Menstruating is hazardous to feminist health! Let’s surf the Crimson Tide!

10 Oct



Trigger warning:  image of Lindy West with candy




The topic of menstruation is one that always makes me giggly because A) I’m an immature dick; and B) it’s a giant Achilles Heel that feminists disclaim and proclaim all at the same time.


Aunt Flo is back in the news recently, thanks to this t-shirt from American Apparel, which combines the charms of monthly carnage with self-pleasure, achieving new heights in crass and inappropriate sharing. It’s up there with t-shirts that depict vomiting or defecating or urinating.  Yeah, yeah, they’re all perfectly natural.  They’re also private, and I don’t particularly care to be visually assaulted with evidence of your brute humanity.




The purpose of clothing in the first place is to allow us to have some dignity in the face of our natural, biological functions.


For some reason, celebrating the more malodorous aspects of being human is something feminists have glommed on to, interpreting any desire on the part of women to perhaps keep private functions private as an attack on women themselves.  It’s misogyny!


Remember this article, wherein farting in the presence of others was proclaimed an act of liberation? Nothing says equality like letting one rip after last night’s borscht in a crowded elevator!




Or how about this, wherein pooping at the office becomes a battle cry in the war for equality!


Poop anxiety is still a very real problem, particularly among the ladies (WHICH IS SEXIST), so I suppose it’s only natural that we cannot stop obsessing over it.


Men, as you know, feel absolutely free to unleash the stink wherever and whenever they like.  It’s only women who are held to some ridiculous standard about not assaulting bystanders with the stench of their digestive tracts.


Menstruation falls into the same category as these other acts of animalism, but it comes with a slight twist:  the monthly hormonal fluctuations make some ladies completely crazed and irrational.  When Russian lawmakers proposed that women be given time off work during their periods, most people scoffed at the suggestion.  Take a fucking Advil and get on with it.


But plenty of other ladies thought it was an excellent suggestion, and in doing so, tripped and fell into a little quagmire that it’s difficult to argue your way out of.


“I’d actually prefer two days off the week before, when I want to strangle people,” says Danyale, who, as a licensed psychologist in California, probably shouldn’t go around saying she wants to strangle people.

…of the nearly two dozen women I polled, 10 of them said they’d take the days immediately, no questions asked.


It’s not like the women didn’t SEE the problem, they just don’t know what to do about it:


“It would have to be two paid days off for everyone or it would be open to gender- and age-discrimination charges in a heartbeat. I also don’t want to add any weight toward the argument that women on their periods are crazy and untrustworthy.” That’s a good point. We’re just as crazy and untrustworthy the rest of the month, too.


In the end, we all agreed that cramps or PMS can make it hard to work.


“I would be offended and I would take it,” says Susan, a law clerk in Ontario. “Because it’s two days off.”


In Korea, women get paid leave when Lady MacBeth arrives with her gown soaked in blood.  No biggie, right?




According to today’s Korea Times, 1,400 women working in financial fields in South Korea have filed lawsuits against their employers demanding that they get paid for the days they take off for menstruation. These workers are joining the ranks of 3,700 more women at 10 other financial institutions, according to the Korea Times, who submitted a similar suit last month.


I must admit to not being well-versed in the technicalities of “menstruation leave” (hell, we Americans consider ourselves lucky when we get paid time off for giving birth), but some quick research indicates that prior to a 2004 revision of the country’s labor law, women were entitled to one paid day of “menstruation leave” per month. Now they’re apparently still entitled to time off, but won’t necessarily be paid for it.


Unless, of course, they work for Citibank Korea, a unit of the American company. Citibank Korea decided last month to start paying women for menstruation leave — a move that has resulted in the current slew of lawsuits filed against the country’s less womb-attuned employers.


Oh dear.  Looks like women are backing themselves into a corner here.  Is it just physical pain that makes menstruating hard, or is there more to it?




Let’s look at Jezebel for some awareness and illumination.  Those are some ladies who know ladies, amirite?


Natasha Evans-Cornell

Dude. I have the worst periods EVER. I can’t emphasize what an insufferable bitch I am and I hate admitting it because it’s so cliche. But basically I threaten to leave my husband a few days before my period, like clockwork. We are a sweet and loving couple the other 22 days of my cycle but I get weepy, irrationally upset about the tiniest things, and threw a box of macaroni everywhere yesterday. Is there anyone else that has this issue? I feel like pms shouldn’t be this terrible. I had a kid, iud, and then another kid all in a close four year span so maybe my body isn’t used to regularly having a normal period. I dunno… 12/10/12 2:08pm



SAME. I love my husband more than anything, but it is not uncommon for me to be like “WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID SHUT UP I HATE YOU” to him during my period. And then I apologize profusely for being a raging hormonal terror and thank my lucky stars he is so patient and amazing. 12/10/12 2:12pm



You’re not alone. I turn into Hell Queen for a few days. Worst thing is I can see myself doing it but cannot stop. 12/10/12 2:24pm



Natasha Evans-Cornell

Word. My husband texted me last night to say, “Can you pick up milk on your way back from the library?” I entered, “Fuck you” into my phone and thought, “Well that is a completely irrational and silly response” and proceeded to send it anyway.                12/10/12 2:30pm



I almost murdered my boyfriend because he didn’t do the dishes while I was at work, which then deteriorated into me alternately crying and screaming and being like “You don’t care about my apartment!!!!!!” Then I threw a pillow-which must be why they are called throw pillows. Bada ching.

Anyway, I feel you.         12/10/12 3:02pm



I get the same way. It fucking sucks and I hate it. My periods are THE WORST because of fibroids and I just completley lose my shit at least once every month. God forbid I have something even mildly stressful going on when I start my pee-rod cuz my Gawd I turn into a weeping, raging freak. The only thing that helps at all is going to the gym and wearing myself out for an hour or so on the treadmill. Eating fried food in my car while listning to death metal REALLY LOUDLY and crying helps some, too, but there is much less self loathing going the gym route. Good luck, and I’m right there with you in spirit!      12/10/12 3:13pm


Natasha Evans-Cornell

OMGITOTALLYATEFRIEDCHICKENLAST NIGHT *deep breath* We’re kindred spirits. I scare myself. It’s just so terrifying how much of a crazy person I become.            12/10/12 3:25pm



oh, yeah. me too. i can feel the fury bubbling up and it just feels totally out of my hands.

on the plus side, it’s made me a bit more sympathetic to toddlers throwing fits. that whole you-know-what-you’re-doing-but-how-do-you-stop thing. i imagine that’s what the 2 year old i’m babysitting for feels like and it makes me a lot more patient!                12/10/12 3:38pm


gennie catastrophe

Yes, exactly. It doesn’t happen often but a couple times a year my PMS hits way harder than normal and I get really intensely emotional about everything. I hate everyone and everything bothers me and I don’t want to see anyone or talk about anything. Ever. Super irrational, too.          12/10/12 4:31pm


That’s ONE comment thread, and that isn’t even ALL the responses.





Raging Hormonal Terror

Hell Queen



Intensely emotional


And Twitter doesn’t want one of you bitches on their Board of Directors?  Gosh.  Why ever not? They must just hate women, huh?




Menstruation is one of those topics in a long line of topics that makes absolutely no sense.  When men suggest that perhaps women are prone to small fits of irrationality and craziness, they are accused of MISOGYNY SEXISM HATRED GASLIGHTING MANSPLAINING, and yet….


This article is from Jezebel.  The exact same website that has literally hundreds of comments explaining that women on their periods are irrational, violent, weeping bags of crazy every 27 days like clockwork!


Seriously, ladies, I think you’re gonna have to pick a side here.  Either women are predictably and uncontrollably prone to monthly hormonal fluctuations that can have a dramatic effect on their moods, or they are not.  I’m not asking anyone to pick the observable truth here, but jeez louise, pick ONE!




Lindy West takes a stab at trying to have her cake and eat it too, and judging from Lindy’s proportions, she manages to eat a lot of cake!  But even the master of hypocrisy fails miserably.


As a feminist, period-haver, and combination bitchy loud-mouth/soft-hearted doormat, I have a complicated relationship with PMS. On the one hand, fuuuuuuuck PMS! The idea that my moods, which arise from my incredibly complex, stressful, dynamic life, can be reduced to some hormonal flux at the whim of my reproductive system is deeply insulting. It’s a notion whose only point is to delegitimize women’s actual complaints and reduce us, yet again, to our stupid, stupid genitals. It’s a silencing tactic.

So the fact that moods arise from hormonal fluctuations is insulting and therefore should be ignored.  How Lindy feels is all that counts.  She feels insulted, so end of story?


Because there are days when I wake up pissed-off, when everything is shit, when I cry because my boyfriend loaded the dishwasher “wrong” (really, self?) or I spilled lasagna on my sports bra (who cares???) or because of that fucking BRUTAL Google Chrome commercial (seriously, though) — and I’m like, AM I AN ACTUAL CRAZY PERSON? What is the deal with me!? And then, just when I’m about to start crying about being a crying crazy person who cries about lasagna and advertising…oh, yeah…menses!!!


The topic lends itself to a serious question:  let’s take Twitter as an example. What kinds of decisions are to be expected from the women who might theoretically sit on the board at Twitter?  And what are we supposed to do about that?  Not schedule any important decisions when the Crimson Tide is swelling? Have all the men install menstrual tracker apps so they know when rational conversations are likely to be possible?


Obviously, not all women turn into raging maniacs when they get their periods, but most women do in fact report some monthly symptoms of PMS, including:



Angry outbursts


Crying spells



Poor concentration

Social withdrawal


Increased nap-taking

Changes in sexual desire


Well boy howdy, let’s get those women into positions of leadership and responsibility!


What can possibly go wrong?


stuck up


You know, maybe those t-shirts aren’t such a bad idea after all.  Maybe all the menstruating ladies should wear them when it’s time for the monthly blood bath.  At least then, you would know to steer well clear and understand that there really is a wrong way to load a dishwasher, and there will be tears and possibly violence if you fail to do it correctly.


The upside is that eventually menstruation ends.


And then menopause begins!


Let’s hope Hilary is finished with her hot flashes and unanticipated bleed outs before she takes office, or we might learn just how crazy crazy can get!




Lots of love,




27 Responses to “Menstruating is hazardous to feminist health! Let’s surf the Crimson Tide!”

  1. Adam October 10, 2013 at 16:01 #

    Maybe Camp Gyno would help stem the tides of emotions


  2. Alex October 10, 2013 at 17:40 #

    and women wonder why they aren’t always taken seriously. this is fucking ridiculous


  3. Goober October 10, 2013 at 17:58 #

    The issue that I have with all of this is not that women have these issues during their “time”, as it were, but that some of them use it as an excuse for awful behavior.

    For instance, the one woman who threatens to leave her husband every time she has her period – what the fuck? Does she not have any control at all over what comes out of her mouth? No self-awareness at all? I mean, after it happened a couple of times, doesn’t she have the ability to stop herself when she has the urge to threaten to leave him during her period, and say “wait a tic, we’ve been here before, remember? Last time you had this feeling and said this, you regretted it a few days later, and wished you hadn’t said it, so no matter how good an idea it might seem to be now, let’s wait a bit, shall we?”

    With the job that I do, I come home pissed sometimes. I come home fighting mad, depressed, upset, angry, and wanting nothing more than to punch a baby seal in it’s stupid fucking face. You know what I don’t do? I don’t take it out on my family, and use my stress at work as an excuse to be an asshole.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I used to fall well short of this ideal, but at some point in time, I stopped myself and asked “Hey, Scooter, you remember the last time you were a dick to your family after you came home pissed, and how much of a heel you felt like afterward? Maybe turn that frown upside down, or go somewhere else for a while and get your shit in order before you start being a dick to the only people on Earth that love you for who you are, unconditionally.”

    And I listened. Because I’m self-aware, and take responsibility for my actions. And as a result, I don’t do that shit anymore.

    But not these women. Nooooo. They just use it as an excuse – a “get out of trouble free” card that they get every thirty days where they get to act like an irrational, angry scrunt and then blame it on their period.

    On the plus side, it’s made me more sympathetic to toddlers throwing fits says one commenter.

    that whole you-know-what-you’re-doing-but-how-do-you-stop thing

    It’s called impulse control, lady. When men have poor impulse control, they end up in prison. When women have poor impulse control, they blame it on Aunt Flo, and society gives them a pass. Funny thing, that… …it’s almost like there is some sort of female privilege there. Huh. But it can’t be, because we all know that there is no such thing…


  4. RS October 10, 2013 at 18:42 #

    Wait- I thought women were *exactly* the same as men and gender was only a societal construct. (I have actually heard people assert that). So… what? There’s a menstruation/PMS exception to that rule now?

    I’m not even sure what message these women are trying to get across other than they’re a bunch of irrational, inconsistent dolts.


  5. Jax October 10, 2013 at 18:57 #

    This kind of stuff actually scares me, because women have successfully used it as a defense for murder before


  6. Goober October 10, 2013 at 19:37 #



  7. Jax October 10, 2013 at 20:24 #

    It doesn’t happen often, but there was the case of Sandie Craddock who stabbed someone to death. Her defense was able to show that each of her violent outbursts and suicide attempts occurred at the same time as her cycle.

    She was convicted of manslaughter, put on probation and ordered to take progesterone treatments

    there’s a couple other cases in that article


  8. Oscar Calme October 10, 2013 at 21:36 #

    There are many, many exceptions to that rule I’m afraid.


  9. LostSailor October 10, 2013 at 21:36 #

    I concur. It’s more about self-control than anything else. My ex used to get fairly painful cramps off and on, but she never pulled any of this kind of bullshit.

    And it’s interesting that one commenter mentions (but ultimately misses) the connection between such behavior and that of a toddler. And there is a connection….


  10. Goober October 10, 2013 at 21:36 #

    Holy shit…

    Thanks for the link. I think…


  11. Oscar Calme October 10, 2013 at 21:37 #

    MGTOW anyone?


  12. LostSailor October 10, 2013 at 21:39 #

    Feminism is built on illogic, irrationality, and inconsistency. It couldn’t exist without it. So there are tons of exceptions to the “we’re exactly equal to me and gender is a social construct” rules. We see it all the time in the courts (family and criminal), and, indeed, in any instance where a feminist is called to take responsibility for her actions…


  13. LostSailor October 10, 2013 at 21:45 #

    If I recall correctly, there are reasons why Leviticus says that a woman is “unclean” during her period and the practice was for her to “separate” herself from others during this period, since anything she touched also became unclean. A neat way to get a PMSing woman out of the way.

    You know, maybe there is something to this religion thing…


  14. LostSailor October 10, 2013 at 21:55 #

    From the link:

    Professor of women’s health psychology, Jane Ussher… the director of gender, culture and health research at the University of Western Sydney.

    Jumpin’ Jebus on a cattle prod! Feminist medicine. What could possibly go wrong. Note that the article headline is “Do Men Cause PMS.” Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing that men are the primary cause of breast cancer…


  15. Feminism Is A Lie October 10, 2013 at 22:04 #

    I have my suspicions about these ladies and their hormonal bitch fests. I think these sort of women, who take pride in such behaviour, are basically bitches all round, but use PMS as an excuse for their lack of self-control and actually giving a shit about others. Perhaps I am looking too much into it, but would it really be surprising, considering the readership of Jezebel? I mean come on, they take pride in being violent towards their partners. I’ve known plenty of women with menstrual issues, but I’ve never known one who magically becomes a violent toddler due to PMS.


  16. Troy October 10, 2013 at 22:07 #

    Ladies, ladies, ladies, I have a solution to this problem: sex.

    I am willing to man up if you are willing to get down.


  17. Kas October 10, 2013 at 23:59 #

    I’ve read Jezebel enough to know the women who both write and comment their are batshit 31 days out of a 28 day cycle.
    And YES, they pride themselves on the crazy. They just don’t see it as crazy.


  18. RedPillOverdose October 11, 2013 at 00:27 #

    Well bless that lindy west. Narcissistic, condescending, hypocritical, and holds big bags of candy up as she blames patriarchy for not only menstruation but also for having places she can’t quite reach with a wash cloth….


  19. Sasha October 11, 2013 at 00:58 #

    It’s said that the reason Marie Duplessis, the famous courtesan and model for the heroine of The Lady of the Camellias and La Traviata, used to wear a camellia pinned to her dress, was to let her potential customers know about her cycle. Most of the time it was white but a few days a month it was red.

    That is both charming and gross at the same time. 🙂


  20. Alex October 11, 2013 at 03:38 #

    no doubt that religion hit a lot of things in a fairly decent way, but i think those would be experiences felt by everyone everywhere no matter what, regardless of belief.


  21. Feminism Is A Lie October 11, 2013 at 03:55 #

    They don’t see it as crazy because they’ve gotten away with it their whole lives and they have not learnt how to re-evaluate their own behaviour, how to have some self-awareness.

    These bitches don’t magically go crazy while PMSing. For someone to just lose every bit of impulse control time after time after time, is not normal. I used to act like a crazy shrew during PMS…back when I was 15 and still hadn’t quite gotten a clue. After a while, it dawns on any sensible person that oh, you CAN actually control your behaviour even when your hormones are raging, it just takes some self-awareness and thinking before you act. Using PMS as an excuse for bad behaviour is something that I thought women grew out of once out of high school. You cannot deem yourself equal to a male and then use a natural biological process as an excuse to get out of responsibility. That’s not equality, it’s gaining special treatment for the fact that you own a vagina.


  22. John A October 11, 2013 at 12:57 #

    Another thing I don’t understand about feminists,

    AFAIK hormonal birth control is always based on a 28 day cycle. Why? because someone decided that would be a good idea. Menstrual cycles are typically 21 to 51 days and I guess 28 days was the shortest they could get away with.

    Now if I was a woman I’d be pretty keen to have fewer periods and as it turns out a lot of women don’t take the bleeding pills every month. So why not a 35 or 42 day cycle? You could probably go to 56 days or longer with no adverse health side effects. 50% fewer periods, who could sell that? I’m not a doctor and obviously I don’t profit from feminine hygiene products either.

    There’s something that feminists could bitch about and actually get some useful shit done. Maybe they have and I didn’t notice. Whatever.


  23. Diana October 11, 2013 at 17:57 #

    Because it’s close to natural and it inspires trust.If it was a longer cycle(though I would have loved it) less women would take it.Also for PCOS women it has also a psychological effect, it makes us feel normal.Hormonal birth control it’s our necessary evil.


  24. Diana October 11, 2013 at 18:09 #

    Men can also have low progesterone, low testosterone and high estrogen which can translate into mood differences(depression,mood swings).It’s just that women face changes in progesterone monthly while for men it’s a slow transit.


  25. Diana October 11, 2013 at 18:32 #

    I agree.I’m a super PMS bitch one day before I have my period(unless on the pill) then I get back to normal.Since I have pcos I never know when it’s coming so it always comes as a revelation: Ah that’s why I’ve gotten strangely pissed off by things I normally tolerate.But god forbid if I could do that every month, I still don’t know how you girls do it.I would have taken in consideration a hysterectomy if I had that every month.I find it equally disruptive and annoying as gallstone pain(and I’ve had my gallbladder removed for that).


  26. Jack Strawb January 11, 2015 at 06:21 #

    Not at all what I expected, but you’ve convinced me to not vote for any woman for President unless she attests she’s done with her monthlies. Imagine some halfwit like W. who, in addition to praying to Jesus and hearing back that he should bomb the Iraqi populace, goes through anything like what the Jezzies describe experiencing. If you want to kill your loving, beloved spouse, what on earth are you going to do with most of the Middle East?



  1. Menstruating is hazardous to feminist health! Let’s surf the Crimson Tide! | Bydio - October 10, 2013

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