When I was 11 or 12, there was a big brouhaha about the advertising of what was euphemistically called feminine hygiene products on TV. At least it was a brouhaha among the "respectable" women in my mothers social circle and at our church.
At that age I didn't have the slightest clue what a "feminine hygiene product" was or what it was used for. I was however into current events. I read the paper, especially the commentary and editorial section. I liked being "up" on the events of the day. I liked being included in "adult" conversations.
Then one day at a social event I bit off more than I could chew. There was a man at our church who was well regarded. He was what they used to call an industrialist. This was back when being an industrialist was a good thing. He was smart, had money and was a member of the country club where I worked as a caddy.
This was my chance to make points with the upper crust. The only business related topic I was up on was the "feminine products" advertising scandal. I had a go with that topic as a conversation starter.
I'm not sure now what I said, but it was in the line of a generally disapproving view on the subject. I guess I thought that I was defining if not defending the moral high ground. "Why shouldn't they be allowed to advertise on TV?", he asked me. "It's a legitimate product isn't it?".
I had no idea what the product was or what it was used for. Only recently I had the experience of standing in my friend's back yard and seeing his back door neighbor take her bra off in her bedroom. I'm not sure how much I saw. The bra came off. The clouds opened and a light shown down. I think angels were singing in the background. Beyond that I didn't have much experience in the "female" department.
"Well?" he inquired. "I guess I don't know", I admitted. I think he knew I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was talking about, but he mercifully let that part go. "If the product is, legal, has a market that wants it, and is legitimate why shouldn't they be able to advertise the features that they think the customer wants?" he wanted to know.
I didn't have an answer, because there wasn't a logical reason they shouldn't be allowed to do what they were doing. I had been operating on a faulty assumption and a false perspective. My conclusion sounded good and noble but was wrong.
Americans display the same faulty thinking that I had on maxi-pad advertisement. Someone whom they regard as respectable makes a comment about something. The person making the comment doesn't explain why they think what they do. They just assume that the reason is obvious and that there can be no other explanation than the one they are implying. The next person that comes along just makes the assumption that the opinion they have heard is the right one and they go with it, as if it was an undisputed fact.
This process is how our society transfers "gossip" into "consensus" and then into "policy". Finally that policy becomes law. There is a reason that America is governed with the mental acuity of a 12 year old boy discussing the advertising strategies of menstrual rag manufactures. The reason is, we think like hysterical pontificating women and we let those influenced by them run things.