Women will, inevitably, handle emotions differently to men. Nevertheless, intense feelings are experienced by both men and women, which forms part of our human experience. Many people try to explain the motivation behind the rants of a woman, in any area of discussion, with the assumption that they are overly emotional and must be on their period. Why are women constantly assumed to be on their period when they voice their opinion?
An example of this is Brexit, the EU referendum result, which has made many Londoners angry. People are uniting for a common cause and protests have been taking place. It seems as though the power of our society has never been so clear to us as it is today. People have vehemently voiced their disapproval of the result and expressed their opinionated, often useful, suggestions on social media platforms, like Twitter. But, after scrolling through the #eureferendum thread, I came across some very concerning tweets.
Many people, mainly Leave voters, expressed their views about Remain voters being un-patriotic about their decision, and how they showed little to no care for the future of our country. Shockingly, some commented that the emotional women who voiced their opinions were over reacting. Some people dismissed the seriousness of the political issue itself and, jokingly, said that women were probably angry because they were on their period. Their menstrual cycle, apparently, lead them to be overly emotional – the very emotions which drove them to protest.
After reading this, I was truly disappointed. Not only disappointed with the complete and utter disregard of the seriousness of voting, but also because the gender of a voter was used to reaffirm the strength of one side of an argument.
It is true that Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects 30 to 80 percent of women, and symptoms include anger, irritability, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Moreover, a more severe form of PMS is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, PMDD, affects 3 to 8 percent of women who are 18 years or over. The symptoms include severe irritability and mood swings. Statistics show that PMS and PMDD does exist and affect women today, although, it is especially difficult to apply it to all women, considering that all people handle things differently. When women discuss topics that concern them, they are immediately dismissed and deemed to be attention seeking with the reason that they are over reacting and therefore must be on their period. This really, logically, isn’t the case.
Women who voice their personal opinions are therefore belittled and accused of behaving irrationally because they are on their period. Their menstrual cycle, a biological process experienced by all women, is used as the reasoning behind a woman’s views. ‘Emotional’ is, in this context, a synonym for ‘over reacting’ and is used to explain a biological fact and to justify a woman’s political convictions.
A woman’s period, in this case, is used as an excuse behind her voicing her personal opinion. Women are excused for having a voice, when they really do not need to be excused in the first place. True fact: vulnerability, sensitivity and passion happens all month long. Maybe, even, all year long!
At the end of the day, we are all human beings and have the same vital organs that we need to survive. I guess, if we were all blind in the face of the reality that we all look different to each other, we would still find a way to make ourselves unique from others. This differentiating factor would be used as a reason to disunite and further separate ourselves from others.
Being different is a good thing. Being different is what makes us who we are. However, on this occasion, we should not just ‘agree to disagree’ about our view of women. Change can happen, and will, so long as we consciously decide how we choose to perceive others.
To learn more about women’s health, visit http://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/menstruation-menopause/ for more details.