to be doing by the end of the year than getting wound up by the government’s tweets.