By JAMILA RIZVI
So. It turns out that one of America’s largest and most influential news networks thinks PMS is going to make me vote conservative.
PMS gives you cramps. Sometimes you get a bit of a headache. Occasionally it means an additional pimple (or several) on your nose. And yes, now and then it makes you a tad more emotional than you might otherwise be.
But will PMS make me wake up tomorrow morning suddenly willing to get over the relentless sexism and socially regressive policies of, say, the Republican Party and dream of getting a Green card just so I could cast my vote for Mitt Romney?
Not. A. Chance.
But that’s exactly what a recent CNN story out of the United States is claiming. Here’s what the SMH had to say:
If they weren’t angry before, they are now: Women – and the internet – have reacted to a CNN story that claimed that women’s votes are influenced by their menstrual cycles.
In an eyebrow-raising about-turn, the corporation published, then retracted, a news story that claimed that women’s votes were governed by their menstrual cycles, triggering an avalanche of criticism.
Based on unpublished research, the news piece stated that a woman’s voting behaviour was affected by whether she was ovulating on election day.
CNN writer Elizabeth Landau, responsible for the story, received a torrent of criticism following its publication and subsequent removal, but defended her position: “For the record, I was reporting on a study to be published in a peer-reviewed journal & included skepticism. I did not conduct the study.”
Let me put on record an important disclaimer: I am not a PMS skeptic.
I am a full-on, don’t-mess-with-me, ‘this be the truth ya’ll’ PMS believer.
My belief in the existence of PMS is immovable. When 99% of the scientific community (or, you know, female friends of mine) believe something is true, then you’ve just got to go with it and not give into a climate of fear created by the skeptics and deniers.
I may not know the science. I may not have conclusive proof. I am IN NO WAY an expert on this (and given that I got rather bad marks in year 10 science and a note from Mrs Castle that said ‘student struggles to understand basic scientific concepts’, I’m definitely not) but I know this: PMS happens.
But what I did not realise – and thank you CNN for your ridiculous article – is that my vagina could make me unpredictable and unreliable.
That my vagina makes me a risk to society. A risk to order and good governance. A risk to DEMOCRACY.
Just imagine what might happen in those little voting booths, if I were left alone in there. Me, a female with a pen (hopefully this pen) and a ballot paper. I might, quite possibly be… pre-menstrual.
Heaven forbid that as I pick up my led pencil, I am suddenly struck by overwhelming emotional instability, such that I cannot prevent myself from putting that little number one in the wrong box.
And that’s to say nothing of the possibility that PMS could cause my flighty lady-like nervousness and PMS induced mental incapacity, to escalate out of control so I just scribbled all over the inside of the voting booth in an effort to express my feminine rage.
OR WORSE. I might just take my own pink highlighter along, so I could draw love hearts and leave kisses on the ballot paper next to my preferred candidate (who I had chosen purely because his opponent’s surname sounded a little like my ex boyfriend’s).
For the record, CNN have now removed the offending article on this completely ridiculous piece of ‘research’.
In place of the original article at CNN, a notice now reads: “A post previously published in this space regarding a study about how hormones may influence voting choices has been removed.
“After further review it was determined that some elements of the story did not meet the editorial standards of CNN. We thank you for your comments and feedback.”
Well. That’s good to know. I’m feeling a bit calmer about the whole thing now.
And sorry if my reaction was a little bit angry or over the top. It’s that time of the month.
Are you a PMS believer or a PMS skeptic? Have you ever acted differently because of PMS?