Drink your milk!

PMS does not necessarily affect mood. I have never perceived any alteration of my mood connected to my menstrual cycle.

First sentence is, I think, correct. The second sentence is philosophically problematic for you're not judging from an unaffected neutral position.

Just because a particular woman might be teary during this time does not mean she is unable to function, make intelligent decisions, and remain responsible for her actions.

That depends on the degree of chemical imbalance within the brain at any particular moment. For most women the imbalance isn't severe enough to impact on cognitive function but we can't make their reactions the universal response.

The Happy Feminist

As for your first point agreed. That is why I said I have never "perceived" an alteration in mood. Of course, if I if the alterations I may have are imperceptible to me, then they are essentially irrelevant.

As for women who literally do lose rationality due to hormonal issues -- it's gotta be a teeeny amount.


Of course, if I if the alterations I may have are imperceptible to me, then they are essentially irrelevant.

The point I was trying to make, and don't confuse the following analogy as making an equivalence for that's not what I'm arguing, is that just like a mildly tipsy driver thinks she is completely unaffected by alcohol and fully capable of driving, that is until she is pulled over and subjected to an objective assessment where her loss of function is assessed. My point is that from her vantage point she is unaffected but she's in no position to judge. This is the same dynamic we see with PMS - the sufferer thinks all is normal but those who are not affected by the PMS often notice the change.

The Happy Feminist

Yeah. That hasn't happened with me-- nor have I ever noticed a change in women with whom I have lived.

Joel Monka

The jokes are so common that it made a presumption of harrassment one time when I was working as the in-house printer for the Marion County Health Dept. Someone from public relations was working with me on a brochure I would be printing, and asked what I would call the shade of red she had a sample of, and I replied, "PMS 185". She was quite cold the rest of the meeting, and later I was told she had made a complaint against me for my inapropriate and unwanted joke. Turns out she was unaware that to a printer, PMS means Pantone Matching System (tm), where all colors are broken down into a number system that relates to formulae for mixing the ink. She did apologize when it was explained to her, though, and we had a laugh because I had never realized how it might sound outside my specialized world to be talking about PMS all the time.


Yet the pop-psych belief that men are ruled by their hormones all the time (the ones blamed for aggressive behavior or rude sexual conduct) aren't seen as something that makes them 'crazy', 'irrational' or obviously unfit for responsibility.


Joel - that is hilarious! I work for an ad agency, and I really enjoyed that little industry story. What a funny misunderstanding!

I always get terrible cramps right before my period as well as achy legs and other miserable symptoms. I realized I am very blessed and probably unusual in this: for me, pregnancy has been SO much easier than getting my period every month!

Happy - just wanted to let you know I linked to you today. http://www.xanga.com/miller_schloss/508191818/the-great-big-blog-world.html (And Erin at Unfolding Moments also had nice things to say about you in the comments section.)


men are ruled by their hormones

It's not the presence of hormones but their flucuation that matters. Look at how male behavior changes over the course of decades as their testosterone levels change with aging. Women have greater variability in their blood chemical composition than do men and the variability cycles on a monthly basis in addition to age related variability.

The Happy Feminist

Well, no, the presence of hormones DOES matter since much male confrontational aggression, predatory sexual behavior and foolish risk taking is attributed to the presence of testosterone especially in young men. The distinction you are making is that the mechanism by which hormones cause certain results is different.

The Happy Feminist

Thank you SO much for your nice comments on your blog, MS (not sure whether to call you by your first name here?)

What you wrote really means a lot to me.

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