PMS: The Bogeyman’s Here!

Image via Microsoft Office

PMS: Three syllables that could rock your world. But what does this word mean? As a man, it is one of those words you never want to use to describe away women’s seemingly irrational behaviour. Unless you want to hear a very loud and shrill rant.  Or if you know the women I do, get a prompt kick in the crown jewels. For women, it is the constant irritation of dealing with pop culture and stand-up comedians love affair with PMS jokes.

But is the alternative to making crass oversimplifications, just shutting up? I think not. The fact is, in our increasingly politically correct world, we do not address some things just to pacify, well, the angry women. The women whose eyebrows go up when you mention PMS and tell you “Don’t even think about it!”

Now here’s my problem with that. Society and culture thrives on making certain topics taboo- female sexuality, periods, rape, etc.  When you cannot even talk about something openly, it provides a connotation of shame to it. How do you expect women to believe there is no shame in their being women when everything about their bodies is brushed under the carpets as ‘inappropriate’?And it is that culture that tolerates locking up women when they menstruate, treating them as social outcasts and of course dismissing them as professionals. For years, men thought women could not be involved in outdoors activities and professions because of- wait for it- menstruation!

This was fine in the world that was but it cannot be a part of the world the Modern Man seeks to build. In order to deconstruct what he has been raised to believe he needs to understand. So women can continue to be overly sensitive about words like ‘vagina‘ and ‘PMS‘ and god knows what else. But the Modern Man is not a gentleman. He is no knight in shining armour. He has little patience or indulgence for your baggage and who has been oppressing you.

The fact is, the more ‘secretive’ and ‘inappropriate’ any topic is deemed, the more power it has to dominate and repress people. So what we propose is this: rob it of its power by taking away the secretiveness. That is the key to a lot of the issues that come with the conversation on gender. It certainly is the key to this one.

And if you want, I can start. Men don’t hate talking because they think it’s a bore. Men hate talking because most women don’t really want to hear what they have to say. And ignorance breeds bigotry. Or in this case- sexism.

Mr. Garrison as a child, as seen in "Weig...

Image via Wikipedia

I will end with a quote from South Park by the delightfully offensive Mr. Garrison:

“I’m sorry, Wendy, but I don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

Sure, you can call him a chauvinist pig. But what then? What then indeed.

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About The Armchair Philospher

The intersection between politics and culture is where dissent finds it's artistic voice.

Posted on November 1, 2011, in Battle of the sexes, Times, they are a-changing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Let me be the first one to comment on this. Talking about something is not the same as laughing at it. Menstruation, fraught as it is with shame (social) and discomfort (biological) doesn’t leave a woman very conducive to being made fun of. I’ve endured as many PMS jokes as the next woman, perhaps more since I’m supposedly ‘cool’ enough to talk about such things and you know what? I’m not any more amused than the simpering wallflower behind her dupatta.

    I do agree though, that talking about it is just what we need. Brand disloyal as I am, Whisper found a respectful admirer in me when they launched their ‘Cloth is for curtains’ campaign depicting everyday young women pooh-poohing popular euphemisms for menstruation and stating, “I’ve got my period. So what?”. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a rather different tack from “Why do women have periods? Because they deserve it!”.

  1. Pingback: Sorry I Didn’t Wait Till 8 March To Speak | XX Factor

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