Responding to complaints, the company will rebrand them as "Extra Large" and has asked consumers to "keep an eye out" for the new designs.
The company launched the Kleenex for Men brand in 1956 to provide alternatives for large handkerchiefs used at the time by, of course, men.
Kimberkly-Clark began receiving "a consistent increase of complaints on gender concern," a company spokesperson said as quoted by the Daily Telegraph, adding that Kleenex did not suggest that being "both soft and strong is an exclusively masculine trait" or that "Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality".
"Nevertheless, as we remain committed to developing the best possible products for our consumers and take any feedback extremely seriously, we decided to renovate our current product and update the product subbrand as Kleenex Extra Large."
Social media opened up Pandora's Box instead, with clashes ensuing on both sides of the debate.
Lisa Hancox, head of marketing at Whiteoaks International, had a candid conversation with her four-year-old son who asked "why are they called mansize? Can girls, boys & mummies use them?"
"He suggests you should call them ‘very large tissues'," she tweeted. "It is 2018."
Hi @Kleenex_UK. My 4yo son asked me what was written here. Then he asked, why are they called mansize? Can girls, boys & mummies use them? I said: I don’t know & yes of course. He suggests you should call them “very large tissues”. It is 2018 pic.twitter.com/SeOg32RsDV— Lisa Hancox (@LisaMHancox) October 10, 2018
Gadgette founder Holly Brockwell shared her joy over the name change with her followers. "This has annoyed me for decades!"
Yaaaaay the end of 'Mansize.' This has annoyed me for decades!https://t.co/0Hapx5rx6O— Holly Brockwell (@holly) October 18, 2018
Others were not so convinced about the change. "If you are offended by 'Mansize' tissues, please find something more productive to be offended about," Institute of Economic Affairs associate director Kate Andrews tweeted.
If you are offended by 'Mansize' tissues, please find something more productive to be offended about. https://t.co/53acuHM8vE— Kate Andrews (@KateAndrs) October 18, 2018
One user questioned if the same people were also considering changing Mothercare's name. "I doubt it, probably doesn't suit their narrative," he said. "Everyone is so easily offended now."
I wonder if the people who complained to Kleenex are demanding Mothercare change the company name. I doubt it, probably doesn't suit their narrative. Everyone is so easily offended now. pic.twitter.com/3xeojqogbx— Phil Pollard (@PhilPollard1884) October 18, 2018
One person demanded that Kleenex come clean and "make a stand for common sense", with another lampooning Kleenex's corporate move.
Come on Kleenex, don't be bullied into making changes because of a loud-mouthed minority looking for something to offend them. Make a stand for common sense please!— Clive Sheppard (@cliveandarisa) October 18, 2018
Kleenex, i dont like the writing on the box. It's far too feminine. Please can the colour also be changed as my dog cant see yellow. Also, the use of the word "strong" is offensive and hurts my feelings.— Myro (@Myro_117) October 18, 2018
Kleenex is the latest victim of political correctness after feminist protesters pressured Waitrose to rename its “Gentleman’s Smoked Chicken Caesar Roll”, with some on social media labelling the sandwich “outrageous”. Waitrose later issued an apology to its customers.
"It's never our intention to cause offence — we're not dictating who should eat this sandwich — we hope anyone who tries it will love the distinctive flavors,” a Waitrose spokesperson told the Telegraph. “However, we are planning to change the name of the sandwich soon."
A 12-year-old Meghan Markle also forced Proctor & Gamble to change wording in a soap commercial from ‘women’ to 'people' in 1993, after sending letters to the hygiene company as well as former first lady Hillary Clinton, civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred and Nickelodeon news anchor Linda Ellerbee.