Were you offended at the word “vagina?” It’s not a dirty word. So, there shouldn’t be a problem with saying it on television, right? That’s what I thought, until I read this.
Kotex is coming out with a new tampon line called U by Kotex. The original ad for the campaign used the word “vagina.” It turns out, using the proper word for female genitalia in a commercial was too much for three broadcast networks. So, they rejected it. Kotex came up with another version of the ad that replaced the v-word with “down there.” That was still over the line for two of those networks because they rejected the revised spot, too. (The networks involved weren’t disclosed.)
It’s bad enough that these corporations rejected the vagina version. It’s not like it’s inappropriate. The ad is for a tampon! But “down there” didn’t make it either? It’s vague, playful without being dirty, and relevant when talking about stuff that happens Down There. (Maybe they should’ve used vajayjay.)
So, after two strikes, here’s the sanitized version Kotex came up with:
What’s birth control for U.S. troops serving in northern Iraq? Threat of a court-martial.
Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo who commands 22,000 personnel there issued a directive which states getting pregnant or impregnating another soldier would lead to a court-martial. The military is stretched thin and general said he needs all of his troops.
The general said: “Anyone who leaves this fight earlier than the expected 12-month deployment creates a burden on their teammates.” Women who are victims of sexual assault would not be prosecuted.
Here’s the piece from CNN:
At first I thought the general was crazy. The phrase “reproductive rights” came to mind. Military law is different than civilian law, though. The military controls most aspects of a soldier’s life: when they eat, sleep, fight. They are literally ordered around. They signed up for that mission. So, getting pregnant or getting another soldier pregnant and making a soldier unable to fight because two people wanted to fool around is irresponsible.
What do you think? Was the general correct in making this rule? Or did he go over the line?
Update: The U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Raymond Odierno, released a new policy for soldiers in Iraq that will take effect on January 1. There is no pregancy provision in it. This comes a few days after Gen. Cucolo clarified himself and said he wouldn’t seek jail time for any pregnant soldier or the pregnant soldier’s sexual partner.