I'm puzzling over a particular question which brings my feminist self into conflict with my candid observer self.
The question is as follows:
Is it okay to talk about the fact that (many/most/all) women get utterly deranged just before their periods?
Anyone who is a woman or who has ever known a woman can report that significant changes in mood and behavior (if not skin quality and weight) often occur in menstruating women in that period of time just before the arrival of their, er, periods.
These "significant changes" often include incessant crying, heightened hatred of one's husband, increased argumentative behavior, reduced threshold for frustration, increased memory of all horrible and hurtful experiences, reduced memory of anything positive that happened in one's life, feelings of deep depression, feels of utter disatisfaction with one's life, increased fantasies of one's husband suddenly dying, etc...
The existence of a Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is such a self-evident truth that I cannot believe it took scientists until the last decades of the 20th Century to figure this out. Still I send out a hearty Yasher Koach* to them for identifying this.....thing.
I remember exhaling in great relief when the syndrome was so named. Finally, I thought, validation from science for the misery that has consumed about a quarter of my life from the age of 12!
Finally, I had an ready-to-wear defense prepared for me in case I killed my boyfriend, say, during that time of month that my jeans won't close and my face looks like a pizza.
And as I move closer to the big Five-O, each cycle brings me closer to becoming Norman Bates. In my freelance interviews with other women of my age, most report a dramatically heightened state of sheer lunacy...sometimes lasting for as long as three weeks at a time.
Especially when one's monthly visitor decides to be MIA or shows up three weeks late, bringing on its own unique derangment, not to mention loss as funds as it becomes necessary to purchase do-it-yourself pregnancy tests, which always turn out negative, causing great relief because you were truly convinced you were pregnant due to the fact that you suddenly put on ten pounds and felt exhausted all the time.
And I'm not mentioning any names, but having been acquainted with teenage girls, I would liken the approach of their periods to a Jekyll and Hyde experience wherein sweet and obedient young women suddenly turn into Elsa Koch.
Who among us would deny that pre-menstrual women are completely nuts?
Yeah, it sounds unfeminist and it's bad for Hillary's campaign but isn't it the God's honest truth?
In this post-post-feminist era, when womyn are doing all kinds of weird stuff like pole dancing, engaging in wild promiscuity and blogging about it, and having orgasms online (www.beautifulagony.com), I think it is time to reclaim a truth about womanhood:
We spend a quarter of our lives in a hormonally-induced form of insanity. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
It's empowering, even.
Moreover, it's the bloody truth.
*Hebrew for Way to Go!