‘The PMS Buddy’ – ug

// 10 September 2008

A while back we briefly linked a service called Mon.thly.Info, which helps keep track of when your period’s due.

The PMS Buddy is the horrible, sexist version!

The blurb:

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.

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.

What’s more, we will not only keep you informed, but will give you some free advice on what to do about it. With PMSBuddy.com, there is no reason to ever be blindsided by PMS again.

PMSBuddy.com – Saving relationships, one month at a time!

However, it’s the little details on the website that really ticked me off. There’s just something about their ‘national alert’ meter, tracking the number of women apparently due their periods, that makes me feel ‘irrationally’ angry and annoyed!

nationalalert.gif

Via Feministing

Comments From You

Zenobia // Posted 10 September 2008 at 6:08 pm

Ouch! Check out some of the PMS stories

“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 . You got it ! She started it yesterday morning got my coffee newspaper and just did my morning routine.Crazy showed up and decide that I did not do enough to help out And I was a lier screaming, hollering just nut’s.Finally after 20 min.of this I just said you are an F-ing Idiot . Walk away and got ready for work . 29 years 3 kid’s all raised properly and never been out of work for 32 years make 75 k per year nice house and she hasn’t had to work in 20 years. Can’t wait for menopause . Friend’s will help you move. Good friend’s will help you get rid of a body LOL” (italics mine)

What a nice man!

Anne Onne // Posted 10 September 2008 at 9:14 pm

The menstrual cycle is a hard thing to balance discussion of, in that on the one hand it is painful, draining, can cause a lot of problems for women, and gets us a lot of additional crap from men and other women, whilst on the other hand it is a natural part of having a healthy female body (for many, but not all women).

Coverage of it needs to be balanced, because it’s easy to swing to either the ”it’s a natural Earth-Mother thing! Not problematic at all!” (and marginalise women who feel that it’s not right for them, or who have a lot to deal with bioligically) or go to the other ”Women losing it! All hell break loose! Women are emotional and physical wrecks on their period!’ viewpoint, which frames menstruation as a pathological problem, and frames women as irrational or weak when menstruating.

That said, this is in the second camp. Here, women are something akin to a nuclear device that goes off once a month, something to be feared and avoided. It’s not bad enough that it encourages men to follow their female aquaintances’ menstrual cycle

Pinpointing the times at which women might be more irritable (which really means they are less patient and take less bullshit, not that they’re paranoid or irrational) won’t help women to be more respected the rest of the time, and it opens up the door to a more concrete excuse to disrespect women if they ARE on their periods or pre-menstrual. If ‘hey, you must be on the rag!’ is already a problem women have to deal with whenever they have an issue, it’s not going to get better if their male colleague/boyfriend/etc may now say ‘Hey, you’re on the rag, chill, you’re just being emotional and hormonal and all…’ which certainly won’t help women be seriously talked to, or treated like a person.

Men aren’t less ‘hormonal’ than women: they have HUGE changes in their hormone levels throughout the day, but nobody questions their judgement based on their hormone status. In fact, a lot of guys can be opinionated, demanding, or just plain aggressive, and they are not taken less seriously, especially if they ARE angry. They’re not seen as irrational when they get emotional (yes, anger is definitely an emotion. Even when men do it.) It’s only when a woman has a gripe that the ’emotional/hormonal card’ gets played. and I’m sick of it.

The idea that men should require reminders is pretty absurd, I mean, are they living on mars?

Let’s look at their language, too: ‘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.’

Ah, so it may seem for no reason at all. Which means that there may well be a very good reason, that the baffled men the site is aimed at just haven’t grasped. Of course, the site assumes men are so dense they couldn’t figure out what the reason for monthly mood changes might be without a reminder… But the reason really isn’t what they think it is. The time of the month doesn’t make women more sensitive, but it makes them less patient. If men aren’t picking up the reasons, it’s from not paying attention, and I can imagine why a long-suffering woman might lose her temper with a guy so dense that he doesn’t notice any problem until he gets screamed at about it. It’s also a dood example of The Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too- if men were socialised to pay attention to relationships, to allow themselves to invest more emotional energy in relationships, and to not see emotions and problems as a foreign language that only women speak, we’d get less irate women at the end of their tethers blowing up at them.

I’m also really surprised at the idea that women would want to ”give people in [their] life a heads-up of when [they] might be feeling a bit irritable without having an awkward conversation.” Because I don’t see why it’s relevant.

It may just be my experience, but if I look back after a heated exchange and feel I was unjust, I apologise. I can’t say I’ve had huge problems with being a raging PMS machine, and in my many dealings with women, I can’t say that PMS has been a huge issue, or that scores of women are running around being very angry. We all (men included) have reasons for getting angry that are complicated, and it’s worth paying attention to people when they have an issue to complain about. Sure, they may be less patient for a reason, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t got a point. Sadly, the ‘irrational, hormonal woman’ card is used to marginalise the feelings of women, often with women themselves declaring that women are just ‘irrational’ and should be ignored at certain times. Which really irks me, because it’s so bloody convenient to make excuses and ignore dealing with a problem by insisting someone is not REALLY angry, even though that does nothing to solve what is probably a long-term issue.

More importantly, I try to keep myself accountable for my behaviour. The current cliche that women can’t control their rage and are irrational once a month is just as self-fulfilling as the ‘men don’t do emotion and are dumb’ stereotype: it encourages women to blame behaviour on their period, when in fact they felt less inhibited, but not compelled to do something. Clearly, people are human, and being tired/hungry/having something else on your mind can also wreak havoc with patience, and everyone makes mistakes or loses it. Anger management and thinking about how we act is something we would ALL benefit from, men as much as, if not more than women, because anger is seen as the only acceptable male emotion.I don’t think we should demonise anger, or try to repress it, but to learn how to channel it, and how to examine the reasons behind the emotion.

The point I was trying to make here is that irritability can be manageable, which I do not mean to take away from my point that women’s irritability around a certain time (which does not affect all women anyway) is not irrational. Nor is it something to be ashamed of, since we all get short-tempered and tired now and then. The problem is that irritability is treated as some sort of female reserve, where short-tempered women are ‘irrational’ whereas short-tempered men are ‘intense’, ‘brooding’ and considered masculine and powerful.

Also, I feel Liss at Shakesville’s

Feminism 101 entry on Periods is perfect, because it highlights just why playing up the idea of women being irrational around the time of their periods is sexism, and it explains it well. If anyone reads the above, and doesn’t realise why feminists find the way periods are framed to make women look irrational, read Liss’s post.

Nina // Posted 10 September 2008 at 9:33 pm

The sad thing about the site is that it doesn’t need to be sexist. If it wasn’t for the discussion forum and the ‘national alert’ meter it wouldn’t be. PMS is something that should be tracked by men, it does affect women’s moods and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that. Treating it like a joke sucks, after all if it actually was one this site wouldn’t exist.

ConservaTorygirl // Posted 10 September 2008 at 9:39 pm

Are you sure you aren’t just due on?

Johanne // Posted 11 September 2008 at 11:04 am

I checked their site and found this:

“Title: goes fu-ing crazy at the drop of a hat

By: Just me

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 . You got it ! She started it yesterday morning got my coffee newspaper and just did my morning routine.Crazy showed up and decide that I did not do enough to help out And I was a lier screaming, hollering just nut’s.Finally after 20 min.of this I just said you are an F-ing Idiot . Walk away and got ready for work . 29 years 3 kid’s all raised properly and never been out of work for 32 years make 75 k per year nice house and she hasn’t had to work in 20 years. Can’t wait for menopause . Friend’s will help you move. Good friend’s will help you get rid of a body LOL”

Oh, Mr Just me, I’m so impressed that you didn’t cheat or anything! And you work! So she’s got no right to complain! It all makes sense, now. Arse.

Zenobia // Posted 11 September 2008 at 12:12 pm

Oh, Mr Just me, I’m so impressed that you didn’t cheat or anything! And you work! So she’s got no right to complain! It all makes sense, now. Arse.

I know, kind of gives you an insight into 99% of the causes of so-called PMS, doesn’t it? I mean, men have hormonal cycles and they’re not encouraged to bombard themselves with chocolates and have their girlfriends buy them new Y-fronts to make them feel better.

It’s like Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir never existed, isn’t it?

Anne Onne // Posted 11 September 2008 at 12:35 pm

Ahahaa the ‘I’m not a murderer so shut up or I’ll give you something to complain about’ type.

Apparently being a paragon of masculine virtue amounts to:

-not cheating

-holding down a job

someone should tell these creeps that’s pretty much the bare minimum. i.e. that not cheating on your partner is pretty much what people sign up for and consider decent. It’s the most basic form of courtesy in a monogamous relationship. It’s what he expects her to do as a minimum (where are her cookies for not straying?).

Most people look for partners who are financially stable, so keeping a job, whilst good, is not an indicator of how much one contributes to a relationship, or whether one is a decent person. Plenty of arseholes still manage a job.

If I was him, I’d be more worried about the fact that he values HIS work , and sees HIMSELF as having raised three kids, but sees her as someone who ‘hasn’t had to work in 20 years’. Sure. Because, you know, staying at home raising your sprogs whilst you work isn’t work. Housework isn’t work.* So if a man lifts a finger, it counts as something to note, whereas women’s contributions are swept under the carpet

I’ll bet that since he says she ‘hasn’t had to’ work, he wouldn’t agree with her working even if she wanted to, unless they absolutely needed it financially. I have no respect for hypocrites, especially men who complain that their wife does nothing all day, but wouldn’t want her to work or earn more than him. Or men who complain that women take forever to get ready, or spend too much money on fashion/diet too much, and then insist that they expect their wife to look stunning for them.

*Sure, some women have cleaners and nannies, but most women still do most of the housework, and the same argument is applied to women regardless of how much work they actually do at home.

Essen // Posted 11 September 2008 at 1:03 pm

Quite apart from anything else, this stupid site completely fails to take into account that women experience their periods differently and have different emotional reactions – and can have different reactions from month to month!

I can get very depressed a few days before I’m due on – weepy, not wanting to see people, thinking I’m shit – and then other months I have no ‘symptoms’ at all and then other months I’m short-tempered (NOT ‘irrational’, just less patient and less inclined to take any crap and more inclined to get my own way). Putting all of that under OMIGOD MONTHLY TIMEBOMB GUYS STAY OUT THE WAY! is ridiculous.

Faith // Posted 11 September 2008 at 1:04 pm

“PMS is something that should be tracked by men, it does affect women’s moods and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that. Treating it like a joke sucks, after all if it actually was one this site wouldn’t exist.”

Men have no business tracking women’s menstrual cycles; my menstrual cycle is no one’s business unless I wish it to be their business. If a woman wants to tell a man in her life that she’s experiencing PMS, that’s perfectly fine. However, this site is nothing more than another way to attempt to control women and mock their bodies natural functions.

Cara // Posted 11 September 2008 at 1:35 pm

Exactly – there is probably a VERY GOOD REASON why a woman who is so-called “PMS-ing” is angry!

Yeah, men have hormones too – I read that their testosterone levels rise if their football team wins and fall if it loses, for example – yes I know not all men like football, and some women do, but you know what I mean.

Hormones may affect how you react to situations but they sure don’t suddenly cause huge feelings out of nowhere!

Aimee // Posted 11 September 2008 at 4:30 pm

Oh my christ! There are no words… I am disgusted.

Serian // Posted 11 September 2008 at 5:19 pm

I don’t know. I was ready to defend the website. It could be really helpful for people who have really strong PMS-several women have been killed partially due to the hormones of PMS. And I wouldn’t complain if people knew I was PMSsy so they were prepared and could take account of that.

But then i actually looked at the website, took in the “sexy lingerie” advert, the “flowers are kryptonite”, the stories, the anti bloat and I sighed.

This could have been a really useful website. PMS is a part of women’s lives that sucks for many of them and it should be treated with sympathy and they could have done that,

But this just mocks periods. It doesn’t do anything for girlfriends, wives, daughters, friends. It just turns it into a big joke.

*sigh*

Alex T // Posted 11 September 2008 at 7:31 pm

I really wish they would get the bloody (no pun intended) facts right. PMS stand for Pre Menstrual Syndrome, of which PMT – Pre Menstrual Tension – is a symptom. PMS includes heavy, sore breasts, water retention, spots and loads of other stuff. I’m sure many women and girls (not me, sadly!) get PMS without PMT. Why would anyone lanuch a site not even knowing what the name of it means? Idiots.

Qubit // Posted 11 September 2008 at 11:26 pm

Is there a link between PMS and how much people bottle up emotions for the rest of the month? It seems logical that there could be. I need to sort out my moodiness and anger in general.

Soirore // Posted 12 September 2008 at 12:44 pm

I agree that the potential for this site to be inoffensive is there and that it jsut fails and misunderstands the issues.

I know my partner keeps track of my cycles so that he can be extra kind to me when I have PMS (I get extreme mood swings with it) and be prepared.

There was an article on BBC news also about how women are more likely to get nightmares when they are pre-menstrual due to heat changes in the body. I get very bad nightmares and hadn’t linked it to the PMS before this. It’s nice to know that it can be seen as a normal side effect and not reason to worry. And it was my partner who found the article for me. I think in this way it is useful to have someone caring about your emotional and psychological well-being. It needn’t be seen as controlling women’s bodies when the information is used only in relation to those women we care about and in order to help them not yourself.

Obviously monitoring national alert levels and the cycles of people you are not intimate with is completely wrong.

Kitty // Posted 19 May 2009 at 6:04 pm

Ugh.

I get PMS pretty bad. But it doesn’t make me IMPOSSIBLE to be wiht, I just snap at everyone and get stressy. It may seem like it’s ‘for no reason at all’, but there fully is one.

That site is just sexist and sick.

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