The TikTok game show Roe v. Bros has gone viral after its host asked men how menstruation works. Several men gave answers so inaccurate that they highlight why everyone needs to vote at a time when the future of reproductive rights—which Republicans have vowed to curtail even further should they take back congressional control—is very much on the line.
A few videos show the extent to which men are knowledgable about the average female's reproductive cycle, and the answer is not very much at all.
Consider the following video, in which several men can't answer whether a woman can use the bathroom with a tampon inside them or why tampons come in different sizes.
None of the men knew that yes, women can use the bathroom with tampons in, because urine comes out of the urethra and menstrual blood comes from the vagina, which is where the tampon goes.
Nor could they answer why there are different sizes of tampons, and no, it's not because there are "different vaginal cavity sizes," as one man suggested. It's because larger sizetampons are for heavier period flow and smaller size tampons are for lighter flow.
In another video, the game show host reveals that men don't know how long women must wait after giving birth to have sex. One man suggests that women can have sex pretty much "immediately."
The actual answer? Between four to six weeks after delivery, according to recommendations from health professionals.
Yet another video shows that men can't even name parts of the female reproductive system.
While one man mentions the clitoris (the pleasure center of the vulva) and ovaries (a pair of female glands in which the eggs form and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are made), they also name the penis and scrotum, which are part of the male reproductive system.
For the record, the former is responsible for urination and sexual intercourse, while the latter is the bag of skin that holds and helps to protect the testicles, produce sperm.
It's worth pointing out a few simple facts about menstruation, as so many myths about the process persist.
Menstruation (also known as a period, among other colloquial terms) is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. The menstrual cycle is characterized by the rise and fall of hormones. Menstruation is triggered by falling progesterone levels and is a sign that pregnancy has not occurred.
The first period usually begins between the ages of 12 and 15, though it is not considered uncommon for people to menstruate as early as eight years of age. The typical length of time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next is 21 to 45 days in young women. In adults, the range is between 21 and 31 days with the average being 28 days.
Bleeding usually lasts around 2 to 7 days. Periods stop during pregnancy and typically do not resume during the initial months of breastfeeding. Menstruation stops occurring after menopause, which usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age.
The videos underscore the importance of comprehensive sex education, and many women have had strong reactions to them.
The battle to preserve reproductive freedom is at the forefront of issues facing the American electorate this midterm election cycle, particularly after the Supreme Court ruled this summer that the right to an abortion is no longer constitutionally protected.
Republicans—particularly South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham—have vowed to institute a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Graham has said that voting for Republicans is necessary if voters want to see abortion curtailed beyond the state level, noting that if the GOP "take back the House and the Senate, I can assure we'll have a vote."
Nonetheless, Republicans have demonstrated that they care very little about educating themselves on reproductive rights and why they matter, often to the point that they've made ludicrous comparisons.
Earlier this spring, Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines was criticized after he compared human pregnancy to protections for sea turtle and eagle eggs during a speech in which he attempted to justify not protecting women's reproductive rights.
Similarly, Georgia Republican Representative Jody Hice had viewers scratching their heads after he said that he opposes the right to an abortion on the grounds that women give birth to humans and not a "turtle" or a "taco," a declaration that exposed him to mockery immediately.