January 28, 2010

It’s Not PMS, It’s Your Mother


THAT’S NOT THE TITLE of a sitcom. (Though it could be –think I should sell the idea?) I once said that to someone. Meant it too. And I’m so proud of the way I restrained myself from going for his jugular when the oh-so-patronizing “Honey, it’s PMS” (hand pat included) was tossed my way, like a puppy receiving a biscuit.

Even as I write this, I am NOT, repeat NOT PMSing. I understand there are some women who experience physical and emotional fluctuations in the days preceding Leak Week. I, fortunately, am not one of them. I do not cramp, I do not moan and I certainly don’t have my menstrual cycle whirring my tear ducts into overdrive. Tell me I’m PMSing, though, and I’ll ask you how you’d like your eyeballs for breakfast.  (And yes, I vaguely get the self-fulfilling prophecy here.)

When exactly did it become kosher to fling PMS in a woman’s face? In my experience, the worse the man’s behavior has been, the more likely he is to resort to the PMS argument, probably in the fervent hope that the woman in question will fall prey to the crazed hormones theory and let him off the hook. And in that case, not only have you offended my estrogen, but also my IQ.

The man-rational/woman-irrational stereotype has been done to death and Ballistic Betsy is so 1980s, so what’s next? Whatever happened to disappearing behind the newspaper? Can we have escapism back, please? It’s less messy, for one thing. And everybody goes to Hell with their eyeballs intact.

What about you folks? Have any of you been at the receiving end of pseudo PMSympathy and how do you typically respond?

Oh, and while we’re talking about our bodies, here’s Go Girl that tells us not to take life sitting down. Now can we finally scrap penis envy from those textbooks?

20 comments to It’s Not PMS, It’s Your Mother

  • Nayantara

    I loooooved the title! You bet! My gynec said this to me once when I was complaining abt PMS while on the Pill, she told me it was my husband’s foolishness, not hormones!!

    If anything I think all that testosterone clouds some men’s ability to think clearly or behave rationally:)

  • “Leak Week”. That’s pretty funny…

  • I generally don’t have the guts to ask whether you’d “like your eyeballs for breakfast.” But I think I’ll try that from now on. =]

  • Good post. I am emailing it a friend who I think should read this.

  • Resurrected

    Yeah,this article is really cool.But friend u can include me into this category of PMS’n gals,if ever there is such a thing like that.Well i do feel this emotional & physical turmoil in those days.Well sometimes i feel by myself that i’m overreacting to certain situations.Despite that,if someone ever comes to me with that kind of sympathy when i’m in a dispute,certainly it will make me crazy.Moreover whatever i do have,still proud being a woman.Whether in PMS or not, judge my behaviour on the measure of hormones or on the measure of female emotions,it will really make me nuts.

  • Sparkling

    Totally, and I repeat, I totally loved this post! 🙂
    And now I don’t wanna sound like one of those, but s’times I feel, if the reason that they normally want to give us to save themselves from not being looked upon as stupid for lack of words is PMS, then what friggin is their excuse?

  • “not only have you offended my estrogen, but also my IQ”
    love that line! i think it’s become ‘in fashion’ for a lot of girls these days to talk about PMSing like it’s something so normal…. and maybe even a little cool.
    i’ll confess, i’ve made that ‘excuse’ a couple of times too!

    love this post, and absolutely agree.

  • Agreed that men with that patronizing ‘O-you-poor-woman-you-ranting-because-of-your-PMS’ is irritating. But you have to give it to *some* women who scream at their men for no reason and apologize the next day citing PMS as a reason. It’s a two way street!

  • Venkatesh L

    LMAO (Laughing My Arse Off)

    I have this woman for a friend (known her 19 years now) (every)once in a while our phone conversations start with “I’m PMS-ing so watch what u say today.” She’s the kind that’s learned to fight her battles(till the end) and she does not take and give a shit about most thing feminists most willingly do. She’s not the threatening kind, she’s the executing kind. As for the eye(balls) for breakfast….they’d be served with toast and mashed potatoes. PMS-ing is ok, using it as anesxcuse is ok too, and men screwing up, c’mon we all do. Isn’t all this a little too trivial……..

    ….There are far more important issue to spend time and energy on. On the other hand i think its OK to waste some of both else I wud have bother to write this i guess.

    Women can do, those who can’t become feminists.

    Godspeed. V.

  • Preeti

    Venkatesh, If you dislike feminism so much, why are you wasting your time commenting on a blog that explicitly declares itself as being a feminist-friendly space. Don’t you have better things to do with your time, like duh, fighting for world peace? And exactly what is this supposed to mean — “There are far more important issue to spend time and energy on. On the other hand i think its OK to waste some of both else I wud have bother to write this i guess.” Who’s PMSing here, I wonder?

  • LOL! I loved this post!
    First visit here and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts!

    I do agree on this – PMS is completely overrated and very irritating especially when a guy uses this as an excuse to cover up his behaviour!

  • pooja

    loved d post!gt me thinkin……

  • I do tend to come across as irritable during THAT period (not just pre, but during also) because honestly, hormones or not the whole bleeding thing sucks. But as I tell my husband it’s just that I get annoyed by and respond to irritations that I would otherwise swallow not that he is not irritating me. So he should be grateful for the times I roll my eyes and move on instead of cursing the times I justifiably don’t.

  • Dilnavaz Bamboat

    Nayantara: 🙂 That said, the Pill can be quite a culprit.

    Ms. Tea Eyed: An accurate description, wouldn’t you say?

    ariyathe: Do. And let me know how it goes!

    Indian Homemaker: Thanks. Spread the love.

    Resurrected: Oh, I don’t discount it totally. I only speak for myself.

    Sparkling: You ask them that and let me know. 🙂

    Blabberblah: Naughty, naughty! Using it to your advantage. 😛

    Manasa: I hardly meant this post to be a blanket statement on behalf of all women. I don’t doubt for a second that there may be women who do that. I just don’t know any.

    Venkatesh L: So you found this funny AND trivial. This *should* be the title of a sitcom in that case.

    Anindita: True. So many women of the generation before ours are feminists without the accompanying label.

    Preeti: Let go. It’s trivial. 😉

    Pixie: Thanks, Pixie. Do visit us again!

    pooja: Glad.

    The Bride: And what does he have to say to that? 🙂

  • I do tend to get PMS but honestly,I am sick of being accused of it every time i have an opinion.only I get to decide and declare when I am PMSing!no one else.

  • As a famous person once said, “PMS is the only time of the month, when I can actually be myself”! When someone blames my PMS, I say, “Don’t blame your inadequacies on me!” Or, “Thank God for PMS, at least now I can tell you that your condescending attitude sucks!” Or, “Yea, SO?” Men and women have to stop taking advantage of this one, really last century!

  • LOL 🙂 …interesting post. Not sure how interesting my wife will find it though, considering she is the one who gives me the PMS goli during ‘Leak week’ 😉

  • Joshua

    men too suffer from some sort of PMS,recent studies say, its called IMS -Irritable Male Syndrome .

  • LOL! So annoying, though, that every single thing gets blamed on PMS. Loved your title!

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