Aunt Flo: The Great Deceiver

"That time of the month" is actually a time of great joy for the ladies!



Guys, I think I may have been wrong about this whole “feminism” thing. It turns out that the ladies use what’s called their “periods” to manipulate men and act like perfect entitled princesses — at least, as perfect as you can be when you’re bleeding from your crotch!

Anyway, one of the ladies just spilled the beans in an interview with Jezebel. Rachel Kauder Nalebuff – that is so obviously a fake name – told Jezebel’s Anna North:

[F]rankly I … see [menstruation] as a free pass when it comes to getting out of a bind. Guys often know so little about menstruation that they assume the absolute worst. Maybe out of a fear of menstruation or, even more likely, a fear of seeming insensitive, guys tend to be incredibly generous when it comes to giving you freedom to tend to your “feminine needs.”

Menstruation? More like Men Ruination!!

I hereby renounce feminism.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on June 30, 2011, in disgusting women, evil women, feminism, I am making a joke, oppressed men, precious bodily fluids, vaginas. Bookmark the permalink. 177 Comments.

  1. Arks, just because you haven’t seen any evidence doesn’t mean there isn’t any. Are you a gynecologist? A medical doctor of any sort? A scientist who researches this? Are you a person who menstruates, or has ever menstruated? Do you even know anyone who menstruates?

    What evidence could you possibly be privy to?

  2. Hormones are things that cause physical changes and since hormones regulate periods and are not perfect, sometimes that does mean that women have real symptoms of pain and other problems.

  3. Oh, and I did a quick search in medical databases at my school, and while I’m no medical expert, the top hits do not suggest that the whole medical profession is pooh-poohing the existence of premenstrual syndrome:

    Title: A Qualitative Study to Determine the Efficacy of the Homeopathic Similimum in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome.
    Author: Komar, Tania
    Add.Author / Editor: Peck, K. S.
    Torline, J. R.
    Deroukakis, Marilena
    Citation: American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine Fall2006, Vol. 99 Issue 3, p195-203
    Year: 2006
    Abstract: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined as the cyclical occurrence of physical and psychological symptoms in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. It is characterized by irritability,mood swings, anxiety and depression, breast tenderness, breast swelling and weight gain. The study aimed to determine the efficacy of the homoeopathic similimum in the treatment of PMS. Eleven participants were recruited and nine completed the study. They participated in five homeopathic consultations over a period of four months. The researcher determined each participant’s individual homeopathic remedy by evaluating their unique symptoms. During each cycle participants were required to score their daily symptoms on a PMS chart, the results of which were analyzed using the one,way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Breast tenderness was ameliorated in the first month of treatment, while irritability, depression, breast swelling, abdominal bloating and food cravings improved in the second month of treatment. In the third month of treatment, the similimum was significantly effective in treating anxiety. The results of this study demonstrate that the homeopathic similimum is one method of investigating homeopathic treatment in PMS. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Resource: Alt-HealthWatch
    Title: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome.
    Author: Ozgoli, Giti
    Add.Author / Editor: Selselei, Elham Alsadat
    Mojab, Faraz
    Majd, Hamid Alavi
    Citation: Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine Aug2009, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p845-851
    Year: 2009
    Abstract: Background and objectives: During the reproductive years, most of menstruating women experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is incapacitating in up to 10% of cases. According to complicated etiology, various therapeutic approaches have been proposed. Because PMS is a chronic situation, special attention should be paid to the side-effects of pharmacological interventions. Herbal medicine is a recent favorable therapeutic approach owing to fewer side-effects. We aimed to determine the effect of Ginkgo biloba L. on the symptoms of PMS. Methods: This was a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted from November 2007 to April 2008. The students with PMS, living in dormitories of a medical university (Tehran), who met the inclusion criteria entered the study. The students filled out the daily symptom rating forms in two consecutive menstrual cycles. After we verified the PMS diagnosis in 90 students, the participants were randomly assigned to experime
    nt and placebo groups and took G. biloba L. tablets (containing 40 mg leaf extracts) or placebo three times a day from the 16th day of the menstrual cycle to the 5th day of the next cycle. Data were collected using daily symptom rating forms. Results: Eighty-five (85, 94.4%) participants completed the study. The two groups were similar in terms of demographic characteristics and baseline overall severity of symptoms. After the intervention, there was a significant decrease in the overall severity of symptoms and physical and psychologic symptoms in both Ginkgo (23.68%) and placebo (8.74%) groups ( p < 0.001). However, the mean decrease in the severity of symptoms was significantly more in the Ginkgo group compared to the placebo group ( p < 0.001). Conclusions: G. biloba L. can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. Further research on active ingredients and also the efficacy and safety of various doses and treatment durations of Ginkgo are required. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Health Source: Nursing
    Title: Adiposity and the Development of Premenstrual Syndrome.
    Author: Bertone-Johnson, Elizabeth R.
    Add.Author / Editor: Hankinson, Susan E.
    Willett, Walter C.
    Johnson, Susan R.
    Manson, JoAnn E.
    Citation: Journal of Women's Health (15409996) Nov2010, Vol. 19 Issue 11, p1955-1962
    Year: 2010
    Abstract: Background: Moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects 8%-20% of premenopausal women and causes substantial levels of impairment, but few modifiable risk factors for PMS have been identified. Adiposity may impact risk through the complex interaction of hormonal and neurochemical factors, but it is not known if adiposity increases a woman's risk of developing PMS. We have addressed these issues in a prospective study nested within the Nurses' Health Study 2. Methods: Participants were a subset of women aged 27-44 and free from PMS at baseline, including 1057 women who developed PMS over 10 years of follow-up and 1968 controls. Body mass index (BMI), weight change and weight cycling were assessed biennially via questionnaire. Results: We observed a strong linear relationship between BMI at baseline and risk of incident PMS, with each 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI associated with a significant 3% increase in PMS risk (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.05).

  4. p.s. homeopathic is not the same as placebo, remember!

  5. ahahahaha, love the barrage of information from people to Ark! I’ve actually seen a change–I never had any pms symptoms when younger, but an extremely variable period (sometimes eight weeks) — I’m in perimenopause now, but the last few years, definitely some mild PMS. I’ve had friends who had horrific symptoms, though, and yeah, can remember when the whole thing was dismissed by male medical professionals.

  6. I would like to point out, from the link PFWAE provided, “Women with depression may have more severe symptoms during the second half of their cycle and may need to have their medication adjusted. The suicide rate in women with depression is much higher during the second half of the menstrual cycle.”

    This is a *very* serious symptom of PMS. Does it sound overly dramatic to say that I could die from PMS? Because, I kind of could.

  7. Well obviously it was all in our little heads Ithiliana-after all if a man does not experience it, it did not happen!

    However I do like to make jokes about my sinus headaches being in my head…cuz it is true!

  8. It’s all part of the conspiracy xD

    I’m glad Arks around, I need him to clarify his advice from yesterday!😀

    So compliments scare off guys? So I shouldn’t compliment him?o_O What if he compliments me? I should be coy and not assertive? how do I let him know I’m interested, if I can’t express interest? o_o if I offer to buy him a drink afterwards like ppl suggest is that a rly bad idea?😮

  9. There is plenty of research on PMS, but it doesn’t mean it’s any good. What you have to remember is that we’re talking about feminist science, not real science. Science is about looking at the evidence, and drawing conclusions. Feminism is about starting with a conclusion, then looking for evidence to support it. When you combine the two, you get faulty results.

    Fact is that unless feminists can come up with a definition of the cause and symptoms of PMS, and conduct double-blind tests showing cyclical mood variations, it is as good as imaginary.

  10. Victoria von Syrus

    Does anyone else get really hungry right before their period? Because I totally do. It’s really odd, because I’ll be ravenous for a day or so before the show starts, and then for the next three days I can have like, a sandwich and a muffin a day and be perfectly fine. Then I go back to eating regularly. Part of me wonders if this is healthy, but then again, most of my diet plan consists of ‘eat when hungry, don’t eat when not.’

  11. You could, you know, read the actual cited studies to see the methodology but that requires work and that is hard so just dismiss them with a “oh they are feminists (that I never bothered to check to see if they are)” Arks.

    Being stupid is really easy-using one’s brain hard. I see why you are in favor of the former.

  12. Lady Syrus, I totally get hungry right before/during my period! And I crave sweet things. It’s weird! I feel like a a stereotype, but my body demands brownies, so once a monthish I make it brownies. (That I then feed to everyone else. And gross them out by calling them period brownies. =3)

    And I think it’s probably pretty healthy to just eat what your body tells you to eat, even if that’s occasionally a bunch of brownies. *shrugs*

    Advice on good nutrition changes so often, I think it’s wisest to just listen to your body!

  13. People who complain about their PMS are told there is no PMS, people perceived as women who complain about pretty much anything else have a good chance of being told their problem is PMS. It is funny, but sad. “I have black outs and I don’t drink.” “Stop bothering me about your PMS”. “I have severe abdominal pains the few days before my period”. “Stop making things up. PMS does not exist!”

  14. I also notice that if a woman says something in anything less then a pleasant tone or complains it is PMS.

    So basically it does not exist except when convenient for men.

  15. Feminism is about starting with a conclusion, then looking for evidence to support it. When you combine the two, you get faulty results.

    That doesn’t sound like what Arks is doing at all xD

  16. Victoria von Syrus

    @ Sarah: Nice to know I’m not alone! I don’t think I particularly crave sweet things, I’m just ravenously hungry for a day or so. Maybe I should pay attention to that. For the most part, I’m happy to let my body tell me when it’s hungry and when it’s not, and I figure that since this has been a pattern for a decade and a half with no ill effects, it’s probably not a bad thing. I figure the ravenous/not so hungry evens out in the long run, anyway.

    I always thought it was odd, because it was never really one of symptoms of PMS that people talk about. I do get mild cramps, but I actually rather welcome them – it’s my body’s way of warning me that I should have some tampons on hand in four to six hours🙂

  17. “Once a month, some women act like men act all the time.”
    — Robert A. Heinlein

  18. Captain Bathrobe

    I’m still thinking Ark is trolling. I’m not sure even NWOslave is that willfully obtuse.

  19. ‘I’m so glad that my boyfriend isn’t weirded out by my period. Sometimes I have excrutiating period cramps and he lies with me and strokes my hair until they pass. The first time it happened, he called his mom (who is a nurse) to make sure I’m okay.’

    That made me ‘awww, cuuute’ out loud. What a sweet and nurturing thing to do. :3

  20. I seem to botch up mechanical things during my period-I feel like I have trouble driving (my little red Ford truck is a stick shift, and I clash gears during my period), I get klutzier in terms of dropping things (which I’m doing more anyway because of arthritis!), and I run into things more (NOT while driving, but while walking, thank heavens). I say klutziER beause I tend toward that anyway, spending too much time in my head and not enough time noticing say, where the door is. I cannot think of any appetite things involving my period or the period before it ahahah though….

  21. Ithiliana, that is because your silly woman brain can’t handle such complex tasks while bleeding at the same time!

  22. theLaplaceDemon

    Arks: For your reading pleasure…

    Eriksson O, Wall A, Marteinsdottir I, et al. (2006). “Mood changes correlate to changes in brain serotonin precursor trapping in women with premenstrual dysphoria”. Psychiatry Res 146 (2): 107–16. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2005.02.012. PMID 16515859.

    “NIH Press Release-Hormones Trigger PMS Symptoms – 01/21/1998”.

    But also, a PMS-is-socially-constructed theory:

    Rodin M (1992). “The social construction of premenstrual syndrome”. Soc Sci Med 35 (1): 49–56. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(92)90118-A. PMID 1496412.

  23. Sarah: Clearly!

    And clearly my silly ladybrain kept me from understanding the deep profound truth of that statement!

    My partner says that she thinks during the weeks women faculty (or staff) are having their periods, we should get to go around and kick the male faculty (or administrators).

  24. Demon: but all scholarship is controlled by TEH feminsts, so is unworthy!

    Plus, in my understanding of the “social construction” theory–in this context–saying PMS has a social construction or is socially constructed does not deny the realities of experiences, but is a way of cultural explanation–i.e. at one point, people who behaved in X way were culturally understood to be possessed by demons. NOw we have different socially constructed explanations for X behavior–i.e. schizophrenia for example.

  25. theLaplaceDemon

    Yeah, the stuff out there on PMS ranges from the mild “we interpret it through a cultural lens” to “it’s all a placebo effect because you think you’re supposed to feel it.”

    I think that the evidence for PMS is actually pretty good, particularly the serotonin and hormone stuff. It’s probably not a single cause but rather a cluster of things that might make you feel “ick” all happening at about the same time.

    Of course, that’s just my silly ladybrain talking. It evolved to think about duvets and home cleaning products and lipstick. If I don’t stop thinking about all this manly science soon I might develop hysteria or something.

  26. @theLapaceDemon:

    And that would be a bad thing… why?

  27. I have awful PMS cramps the day before my period. It’s awful. My boyfriend helps by bringing me water (he won’t bring me soda, because he read somewhere the soda makes it worse), and popcorn. I am so lucky that I have him. Not only does he get me pads when I need them, he volunteered to be my “Alternate” at Planned Parenthood. This means he will go and pick up my birth control for me if I can’t. He is awesome!

  28. Ahh, Alice Madness Returns looks so awesome! I played the first game and really enjoyed it, altho there were many horrible unfair jumping puzzles…

  29. theLaplaceDemon

    @Kirbywarp – haha! excellent.

  30. In re: PMS as a social construct, I think (IANA doctor or anything approaching one, just so you know) it’s possible that PMS is a culture-bound syndrome – that in a different culture with different attitudes towards women and menstruation we would experience it differently and it might not be a problem.

    I mean, obviously your mix of hormones changes throughout your cycle, and hormones influence behaviour and mood and pain, but I bet that if menstruation and menstrual blood weren’t basically taboo (seriously, the way a lot of men react if they see or touch the blood or anything with the blood on it? Like it has the magical power to make their dicks fall off) PMS wouldn’t be so bad.

    So in order to test this hypothesis we must run an extremely long term double-blind placebo controlled study. We will divide society into, say, four groups: one explicitly misogynistic and patriarchal, one somewhat misogynist and patriarchal but in denial about it (kind of like now), one feminist Utopia, and one feminist Utopia that claims to be misogynist and patriarchal (kind of like what MRAs think now is like). Then we’ll measure levels of PMS in each society and see who has the most/worst/has it at all.

    I think it’ll take about 500 years and involve terraforming a couple of planets. Who’s good at writing NIH grants?😄

  31. theLaplaceDemon

    “Who’s good at writing NIH grants? XD”

    I’m on it! How much should I put in the budget for space travel?

  32. You can’t really do a full double-blind test on the psychological effects of PMS because you can’t reliably create a group of women who do not know if they are premenstrual. I mean, sometimes a few people don’t know because they don’t track these things or are irregular, but most women have a reasonably good idea.

  33. Plymouth, on the completely misogynist/patriarchal planet, no one would talk about PMS or periods ever. All knowledge of menstruation would be surpressed. When a girl started to menstruate, her doctor would tell her that she had a mysterious and shameful illness and should never tell anyone about it. And mothers would be forbidden on pain of death from correcting them.

    We would measure PMS levels by asking randomly selected women to keep pain/mood diaries (we’ll tell them it’s an important survey for the Ministry of Motherhood) and rummaging through their garbage/laundry to line up the diaries with their periods.

    See, I’m a brilliant scientest! Where’s my Nobel prize?

    LaPlace Demon, I suppose we should work on that warp drive thing before filling out that line. I’ve got some free time this week, I should be able to knock up a prototype by Friday.

  34. The Facts:

    Of overall chlamydia diagnoses reported in 2009, the rate of infection among women was almost three times higher than the rate among men: 592.2 cases per 100,000 population compared to a rate of 219.3 among men. This is thought to be due to the higher number of women screened for chlamydia. For gonorrhea, the rate among women was 105.5 (cases per 100,000 population) compared to a rate of 91.9 among men. The rate of primary and secondary stage syphilis was higher among men – 7.8 cases (per 100,000) were reported for men in 2009, compared to 1.4 for women.

  35. @AWS:


  36. Haha! Oh suck it up you silly women. I’m menstruating while operating heavy machinery right now!

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