Mina Button's blog

kink and feminism and stuff…formerly known as Absinthe Cocktail.

PMS and periods

So PMS.  It’s a thing.

I hate this cultural trope where people are like “Oh, hey, a lady-type-person is upset about something!  Clearly it is because hormones!”  It is incredibly frustrating to not be taken seriously at any time of the month because hormones make those irrational, overemotional women even more irrational and overemotional than usual! Women are crazy*!  Seriously, I even got in a fight with Roderick this afternoon because he said I was crying “hysterically” on Friday night and I really hate that word.

But…um…I do get really bad PMS.  Like, I think I might actually have PMDD but it’s completely self-diagnosed, and we all know self-diagnoses aren’t real, even though the main thing doctors do to diagnose PMDD is have you track your symptoms for several months and then confirm whether or not you have it based on those symptoms and when in your cycle they happen, which I’m pretty sure I can do myself.  But anyway, I often get really, overwhelming bad feelings the week before my period is due.  I feel super sad and irritable and I become convinced that all my friends secretly hate me and all my life choices are wrong.  I want to hide in my room and watch sad movies and eat macaroni and cheese and Doritos.  I become a huge cliche.

I am also not the only one who does this.  Two of my friends have said they always feel like they should break up with their respective significant others the week before their periods, and I remember the elaborate schemes one high school friend and I would come up with to deal with our food cravings.

I seriously wish none of this were true.  I also wish I didn’t get horrible cramps (sometimes so bad I throw up) and dizziness and ludicrous fatigue the week of my period.  I would totally love to be one of those period-positive, love-my-cycle type women.  I mean, I’m named after a moon goddess for crying out loud! And I try–I use a Diva Cup, I try to stay active during my PMS week and my period, I’m working with Garnet on not being ashamed and grossed out by my own bleedy-ness.  But none of that changes the fact that my period really is kind of awful most months.

And this doesn’t even really address the whole thing where people with horrible periods aren’t taken seriously, even by their doctors, when they try to talk about how unpleasant they are.  I will never forget my horrible high school boyfriend telling me that no one else at school got so dizzy they almost fell over every month, with the implication being that I must be faking or doin’ it wrong.  I still regret not telling him that the only reason for that was no one else was being guilted and manipulated by their horrible boyfriend into coming into school when they felt that shitty.

So I think what I’m saying is that there has to be some kind of middle ground.  There must be something in between going on about how crazy hormones make all female-bodied people and being all anti-hormonal birth control for everyone because it’s not natural.  There has to be a way to acknowledge that PMS and periods can be really, really unpleasant without saying that everyone who experiences these things shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery.  Right?

*This is totally ableist language and I try really hard not to use words like this, but I’m doing it here because other people describe people experiencing PMS that way, not because I think it’s a word that should generally be used.

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