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Our lips are sealed

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Should ignorance about women’s bodies stop a man from inventing things to be used on women’s bodies? Of course. Does it? Pbbbfffft.

This time it isn’t a law. It’s U.S. Patent 9,539,077, brainfart of Daniel A. Dopps. (The document contains a few line drawings of what may be a woman’s genitals. Or maybe they’re contour maps of Minas Tirith. It’s hard to say.)

Method for alternatively resisting and permitting menstrual flow

Abstract

A method for controlling menstrual flow including sphincterally contracting and expanding labia minora having left and right labium minuses, such anatomical structures moving to a closed position upon each sphincteral contraction or to an opened position upon each sphincteral expansion; adhering and disjoining the labia minora, each adhesion securing the labia minora at the closed position, the disjunctions freeing the labia minora for opening movement; and resisting and permitting menstrual flow, the resistance occurring on sphincteral contraction and adhesion, and the permission occurring upon sphincteral expansion, each adhering step disposing a hydrophobic and bio-compatible adhesive selected from acrylic adhesives, polyisobutylene adhesives, and silicone adhesives, and each disposition step utilizing an applicator selected from brushes, swabs, rub-on sticks, roll-on applicators, pump sprayers, aerosol sprayers, squeeze tube applicators, bottle applicators, and finger applicators.

Yes, it is exactly as appalling as it sounds. This weird and very stupid person has some very wrong ideas women’s bodies. He thinks women can flap their labia minora open and shut, that labium minuses is an actual term and that women should reward him for his ignorance.

Mensez feminine lipstick is a natural patented compound of amino acids and oil in a lipstick applicator that is applied to the labia minora and causes them to cling together in a manner strong enough to retain menstrual fluid in the vestibule above the labia minora where the vaginal opening and urethra exit.

Mensez, for the woman who likes to have her body mansplained to her.

The Mensez compound is instantly washed away with urine, which releases the menstrual fluid along with the urine into the toilet every time a woman urinates. No pads or tampons are needed. Safe, secure and clean.

I am reminded of a joke a friend told during a slumber party when I was in 5th grade. It involved the human penis. In the joke human penises had bones in them. We thought it was the funniest thing we had ever heard until our hostess’ mother burst in and told us penises don’t have bones in them and to stop being silly. Then that became the funniest thing we had ever heard. However, Dopp, an adult person who has medical training, is more ignorant about female anatomy than a bunch of 5th grade girls were about male anatomy. Where’s my friend’s mom when you need her?

“It will be thoroughly tested and improved,” adding that “It makes more sense than putting the plug up there,” and that “we’re using the vagina like a bladder just like tampons do.”

I’m beginning to get an idea of where his fascination with glue comes from. As the article notes, that’s not how this works. Any of it.

And of course he’s a raging (unglued) asshole.

Several women have suggested that Dopps is a misogynist, and that a man shouldn’t make products for women without firsthand knowledge of female anatomy.

He easily corroborated this charge in a response to one visitor’s comment on the Mensez Facebook page, in which he explained that “[Y]ou as a woman should have come up with a better solution than diapers and plugs

Diapers.

but you didn’t. Reason being women are focused on and distracted by your period 25% of the time, making them far less productive than they could be. Women tend to be far more creative than men, but their periods that [sic] stifle them and play with their heads.”

Periods make the ladies crazy and useless so it is up to Dr. Dipp to use his superior, uncluttered by menstrual cycles boy-brain to help us out. His invention won’t stop or shorten the duration of a period, but somehow smearing a hypothetical blood-sweat-lubricant-but-not-urine-proof glue on our nether bits will unstifle us. Perhaps the irritation would inspire us to create a utopia where people like Dopps are allowed – after careful training and under close supervision – to clean out the filters at a sewage/energy conversion plant.

After three years he’d be given a brush.

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  • I suspect that the name of this product can apparently be pronounced “Men says” is not a coincidence.

    • DocAmazing

      Truth in advertising.

    • David Allan Poe

      Also, “Men Sees,” which suggests the obvious advertising slogan “Men Sees what Women Needs.”

  • This takes the aspirin as birth control (keep the aspirin clamped firmly between your knees) bit one step further: Just glue that thing up, ladies!

    • LNM_in_LA

      In the early ’70s, I participated in the California YMCA Youth In Government program. It was a blast for all of us young politics junkies.
      It became something of a cause célèbre when one of our delegations introduced a bill intended to legalize over-the-counter condoms with, IIRC, no age limit. Hit the papers. Much tut-tutting had by many.
      While in Sacramento, where we had taken over (with permission) the Capitol for our long weekend mock government sessions, the assembled YiG delegations were welcomed by our then-Governor Reagan. During his speech, Ronnie chose to comment on the condom brou-ha-ha by repeating that very joke.
      It was obviously quite a surprise to him that there was only scattered laughter greeting that line, mostly from the likes of the San Bernardino and Lassen County delegations.
      Our delegation was pushing minimum wage for prison labor. I’d still like to see that passed.

  • Snuff curry

    I don’t like, as you say, how this dude abuses Latin. Also, like many a man-sayer before him, he doesn’t know where the urethra is located, does he.

    • Snuff curry

      we’re using the vagina like a bladder just like tampons do

      What does that meeeeeaaaaaaannnnnn? My tampons never use my vagina like a bladder. Vaginas are not like bladders. Tampons are not hollow sacs you fill with menstrual flow. This aggression will not something.

      • Snuff curry

        The plug thing, in concert with sphincter preoccupation, is a dead giveaway, no different than the kid who thought women were being lazy, not just holding it in like a normal human bean. It doesn’t come a’tumbling forth once you remove the tampon. It’s just absorbent material. This matter has already been optimized and cups exist for a reason; there are many superior paths to playing with / minimizing the krovvy or whathaveyou. Get the fuck over it, you squeamish ninny fucks.

        • At first, I thought he was just saying that tampons retain the menses inside the vagina, which is obviously true (versus a pad which retains it outside). But no, reading everything else makes it horrifyingly clear that he thinks the tampon is essentially a cork that plugs up the vaginal opening.

          I am so happy to see that this guy isn’t a doctor.

          • cpinva

            “I am so happy to see that this guy isn’t a doctor.”

            I remain unconvinced this isn’t an Onion bit. and he actually was awarded a patent for this? do they have no one at the US Patent Office with actual medical training, who would have laughed this out of DC?

            I’m a guy, who has no sisters, and went to Catholic schools. I know more about female anatomy, then this clown does, though granted, it’s a really low bar.

            • dr. fancypants

              Jaw-dropping stupidity isn’t a basis for rejecting a patent, so I’m not too bothered by the patent being granted. In fact, the completely asinine nature of this idea means that you’re unlikely to find any prior art that would invalidate it.

        • NBarnes

          +1 for Clockwork Orange reference.

          • cpinva

            took me a moment to pick that up.

      • I honestly think the only way to explain this guy’s thinking is if he truly believes that the uterus functions like a bladder. That is, that when women get their period, the uterus fills with blood, which pours out at a steady stream, and can therefore simply be plugged up.

        Which, basically, means that he not only lacks a basic understanding of what periods are, but hasn’t spoken to anyone who has ever had a period. I don’t want to go TMI here, but having your period is not like bleeding out of your vagina. It comes in dribs and drabs and, occasionally, chunks. Plugging, and then removing that plug, would do very little good.

        • Origami Isopod

          but hasn’t spoken to anyone who has ever had a period.

          Why would he have? We obviously have nothing worthwhile to say.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          I think it’s safe for us to conclude that this man has not earned his “red wings”, either.

    • No. I don’t think he knows the location of anything. Except his tube of Krazy Glue.

      • Snuff curry

        Also, he is a Vestigial Vaginal Glue Truther, I come to find out. He believes that while men invented skincare (good!) women invented Big Tampon (bad! icky! gross! crusty!) about 200 years ago, and before that vaginas just glued themselves, but then they got all lazy, eating bonbons and plugging up the ol’ blood-hole or wearing diapers all the live-long day and stifling their “creativity,”* and now they can’t glue themselves without the help of his, erm, lipstick.

        *code-word, if his patent is read in full, for fingering onesself

        • DocAmazing

          The body has a way to shut that whole thing down, you see.

          • liberalrob

            Women’s bodies, how do they work?

      • brewmn

        So, his idea of porn is Eyes Glued Shut, then?

    • efgoldman

      I don’t like, as you say, how this dude abuses Latin.

      If only that were his worst abuse.

      Is the dude married?
      Does he know how to find certain kinds of information in the slightly darker, but always available, parts of the intartoobz.

      Almost surely a Cantaloupe Cankersore voter.

      • Snuff curry

        He told Gizmodo that his 30 year-old daughter just ~loves~ his lipstick, so: *double dose of brain bleach applied*

        • cpinva

          “He told Gizmodo that his 30 year-old daughter just ~loves~ his lipstick, so: *double dose of brain bleach applied*”

          how much did it cost him, to hire some desperate, out of work actress, to play that role? one which I guarantee will not appear on her resume’.

          my 23 year-old daughter would smack me, just for being stupid.

          • tsam

            I’m trying to imagine asking one of my daughters to test a dangerous product that could potentially cause infections, sterility and even death. Yeah–just can’t see me asking and there’s no WAY they’d agree to it.

            • SV

              NO IT’S GREAT YOU JUST GLUE THE LIPS TOGETHER, YOU SEE? PROBLEM SOLVED! Yep, glue them together ALL THE WAY from the front to the back and don’t miss a spot. No, all the way to the back. Yep, there too. You don’t want it leaking out the back any more than you want it leaking out straight down.
              Now when you piss, all the crevices will fill up with piss because there is nowhere else for the piss to go. It will feel warm I think, like pissing in your wetsuit. Nice I bet. I bet you’ll like it. If it’s airtight like I think, not sure where the air will go to make room for the piss, hopefully that flesh can expand… you know… make room…
              If not then just stop halfway through your pissing and wait for it to dissolve the glue.

              Ooh new contraception PLUS period management idea!!! You need a friend to help you probably but assume the gynaecology position and have a friend push a tube of superglue (US word??? Cyanoacrylate, I mean…) all the way up (don’t want to close off the vag if you still want to be able to fuck) and empty the tube there, keep it up at the top so it covers the cervix only. Pull it wide open – you chicks can do that, right? – so the glue is exposed to air and it will dry beautifully and give you like a permanent Divacup with a perfect seal.

              Don’t worry about that list of chemicals that are ADHERING YOUR MUCOUS MEMBRANES TOGETHER.

              My glue totally adheres to moist mucous membranes.

              I don’t think this guy could manage to arrange to conceive this daughter…

          • I’m trying to picture the expression of combined horror, disappointment, and god knows what other emotions my daughter’s face would show if I said something this stupid to her.
            I hope to never see that expression.

            • “Sure, Dad, I love it.” Puts tube in drawer with others, behind box of tampons. Texts friends to vent about crazy things Dad says.

        • Origami Isopod

          The Gizmodo thread is 1200 comments. I am going to guess it drew an awful lot of “Well, actually…” bepenised types who think their opinions have any value.

          • weirdnoise

            A quick sampling confirms your guess. However, although numerous, such posts don’t seem to be earning many stars.

  • His cheese has slid off his cracker. No. His cheese does not occupy the same universe as his cracker.

    • Chetsky

      Heh. No idea about his cheese. But he’s a cracker, aiiight.

      http://www.dopps.com/meetdocs.html

      As others have noted, “fucking chiropractor”.

      • Vance Maverick

        Being a scientist in both occupation and leisure, Dr. Dan’s patients benefit from the passion and energy he exhibits with the Chiropractic profession and everything he administers.

        Science is associated with leisure, passion and energy! Knowledge not included.

        • proportionwheel

          Such wonderful English syntax, too.

          • vic rattlehead

            Apparently all his patients are scientists?

            • Vance Maverick

              Just one.

              • proportionwheel

                But they all benefit, don’t you see.

                • Vance Maverick

                  They are legion. Or legend.

                • SV

                  No he’s just TOTALLY OBJECTIVE IN EVERYTHING, even more than an average non-crazy non-period-having manperson.

          • Neddie Jingo

            Would it be fair to say that we can mock the doc for the angle of the dangle of his medical participle?

        • tsam

          Dr. Dan lectures to local communities on various topics including health, inspiration, motivation, and personal power

          Holy shit–hang onto your wallet.

      • cpinva

        “With a strong interest in Science-based care, Dr. Dan specializes in Life-extension Chiropractic management.”

        ok, this explains everything right here. from the good “Dr.’s” mini-biography. Chiropractic is a pseudo-medical practice, with little actual empirical evidence to support its claims of healing powers. it’s why it isn’t taught at any legitimate, accredited medical school in the US.

        • tsam

          I noticed it’s “Dr (first name)”, just like “Hi, everybody! I’m Dr Nick!”

      • Bitter Scribe

        When and how did chiropractors go from quacks to semi-respectable?

        • BiloSagdiyev

          When too many bigger quacks showed up.

        • DocAmazing

          In California, at least, a strong lobby.

        • DrDick

          Never, as far as I am concerned.

    • efgoldman

      No. His cheese does not occupy the same universe as his cracker.

      Is there such a thing as a parody patent? Because this can’t possibly be a real thing.

      Can’t

      Possibly

      Holy shit

      • cpinva

        see my post above. I’m still putting money on the Onion.

    • liberalrob

      Off his cracker, and into the cracker-pot.

  • tsam

    You should probably note that this meathead is a fucking chiropractor.

    • efgoldman

      You should probably note that this meathead is a fucking chiropractor.

      I was a music major, but I know stupid beyond belief when I see it.

      • ExpatChad

        This guy is pitched in K Blunt. Or the relative minor.

      • tsam

        You calling me stupid?

        • efgoldman

          You calling me stupid?

          I might’ve called you a meathead once or twice before, but I never called you stupid.

    • Cheap Wino

      I used to proofread depositions and a high percentage of depositions are related to car accidents. Car accidents often lead to back pain. Upper, lower, you name it. I would now be wealthy if I had $10 for every back pain sufferer who had been to a chiropractor 50-plus times (the most I saw was ~350 in a two year period) claiming the chiropractor cured their pain. Asked why they continued to see the chiropractor they rarely saw the irony in noting it was because of their continued back pain.

  • Origami Isopod

    Note that his own brother is going around lamenting this idea.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      *[dies laughing]*

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      “how do you rationalize with a brain made of concrete?”

      a question for many situations lately

      • Shantanu Saha

        Situation calls for a jackhammer.

        • efgoldman

          Situation calls for a jackhammer.

          Situation calls for a nice, deep part of the ocean. Concrete sinks, after all.

          • cpinva

            Marianas Trench, deepest point in the world is around 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) deep. seems like a good place to drop this idea into.

            • N__B

              Then we can seal the trench lips.

      • Porlock Junior

        Some reason best in the abstract, some in the concrete.

        For example, the illustrious naturalist Luis Agassiz (for illiustration see fig. 4) failed to see the merits of Darwin’s new theory; and when his statue at Stanford fell in the 1906 quake, ribald remarks were made, of which one is quoted in the citation given. However the version reported by Stephen Jay Gould, if probably inaccurate, is a better fit to the data: “I always thought Agassiz was better in the concrete than in the abstract” [attributed to David Starr Jordan and quoted here from memory].

    • prostratedragon

      “He has not tested it.”
      Oh, what a relief!

      Reminds me of the Cronenberg* movie about two gynecologists who both went round the bend. One of them went to designing custom tools for examinations. Maybe in this case brother can help.

      *Dead Ringers (1988), based on a true story.

      • cpinva

        saw the movie, and they were two weirdos for sure.

        “He has not tested it.”

        he said his 30 year-old daughter thinks it’s great. does her using it not considered “testing” of a sort? I realize it’s not FDA level testing obviously but, according to him, a real, live, human female has used it.

        • Ramon A. Clef

          More like, he’s ranting and raving about this at some family gathering she’s obliged to attend, and she barely looks up from her phone, and says, “Yeah, that’s great, Dad.”

      • dogboy

        Dead Ringers is one of the reasons I hate Jeremy Irons. I hate that movie for its unique creepiness and Irons and his believably for making it so.

        French Lieutenant’s Woman being the other.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          his Claus von Bulow is along those lines

        • vic rattlehead

          Come to think of it, this does remind of Beverly’s instruments for operating on mutant women. That movie somehow managed to creep me out more than Videodrome or The Fly. Still own it on blu ray though.

        • Origami Isopod

          There are other, more substantial reasons to hate Jeremy Irons.

  • corporatecake

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the guy who came up with an idea this dumb was too dumb to do some research and figure out that menstrual cups exist.

    • tsam

      Mr McBackCracker would be doing the world a favor by staying in his lane.

  • vic rattlehead

    Chiroquacktors are very useful for Saul Goodman types though.

  • malraux

    It’s worth saying that chiropractors do not have medical training.

    • . . . chiropractors do not have medical training

      I dare you put that on Twitter. You would be descended upon in force.

      I’m just a simple pediatrician, but this guy’s anatomical notions are unusual.

      • DocAmazing

        Frighteningly, for a lot of patients, a practitioner is as competent as the patient wants him/her to be. I get an awful lot of kids with problems that present at advanced stages because the parent kept bringing the kid to the chiropractor/naturopath/herbalist. “Unusual” anatomic notions are all-too-commonplace. Ever had a parent seek treatment for morgollons, for example?

        • Vance Maverick

          I would be interested in stories!

          • DocAmazing

            I need to get more rum on board. I’ve gone from San Francisco, with a sprinkling of upper-middle-class eccentrics who worry about mercury in vaccines and microwave emissions from cell phone towers, to Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawai’i, where hippie parents devoutly believe that polio vaccine is a government plot to tag and track the population and that essential oils will cure serious bacterial infections. The salesmanship I’m called upon to perform in service of getting parents to accept the need for prevention and treatment is impressive; I may go into selling lots in Glengarry Estates when I get out of patient care.

            • Vance Maverick

              Wow, that’s depressing. I thought we were the nec plus ultra here in SF/Marin.

            • David Allan Poe

              A friend of mine just became a physician’s assistant and works at a free clinic that handles a lot of HIV patients. He told me at least once a week he has to spend considerable time persuading someone to take their actual HIV medication in lieu of cinnamon oil or whatever.

              • cpinva

                sadly, people believe what they want to believe, for many reasons. probably the biggest single reason is that often, actual medical treatment isn’t a real pleasant experience (of course, neither is dying), so drinking a cup of nice tea is a very attractive alternative. a cup of tea is also a hell of a lot cheaper than chemo.

                • Cheap Wino

                  Plus the placebo effect. Not with the likes of cancer obviously but the human body is very adaptive and restorative on its own. Lots of people heal despite themselves and attribute it to all manner of supposed cures.

            • Patchouli oil, I assume? I’ve got a friend on Maui whose patients’ parents think that cures everything.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              Krikey. The government can track people just fine as it is anymore. Where the fuck have you been, people? Oh wait, in a shack in Hawaii, okay, then.

              Now, I’ve only have the most rudimentary training in what is called “mantracking”, but I betcha I could track a child on Canadian crutches and leg braces really, really easily.

            • efgoldman

              The salesmanship I’m called upon to perform in service of getting parents to accept the need for prevention and treatment is impressive

              I’ve got a friend on Maui whose patients’ parents think that cures everything.

              Docs, I have just the persuasive tool for you to use to get thru to the parents
              This one can be useful, too.

              • DocAmazing

                A friend of mine in law enforcement refers to such tools as “high-velocity communications aids.”

              • cpinva

                I personally prefer an electric cattle prod, leaves no mark. they are also exceptional child-rearing aids.

            • dogboy

              Dr. A: the evidence that Thieve’s Oil cures mono is weak

              Parent: the evidence is weak?! YOU’RE WEAK!!

              etc..

        • DrDick

          WTF are “morgollons”??!

        • No, thank God. But then I’m a pediatric intensive care guy. In my world if your heart’s beating and you’re breathing you’re generally fine. I suppose I someday might get an admission for really, really bad morgellons, though.

          • NBarnes

            I got one of those once, but it turned out that they were just a muppet.

        • Chetsky

          If it weren’t for the fact that Morgellon’s is such a clear indication of mental illness, it’d be funnier than hell. As things stand, it’s tragic.

        • This is one reason Medicare watches chiropractors like a hawk. Turn your back on them (get it?) and they try to report procedures waaay outside their scope of practice. Best case scenario, they’re lying for the cash and no patients were harmed or endangered.

          • tsam

            Well this starts to explain where this lunatic got the idea to develop a revolutionary glue that is almost certain to cause infections and possibly death

      • vic rattlehead

        Dare him to put that on twitter because he’s wrong, or because twitter is full of aggressive nutjobs?

        • Depends upon your definition of medical training, I suppose. This guy’s patent application is suggestive of the quality of that training. Twitter is patrolled by folks with very strong opinions on the subject.

      • malraux

        Yeah, my wife is em/pem so I get to hear the horror stories. But since I’m not in medicine directly I don’t have to worry about as much about a libel type lawsuit.

    • ????

      • malraux

        What? chiropractors don’t get medical training. Like at all. Chiropractic medicine isn’t real medicine. Those idiots just know how to sever your spinal cord and send you to a real doctor.

        *: there’s some weak evidence that chiropractic might be slightly better than nothing for low back pain. But nothing else.

        • tsam

          It belongs in the category with therapeutic massage. Probably the same effectiveness–basically something that can give some short term relief or a placebo effect to someone dealing with pain.

          • cpinva

            “or a placebo effect to someone dealing with pain.”

            this has always been my theory about chiropractic: you feel better (at least for a while), because you’ve convinced yourself you will. of course, it isn’t going to actually fix that herniated disc. the real danger with chiropractic is that they can accidentally cause additional damage, which may end up not being fixable.

            • tsam

              It might temporarily mitigate symptoms. But yeah, it doesn’t fix anything, and I’m looking for a story I read a few months ago about a woman who basically had her neck broken by a chiropractor and it killed her.

            • DrDick

              It also stretches the muscles in the region, which helps alleviate the pain. When my back went out years ago, the physical therapist gave me some exercises to do that have a similar effect.

    • vic rattlehead

      Well, all the doctors and allied health professionals in my family talk smack about chiroquacktors if they talk about them at all. There is at least some science behind naturopathy (if mainly placebo) and it won’t fuck up your back.

      • I’ve seen some real catastrophes in my 35 years in medical practice, like chiropractic care of cancers in children that caused delay in treatment, a stroke or two caused by spinal manipulation. Things like that.

        • cpinva

          if the spine needed to be “manipulated”, real doctors would be charging outrageous rates to do so, and my health insurance policy would cover at least part of it. so far, my policy (and everyone else’s) doesn’t. the only thing being “manipulated” is the cash in your wallet.

      • proportionwheel

        An acquaintance’s daughter died in a naturopath’s office because he didn’t recognize a myocardial infarction when it occurred.
        (I know, anecdote is not data, but still…)

        • DocAmazing

          Credit where due: the experiences I’ve had with naturopaths and actually sick kids have been good–the naturopath says to the parent “hey! can’t you see that that kid’s really sick? get your ass to an emergency room!”.

          • cpinva

            which, if the parent were at least a half-wit, would clue them into the fact that a naturopath isn’t a real doctor, and they’d never go back.

            • DrDick

              If the patient was at least a half wit, they would never have gone there in the first place,

          • DrDick

            I actually know of several cases where naturopaths, who firmly believed in their voodoo, caused adult patients to delay treatment with severely negative consequences (once for diabetes). All of these “alternative medicine” types need to be banned and the practitioners locked up.

    • My grandpappy was an osteopath; their take is that chiropractic training is the first six weeks of the four yrs. of osteopathy instruction.

      • DocAmazing

        I’ve worked extensively with osteopaths who practice manipulation, and I agree with your grandpappy. Manipulation done conservatively and well can help a patient recover more quickly and completely; wrenching some poor sick person’s spine cannot do anything but harm.

        • cpinva

          I have honestly never heard of spinal manipulation anywhere other than in chiropractic before this very moment. is there really such a treatment, in real medicine? what does it try to accomplish, in the healing process?

          • Osteopathic manipulative treatment. Here’s UHC’s Medicare Advantage policy.

            I’ve heard of it being used on patients who’ve had shoulder surgery, which makes sense to me. I’m very skeptical of claims it can treat things like asthma. Very. As in I would laugh and walk away.

            • DocAmazing

              In patients recovering from pneumonia, it might be useful to free up the movement of the rib cage and relax the diaphragm in increase air movement. Tried to set up a study testing that about fifteen years ago, but couldn’t get the osteopathic college to commit to paying for a full-time on-site doc to head up the study.

  • How the fuck did the patent office sign off on something that (offense aside) can’t even work?

    • I suspect they’re not in the business of determining whether something will actually do what it’s advertised as doing, but merely at determining whether it’s an original idea that hasn’t had prior art before (the most widely cited example is Heinlein’s depiction of waterbeds in Double Star and Stranger in a Strange Land). Though, given the widely documented use of patent trolling, they should still step up their game anyway.

      • Shantanu Saha

        I suspect that they don’t even bother to read the patent applications anymore. They probably just pass them through software designed to catch plagiarized passages, and if it gives the okay, they stamp the patent as given. Courts will figure the rest out.

        • efgoldman

          I suspect…
          You’re both right.

        • miel

          Do they read the applications? Depends on the examiner. Some are better than others. But they have limited amounts of time and have quotas to meet, so they read parts, but they rarely read all of it. Much of the time you have to actively direct them to the parts you need them to focus on, if they’ve missed something.

          However, the patent in this story happens to have been a very short application, so it probably didn’t take much time to read it.

          As for plagiarism, that really isn’t a thing in patent applications. People can and do copy from other sources (particularly other patent documents) all the time. And of course when I say “people” I mean patent agents and attorneys. Inventors don’t usually write their own patent applications (and when they do, you can always tell, and you say silently to yourself, “oh honey, no”).

        • Snuff curry

          Sort of like the opposite of the Circumlocution Office.

      • miel

        Without getting too deep into the details of patent law, yes, “utility” is indeed one of several requirements for obtaining a patent. However, in this context, the question “does it work” doesn’t mean would it actually be practical, desirable, or safe to use in real life. It basically just means would it do what it purports to do.

        In this case, would alternately applying and removing a biocompatible adhesive to your labia prevent and then allow menstrual flow? No reason to believe it wouldn’t. (In fact, that basic idea was already in the prior art, and the claims in this case had to be amended extensively before they were allowed.)

        (Contrast this with the classic examples of cold fusion and perpetual motion machines. At this point in time, no one would believe they would work, so unless you actually build a machine and prove it does what you say it does, you won’t get a patent.)

        By the way, with respect to the comment about “labium minuses” in the original post, welcome to the world of patents, where you are, as they say, allowed to be your own lexicographer. You can pretty much make up any new terms you want to describe what you’re trying to patent, as long as it doesn’t contradict the meaning of already-known terms.

        In any case, the existence of this patent seems like something of sideshow to me. A patent isn’t necessarily an endorsement of something as a *good* idea (despite what people, presumably including this guy, might like you to think).

        Also, despite what’s stated in the linked article, this patent is not for a “compound of amino acids and oil in a lipstick applicator”. It’s for a method that only mentions the adhesive generically in the claims. He does not have any other patents or published applications in his own name for any specific adhesive or applicator.

        • miel

          Also, despite what’s stated in the linked article, this patent is not for a “compound of amino acids and oil in a lipstick applicator”. It’s for a method that only mentions the adhesive generically in the claims. He does not have any other patents or published applications in his own name for any specific adhesive or applicator.

          Err, sorry, to clarify, I was just looking at the first claim. There are more specifics on the applicator and the adehesive in some of the later claims. Anyway, these are still method claims, and they’re kind of a mess, and it still doesn’t say anything about whether this is a good idea.

    • Seconded. A patent is a privilege not a right, and should be reserved for ideas that are genuinely original, useful and working. The default is the oublic domain. The US Patent Office has given up on its proper role as gatekeeper.

      • miel

        A patent is a privilege not a right

        Nope. The particulars of patents and how to obtain them are defined by Congress and implemented by the PTO, but the basic right is in the Constitution.

        • UserGoogol

          I wouldn’t say that. What the Constitution says is:

          The Congress shall have Power […] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

          It uses the word right, but something which is conditionally granted by Congress falls more in the category of privilege in terms of how the words are currently used.

  • DrDick

    I am only surprised that he has not been offered a job running women’s health programs in the Trump administration.

    • LNM_in_LA

      Give it time.

      • liberalrob

        There goes the next Surgeon General of the United States.

    • Shantanu Saha

      Since VC firms or actual medical device manufacturers will laugh this guy out of their offices after about five minutes, a job working for Trump may be his only meal ticket, aside from getting people who don’t know about his side jobs to allow him to touch their backs.

    • efgoldman

      I am only surprised that he has not been offered a job running women’s health programs in the Trump administration.

      He’s getting Ben Carson to write his recommendation.

    • DocAmazing

      There’s a history of Republicans who don’t quite understand female pelvic anatomy working in Presidential adminiatrations:

      https://leanleft.com/2005/05/12/dr-david-hager-lunatic-extremist-rapist-bushs-favorite-gynecologist-and-the-man-who-killed-plan-b/

      The money quote:

      Sometimes Hager would blithely shift from vaginal to anal sex. Davis protested. “He would say, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to have anal sex with you; I can’t feel the difference,’” Davis recalls incredulously. “And I would say, ‘Well then, you’re in the wrong business.’” . . .

      • Origami Isopod

        Aggressive ignorance of female anatomy is very common among male wingnuts. It’s considered anywhere from unimportant to disgusting. Hence the recurrent conniption fits over the word “vagina” being used publicly.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Oh dear… yes. I hadn’t thought of that while reading this thread. Its sibling is “OMG if you listen to the BLACK MUSIC it will BLACKEN you somehow!”

          Fear and supression.

          It’s hard to keep in mind how many of these putative adults’ brains still function on an “EW! COOTIES!” logic circuit.

        • Phil Gingrey – who tried to defend that other RWNJ’s legitimate rape comment – is/was an obstetrician.

          • Origami Isopod

            I’ve heard it said that misogyny is fairly common in ob/gyn. I don’t know how much more common it is than in other specialties, but there seems to be a cadre of older male doctors who take a very patriarchal approach to practicing. Don’t ever ask them for an IUD, let alone a hysterectomy.

    • SoRefined

      Trump won’t hear about it unless it gets covered on cable news.

      • Origami Isopod

        One of his lackeys might tell him about this super smart guy who’s figured out how to stop women from bleeding from their whatevers.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    Girl, you have no faith in medicine.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    Tampon goes in, blood comes out. You can’t explain it.

  • azumbrunn

    I wonder how and why the patent office decided to give this guy a patent. As I recall (I am not a lawyer, I am a scientist who had some exposure to patent writing) the law requires that an invention must be useful–among other criteria–to be granted a patent. This thing is obviously useless, so how come?

  • Captain Oblivious

    I am reminded of the AbFab episode where Saffie is drawing pictures of female anatomy to explain it to Patsy.

  • Abbey Bartlet

    The first time I heard this song I thought they were saying “olives I see you” and could not figure out what the fuck that meant.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Did you conclude it was a subtle Popeye reference?

      I think I had a lot of trouble not hearing it as “oughta stop seein’ you.”

      • vic rattlehead

        I yam what I yam.

        • N__B

          Obligatory for the post’s topic and that line: here.

          • vic rattlehead

            What in the actual fuck did I just read?

            • N__B

              Option 1: An article from the Village Voice that led, indirectly, to its editor quitting in disgust.

              Option 2: The last time I read the words “I yam what I yam” without laughing.

              • Origami Isopod

                The editor should have been proud of that headline, goddamn it.

                Also, I’ve read much worse things in the VV.

  • And of course he’s a raging (unglued) asshole.

    Quick! Get the Patent Office on the line, I think you’ve just come up with a better solution than diapers and plugs!

    Oh, wait. Demodex claims prior art.

    • Origami Isopod

      “…you’re gonna be walking up and down the beach, wondering why you’re getting larger.” /carlin

  • I hate to, er, break it to Shakezula, but penises can break.

    • Origami Isopod

      Yes, but it is not a bone fracture. Technically speaking.

      • N__B

        For the want of an “r,” a kingdom was lost.

  • petemack

    There’s a man who thinks inside the box.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      He only reaches his highest levels of creativity when he’s in a flow state.

  • Gabriel Ratchet

    Looks like Trump just found his new Surgeon General!

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