How Conscious Capitalism Wins Once Again – The Menstrual Cup

It’s a perfectly reasonable for you to be thinking – ‘what on earth are you doing writing about woman’s periods and the menstruation business’?

I will admit this is not a subject I had given genuinely – ANY – consideration to before… that is – up until a few weeks ago. As a man, I never experienced my period. It just never came. I heard that woman had them, and I guess I was educated about the biology to a degree at school. But women do such a good job at not letting it interfere with their lives that it is just simply something I never gave any attention to.

And making the assumption that most of the men reading this article are in precisely the same boat as I was… here is a quick and not so squeamish look at the menstruation business.

A Brief Look At The Menstruation Business

First you had pads, then they invented tampons and then… wellll, thats the next part.

Pads were simple tech that could be produced at scale so as to be affordable by almost everyone. They restricted some activities, were not 100% reliable and proved to be too uncomfortable to the degree that one could not simply forget that they were wearing one. They are single-use and really, if we are being honest, extraordinary low tech. Then there were tampons.

Tampons came about around 100 years ago and funnily enough were a wartime innovation designed to stop excessive bleeding from bullet wounds. The war subsided, the technology was adapted, and the ‘Tampax’ went on to dominate the market. Tampons to this day absolutely dominate the menstruation business. But they are not infallible, as I will go on to make the argument for – they are as good as dead in terms of a product life-cycle. Tampons are functionally invisible in terms of comfort (I am told), very reliable – as in they are not prone to leakage, non-restrictive in terms of activities – one can even swim in them and more or less depending on where you live – tampons are quite affordable.

However don’t let this positive rap sheet tell the whole story…

Tampons Are A Dead Industry

While they are unequivocally the most widely adopted menstrual product on the market tampons are really quite a primitive and rather old and uninspired technology.

  • They are single-use.
  • Absorb more than just menstruation – which affects female health.
  • Leave women subject to potential infections – when improperly used.
  • Create ungodly amounts of pollution – they take hundreds of years to decompose.
  • Have nowhere to go in terms of improvement – they are already dialled to 100% of their potential.
  • Are totally unaffordable to those below or at the poverty line – which, spoilers, is hundreds of millions of women.

So with all this in mind – and as relevant context and preamble – what on earth am I doing talking about the menstruation business?

Menstruation Cups Are The Future

Menstruation cups counterbalance everything wrong with tampons without compromising on any of the good parts.

  • 100% comfortable – they are invisible to feel and completely un-intrusive, you go about your life as if nothing were happening.
  • They are re-usable! Designed to last for up to 10 years.
  • Only collect menstruation and nothing else – optimising for female health.
  • Completely mitigate infection – it would take heroic levels of bad hygiene to improperly use them.
  • Are accessible – through programs – to the poor of the world.

Now, unless you have some sort of dog in the fight, you should now be convinced of a world made better by menstrual cup supremacy. Because the most important point of this article is the one which I am about to make. Menstrual cups present one of the greatest opportunities of conscious capitalism I have ever come across in my life.

It’s About More Than Menstruation Cups… It’s About Female Opportunity

We know what the single force against poverty is. We’ve known for some time and seen success again and again really that one clean scythe which most reliably lifts the poor from their poverty.

Enable woman to contribute to the workforce.

Simply switch on half of your population and liberate them from an ancient traditional structure or man-in-the-sky oppression and watch a labour force shift towards higher marginal productivity. Introduce a second income to a household. Watch the requisite increase in consumption – witness a generational shift.

NOW! – I am not so naive as to think that by simply introducing a menstruation cup to the poor woman of the world is going to sold global poverty. That would be absurd. What I am suggesting is, however, is that every time you optimise for female health – you get closer and closer to realising this goal.

Tampons Are Terrible For The Poor

Tampons are single-use, they have a small and fixed amount of capacity. Tampons can be expensive – especially if you are poor. If you are so unlucky to be living in a part of the world where women are treated as inferior how likely do you think it is that the patriarch is going to budget in an expensive ‘vanity’ product for the females of the household?

Exactly.

And as such, the terrible consequence and downside of this behavioural cycle is that women are forced to use other products to deal with their menstruation. This is ALWAYS unhygienic and almost ALWAYS a surefire way to infection.

poor-tampon-alternative

We have established that any move towards optimising female health is a requisite move towards to reducing poverty. This alone is enough of a motivation to support efforts to distribute menstruation cups as far and as wide as possible – but let me appeal an even less altruistic side of you.

Distribute menstruation cups far and as wide as possible for the women. It is humanities shame that the mother’s of our children should have to endure the discomfort and embarrassment of not having access to menstrual products. The menstrual cycle enables the continuation of our species.

We need to do better.

Why Menstruation Cups Are The Answer

Very simple. They are re-usable.

We have established all the necessary qualifications earlier for what makes menstruation cups an ‘amazing’ product. Even if you are Oprah Winfrey, J.K Rowling or the Queen – which is to say – money is not an issue. Even in these cases a menstruation cup is an exponentially better product than anything else out there.

But what makes menstruation cups the answer for the worlds female poor… is their re-usability.

Distribute menstruation cups and liberate a poor woman on the outskirts of Mexico City from the stress of managing her period whilst avoiding infection.

There is only upside.

Give her a menstrual cup and allow her to focus on everything else without distraction.

Conscious Capitalism & The Menstruation Business

What’s a product with an addressable market of almost 4,000,000,000 people, low competition, almost inelastic in demand and genuinely improves the lives of its recipients?

Yeah – that’s what I thought as well. FUCK. How is this not a bigger deal?

Conscious Capitalism – creating a product through a profit incentive that creates a markedly improved life for it’s consumer. Few products fit this description quite nearly as well as the menstruation cup.

And so we come full circle and can now answer the question – ‘why on earth are you talking about menstruation cups and the menstruation business?’

Because I have entered it – and if you don’t know, now you know.

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