Kunal Bahl, CEO, Snapdeal
Sanjay Sethi, CEO, Shopclues
UPDATE: 06 Feb 2020
Jhatkaa.org's quick campaign victory with ShopClues and Snapdeal taking the fake hymen product down, has left us more empowered and confident in the work we are doing.
It was crucial for us to get variants of fake hymen products off the market since this medically harmful product was so easily available to women! The product encouraged women to compromise their health and uphold the patriarchal notions around women’s virginity.
Twitter storms and signatures from over 1000 members like you helped us create a PR crisis for the online retailers and in turn, they responded to YOUR pressure. Coordinated public mobilisation led to this victory WITHIN A DAY.
Not only did the online retailers take the product down but they acknowledged that they are ready to take action.
ShopClues tweeted: “Thank you for your prompt response and sharing the product ID with us. We're getting this product discontinued from our website and sharing strict feedback against the merchant. Kindly wait for the next 24 hours for this to be applied.”
The Communications Director at Snapdeal, informed us that they took the product down within hours of receiving our call.
This quick response is proof-enough that even the market big-shots will listen when we strategically call them out.
Jhatkaa.org’s gender & sexuality team is constantly looking to contribute in building an equitable society for our intersectional gender diversities.
From calling out sexism to supporting complainants to get timely justice in sexual harassment cases, we have used technology-based public mobilisation to send the message across as strongly as possible.
UPDATE: 18 Feb 2020
ShopClues responded to Jhatkaa.org's twitter storm and took the fake hymen product -- i-Virgin down.
They tweeted: @Jhatkaadotorg Thank you for your prompt response and sharing the product ID with us. We're getting this product discontinued from our website and sharing strict feedback against the merchant. Kindly wait for the next 24 hours for this to be applied.
We are taking this campaign forward to make sure Snapdeal also take the hazardous and humiliating product down.
UPDATE: 17 Feb 2020
In November, 2019, there was an outrage on Twitter channeled at Amazon to take i-Virgin pills down. And they won! Now it's our turn. Tweet to stop the sale of these harmful products. Market bigshots like Snapdeal and ShopClues still have the product on their websites. This is a good opportunity for them to show that they care about the health, safety and autonomy of women’s bodies. They must realise that this product has already been rejected for being humiliating and harmful. We won’t shy away from launching another twitter storm to remind them about it.
DATE: 6 Feb 2020
Trigger warning: sexism, references to blood
I got a call from a retailer selling fake Hymens this morning. He told me that the product proposes to create a fake cellular membrane that releases blood during intercourse and is now available for sale.
“After having inserted the hymen, it melts. The man does not notice it and enjoys the bloodstains on the bedsheet”
- Reads the description of another variant “Spento Himen” sold by Swayamacare
Yes, I feel the same cringe as you probably did just now.
It is the year 2020 and women are still being sold products to prove their purity.
This product puts our bodies at risk, disregards our reproductive health, and humiliates us in ways I cannot even begin describing to you.
The bright side: a few months ago, a similar product on Amazon attracted wrath from netizens and was taken down immediately. However, the product and its variants like i-Virgin blood are still available on popular sites like SnapDeal and ShopClues. Such humiliating and harmful products should not be sold online.
“I do not know if they work properly or what substances are used to manufacture them. I strongly advise people to not use them.”
- says Dr. Manisha Singh, a gynecologist in Bangalore.
Even doctors are wary of the safety of such kinds of products. Not to mention how products like these are instrumental in strengthening patriarchal stereotypes about women’s bodies and virginity.
Yes, women deserve autonomy over their bodies. But fake hymens are not the solution!
Maharashtra, in 2018, did a crackdown on virginity tests in the state. The government acknowledged that activists fighting against this “ghastly” tradition need to be protected as well.
This is our chance to push back on dangerous products entering the market that want to make money off of women’s bodies. Tell these retailers that women deserve reproductive and sexual health care products, not these fake hymens that only further enable problematic ideas of virginity and honour.
"Blood” To Fake Virginity On The First Night Of Marriage Being Sold On Amazon -- The Logical Indian
Amazon takes down fake virginity product amid outrage and debate in India -- The Print
Maharashtra to crack down on virginity tests -- India Today
i-Virgin -- ShopClues