Dear Kyle and Jackie O,
We need to talk about what you said about me.
An entire segment of your radio show was dedicated to the idea of a ‘period monster’. A monster that, according to you, makes women crazy and is incredibly inconvenient for men. You had a ‘period siren’, which you kept sounding because apparently Jackie O had her period.
This was particularly annoying in peak hour traffic, as I kept checking to see if there was a police car or ambulance attempting to overtake me.
You even started a ‘Period Monster Alert’, where men can enter the first day of their partners last period on your website, and be notified ‘when to be on standby’.
As a period, I feel as though I’m not getting the respect I deserve. I also feel as though you’re using an uncontrollable element of women’s biology to avoid taking them seriously.
Kyle, you discussed your girlfriend’s period, which you call Debbie, and how moody it makes her for three weeks every month.
Following your line of reasoning, this means that your girlfriend’s emotions are illegitimate and dictated by her hormones almost ALL THE TIME.
Jackie O, I expected you to defend your period. After all, it played a role in helping you have your gorgeous daughter, yet you agreed with Kyle’s claims, and laughed, “we don’t know we’re doing it!”
I assume your show gets lots of letters of complaint, given that you are offensive for a living, but I doubt you have ever received a letter from a period. You see, we’re quite busy continuing the human race and playing a vital role in female biology.
For every minute you spent complaining about the ‘period monster’, roughly 255 babies were born around the world.
My existence is literally responsible for the perpetuation of the human race. What did you do today, Kyle? Without a period, you would still be sitting dormant in your father’s testicles.
For the record, I’m not arguing that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) doesn’t exist. I’m not going to pretend that I’m qualified enough to examine the complex neuroscientific evidence surrounding hormones, mood and endocrinology, in order to determine which commonly held beliefs about PMS are rooted in science, and which are socially constructed.
I’m a period for goodness sake.
However, I do want to argue that the framework surrounding PMS goes far beyond the medical definition. There’s a sexist element to our discussions around PMS, a discussion that is underpinned by the belief that women are fundamentally flawed because of their reproductive systems.
It goes further than your (bad) jokes on the radio. The ‘period monster’ diatribe that you presented is the same concept that leads people to believe that women aren’t capable of holding positions of power.
Reality star Brooke Hogan said of Hillary Clinton, “I think it’s kind of crazy that a woman is running because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff”.
Now, even as a period, I understand that reality stars are not traditionally beacons of wisdom.
It does worry me, however, that while Hogan might be the one to outwardly say that women are irrational creatures, and not capable of leadership, many people silently believe it to be true.
Have you ever wondered how much blood is actually lost during a period? Well, we’ve got the answer for you. (Post continues after video.)
Kyle is know for his classy pranks on radio. There was this time he pranked Jackie pretending her husband had an affair. Live. On radio. (Post continues after video.)
The problem is that ideas around PMS are often linked to women in general. When women voice legitimate concerns, or are angry or frustrated, it is common to suggest that it’s ‘that time of the month’.
This trivialises their claims, and suggests that a woman’s biology is the only factor that determines how she feels and what she thinks.
So please, don’t ask men to sign up to your ‘Period Monster Alert’.
Calling women ‘period monsters’ is just another way of silencing them. If it is PMS that’s making them emotional, perhaps instead of making fun of them, you could be sympathetic.
Just please don’t use me as an excuse not to take women seriously. It offends me, and periods have feelings too you know.