Conservative mums are seriously triggered by this advert for period-friendly underwear featuring men

A new ad has been branded “twisted” and “damaging to young people” by outraged conservatives because it seeks to normalise conversations around menstruation by asking what it would be like if cisgender men got periods.

In the ad, which is for period-absorbing underwear made by menstrual-hygiene company Thinx, scenes include a teenage boy telling his father he thinks he’s got his first period, a man handing another man a tampon when asked, and sanitary products falling out of a teenage boy’s locker.

One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association, said that the ad is “damaging to young people who are already navigating the uncertainties of puberty amidst the constant push of liberal agendas”.

The concept of men getting periods is “absurd”, One Million Moms said, adding that it “ignores very definitive gender lines” and urging people to sign a petition calling for Thinx to “pull this offensive commercial immediately”.

“Women, who are your target market, and even men are offended by your newest MENstruation campaign,” the petition reads. “Your MENstruation commercial is crude and crass! Not only do you blur gender lines, you totally destroy them.”

Close to 10,000 people have signed so far.

“This commercial is insane. Women and men are different. Men do not menstruate… ever. Period,” One Million Moms said, failing to see that this is the point of the advert – cisgender men don’t menstruate but if they did, conversations around periods and period products would likely be more normalised and therefore easier for people who do menstruate to negotiate.

Thinx previously released a range of period-absorbing boxers for trans men and non-binary people who menstruate.

It’s possible that One Million Moms were confusing the new advert with recent news about period-product company Always making their sanitary pads more inclusive of trans men and non-binary people by removing female signage from the packaging.

“We really fed into the duality of comfort—the idea of society being more comfortable, but also the fact that our product is a much more comfortable solution on your periods,” Siobhan Lonergan, Thinx’s chief brand officer, said on 10 October when the advert first ran.

“I think it will upset quite a few people,” she said. “That’s OK because part of being a brand that stands for something is: Sometimes you irritate people. Even if we’re irritating them, our objective is to get them to think.”