Cass Clemmer grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place where women aren’t given many liberties they are here in the US. She grew up being taught very little about her body, and why certain things happened to it, like the menstrual cycle. All she knew growing up was that women bleed once a month, and she was taught how to clean it up and hide it from the world. So, in an attempt to educate the youth in her new home, America, she has created what is known as “Toni the tampon’.
Toni the Tampon is an unwrapped tampon with googley eyes attached to it. Toni has its own Instagram account, too. There are other characters that focus on the menstruation theme as well, including Marina the Menstrual Cup, Patrice the Pad and Sebastian the Sponge. She plans to bring awareness to the topic by introducing a coloring book to children as well.
H/T The Blaze
A coloring book called ‘Toni the Tampon’ has a special message for kids
A Washington, D.C., artist has created a coloring book for children that looks to de-stigmatize how people view women’s menstrual cycles by starting the awareness early. On top of that, however, she wants to teach children to believe that men, too, can experience periods.
Cass Clemmer grew up on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the womanly things weren’t discussed openly. Her experiences inspired her to try to appropriately teach children what a period is and inform them that transgender men also have womanly functions.
“I didn’t know what a uterus was, and I didn’t know where this blood was even coming from or why,” Clemmer said in an interview with Mashable. “The only thing I was taught was how to clean it up so the world didn’t see it — and then I was sent on my way to figure the rest out myself.”
To do this, she created the character “Toni the Tampon,” which is an unwrapped tampon with googly eyes stuck on it. There are other characters that focus on the menstruation theme as well, including Marina the Menstrual Cup, Patrice the Pad and Sebastian the Sponge.
Toni has it’s own Instagram account, and sometimes other characters make guest appearances.
But Clemmer didn’t want to stop at putting eyes on a Tampon and taking photos of it soaking in beer or sitting next to suggestive plants while saying we shouldn’t equate “p***ies with womanhood.”
Clemmen decided she needed to teach kids all of this by creating a coloring book that will inform them all about the menstrual cycle — and the transgendered.
“It’s a tough conversation to have with kids, especially when you consider that adults are often struggling with their own internalized period shame,” Clemmer says. “But hopefully, by opening up a fun and creative gateway to discussion, my period coloring book will help make that conversation a little easier.”
Clemmer said she’s aware that including the transgender element will make it a harder copies of the coloring book, but she’s not concerned about that. According to her, the name “Toni” was chosen for the tampon character because it sounds just nebulous enough to be any gender.
“I’d rather help just one genderqueer or trans menstruator feel like they were seen, than sell a thousand copies only to reinforce the boundaries society draws by gendering periods in the first place,” Clemmer says.
The coloring book itself is available for purchase on Amazon for $12.
As Newsbusters highlighted, this isn’t the first attempt in recent memory to normalize transgenderism.
In August 2016, both The Atlantic and Cosmo ran articles on “chestfeeding,” the new inclusive name for breast-feeding. Because, you know, women aren’t the only ones who do it.
The following month, Time highlighted the pregnancy of a transgender man named Evan who struggled to conceive, but finally gave birth to a son after ceasing hormone treatments.
Even the radical feminist group Lady Parts Justice League got into hot water for its name. In an article for Slate, writer and activist Parker Molloy accused the group of “reinforcing biological essentialism, tying gender to genitals.”