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PMSbuddy
September 17, 2008 7:08 PM   Subscribe

PMSbuddy.com is a free service created with a single goal in mind: to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother[!], sister, daughter, or any other women in your life are closing in on "that time of the month" - when things can get intense for what may seem to be no reason at all.
posted by ColdChef (161 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by ColdChef at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


Because men are too stupid to look at a calendar without help?
posted by headspace at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


(Which is to say, offensive any way you slice it. WIMMINZ IS CRAZY ON THE HORMONALZ, MENZ IS DUMB!)
posted by headspace at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to say that I--in no way--endorse the site above. I merely provide it as a warning sign of the infantilism of America.

I'm ColdChef, and I have a good attitude towards menstruation.
posted by ColdChef at 7:15 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


You're still young. Get back to me when there's a "menopals.com"
posted by yhbc at 7:18 PM on September 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Wow, that's one of the stupidest things I have seen on the net. Congrats, PMSBuddy, that takes some talent!
posted by aclevername at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


My overall threat index is at its lowest point right now. So good to know....now I can go make nice nice with all the people I meet. Whee!
posted by iconomy at 7:25 PM on September 17, 2008


Good idea but short on advice for the afflicted male. I just registered bitchesarecrazy.com, stay tuned..
posted by raider at 7:27 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or, you could go this route.
posted by william_boot at 7:27 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ha ha.

Biology.
posted by Avenger at 7:27 PM on September 17, 2008


Because men are too stupid to look at a calendar without help?

Yes we are.
posted by nola at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


i was hoping this would help me find pantone values.
posted by snofoam at 7:29 PM on September 17, 2008 [20 favorites]


You've got it all wrong -- this is a site to go when you, the leader of the majority party heading up a coalition government under a parliamentary system, need to vent to other folks in the same position. PM's Buddy is here to help.
posted by lumensimus at 7:34 PM on September 17, 2008 [17 favorites]


the url reminds me of gasbuddy
posted by Xere at 7:34 PM on September 17, 2008


Sadly, the climate is not good for an IPO this week.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:35 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


omg, I thought of this a decade ago! My angle was to create a subscription service with comedic cards for the person who has PMS, to warn her and her friends of the mood change at that time of month. And to have a roster of cards to send with a variety of types of apology if she blew a hormonal gasket. And a flower service in case she needed a more serious apology.

PMSBuddy, free eservice is a good thing. Humanitarian.

LOL, menopals! ha! That's funny. Good one.
posted by nickyskye at 7:40 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


PS, post menopause rocks. Whoo hoo!
posted by nickyskye at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Easy there nicky.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on September 17, 2008


Because men are too stupid to look at a calendar without help?

Yeesh, this is so hard? There's a big thing in the sky. Every night. 28 day cycle. Look into it.
posted by rokusan at 7:46 PM on September 17, 2008


What a coincidence! I've been working on a website called ConfirmationBiasBuddy, which allows you to blame anyone's bad behavior on some cockamamie reason that sounds just plausible enough to allow the user to feel smugly superior.
posted by Miko at 7:50 PM on September 17, 2008 [49 favorites]


Sexist thread is sexist AND stupid.
posted by Mister_A at 7:53 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it really news that there are tools for tracking that kind of thing?
Sure, the web2.0 angle hadn't been exploited yet, but I remember PMS tracking software being included on shareware magazines ten years ago.
posted by Memo at 8:02 PM on September 17, 2008


Or your girlfriend could sign you up to receive an email from a site that doesn't hate women.
posted by phunniemee at 8:03 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'll show you intense for no reason at all, buddy.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:07 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or you could just, you know, get to know your girlfriend, that might work. Must the Internet do everything?
posted by mannequito at 8:07 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey guys, I'll let you in on a little secret: A woman's cycle can change. Just because you set a monthly reminder doesn't mean it's accurate.

Dwight from The Office said he wishes he had a period because it would help him feel closer to the stages of the moon, and he would never need a calendar again. I think men are just jealous.
posted by metricfan at 8:10 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


First and foremost, don't ask "Do you have PMS? It sure seems like it" whenever she isn't being a perfect angel. This can put women on the spot and make them feel attacked, not to mention a good way to get into an unnecessary fight. Instead, talk to her, be supportive and understanding, and you are sure to get better results. There are also many things that women can do to improve PMS ranging from diet, to treatment, to lifestyle changes. This information is readily available online, and is something to discuss with a doctor.


that seems like well reasoned advice. people have reminders for all sorts of dumb things. this is another one of those. just because a vagina is involved doesn't make it sexist.
posted by nadawi at 8:11 PM on September 17, 2008


nadwai, the disclaimer you quoted there doesn't say:

"Different women act differently, and 'periods makes you womens kerazy!' is not a good or accurate attitude to have." It says "hey, sometimes women act crazy and periods aren't the cause!"

I mean, talk about clueless on many different levels.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been married for 29 years.Never cheated or anything .Once a month the bus to crazy town show's up and guess who's on it .

Would anyone like to join me on the bus to crazytown? I'm not on the rag or anything but it seems like assholes like this guy aren't there.

LOLREDTENTZ
posted by jessamyn at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2008 [45 favorites]


PS, post menopause rocks. Whoo hoo!
posted by nickyskye


From In Praise of Older Women by Frank Kaiser

An older woman will never ask out of the blue, "What are you thinking?" An older woman doesn't care what you think.

An older woman's been around long enough to know who she is, what she wants, and from whom. By the age of 50, few women are wishy-washy. About anything. Thank God!

And yes, once you get past a wrinkle or two, an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart! Her libido's stronger. Her fear of pregnancy's gone. Her appreciation of experienced lovemaking is honed and reciprocal.

And she's lived long enough to know how to please a man in ways her daughter could never dream of. (Young men, you have something to look forward to!)

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off that you are a jerk if you're acting like one. A young woman will say nothing, fearing that you might think worse of her. An older woman doesn't give a damn.
posted by netbros at 8:19 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


Would anyone like to join me on the bus to crazytown?

That sounds like fun! Can we all sing "We're all going on a summer holiday" like they do in The Young Ones?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:20 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sounds like a sinister governmental data-collecting exercise to me. As soon as the Republicans figure out when the vast majority of women are, uhh, falling to the Communists, so to speak, they can tailor their vacuous policy announcements to target the engorged emotional centres of the menstruating female's brain. That way, after the subtle chin-quivering starts, but just before the male begins to detect a shift in the air, the women turn to their unsuspecting "lesser half" on the couch, punch him viciously in the arm, and scream: "Why the fuck didn't you vote for them, you asshole?"

Wishing to prevent escalation, the browbeaten male merely gives a meek "Yes dear, I promise to next time, I'm such an idiot, I love you honeybunny" and fetches her another box of Ferrero. She tells him to get the fuck out of her sight, he's so digusting and thoughtless, and he retreats to his computer, to masturbate unhappily to poorly-cached pornographic clips, with the sound out of sync.

Like every night.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeesh, this is so hard? There's a big thing in the sky. Every night. 28 day cycle. Look into it.

Yeh, great idea, except that when people are on cycles other than 28 days, you need to set up a fiendishly complex astrolabe that somehow synchronises Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Mayan and Vedic calendars, then correct using a crucible of mercury & sulphur, add an eye of newt or two, and every now & then you'll still find that your calculations are wrong & Saturnalia is upon you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:29 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


(having said that, I did have a girlfriend once who always got her period on the full moon, without fail. that was awesomely handy)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:32 PM on September 17, 2008


just because a vagina is involved doesn't make it sexist.

No. But the fact that it presents a clumsy and relatively uninformed understanding of the menstrual cycle, rolled up with the idea that it will help you predict and manage your relationships with women, who are apparently at the mercy of their cycles, kind of does.
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on September 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


The Mercy Of Their Cycles

Could this be the world's first all-female post-rock band?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:35 PM on September 17, 2008 [11 favorites]


If I have to own violence as related to a male neckbeard with (suffering from) testosterone then I see no reason why women shouldn't have to own PMS violence.

That said, this post, because we all think we are above biology, is not a good thing.

(hug)
posted by vapidave at 8:36 PM on September 17, 2008


So when exactly is PMS supposed to occur?

I have been lucky not to be involved with women who make issue of it or demonstrate its ill affects.

Could be because the women who have been in my life the last 7 or so years are French and Brazilian and that - to my knowledge - women from these cultures do not act out the whole PMS drama.. or at least not specifying it as such.
posted by pwedza at 8:36 PM on September 17, 2008


You know, when I was a stupid and insensitive teenager who didn't really know anything about women I hypothesized that PMS was the origin of the werewolf mythology in culture. You know, ordinary person, who just can't control becoming monstrous every 28 days. Seems logical.

Since then, I've had a number of long-term rellationships, and other shorter relationships which at least lasted longer than a month. Some of these women I dated were clearly unstable and prone to mood swings. One was not only sadly imbalanced (and I don't mean her any cruelty, as she was lovely, but direly in need of help for a number of reasons) but also had such painful menstrual processes that as a teen she would have to stay home from school to deal with them. You know what?

I've never noticed a difference in the emotional faculties of any woman ever w/r/t her period. I'll never have a clear understanding of what the process is like, and I know that medically there are hormone issues, but even with women who I could uncharitably describe as "crazy," the biggest difference was simply her saying, "Damn, this hurts. Be glad you don't have to experience this." So I call bullshit on the whole PMS = "Run for your lives!" trope.

I'd bet that if men had to deal with it, however, that everyone would get a mandatory three days off from work every month as a matter of course.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:36 PM on September 17, 2008 [15 favorites]


falling to the Communists, so to speak

And one comment makes the entire thread worthwhile. Thank you.
posted by ColdChef at 8:38 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother[!], sister, daughter, or any other women in your life

Is it just me, or is there something really nasty and vile about a father giving any thought whatsoever to his daughter's menstrual cycles?
posted by jayder at 8:42 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the site's front page: "For women, this is a great way to give people in your life a heads-up of when you might be feeling a bit irritable without having an awkward conversation."

Because, you know, posting to a website is much less awkward than conversation.
posted by zippy at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: posting to a website is much less awkward than conversation.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:44 PM on September 17, 2008 [17 favorites]


i'm still sticking by just because it involves a vag doesn't make it sexist. feel free to continue to find affront in every situation where there's an XY though. i'm sure that'll fill you with constant happiness in the years to come.
posted by nadawi at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2008


Not just you, jayder. All of those options except "wife" and "girlfriend" squick me out - it's less the "omigod family member knows I am a woman!" and more the "hey, brother! just thought you'd like to know I'm going to be bleeding out of my vagina in the next few days. kthx, ttyl."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:48 PM on September 17, 2008


Well, nadawi, feel free to blunder on in total ignorance of actual biology and wilfull refusal to note my point.
posted by Miko at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


I grew up the only male in a house full of women. Apart from the family we always had 3 or 4 exchange students there all the time. Even the cat and the dog were female.

Before I was taught about menstruation, when tampon ads only played after 10:00 p.m. and no one new about PMS, I figured something out: If during my morning shower, or when getting home from school, there was that weird smell in the bathrooms, that day I would get in trouble sooner or later, no matter what I did.

I learned to be very quiet and turn invisible for a few days at a time.

Was I a 10 year old sexist already, or was I just observing a common aspect of human nature?

Now that I am married, PMS is a non issue. I am worse when I sleep less that 6 hours, when I haven't had my first coffee or when I am solving some interesting coding problem in my head. AND DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE TRY TO TALK TO ME WHEN I AM PLAYING TEAM FORTRESS BECAUSE I WILL RIP YOUR HEAD OFF AND SHOOT A ROCKET DOWN YOUR NECK.

hashehadhisfirstcoffeeofthedaybuddy.com soon to come to an internet near you.
posted by dirty lies at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2008 [9 favorites]


What, was ontherag.com taken?

Sadly, it is.
posted by mazola at 8:52 PM on September 17, 2008


"Vag" is not the preferred nomenclature, dude.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:52 PM on September 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Was I a 10 year old sexist already, or was I just observing a common aspect of human nature?

Whatever you observed had nothing to do with PMS, because by the time you could detect someone's period, it had already run its course. (Assuming it exists).

Dysmennhorhea - extremely painful menstrual cramps and other symptoms - and regular cramps do exist, though. I'm sure you are a little harder to be around when you have a headache, stomach cramps, or nausea.
posted by Miko at 8:55 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I *cough* I could actually use something like this. I've gone through this mysterious process since I was about 12 or so where once a month I get kind of crabby and achy and think, "What the fuck is going on?!" and then sadly I always figure it out. After I've sat around thinking about it. For a couple days.

Not so into this website though, which is pretty condescending. I think I'll just set up a recurring appointment in my outlook calendar at work. To disguise it somewhat from coworkers I'll just call it "CRIMSON TIDE LOLOLOLZ!!!1!!11!".
posted by supercrayon at 8:57 PM on September 17, 2008


To disguise it somewhat from coworkers I'll just call it "CRIMSON TIDE LOLOLOLZ!!!1!!11!".

"Socialist Rally".
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:00 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


You are right Miko, it could not be PMS. I stand illuminated. And I remember the girls spending a lot of money trying all different kinds of painkillers.

Re. the cramps: That is what I was trying to say with the coffee or sleep deprivation, but trying to be funny.
posted by dirty lies at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2008


To clarify: PMS, or PRE-Menstrual Syndrome, is thought to be a set of symptoms and behaviors that set in before the menses start. Such a wide array of symptoms have been described, and such a long time period during each cycle (2 weeks!) is described as the active phase, and there is so much disagreement in the medical world about it, that its existence as a disorder with physical cause has been questioned. Dysmennhorea and cramps -the symptoms that women often note as physical complaints that cause pain - begin as the uterine lining is leaving the body.

PMSBuddy doesn't offer anything as icky as actual education about these terms or their meanings, though, so you'll have to hear it here first, I guess.
posted by Miko at 9:04 PM on September 17, 2008


This site is for the ladies, so they can tell when their man is gonna get all hormonal.
posted by not_on_display at 9:07 PM on September 17, 2008 [11 favorites]


...but trying to be funny.

Oh yeah, laugh it up, comedy-boy. Because this is all just some kind of joke to you, isn't it? Well, what about this plate your grandmother gave you? Is that funny? *SMASH* Well, is it funny now? No? What about this one?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:08 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


not_on_display: Red Wings? I mean...seriously? In this thread?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:10 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I actually signed up to go through the signup and see what happens, but it doesn't really add any content at all even when you've given your info. What it does do, under "PMS Tips," is show you a series of ads about purchases you can make to take the edge off your sweetie. For instance, she feels bloated and unattractive, so buy her some of this lingerie! She needs to relax, so why not browse this selection of wines?
posted by Miko at 9:10 PM on September 17, 2008


No thanks, PMSbuddy. Finding a screwdriver jammed through my kidneys into my spleen when I wake up is all the reminder I'll ever need.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:12 PM on September 17, 2008


i'm still sticking by just because it involves a vag doesn't make it sexist. feel free to continue to find affront in every situation where there's an XY though. i'm sure that'll fill you with constant happiness in the years to come.

The difference, nadawi, is that the sexism isn't in "oh, it involves vaginas." The sexism is in the fact that saying "women get upset because of PMS" lets a guy blow off his girlfriend if she complains about something because "oh, she just has her period now, she doesn't really mean it."

Sometimes, when women yell at you, it's not because of hormones, it is because you are legitimately and sincerely being a massive thundering dickhead. Same reason as why a man would be yelling at you.

Giving people a reason to think that "oh, the reason this woman is yelling at me is probably only because she's on her period, and it's not anything REALLY serious" --THAT is the sexist part.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:13 PM on September 17, 2008 [9 favorites]


it's a joke. it's a money generator through ads. it at no point claims to a serious discussion of menses or the effects of it. it, in fact, tells you to talk to your doctor for tips. this seems like something that shouldn't get a spot on the blue, but it does because knee jerk reactionaries can see sexism in anything that talks about women. getting your knickers knotted over it has given it more click throughs and more revenue.

also, i'm not at all confused about my biology, but thank you for your concern.

also, also - i have a vag and happen to find the million terms for my genitals hilarious. vag, cooter, sideways smile, clam shell, cunt, pussy, kitty, purr machine, baby maker...i don't feel the need to be constantly politically correct, especially when discussing a joke.
posted by nadawi at 9:21 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


...purr machine...

Yes!
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:23 PM on September 17, 2008


ah, yes, but referring to men as thundering dickheads is the epitome of thinking equally about men and women. awesome.

and, women push the 'i'm crazy because i'm bleeding' stereotype far more than a man ever would. most men, i'm guessing, would rather we just shut up about it all together - but suggesting that will also be met with calls of sexism.
posted by nadawi at 9:23 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


women push the 'i'm crazy because i'm bleeding' stereotype

Yes, I believe that. I actually believe that PMS provides cultural cover for genuine expressions which are normally suppressed.
posted by Miko at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


shouldn't get a spot on the blue
Heh.
Sorry, I have nothing nearly as good as jessamyn's bus to CrazyTown, so I'm reduced to "heh".
posted by scrump at 9:30 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Mercy Of Their Cycles

Could this be the world's first all-female post-rock band?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:35 PM on September 17 [2 favorites +] [!]


There have been others. OOIOO, to name an awesome one.
posted by mai at 9:40 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


ah, yes, but referring to men as thundering dickheads is the epitome of thinking equally about men and women. awesome.

I didn't say "men are thundering dickheads." I said "it's possible that if someone is angry at YOU then it is because YOU are a thundering dickhead." The "you" in that statement could be male, female, or fruitbat for all I care.

More simply -- if someone's mad at you, it's probably because you did something to piss them off. That fact doesn't change just because of what genetalia that someone who's mad at you has.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 PM on September 17, 2008


So where is the Web 2.0-ified reminder service for the gay male cycle? That's something I could really use.
posted by crataegus at 9:55 PM on September 17, 2008


turgid dahlia said: Oh yeah, laugh it up, comedy-boy. Because this is all just some kind of joke to you, isn't it? Well, what about this plate your grandmother gave you? Is that funny? *SMASH* Well, is it funny now? No? What about this one?

Hee!

Scientists may have questions about PMS, but I can guarantee you that anyone who knows me is a firm believer in it. As a rule, I'm a fairly rational being, but as we near the full moon, I'm really quick to anger, I get frustrated more easily, and try really hard to avoid traffic lest I be forced to run over stupid people. Give me some chocolate, some decaf and a book, and leave me alone, and I probably won't kill you. Keyword: probably. I make no promises.

How I wish for menopause. I do.

I also wish that the PMSbuddy site be nuked from space, as it is indeed stupid, sexist and poorly informative, and does nothing but promulgate stereotypes which are really unfair to the 95% of women who are not the "crazy" women. And seriously, if my dad had asked about my menstrual cycle when I was young enough to live at home, I think I'd still be squicked out about it now. That's just creepy.
posted by dejah420 at 10:04 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


women push the 'i'm crazy because i'm bleeding' stereotype far more than a man ever would

Perhaps not far more, but certainly just as much. I still remember an incident, years ago, when I was working in cubicle hell, the woman in the cubicle across from me was digging into a big, messy frosted danish (the plastic-wrapped kind you buy in the check out line at a convenience store) and a co-worker commented, "wow, that's quite a danish you've got there," and the woman with the danish replied, "can you say 'P.M.S.'?"

I thought that was such a bizarre, inappropriate thing to say in the workplace. Men couldn't talk openly about their reproductive organs in the workplace. Talk about horniness or boners or blue balls wouldn't be tolerated; why is talk of menstruation not similarly taboo in polite company?
posted by jayder at 10:17 PM on September 17, 2008


"Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (sometimes refered to as PMT or Premenstrual Tension) is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (about 80 percent) have some Premenstrual symptoms,[1] women with PMS have symptoms of "sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life".[2] Such symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the two weeks prior to menses. The symptoms may vanish after the menstrual flow starts, but may continue even after the flow has begun."

Above is from the wiki.

I call girlzone.

Hormones are not excuses. For men or for women.

Please, please lets have a woman here declare that men and women are equally violent. Because that would be sexist and reinforcing a stereotype.

Please
posted by vapidave at 10:18 PM on September 17, 2008


From The Onion October 4, 1968: Feminists Go on Humor Strike.
posted by luckypozzo at 10:19 PM on September 17, 2008


The sexism is in the fact that saying "women get upset because of PMS" lets a guy blow off his girlfriend if she complains about something because "oh, she just has her period now, she doesn't really mean it."

Simple solution: I don't use it as an excuse; you don't use it as an excuse. Deal?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:24 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes, when women yell at you, it's not because of hormones, it is because you are legitimately and sincerely being a massive thundering dickhead.

Perhaps true, but who can be bothered to sort it out?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:24 PM on September 17, 2008


p.s.
PMSbuddy is idiotic and juvenile at best. I agree completely with those opposed to its simplicity. Thinking that men and women are identical except for some bits is equally idiotic.
posted by vapidave at 10:29 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeh, great idea, except that when people are on cycles other than 28 days, you need to set up a fiendishly complex astrolabe that somehow synchronises Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Mayan and Vedic calendars, then correct using a crucible of mercury & sulphur, add an eye of newt or two, and every now & then you'll still find that your calculations are wrong & Saturnalia is upon you.

1. I hear Saturnalia was a good time, so I am all for this.

The Mercy Of Their Cycles

Could this be the world's first all-female post-rock band?


2. No, but it could be a metal or goth band. Or a cycling club.

I have been lucky not to be involved with women who make issue of it or demonstrate its ill affects.

3. This, generally, in my experience.

4. Being overly controlled by the biology is appropriate for the lower animals, not for thinking beings. Apply liberally to both sexes.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:40 PM on September 17, 2008


Being overly controlled by the biology is appropriate for the lower animals, not for thinking beings. Apply liberally to both sexes.

Human thought is a biological function.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:04 PM on September 17, 2008


Men couldn't talk openly about their reproductive organs in the workplace. Talk about horniness or boners or blue balls wouldn't be tolerated

Are you kidding? It's all we ever talk about. Sometimes it might be disguised in talk about sport or politics, but they're just thinly-veiled metaphors.

I hear Saturnalia was a good time, so I am all for this.

Yes, but it was also the time when the natural order of things would be sent topsy-turvy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:05 PM on September 17, 2008


"Socialist Rally".

Shark Week.

Personally I don't mind periods because its the only time I'm gonna get oral sex for once.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:06 PM on September 17, 2008


Being overly controlled by the biology is appropriate for the lower animals, not for thinking beings.

Eternal gratitude for pointing this out. I've now instantly reverted to a prepubescent state, whereby I couldn't give a flying fuck for the supposed charms of women. It's like a huge cloud of illusion has been lifted from my eyes, and I can see clearly - once again - that they actually have cooties.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:31 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


To disguise it somewhat from coworkers I'll just call it "CRIMSON TIDE LOLOLOLZ!!!1!!11!".

"Socialist Rally".


My SO prefers to be informed that the Red Army marches.
posted by Ms. Saint at 11:31 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


lame site, great thread. If only gasbuddy had been more similar.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:50 PM on September 17, 2008


Hmm. Interesting comments. The website, I'm not all about. Kind of against it, actually. But still, at the risk of disclosing too much information, I once had a girlfriend who took it upon herself to, erm, manage things herself. Track things, that is. Turns out there's an entire protocol for monitoring, erm, fluids & hormones & the interesting hidden shadowy like on a chart. There's a book , which she used to this end. I was supportive, but a lil unsure about having to, erm, help keep track of things as it were. As birth control, it works. As an indicator of and tool for understanding / predicting the syndrome inspiring the commentary above, it works. It is work, but it works.

Which is all just a way of saying: the dreaded acronym which is this thread's raison d'etre might be better understood with a little knowledge and background, which as we can all surely agree goes a long way.

But then of course, we broke up, so what the hell do I know.
posted by foodbedgospel at 12:10 AM on September 18, 2008


Annuale makes that website obsolete.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:35 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


My dad, a longtime corporate manager, told me that he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'. I thought this was creepy and absurd, but he said it was a fairly common, if unspoken, practice in the corporate world. I suppose it makes sense from a totally utilitarian point of view.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:46 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or is there something really nasty and vile about a father giving any thought whatsoever to his daughter's menstrual cycles?

Yes this site is silly, but that doesn't mean a father can't be fully engaged in raising his daughter. If we shouldn't question a woman's ability to have a full career and also have children, then we should also expect fathers to take on all aspects of parenting.

My father operated under the firm belief that allowing any other member of the household to purchase anything was the first step towards losing the house and being forced to live under an overpass out by the airport. If it was on sale within 50 miles, you could rest assured he'd come home with a case of it. This included feminine products for my mother and 2 sisters.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:47 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is it just me, or is there something really nasty and vile about a father giving any thought whatsoever to his daughter's menstrual cycles?

What if he's a single father, bringing up his daughter alone?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:50 AM on September 18, 2008


Is it just me, or is there something really nasty and vile about a father giving any thought whatsoever to his daughter's menstrual cycles?

It's probably just you. Why wouldn't a father be giving thought to his daughter's health and well-being?
posted by liquorice at 1:40 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I suppose it makes sense from a totally utilitarian point of view

Decemberboy, did you just miss the entire point of this thread - that evidence for PMS as PMS is anecdotal at best, is scientifically debated, and that the consesus is PMS shouldn't be used to excuse or ignore bad behavior?

( not to omit the sub-point of this thread, which seems to be for people to use as many menstrual euphemisms as possible. the Red Army marches <--teeheehee. )
posted by namewithoutwords at 3:54 AM on September 18, 2008


Is it just me, or is there something really nasty and vile about a father giving any thought whatsoever to his daughter's menstrual cycles?

As a father with a daughter, why you think this is nasty and vile?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


My dad, a longtime corporate manager, told me that he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'. I thought this was creepy and absurd, but he said it was a fairly common, if unspoken, practice in the corporate world. I suppose it makes sense from a totally utilitarian point of view.

The fuck? You have got to be kidding me.
posted by miss tea at 4:17 AM on September 18, 2008


As a daughter with a father who tracked things a little too closely (i.e. "what's going on, there should have been wrappers in the trash three days ago, [stand in the door and wait for explanation]"), it's obnoxious and I would safely say crosses the line into TMI.
posted by phunniemee at 4:23 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Men couldn't talk openly about their reproductive organs in the workplace. Talk about horniness or boners or blue balls wouldn't be tolerated

Thanks to metafilter we had a very long and involved conversation at work about manscaping just two days ago. It was... enlightening.

Fwiw, I've had girlfriends who properly suffered from PMS. And that is the operative word: suffered. For a teenage boy, this was something difficult to understand and deal with and unfortunately it seems like a lot of guys never mature beyond that. No one likes PMS, but for a lot of people it's an unfortunate and unavoidable reality so at least try to be a grown-up about it. It's easier to hide behind humour and plain avoidance than deal with the fact that a woman that you care about is suffering and there isn't a lot you can do to help.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:23 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


My dad, a longtime corporate manager, told me that he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'. I thought this was creepy and absurd, but he said it was a fairly common, if unspoken, practice in the corporate world. I suppose it makes sense from a totally utilitarian point of view.

Wow. That's a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen right there. You bet I'd be in the human resources department raining down hell if I ever heard of such a thing in my workplace.
posted by electrasteph at 4:35 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm holding out for IMSBuddy. Excuse me, I must go treat my "hysteria" now.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:36 AM on September 18, 2008


Brandon Blatcher, because we live in MolestWorld now, that's why any thought of it is full-on autosquick. It triggers the age-old incest tripwire and the brand new "Somewhere, someone is trying to have sex with a child! Could it be you?" phobia.

In any case, I'm not sure why the calendar tracking is preferred over the obvious: just use your nose*. Most (not all) women have a different odor to their breath (and sweat to a lesser extent), when PICK YOUR EUPHEMISM WE HAVE PLENTY IN THIS THREAD rolls around. It's same way people smell different if they're sick, or fearful, or pregnant, or angry. It's hardly 100% (what ever is?), but you'd think it would become as standard as looking at basic body language.

* Be polite and never actually speak of your scent-drawn conclusions, as the women hearing it might envision a horrible party at which they might get tagged in a rousing round of "Rag, Rag, Who's Got the Rag?" as the single gents, blindfolded, stagger through the crowd, snorting and pointing. One stops, nostrils flared - yanking the symbolically red scarf from his eyes he howls, "I've got a Bloody One!" and stands there, pointing like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).
posted by adipocere at 4:46 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Simple solution: I don't use it as an excuse; you don't use it as an excuse. Deal?

I never have.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2008


It's same way people smell different if they're sick, or fearful, or pregnant, or angry.

Are you a dog, by any chance?
posted by Phanx at 4:57 AM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


As someone on the Internet, one would never admit to being a dog but ... perhaps you have a treat nearby, hrmmm? *raises shaggy eyebrow*
posted by adipocere at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just reading this thread is giving me cramps.
posted by briank at 5:09 AM on September 18, 2008


Are you a dog, by any chance?

Can we please try to stay on topic? I don't think it's at all relevant what adipocere looks like.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:13 AM on September 18, 2008


I'm a single dad with a young daughter. What I get from this thread is that when the Red Army comes marching I need to set up a tent out back, give my daughter a bottle of water and wait for three or four days. If she brings the subject up I need to pretend like I didn't hear her. Only then can I hope to escape any suspicion of incest or molestation.
posted by Sailormom at 5:28 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


what's going on, there should have been wrappers in the trash three days ago, [stand in the door and wait for explanation]

Yeah, THAT is creepy.

However, being generally aware whether your kid is healthy or not is a good thing.

because we live in MolestWorld now, that's why any thought of it is full-on autosquick.

That's the world's problem, not mine.

he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'

You think you've heard and seen it all, then the internet proves you wrong. Jesus.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on September 18, 2008


Sailormom - perhaps this will help:

19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

20 " 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 22 Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening.

28 " 'When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge.

posted by UbuRoivas at 5:42 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


(note the Tent of Meeting - this shows you were on the right track)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:44 AM on September 18, 2008


I am back from crazytown. It was just a bunch of people riding bikes around and eating fluffernutters. I think I'll go back next month.
posted by jessamyn at 6:04 AM on September 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


I don't have a stake in the outcome of this discussion except in a more general way: if something occurs normally in a healthy person, don't call it a syndrome.

"PMS" (at least in the popular conception) makes it sound as if many (most? all? who knows?) women are regularly unreliable, possibly dangerous, because they all suffer from this built-in "syndrome" (disorder? disease?) that makes then lose focus and say and do irrational things. Whereas men, well, normal men don't have syndromes.

I am sometimes sleepy in the afternoon, particularly after a big lunch. I don't have Postmeridian Fatigue Syndrome. I don't want drug companies marketing PFS products to fight it as it were an affliction. I don't want employers thinking of me as anything less than 100 percent reliable because I might be a tad groggy some afternoons. I don't want anyone ever dismissing me as "courting Morpheus".
posted by pracowity at 6:10 AM on September 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'

[I am screaming silently inside because dude...really...duuuuuude.]
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2008


So where is the Web 2.0-ified reminder service for the gay male cycle? That's something I could really use.

It's right here...but our cycles are really irregular: Project Runway was away for 13 months and now it's on three times this year.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:05 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


...and speaking of cycles, no one's brought this up?
posted by kittyprecious at 7:06 AM on September 18, 2008


It took over 15 years, but the Web has finally reached the apex of its evolution.
posted by VicNebulous at 7:10 AM on September 18, 2008


When I was president of my local co-ed Explorer Scout Post, we kept track of the menstrual cycles of our female members so that we could plan events accordingly. Seriously.

"Tricia, do you want to go camping in October?" "Check the chart."

It started out as a joke, but when the girls found out about it, it became a real operational tool. I wish I was making this up.
posted by ColdChef at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2008


The one thing I know for certain about PMS is that when you are a young boy of 10 and your mom is angry with you, asking her if it's her time of the month is a poor, poor choice.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:15 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have a friend with a boyfriend who gets PMS. He doesn't know when her period is, doesn't keep track of it, but without fail right before it starts he has a couple of days of feeling inexplicably upset and is prone to emotional outbursts. It's been happening ever since they started dating years ago, so he's finally (reluctantly) accepted there may be something to the theory.
posted by schroedinger at 7:16 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to have a systray app that did something like this. It was a great tool... it monitored fertility for couples trying to have or avoid having children, and was a pretty decent predictor of mood. My ladyfriend at the time wasn't an angry PMSer, just got very emotional and cried at the drop of a hat, it helped me know when to watch my words very carefully. She even used it herself to avoid scheduling any important meetings during that range of days, since she knew she was prone to being just a bit irrational. And yes, the cycles definitely change, but this one was constantly updated and was usually quite accurate except a few times (usually when she was sick it would come early or late.)

I didn't click on the link in the OP to see how it was portrayed, but there's no reason to assume this is some sort of sexist thing on the whole. It's a simple fact that some women suffer from it -- why on earth would something reminding their significant others when they're likely to be out of sorts (in whatever way that individual tends to be) be bad or insensitive?
posted by Narual at 7:34 AM on September 18, 2008


This thread is interesting.

I had PMS for 20 years and it was awful. It was predictable and it got worse with age. There were very typical emotions that came up, even predictable conversations once a month. Most typical for me was "You don't love me. I can't take this anymore, I don't think we can be friends."

Three days later, when my period was underway I'd look in horror at a damaged friendship, usually somebody I truly loved, cherished and wanted in my life. Yes, there may have been conflicts or unspoken complaints but I'd bust a gasket three nights before my period, sometimes on the second night. I always felt mortified by what I'd done.

But, if the person I was yelling at, scapegoating, blaming or playing victim with ever said, "You have PMS", I'd be furious, while knowing it was true. I'd fume that that they weren't listening but blaming me for their bad behavior. Hours later I wanted to say to them, "Yes, you're right." But I felt if I did that they would use it against me. And basically I was aware that with a man I was always in the inferior position, always thought to be more stupid, less respected. Giving them that I was suffering with a hormonal flux would be offering them something more for them to be hateful to me about, simply being born female.

A childhood friend of mine who got PMS wrote a book and called it "Going Bonkers Once a Month" about having PMS issues.

I first noticed predictable monthly mood swings in my mother when I was a pre-teen and teen. She would have been in her late 30's, early 40's.

Now I've been recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer and found out I had an inflamed thyroid probably most of my life, the two decades of agonizing periods now make sense. Really painful menses are typical for women with thyroid conditions and there are, apparently, 27 million people in the USA with thyroid illness, 13 million undiagnosed and a good percent of both is female, "women are seven times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems".

It is being speculated that PMS may also be associated with being hypothyroid, as well as too much estrogen (now determined to be in the plastic of most water bottles etc).

In my 30's I started monitoring my PMS and noted that the men I knew also went through a predictable monthly mood change.

New research suggests men suffer from pre-menstrual-style symptoms, in some cases as badly as women, now called IMS.

What I noticed was that whatever was the taboo emotion for women was what was expressed during PMS, anger. In men what I observed is that the temporary, predictable, monthly, taboo emotional mood they experienced was despair, to feel like giving up or thinking they were inadequate, weren't up to the job.

So, if there is a PMSBuddy site I think an IMSBuddy one would be just as helpful. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
posted by nickyskye at 7:36 AM on September 18, 2008 [10 favorites]


This site that's been linked to, sure, seems like crap.

But that doesn't mean that women aren't affected by hormones, and pretending that it isn't so, and calling people "sexist" for making assertions to the contrary doesn't do anyone any good at all.

When you have a strong hereditary component for clinical depression, you become acutely aware of mood changes, and I could definitely track them by my cycle.

Now, like nickyskye (hey, nicky!) I am menopausal. Since I experienced menopause at an early age (surgically), I take HRT. I can guarantee you that HRT has both physical and emotional affects on me.

For example, I know that when my estrogen dips, just before I am due to take another dose, I'm tired and irritable. When my estrogen levels are high I feel nurturing and much more tolerant of other's behavior. I can see where that would be beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint: Mothers need to be nurturing and tolerant to deal with children, and when a woman is pregnant, her estrogen levels are peaking right through to the birth.

Anecdotally: many years ago, I read a study showing that women were more likely to end a romantic relationship a few days before their periods started. I always wondered about the correlation. Were these women irritable and short-tempered at this time, or were they more assertive and better able to end a bad relationship? Of course, the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. I would have loved to see some follow-up done on whether they regretted these decisions to break up, or if they turned out to be the best thing they had ever done!
posted by misha at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also wish that the PMSbuddy site be nuked from space, as it is indeed stupid, sexist and poorly informative, and does nothing but promulgate stereotypes which are really unfair to the 95% of women who are not the "crazy" women.

I'm not defending this website because I haven't visited it, but where do I go to sign up for progressive ideals that require a complete denial of objective reality. You can say "BITCHESBETRIPPINLOL" all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that people are cranky when they are uncomfortable and PMS has the potential to make women uncomfortable, therefore women tend to be cranky when they are suffering from PMS. It may not be helpful to your cause to make it seem like people who acknowledge observable facts are somehow bigoted.
posted by ND¢ at 7:56 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I feel like adding my own anecdotes!

I've been very lucky to grow up in the environment I did. My dad has never once blamed a woman's menstrual cycle for anything, at least that I know of, my mom has never used it as an excuse (although she did recently say "God Damn it, just when you think you've finally gotten menopause, it's like 'Surprise! Not Yet!'"), and once I graduated from high school I managed to have friends and coworkers who don't say things like "It must be her period" when they really mean "She must be mad at me because I'm a giant douchebag." So maybe that colors my perspective.

But for what it's worth, most of my girlfriends have said to me, at some point or another, "I'm sorry, I'm just on the rag," or "it's my time of the month," or whatever. My reaction is usually the same each time. "And?" To which they then reply "So I'm sorry if I'm being a bitch or anything" or "So that's why I'm really on edge lately," or something like that. And every time my first thought is "I honestly hadn't noticed a difference." Not because I don't notice when they're mad, but because they're not only mad once a month, and they're not only irrational once a month. And neither am I or anyone else I know.

I personally think that we all have hormonal variations that we go through and which affect our moods, and we all work with them and are expected not to let them turn us into monsters. Some women have such painful periods that they have to interrupt their normal daily activities to deal with them, but other than instances of extreme pain I think that the whole idea of PMS is bullshit. I understand that there are actual hormonal jumps that accompany menstruation, but the idea that it's a train from crazy town and women can't help but jump on it is ridiculous.

But the thing about that is that I think PMS has been used to subjugate women, and most insidiously by making them believe that they're helpless against it so that they are the engine of the subjugation themselves. It is, to my mind, exemplary of the oppression of sexism in that it not only dismisses women's feelings but convinces them that their feelings should be dismissed. It's a chain we make women put on themselves. And so, you find girlfriends who are in most other ways liberated, strong and self-assured all of a sudden stooping their shoulders and apologizing for going through a natural and unavoidable bodily function, because of what it might do to me.

For what it's worth, I think we should all stop engaging in that kind of shit entirely.
posted by shmegegge at 8:39 AM on September 18, 2008 [36 favorites]


First and foremost, don't ask "Do you have PMS? It sure seems like it" whenever she isn't being a perfect angel

Because every woman on earth should be a perfect angel 100% of the time, and if she isn't there is a problem.

My husband figured out my cycles a few months after I moved in. Simple really. If I am spending a day with a toothbrush and chlorax bleach really going after that troublesome spot in the tile behind the toilet, I'll be a bleedin' on the morrow. If I have removed all the food from the freezer so I that I can properly arrange things by size and shape, look for a visit from Mr Port Wine. If I am on my hands and knees with a lint brush under the bed, tomorrow's forecast is grey with a chance of pink showers.

I used to think that I really craved chocolate just before I got my period, but then I realized that I craved chocolate all the time--I just gave myself licence to eat it before my period. I suspect many women give themselves licence to do things in the name of PMS. Which is not to say it doesn't exist or people (my younger self included) don't suffer horribly at the time. Humans love to catagorize and label and the "PMS" label is carelessly slapped on a wide variety of behaviors.

Hmm that's the second time in two days that I have split an infinitive--Must be getting my period.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:47 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


It is odd that so many people are calling this thread sexist. How many of you who are calling it sexist have been in a serious long-term relationship?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the one or two days before are a particularly sensitive period for women; in my experience those are the days I am most likely to get into an irrational fight with my partner. To the point that when I feel an unexplainable or seemingly petty fight getting started (one that is not clearly my own fault), I will often check myself and think about the day of the month; more often than not, this is part of the explanation, and I need to remind myself to be more thoughtful.

To admit that the sudden shift in hormone levels can lead to mood swings isn't sexist, and neither is trying to remember to be extra-nice once a month for a day; that's just being thoughtful.

For anyone who doubts the extreme effects of hormones on a person's mental state, I highly recommend This American Life's classic Testosterone episode. It's an hour long, but it's really eye-opening and funny.
posted by jackbrown at 8:47 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: The new Worst of the Web
posted by bluesky43 at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2008


but it doesn't change the fact that people are cranky when they are uncomfortable and PMS has the potential to make women uncomfortable, therefore women tend to be cranky when they are suffering from PMS.

It's not so much the pain and discomfort as it is what the hormonal surge does to the brain. I don't know how to explain it other than to say that things that normally mildly aggravate me are more likely to piss me off during that time, and things that normally bother me a bit could really upset me. There's a lot of stuff that we all deal with in an ongoing way every day, minor issues and recurring frustrations that are always there but just part of going to work or family relationships or whatever. But on PMS days, it's like the mechanisms for dealing with all of that without any of it getting emotionally heightened and resonant break down quietly in the background. I don't notice until I'm really pissed off about something that normally is just annoying. Or until a bad day at work is not just a bad day, but part of a greater long-term pattern of my job being miserable. And knowing that that's what going on really helps, because I can step back a moment and realize that the Horrible Thing is just a Kind Of Bad Thing I've encountered when my emotional response is skewing it large. The pain and discomfort and fatigue are pretty bad in my case, but being more edgy while dealing with the usual is much worse.

Knowledge really is power in this case. Brushing off everything you don't like about a woman's behavior as PMS is stupid and patronizing, as this website is. But pretending PMS doesn't affect a lot of women is also pretty misguided.

If you want to actually track everything menstrual and fertility related, I recommend mymonthlycycles.com.
posted by Tehanu at 8:57 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think someone should register BridezillaAlert.com for the sake of my friends and family. Today's threat level = 11
posted by desjardins at 9:05 AM on September 18, 2008


I'm a guy. For a few months, I was on a medication that had a side-effect of really altering various hormone levels. It was as if I had become possessed by a entirely different person. It was not a pretty scene at all. Hormones make up "who you are" more than most men realize, because our levels are usually pretty stable. But I guarantee that a decent bump in testosterone will make any guy want to punch people on the bus and a decent dip will make him barely able to get the motivation to leave the house. I came away from the experience with a new found respect hormones and anyone who is having ups and downs.
posted by the jam at 9:05 AM on September 18, 2008


shmegegge, I love you. wow. Great comment. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 9:08 AM on September 18, 2008


You guys are so LUCKY this wasn't posted last week.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:14 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Know why Google Calendar (and most other calendaring systems) sucks? It won't let you create recurring events that happen at a period (huhuhuh) longer than 30 days, leaving women with cycles longer than that with no easy way of tracking them. Just another symptom of an engineering culture completely dominated by testosterone.
posted by contraption at 9:22 AM on September 18, 2008


blame anyone's bad behavior on some cockamamie reason that sounds just plausible enough to allow the user to feel smugly superior.

My experience has been very similar to Joe P's. I never suggest it is PMS, but my wife always comes back a few days later and apologizes for her behavior. I don't know if the hormonal effects are the real cause or if she's just uses it as an excuse or if I really was being a "thundering dickhead"*, but I do know my feeling when it happens resemble nothing close to "smugly superior". Hurt and confused is much more like it.

* More specifically, I don't which percentage of each are the cause of a particular instance. In most cases, though, it's probably a little of all three.

posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:35 AM on September 18, 2008


Sounds like a sinister governmental data-collecting exercise to me.

I stopped using my grocery store "rewards" card when it started reminding me when to buy tampons.
posted by norm at 9:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to say I always liked that Kids in the Hall sketch. It should have been in the post.
posted by GuyZero at 9:52 AM on September 18, 2008


Man, I'm so sick of hearing about "traditional" PMS symptoms like mood swings and chocolate cravings. These are amateur problems. Two days before my period, without fail, I dream that I am living in a creepy mansion with my high-school friends and a suave serial killer is picking us off one by one. I evade him all night long and long into the morning, when he finally overtakes me, lifts his gun, cries, shouts a Law & Order type pun, and shoots me in the face. I know I'm not the only one! Who's with me, ladies? Am I right?
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 9:54 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


contraption: MobileMe allows recurring events at arbitrary numbers of days.
posted by jedicus at 9:56 AM on September 18, 2008


I do know my feeling when it happens resemble nothing close to "smugly superior". Hurt and confused is much more like it.

See, that is why acknowledging biological or hormonal causes behind behavior can be a positive thing. If my wife starts going crazy over something that two weeks prior might have elicited nothing more than a cross look then I don't have to say to myself "Jesus, what is going on here?" and get my feelings hurt. I can do a little math, realize that there is more going on than just the subject of the disagreement and maybe give a little more ground than I normally would because I know that she's not just being a jerk for no reason, but is having a hard time at that moment and needs to be cut a little slack. I don't use that knowledge to then say "Oh I get it, you're being a total bitch because you're on your period. Okay, I'll put away my clothes, but you should go pop a midol."
posted by ND¢ at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2008


Sometimes I'll see something that's supposed to make light of some prejudice I wasn't aware people even had, or that came and went before my time, and it just baffles me. Learning that Polish jokes existed was one such time. Watching the Jetsons episode where Jane learns to drive and the entire galaxy flips out, because women drivers suck lol, was another.

Isn't PMS-phobia supposed to be one of those antiquated attitudes? Weird things can happen with moods when hormone levels shift, and people can and do genuinely suffer when it happens to them, but it doesn't turn all women into raving chocolate-inhaling ogres who can no longer button our pants.

I'm just glad I can speak openly about my cycle with the people I care about. Usually, it's "Dag, I feel like I'm getting punched in the ute today. What's up with you?"
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:12 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have never experienced anything I could identify as PMS, and I tend to believe that it's kinda bullshit, personally.

On the other hand, hot flashes? Ye gods. It's like having some sort of weird uncontrollable superpower involving flammability. If only I could channel it for good...
posted by jokeefe at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2008


Also, what shmegegge said. I wish I could favourite that a hundred times.
posted by jokeefe at 10:16 AM on September 18, 2008


shmegegge, I like most of what you said, but I don't think that "other than instances of extreme pain", PMS is bullshit. I barely get cramps any more, thanks to the Pill, and when I do, it's only on the first day. But starting 3-4 days prior, there is a significant change in my mood. It's not "crazytown", but it's there, and even being aware of it there's nothing I can do but apologize.

I become very impatient and frustrated. If I get too frustrated, I cry. And there is nothing to be done about it. Over dumb stuff, too, like a problem set during college, or a negative comment at work. Not stuff I would ever cry over otherwise. Even when I can feel the tears coming, and I'm aware of what time of the month it is, and I know precisely why what's about to happen is happening, there is nothing I can do. It's to the point that I've had to excuse myself to the restroom at work to cry it out because I physically cannot stop it. It's not that there's anything actually wrong, it's that my brain is handling things totally differently.

I know I can be bitchy, impatient, and frustrated on other days as well, but there's a high concentration of it around that time and I really don't want people thinking that they can't criticize me because I'll cry, or that I'm actually an incredibly enraged driver, or whatever. It's not me. It's not how I am normally (people point out when I seem unusually upset, and there have been very few false positives) and it's certainly not the person I want to be. I don't like the way I react during that time, so I want to apologize and let them know that they shouldn't normally expect this irrational reaction. If I don't want to go into detail about my reasons, I just say, "We can't have this conversation right now. Can we talk tomorrow instead?"

I used to also get a migraine the first day of my period. Every month, without fail. Clearly there is more-unusual-than-usual shit going on in my brain when the hormones are at that level.

(I'm currently experiencing PMS, so I'm getting a kick... etc)
posted by olinerd at 10:21 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


PMS affects different people differently. Duh. Some people get emotional, some don't.

This site is crap, but it's a nice excuse to talk about Menstruation. Which isn't talk about enough, IMO. I mean... it's such a big part of the experience of half of the people in this world - why do we treat it like some gigantic secret?
posted by lunit at 10:22 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I used to take the pill so I would only get a period every six months, so bad is my PMS. In fact, PMDD is probably a more accurate "diagnosis," though it's not a disease, it's a syndrome, so I'm not waving around some little letter for my doctor, just saying: definitely not bullshit. At all. A very sad and horrible to experience. Violent and suicidal feelings, out of control emotional vertigo causing the inability to focus on anything without inducing panic. Ususally a whole day lost to this, every month. You'd better believe I use a calendar. It doesn't stop the hurting, though, just makes sure I know why I'm hurting, makes sure I don't hurt other people.

Sympathy would be a lot better than incredulity as a reaction when women tell their own stories.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:28 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


wait. what? i can't flag this post as insulting? that's a damn shame.
posted by msconduct at 10:33 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the "sexist" objections aren't to the idea that hormones or pain can affect how people behave. I think any reasonable person can agree that all of what we are is chemical reactions. None of us (male or female) is above nature.

I think the objections are about the way this website supports the old stereotype about women being slaves to their hormones whereas men - well, there's no site like this for men because they're much more complicated than us females, whose moods can be predicted and counted regular-like on a calendar! You can even get an e-mail letting you know the emotional status of the women in your life - be it your daughter or wife, or even your sister or mother! The regular and handy e-mail system will prevent them from awkwardly having to apologize to you for their uncontrollable female rages, and you can go ahead and ignore any irritability on their parts because it's all the blood talking.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:36 AM on September 18, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur, on preview I will say that I absolutely feel sympathy for women who have to go through such terrible experiences due to PMS or their periods in general. I can't imagine having to deal with that every month, and it's great that products are coming out to manage that sort of thing.

But I still feel angry at people who assume that because you are a woman, and I am a women, our experiences/feelings/bodies are the same. Because I know that some people will read your account and conclude, "those women who say they don't experience PMS don't know what they're talking about - they just don't want to admit that we also need a calendar to track when they're going to say things they don't mean!"
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:41 AM on September 18, 2008


P.M.Syndrome = a bunch of possible symptoms, of which any individual sufferer may experience some, but not all. these symptoms are varied (physical, emotional etc) and from month to month the same woman may experience a different set of them.

it's sexist to talk about all women gittin' ka-razy during the pre-menstrual days, but yes, it's true some of us have experienced women who do it fact get violent blah blah blah etc.,

me, I don't get violent or angry (ok, no angrier than usual)
I get depressed and lazy and suffer from nigh-undeniable cravings for waffles.
and I get really clumsy. total butterfingers.

but I don't let it excuse my own bad behavior and most women I know would not do so either, so please don't assume our behavior is due to hormones and something over which we have no control (cause that's sexist). maybe we just feel like being a bitch to you today.
posted by supermedusa at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2008


I am back from crazytown. It was just a bunch of people riding bikes around and eating fluffernutters. posted by jessamyn

You sure you weren't at Burning Man?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:44 AM on September 18, 2008


shmegegge, I like most of what you said, but I don't think that "other than instances of extreme pain", PMS is bullshit. I barely get cramps any more, thanks to the Pill, and when I do, it's only on the first day. But starting 3-4 days prior, there is a significant change in my mood. It's not "crazytown", but it's there, and even being aware of it there's nothing I can do but apologize.

Of course. What I mean is not that women don't experience something, and I'm certainly not trying to say that nobody goes through something significant. All I really mean is that there's a myth of the Horrible Female Condition that is bullshit. The excuse men and women use to dismiss someone's feelings is bullshit.

Obviously, anyone whose hormones are fucking their shit up big time deserves sympathy and respect, whether its on a monthly basis or just one time. I know that there are women whose hormones act up (I really don't know what the medical terms are for these things) more strongly than they do for others. Where that's concerned, I really have nothing to add. Hormones are crazy, much love and take care of yourself.

But I also know that people then take that as an excuse to make broad aspersions about women. Or they act like simply because you're going through something hormonal that means they couldn't have done anything wrong, or any of a million other little bullshit things, and that's really what I'm talking about when I say PMS is bullshit. I am, in my mind, making a distinction between "people experience strong hormonal stuff" and "women get crazy, amirite?"

another anecdote: my current girlfriend (who is the bomb, by the way) has had times where she has gotten completely out of control mad at me. they're not often, once or twice since we've dated. one time it was because I wanted to buy tea at a movie theater (a little independent place, in case you're wondering what type of movie theater sells tea) and then noticed I had no cash on me. when she offered to buy it for me, I said "nah, don't worry about it." the rest of the night was ruined. just knock down drag out fighting over whether that was some macho bullshit because I didn't want a girl paying for my drink or something. the next day it was like "i'm sorry. PMS makes me crazy sometimes." "it's ok. stuff makes me crazy sometimes." "i still think you just don't want a girl buying you tea." and then we laughed. ultimately, she had a reason to be upset, whether she was having pms or not. and honestly, i wish that was how people saw it. maybe someone experiences a serious hormonal shift, and it results in them being raw, or angry, or whatever. fine. but they don't completely lose their minds, and everyone can simply understand that there was a real point there, and the hormones don't ruin that point.

so yeah, hope that clarifies things a bit. really, i hate PMS the excuse, not PMS the legitimate hormonal situation.
posted by shmegegge at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know, when I was in my teens and twenties I didn't believe in PMS. I thought it was a tool of the patriarchy, designed to oppress women (this was around the time of "women can't possibly ever go into combat because they get monthly infections" which fired me up a bit) and totally ridiculous. Then I got into my mid thirties and developed it myself. It was extremely educational and so bad for a while that my gyno put me on antidepressants for half of every month. Yeah, it's real. However. When I find myself curled up in a small fetal ball in the corner of my room thinking about how much I honestly, truly, hate my job, family and general life, I remember that things will in fact be better in a few days. PMS serves a useful function in my life, actually - sort of akin to an indicator species. The stuff I obsess over when PMSing may not be as dire as I think it is right then, but it does mean, usually, that there's a problem I'm overlooking. So I just try not to shoot anyone for the duration (mental note: avoid large chain stores, oh dear god) and then, when the blessed cramps bring relief, I can look at it all more clearly.

Oh and the actual site itself? Silly and pointless and mildly obnoxious.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


shmegegge: boyfriendablest comment ever.


Solon: I get your point, but I don't think the possible consequence of other people's sexist overgeneralizations is a reason not to share individual experiences. I'm sure you understand. I think the experience of womanhood is crazy diverse, and don't think people should insist that a woman gets PMS despite her sensible protestations to the contrary. However, there are pragmatic reasons to deny that you do, and I can also understand standing by a personal policy of "No, there are no hormonal vulnerabilities here; I do my will" as a feminist methodology. But, when a woman says she doesn't get PMS, because of the excuse vs. affliction dual cultural meaning, it sometimes is meant, and sometimes not meant, but read as braggadocio: "I'm not a bitch like those girls," and that is the unfortunate sexism-from-within that sexism-from-without causes.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


When you have a strong hereditary component for clinical depression, you become acutely aware of mood changes, and I could definitely track them by my cycle.

Exactly. When I suddenly start feeling doomsday depressed, anxious, tearful, and overly sensitive, my period magically appears three to four days later. My cycles are irregular enough that I can't predict when this will happen (i.e. there's no "Oh hey, it's Day 25, time to break out the crazy!). The length of time beforehand varies, the severity varies, but it's been going on for thirteen years now, and to attribute it to confirmation bias is pretty insulting.

Believe me, I'm not using it as an excuse to express emotions that are otherwise taboo. It's not a pleasant experience, it's not cathartic, and once it's over, good fucking riddance.

I agree the website is simplistic and dumb, but neither is PMS bullshit, nor are the "legitimate" symptoms solely physical. Google "serotonin + pms." Women are different. There is a distinction between an excuse and an explanation.
posted by granted at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


I don't get why some people get all bunched up about PMS. Yes, it's chemistry running roughshod inside a woman's bloodstream, but men are prone to being bitchy and irritable too. Lack of sleep, hangovers, sore backs, headaches, stress, etc etc. I've always found the best way to deal with it is treat everyone the same if they bitch at you for no good reason. I don't give a flying turd if you're a PMSing woman or a guy who didn't get laid last night; if you snap at me for no reason other than your current mood, I expect an apology afterwards and it had better be fucking sincere.
posted by illiad at 11:38 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


You guys are so LUCKY this wasn't posted last week.

*sets up "do not snark at AV" alert for three weeks time*
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:16 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I value my PMS. It's a warning to make sure I haven't run out of supplies. Mind, all I get are a few zits, so it's not the end of the world or anything.
he used to track his female employees/colleagues' approximate menstrual cycle in order to know exactly when bitches be trippin'
How on earth would he know? I guarantee not a single male at my workplace has the first notion when my cycle is and the only women who do are the ones I've lent supplies to. (I keep aspirin, bandages, cough drops, stamps, and a great many other useful items at my desk. This is known to my co-workers.)
When you have a strong hereditary component for clinical depression, you become acutely aware of mood changes, and I could definitely track them by my cycle.
Wheras my depression-related mood changes aren't on a 1-month rotation and dwarf any menstrual related changes. It's a YMMV thing.
It is odd that so many people are calling this thread sexist. How many of you who are calling it sexist have been in a serious long-term relationship?
Sweetie, you do know that some of the people in this thread are women, right? And thus don't need to have been in a relationship to know whereof they speak?
posted by Karmakaze at 12:26 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's chemistry running roughshod inside a woman's bloodstream, but men are prone to being bitchy and irritable too. Lack of sleep, hangovers, sore backs, headaches, stress, etc etc. I've always found the best way to deal with it is treat everyone the same if they bitch at you for no good reason. I don't give a flying turd if you're a PMSing woman or a guy who didn't get laid last night; if you snap at me for no reason other than your current mood, I expect an apology afterwards and it had better be fucking sincere.


You can't see me, but I am standing up in front of my desk with my arms flung up and I'm saying "TESTIFY!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:28 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


what kind of dude drinks tea but won't let a woman pay for it? she had a point, y'know.
posted by desjardins at 1:38 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


this is why i make sure she pays for all my tea from now on. i'm good like that.
posted by shmegegge at 1:46 PM on September 18, 2008


Lordy. I wish people would just learn to be aware of what's going on with their bodies.

PMS exists, though the term itself is laughable. It has some major features in common with other bodily conditions that can stress you out in sneak-attack fashion. Conditions like hunger, thirst, exhaustion, the ickiness of having just woken up from an overlong nap.

You may feel rotten as hell, for instance, because you've not eaten all day, and you might take that rotten feeling out on the town, and be a real jerk to everyone around you.... until you have dinner, and suddenly you feel much better. Then it dawns on you, "So that's why everybody's bullshit was grating so hard today! Being hungry makes me a jerk, I'll remember that!"

For me, at least, PMS is similar. Everyday life suddenly seems a whole lot more idiotic and infuriating. If you cultivate self-awareness, and you have a few cases of PMS under your belt, you'll realize what's happening, and start doing what you have to do to comfort your ailing body.

PMS is a funny case to me. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don't -- but very often, just a few days before my period, I'll have a huge upwelling of productive creativity. I don't hear a lot of women talk about this, unless they're of the embracing-the-earth-mother-within ilk. But I bet it's true of many women.
posted by Coatlicue at 3:40 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Over the past year or so I've developed the super-power to get ONE GIANT ZIT three days before my period. If you're interacting with me in meat-space, you can't NOT know that the Invasion of the Red Army is nigh. I mean, honestly, no amount of concealer in the world can cover up Mt. Vesuvius errupting from my forehead.

I like to refer to having my period as "The Occupation of Chairman Mao."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:51 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


"The Occupation of Chairman Mao" has a great double meaning, if you realise that "mao" (pronounced with the correct tonality) is mandarin for cat.

(it's onomatopaeic, yeh?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2008


Solon: I get your point, but I don't think the possible consequence of other people's sexist overgeneralizations is a reason not to share individual experiences.

I definitely am not trying to make that point, though in retrospect I realize I came across that way. I'm just saying that my dubiousness towards this website and the idea that all women experience (x symptoms) doesn't translate into dubiousness that some women experience (x symptoms.)

I wouldn't think of blaming you for other people's opinions.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:46 PM on September 18, 2008


No, I didn't think you were saying that, anyway. I got that. No worries. I didn't mean to contradict your comment, just expand it. Hmm. Replace "but" with "further?" Sorry to belabor this, but I certainly don't want to alienate you.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2008


No worries!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:45 AM on September 20, 2008


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