Periods and Steroids

Sophie Furman

Being a female I thought I knew almost everything I needed to know about PMS but Chrisler proved me wrong multiple times in “PMS as a Culture Bound Syndrome.” I had didn’t really know that PMS could take such a toll on your concentration, coordination, judgment and efficiency. I find it really interesting that even after all this time of women experiencing premenstrual phase doctors still can’t pin point the exact time in which women’s bodies go through that experience, and what can specifically qualify as PMS. The first thing I think about when I read that, is weather if men were going through the details would still be in such questioning. Weather there would still be conflicting arguments of when it is, and when it is.

Periods shouldn’t be something society is embarrassed about or tries to keep quiet because it’s a prominent part of our society. How does society expect women to fill the duty that they want them too if they don’t want to address the topic of periods? How does that make sense? I’ve seen many girls blush up and get closed off when the word “period” gets mentioned at all and I think that’s sad. It’s like the word sex, this un-talked about thing that you’re just suppose to experience privately and not really ask much about but not be uninformed about either.

Representing women in a negative way during this time isn’t something that should be promoted either. When people say, “Oh, she’s definitely on her period” as an excuse as to why a woman is acting a certain way, I cringe. Though I understand that it can be a factor to someone’s emotions and irritability, it does not make one loose who they are completely and control everything about them. Females are given that as an excuse, as if they need one for their actions, and decisions, which shouldn’t be the case. Chrisler states in her writing that, “PMS encourages women to think of themselves as unstable and potentially ill for at least half of each month. It encourages men to think of us that was, too…” If anything it should be advertised as an empowering time when you’re body is doing what it needs to do instead of being viewed as a weak period. Why give men that advantage? Why let them think that females are weaker for half of the month and therefore can’t hold jobs as well, be as strong and trusted with decisions etc. PMS can’t be an excuse as to why men think women are inferior, when PMS is something that gives them a strength that men don’t have: the strength to possibly carry another human being if they choose.

“The Rise of the Adonis Complex” related back to Kimmels Guyland in a couple of different ways. The idea that most people would assume that women have more body issues than men, goes to show and prove some of the points made in Kimmels Guyland and the Guy code. We as a society assume that woman have more body issues because we hear and see about it more. When really it’s not that guys don’t have issues with their bodies it’s just that there issues are being hidden because they’re suppose to “show no fear,” or “express no emotion.” In order for them to encompess the ideas that Kimmel brought up in his article they need to fit the body image that is mentioned in “The Rise of the Adonis Complex.” The extremes at which boys will go to fit the mold of what they think girls like is just as extreme as to what girls will do to fit the mold of what they think boys like. After reading this article I don’t think that’s an approach that’s thought about as much, or at all. The funny, yet disturbing thing is that both sexes are doing what society has made them believe men and woman think is sexy, and not what men and woman might actually find atractive. I definitly have multiple guy friends using protein powder and supplements when they don’t even know what it’s made out of or how much they actually should be taking, but to them it doesn’t matter. What matters is working to get their body to be the spitting image they see in their head as what a girl would find atractive.

Before reading this article I wasn’t naïve when it came to the idea of men being as influenced to look a certain way to fit the ideal in society, as women are. Now after reading I’m amazed to see that 46% men at a normal weight were thinking about their appearance “frequently” or “all the time.” What’s interesting is that males bodies are actually very more public than females. A females chest is never really shown in ads, and is meant to be covered while out in public. Meanwhile a males swimsuit shows their entire upper body, and in ads are almost always exposed. Why did it not occur to me that the sex whose body is being more publicly displayed would not self concious?

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One thought on “Periods and Steroids

  1. Before taking Chrisler’s class on the psychology of women last semester I also knew very little about PMS. Of course I had heard the term and associated it with crying, angry outbursts, cramps, and headaches, but as she discussed it in class I realized that the term was associated with a lot more negative “symptoms.” I’m sure that most of us sat through middle school and high school, and even college and heard the ridiculous PMS jokes and accusations, but even as women I don’t think we realize how damaging it is. Very few people know the real facts about PMS but they frequently use the term, which serves to delegitimize women’s emotions and actions.

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