10 Oct 2013

Joining The Debate Of The Genders

Ah, there’s nothing to beat the promise of a newly opened, blank Work document. Yeah, so it’s been a while, but I was busy. Also lazy. Mostly lazy.  I did get a job though. I haven’t actually started it yet, but I did get one. So that’s something.

For a while, I’ve wanted to take on the age-old question: which hurts more, period pains, or getting kicked in the balls. I will tell you here and now, it is period pains. The question used to be a kick to the balls, or childbirth. Ahahahaha, nice one, patriarchy. I’d like to see a man be kicked in the balls and end up screaming in agony for twelve hours, with a cocktail of drugs and the possibility of having to be cut open while still wide awake. We once asked our old English teacher what it was like to have a caesarean. “Horrible,” She said. “It feels like someone’s opened you up, and scooped out all of your organs, because all of the weight leaves so quickly. I felt empty. And in pain. There was a lot of blood.”

But we know how rubbish giving birth is. We can rant, and yell about it for hours. There have been books written about it, and it gets pretty decent coverage, media wise. We all know the image of a woman propped up in a hospital bed, dripping with sweat, screaming, with her BFF and her mother holding her legs in the air. We don’t talk about period pains. There’s no woman on telly, lying on the floor punching whatever’s nearby, while crying and swearing I the same breath. No book character has ever been forced to not go and punch the baddy because their legs age too much. And I’m pretty sure this is why men idiots people who have never experienced PMS think that it isn’t so bad, and white it off as women being hysterical. As was the case for any woman with a mental illness, until about sixty years ago.* No one ever talks about PMS, because we know that since it will simply happen again in two to three weeks time, we may as well just pop some pain killers and get on with it. However being kicked in the balls happened rarely, and only if you’re acting like an idiot, and therefore deserve it. Or if you play rugby, I suppose. I wouldn’t know, organised sport give me hives.

I was lucky enough to get a group of friends who do talk about period pain. This turned out to be amazingly useful:  one friend tends to throw up and faint around her time of the month. When it came to half seven in the morning, and I was just waking up on the kitchen floor so I could vomit again, I knew it was probably just PMS and there was no need to call an ambulance. When I opened my eyes, I could see the cat sitting next to my face, licking his paws. This is how I will die, I thought. With my cat waiting to eat my flesh. It was a cheerful day, all told.

There was a woman on twitter a few days ago, talking about the fact that she used to get nosebleeds at the same time as cramps. As well as smacking of poor biological wiring, it’s also not something generally caused by being kicked in the balls. Count yourselves lucky, dammit.

I think recently, however, we have got better at talking about the sheer, driving agony of PMS. And I hope we carry on. It may be a sore subject, but as with the state of the economy and Miley Cyrus’s career, it’s better if we talk about it. Last year while on holiday, I found myself face down on the sofa, physically unable to move from the pain. And my step brother made the noble decision to remain in the same room and talk to me. Which was nice, and also surprising. Which is why my little nugget of advice for now is to all those with a uterus: talk about it, have a cry but ultimately don’t let it stop you from being fierce. To all those without a uterus: be sympathetic without being patronising, and don’t act in a way that results in foot to genital contact. Idiots.

Sorry for the over-zealous use of italics. That’s a lie; I’m not sorry at all.

*Fun story – my great-great-Grandmother had eight children and an abusive husband. This led to her having mild depression, something that could be treated with bed rest and a divorce. Instead, she was locking in an asylum and accused of being mad, simply because she was unhappy with her home life. In the end, from what we know from her medical records, she died of influenza after she’d been there for several years, time which she spent crying and begging to go home, until she did eventually go mad. Moral of the story: women know when shit’s going down, and accusing them of lying/being hysterical/attention seeking LEADS TO BAD THINGS.

I’ll see ya’ll soon. I’ve got a lot of stuff left to shout about.



  1. Just take some tramadol mate.

  2. ^^^ said by a female, just for the record.