Now you can, and from the comfort of your iPhone, no less. (Photo: Getty Images)
While Tampon Run doesn’t literally shoot tampons, it does make for a very entertaining computer game — and now, a just-released iOS app. New features to the game in the app include “when tampons hit an enemy, it changes into a flying pad.”
Created by two high school women who met through a Girls Who Code program, as described by the iTunes store, Tampon Run allows its players to “rid the world of menstruation haters!” This is done, of course, by the throwing of tampons.
A screenshot of Tampon Run’s website.
16-year old Andy Gonzalez and 17-year old Sophie Houser say they were inspired by the now-famous 2013 vote in the Texas legislature during which State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered a proposed state law to ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestational age. When supportive crowds took to the Texas State House to watch Davis’ historic marathon speech and the subsequent vote, tampons were confiscated by state troopers as potential weapons that could be used against slate legislators (after all, they can be thrown). Guns, however, were allowed to be carried by those with carry-and-conceal permits.
Gonzalez and Houser speak at Tedx.
“We wanted to use code for social change, and we wanted this to be an activist thing, but we also thought that humor was the best way to generate discussion about this topic,” Houser tells Fast Company.
In addition to being an homage to Davis’ efforts in support of reproductive rights, Tampon Run is also helping young women overcome the social stigma of talking about their periods, a topic still shockingly taboo.
Gonzalez shares that since their game’s debut, the duo have “learned about a middle school in California where everyone started playing the game … and talking openly about their periods.”
In an interview with The Debrief, Gonzalez adds, “In society, there’s the crazy idea that tampons and menstruation and all that stuff are repulsive and disgusting, when it actually is just a normal bodily function. But it’s just something that they keep to maintain their hygiene, right?”
Houser feels the same: “I wasn’t even that comfortable talking about my periods before Tampon Run, but I’ve been on stage in front of major people in the tech world and got to talk about menstruation or the first time I got my period, so it was impossible to feel uncomfortable about it. It’s liberating. At school, with friends and teachers, we can say ‘tampon’ or ‘menstruation’ without feeling like it’s a dirty word any more.”
Interestingly, the inevitable haters seems to be more offended by their anti-gun message than the body positive message that the game encourages. “[T]he hate mail we have gotten has mostly been from people who are anti-gun control and we have an anti-violence message and they didn’t like that,” notes Houser.
And next up for the programming team? “We might also do ‘Catcall Run’ about catcalling,” says Houser.
World, get ready.