When we talk about hurdles women face everyday, we mention gender disparity, the wage gap, harassment at work, etc. What we almost never mention, are our bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a women. I love my body and the fact that I have the ability to give birth to another human being makes me feel more powerful than all the Obamas of this world. But, this also means that I am an unwilling slave to my body.
I don’t know if its because of the embarrassment or whether we see it as some sort of weakness, we almost never mention how this monthly routine affects our mood.
You will not be surprised to know that originally PMS was seen as an imagined disease. Women who reported its symptoms were more than often told that it was “all in their head”. Only in the 19th century did researchers start studying the Premenstrual Syndrome.
PreMenstrual Syndrome is mostly a collection of emotional symptoms, with or without physical symptoms, related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Welcome to the world of irritability, dysphoria- in other words unhappiness, anxiety, difficulty in falling asleep (insomnia), mood swings, increased emotional sensitivity, and changes in libido – ALL for (excuse my language) no God damn reason.
Are you sympathizing with us yet?
If anything, women are more powerful because with all the external and internal crap going on, in just a few decades we are heading companies, running countries and basically doing everything we were told is “not our job”.
Can PMS be used a reason to justify criminal actions?
A woman charged with murder who had shown ‘cyclic pattern to her violent behavior’, was found guilty with the plea of diminished responsibility since being PMS forced her to ‘act out of character’ turning her into a ‘raging animal’.
Another woman with no history of crime, after getting in a fight with her lover (a married man) drove her car over him.
Both these women had their sentences reduced due to their severe PMS.
The controversy that surrounds PMS especially affects feminists who are faced with a dilemma. Although they don’t want severe PMS sufferers to be dismissed and categorized as crazy or neurotic, the main concern will always be that people might just go ahead and generalize, thinking the same for all women.
While I leave you in a pickle, here’s a short video featuring the famous YouTube celeb iiSuperwomanii on how contrary to contemporary assumption, PMS is not experienced when you get your period, PMS settles in 7 to 14 days before you date.
Written by Prachi Tyagi & Shubhangini Arora
sources: wikipedia, “PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME
(PMS) IN THE COURTROOM” http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/proceedings/16/easteal2.pdf, Picture courtesy- http://solariswholehealth.com/