>In response to my rant about and gendered marketing, both Impossible Jane and Logan Levkoff made a very important point: that the most important result is that more women use regularly. Logan even pointed out that Elexa is supposed to be shelved with tampons, pads, and other women’s “hygiene” products in stores so that women would be more encouraged to purchase them. Thus my ire in this case should really be directed at women, not Elexa. It is women who are demanding gendered marketing, and Elexa is merely responding to that desire, so to speak. It still annoys me that the burden of protection falls once again on women and men are not responsible, but if women are going to be idiots and have sex with men who refuse to buy condoms, then I would rather have them take care of themselves. I have long said that women will never be equal to men as long as most of us don’t want equality. This just seems to be one of those instances. Sigh.

Anyway, Logan also pointed out that Elexa is supposed to be shelved separately from the other condoms so that women will be more likely to buy them. Thus far, though, I have only seen Elexa up by the counter, one the opposite end of the shelf with “regular” condoms, near the pregnancy tests. Elexa has to do a bit more educating of the pharmacies if they want to reach their goals. I do believe that would be important; I’m not being sarcastic here.

This whole shelving issue reminds me of something horrifying that Big O told me while we were in a pharmacy a few weeks ago. He said that the Washington Post did a big expose on pharmacies (I think specifically CVS) and condoms in the DC-area. It turns out that condoms are easily accessible in suburban and upper income neighborhood pharmacies, where anyone can go and pluck a box off the shelf to purchase. However, in low income areas, pharmacies lock the condoms up behind the pharmacy counter, requiring people to ask for them and eliminating access completely when the pharmacy is closed.

CVS defended their grotesque actions by noting that they allow individual store managers to decide what items are at risk for shoplifting and to decide how to deal with it. I’m very curious if these pharmacies will treat Elexa the same way they hide away other condoms, or if the idea that only women will want them and that they belong with tampons changes things.