Dudes of the world: Menstruation does not make women insane

Posted at 12:00 PM Apr 09, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Dear Dudes of the World,

This may come as a shock to you, so please, take a seat lest I be liable for heads exploded: the women of Planet Earth are not driven to mass levels of insanity just because we bleed for a few days every month due a phenomenon known as "menstruation."

You do not, then, need to spend $1.99 on the iPhone "Code Red" app, which purports to be "a survival guide to her monthly cycle. Period!" The fact that you are alive and able to read this open letter proves my point: you have not been put in mortal danger by 50 percent of the world's population such that you need to "survive" something that does not even fucking happen to you.

It's not my natural menstrual processes that turn me into a crazy person, it's casual fucking sexism like this Code Red bullshit that drives me up the goddamned wall. I AM SO FAR UP THE GODDAMNED WALL.

Dudes, if you are dating a woman who freaks out all the time and has wacky mood swings and demands flowers and chocolates and compliments, you are dating a CRAZY PERSON whose period is completely incidental to the fact that she is CRAZY. If you need an iPhone app to manage your girlfriend's behavior, your problem is NOT YOUR LACK OF IPHONE APP TO MANAGE YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S BEHAVIOR.

Further. You know a really good way to figure out whether or not your girlfriend is on her period? ASK HER. You know a really good way to make a girlfriend happy? COMMUNICATE WITH HER ABOUT HER WANTS AND NEEDS AND DESIRES AND DON'T RELY ON SOME STUPID APP, EVEN IF IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A STUPID JOKE.

Apps like "Code Red" play on ridiculous, oppressive stereotypes about men and women's behavior, using tired tropes to elicit giggles out of immature assholes.


p.s. For the record, I am not on the rag. Heck, I don't even have real periods because I'm on the pill. So.


Not Guilty said:

Man can I attest to this. I always got snide comments from guys when I was in a bad mood. Funny cus I was on depo and didn't get my period for 6 years. Funny article.

Jess said:

Andrea, I just effing love you. That's all.

Bob said:

This post is awesome.

BorgQueen said:

Also, men go through monthly "cycles" as well. They don't bleed or anything but all humans go through cycles of shifting hormones, changing moods and strange and/or unusual habits. It's just the way we have been designed (and by designed I mean evolved).

And like you said Andrea modern science has allowed us to control our hormones to the point where many of us on BC don't go through the "typical" monthly things anymore.

Danny said:

Haha. Nice.

The Admiral said:

Andrea, come down from the wall...we need you down here.

I actually have had men (old men) at work ask me if it's "that time of month". If it was I'd be collapsed in a chair somewhere, gasping for breath. (I know that's TMI but I'm serious. It's that bad.) Maybe it's just you annoying the purple polka-dotted fuck out of me.

The best thing about menstruation? A "Girls on Top" episode (Google/Youtube it) where Dawn French used the word as an exclamation.

Finally...my dad went through menopause. He was in his mid-fifties and he turned into the biggest bitch you've ever had the misfortunate of meeting. Maybe he should have bought a Corvette or something.

Ally said:

Your posts usually irk me, but this time I agree with you 100%. :)

Especially this: "Dudes, if you are dating a woman who freaks out all the time and has wacky mood swings and demands flowers and chocolates and compliments, you are dating a CRAZY PERSON whose period is completely incidental to the fact that she is CRAZY. If you need an iPhone app to manage your girlfriend's behavior, your problem is NOT YOUR LACK OF IPHONE APP TO MANAGE YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S BEHAVIOR."


Nan said:

I have to respectfully disagree a bit. While I think it's really off-putting a wrong for a guy to write off every bad mood as a symptom of lady troubles, my period really does turn me into a crazy person. I started noticing it just two years ago. About a week before my period, I start displaying symptoms of a major depressive episode. I suddenly hate everyone, am markedly more sensitive to frustration than usual, can't concentrate on work, will start crying over nothing, and want to dump my boyfriend for no discernable reason. My impulse control is lowered. I want to give up on life. I'm usually a well-balanced person, so I notice these shifts and try to keep them under control so as not to cause massive waves in my life. But I will look at my boyfriend and say, "I'm hormonal. Just a heads up in case I seem off or start crying for no reason." There seems to be an implication in your post that our period doesn't cause problems or turn us into "crazy" people. If yours doesn't have these effects, congrats. It's all I can do to survive mine sometimes. Hormones are funny things and can create all kinds of changes in people. That's why I'm not on birth control. It's possible that I have PMDD, and, now that I have health insurance, I'm going to get myself checked out on that.

That said, this app is annoying and, as far as I'm concerned, useless. Really? You need a whole app for that? Like I said, I just straight up tell my boyfriend what's up with me, and he's very amenable to hearing all about it. He's very sweet and attentive and takes extra steps to help me be in a better mood.

Whether or not our periods affect our moods and whether or not this app is sexist are two different issues. You didn't need to argue that it has no effect to make that point, especially since that statement is blatantly untrue for so many of your fellow ladies.

Cindy said:

Please read Christiane Northrup MD's book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom as a start to your exploration of the emotional aspects of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase of the cycle (after ovulation) is the time when women need to spend some time looking at what isn't working in their lives. The emotional upheaval at that time is showing you that there are things you are not clued into in your life that are causing your feelings. Forcing emotions down won't help. The older you get the more the symptoms will increase if you don't start to look at what is coming up. Whatever you do, don't let the medical community drug you as your first line of treatment. This just buries the problem and it will come back to you in menopause. Most important, honor your feelings and see where they may be coming from, these feelings are real!

someone said:

I am with Nan. I'm perimenopausal, and this shit bites, let me tell you, at least for me. It never really bothered me before, but now that I'm in my 40s it is a whole new ballgame.

No, I'm not exactly a crazy person, but yes, mood swings are the new normal. Also: lots of new pain, which is enough to drive a normal person a bit barmy under the best of circumstances. It varies by woman, and by her age, and her health, and just because it fucking varies.

I don't disagree with this article one bit, it is absolutely bang-on.

I am more in tune with my feelings at certain times of the month and some of those feelings are unpleasant, so if others want to re-frame me as a bitch for half the month, because that's when I speak up for myself more often than not, well, so be it. May they live in interesting times.

I'll be reserving that Northrup book at the library, thanks for the tip.

Jaybee said:

See all those caps-lock sentences? "Up the wall"? It's because you're on your period.

The code red app is a tool to help guys be more compassionate during your time of the month. Instead of throwing your unreasonable accusations back in your face, some of us want to know when your monthly bleed is happening so we can let things slide.

Seriously: If an iPhone app drove you SO FAR UP THE GODDAMNED WALL- you're either hardwired crazy, or you're menstruating. Take the free pass that Code Red lets men give you.

d said:

Go make me a fucking sandwich

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