Two German men face backlash over ‘Pinky’ period glove product

Two German men who came up with a pink glove to help women dispose of tampons have sparked a backlash on social media, with critics panning the product as useless and sexist.

Two German men face backlash over 'Pinky' period glove product
A tampon being displayed after its manufacturer. Photo: DPA

At a menstrual cramp-inducing 11.96 for a pack of 48, the Pinky is a plastic glove that doubles as a disposal bag to provide a “discreet solution for pads and tampons”, according to the product website.

Andre Ritterswuerden and Eugen Raimkulow, who met in the army, presented their product on Monday on the German version of the Dragons’ Den TV show where inventors pitch to potential investors, drawing 30,000 from an entrepreneur.

But the two men quickly found themselves facing a slew of disparaging comments on social media, with the hashtag #PinkyGate trending on Twitter on Wednesday.

“We both really do understand women,” Raimkulow said on the TV show, basing their qualifications on both being married and having lived with women in flat shares.

Occasionally, he would “dare to look in the rubbish bin”, he said.

“After a while it just smells unpleasant. And you can see it, because it starts seeping through the paper.”

READ ALSO: Tampon tax: Why menstral products are set to become cheaper in Germany

“Every day there is another useless product for the vagina,” tweeted Canadian-American gynaecologist Jennifer Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible. “I need to throw (the book) at these idiots,” she said.

Even the conservative daily Die Welt waded in, pointing out that plastic gloves and disposal bags can already be bought for a fraction of the price — albeit in other colours.

“Is this a real invention? No,” it said. “It is no surprise that there are no women behind the Pinky but two men, who have no experience of using sanitary products.”

Ritterswuerden and Eugen Raimkulow published a video on Wednesday addressing the criticism.

“In no way did we mean to suggest that menstruation is something disgusting,” they said, adding: “We realise that we have not fully taken on board different views on the subject.”

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Berlin film festival to drop gender distinctions in awards

There will be no more separate Silver Bear awards for best actor and best actress at the Berlin film festival in future, organisers announced Monday, saying they want to eliminate forms of hierarchy between men and women.

Berlin film festival to drop gender distinctions in awards
Archive photo shows a Berlinale prize being presented in 2016. Photo: DPA

From next year, the German capital's Berlinale will only crown the best performances in a leading and a supporting role.

The announcement follows years in which the film world has been shaken by MeToo sexual abuse and harassment scandals that spread far beyond Hollywood.

An end to sex-separated awards represents “a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry,” the two festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said in a statement.

Alongside the Cannes and Venice film festivals, the Berlinale is one of the European highlights of the annual cinema industry calendar.

READ ALSO: Berlin film fest rolls out red carpet for women trailblazers

Cannes still singles out a best actor and actress, while Venice awards a Volpi cup to actors of each sex.

Taking place in February, this year's Berlinale was squeezed in before coronavirus restrictions slammed down across much of Europe, while Cannes had to be called off.

Venice's festival will go ahead next week under strict infection control measures.

Next year's Berlinale is planned to take place “physically” from February 11th-21st, with measures “ensuring the greatest possibility for all guests”, the organisers said.

But changes in “the festival structure, the film programming and the total number of invited films” will be revealed in the coming weeks, they added.