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Girls & Women

Kleenex Is Finally Ditching ‘Mansize’ Tissues


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goals call for action to achieve reduced inequalities around the world, including gender, sexuality, age, race, ethnicity, disability, religion, or any other status. And achieving gender equality would be a lot easier if lazy gender stereotypes being used to sell products was a thing of the past. Join us by standing up for equality here

It’s honestly surprising that any product has gotten away with being called “mansize” for so long. It feels far too much like that “for her” pen that got so mercilessly mocked on Amazon; or that pink beer we were all meant to be drinking with our lady mouths. 

But, after 60 years, Kleenex has announced that it’s bring its “mansize” tissues to an end. 

Men everywhere are welling up at the loss, but are struggling to find adequately-sized tissues for their tears. 

Not really. 

Customers have been calling out the tissue brand for being sexist, with one woman describing how her 4-year-old son asked if “girls, boys, and mummies” can use them. 

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Another wrote on Twitter: “Really @Kleenex? Do women have different colds to me which mean they have different tissues?” 

A third added: “In this day and age, is it right for @Kleenex_UK to have a product that is MANsized? The world is changing maybe they should too?” 

Instead of “mansize,” the tissues will instead be called “extra large.” 

Sam Smethers, chief executive at gender equality campaign group the Fawcett Society, told the Telegraph: “Removing sexist branding such as this is just sensible 21st century marketing. But we still have a long way to go before using lazy stereotypes to sell products is a thing of the past.” 

And yes, we know there are more pressing issues facing women's rights campaigners: female genital mutilation, child marriage, the need for education equality around the world. But addressing the issue of overly-gendered advertising in our overly-gendered society doesn't mean we stop tackling the other things too. 

Kleenex “For Men” first launched back in 1956, and the idea was reportedly to present an alternative option to replace reusable handkerchiefs. 

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A spokesperson from Kleenex’s parent company, Kimberly-Clark, told the Telegraph: “Kimberly-Clark in no way suggests that being both soft and strong is an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality.”

“Nevertheless, as we remain committed to developing the best possible products for our consumers and take any feedback extremely seriously, we decided to renovate our current product and update the product sub-brand as Kleenex Extra Large,” they added. 

The Advertising Standards Authority has reportedly said that, while it hadn’t received any complaints about Kleenex’s tissues being sexist, it is cracking down more generally on adverts that support gender stereotypes.