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PMSBuddy – Almost as Irritating as the Election Coverage

September 11, 2008

PMSBuddy lets you send and receive notifications to others that you have PMS, you know, so they know not to take you seriously. I wasn’t even going to write about this because it’s so stupid (and I’m not linking), but here goes:

“PMSBuddy is a free service created with a single goal in mind: to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, or any other women in your life are closing in on ‘that time of the month”‘- when things can get intense for what may seem to be no reason at all.

For women, this is a great way to give people in your life a heads-up of when you might be feeling a bit irritable without having an awkward conversation.”

I’m quite sure this is going to be one of those things people respond to by saying, “Lighten up, it’s supposed to be funny.” I don’t find it funny at all, except in the sense that when I heard of it, I immediately wondered if it was a joke/hoax. You see, the basic premise is that women, around period-time, may be completely irrational – thus men might want to be notified to expect the crazy. And women might not want to actually have a conversation that goes, “Hey, you know I’m feeling a little stressed right now due to life/work/PMS/whatever, so it would help if you would not be an asshole.”

The site goes on to say, “Since discussing PMS is not exactly welcomed dinner table conversation, and may lead to dinner plates being hurled across the room, we want to take the unexpectedness out of this recurring occurrence…”

Okay, first, “recurring occurrences” are not really unexpected. Second, if dinner plates are hurled because PMS comes up, it’s because some jerk dismissively asked “Are you PMSing?” as a way to dismiss some woman’s thoughts and feelings. Third, menstruation is not shameful. Maybe you don’t want to talk about it over spaghetti and meatballs, but if you’re close enough to send alerts from PMSBuddy, you’re close enough to have an actual conversation. Like adults.

The site has a forum section for “PMS Stories” that currently feature these enlightened subjects, seen at left. Nice. This topic hits close to home for me, as someone who suffered from an undiagnosed thyroid problem for some time. Sure, the disease sometimes made me a little more stabby than my baseline. However, a particular man I know (not the husband) likes to bring up how “angry” I was during that time, and blame any arguments we had then on my thyroid problem. Uh, no, sometimes you were just being an asshole and were completely wrong. Loves ya. I don’t think it was appropriate to dismiss everything I was ever upset about then and I don’t think it’s appropriate to be dismissive of women’s responses just because of where they are in their cycle. I’m sure some women might get a kick out of this site, but I see it as basically inviting people not to take you seriously.

Oh, and there’s a “National Alert Level” with a color-coded threat level. Bad day for that.

There are a bunch of good comments on this at Feministing as well. For extra credit, check out the current piece, “Pathologizing Your Period,” over at RHRealityCheck.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2008 6:07 pm

    seriously?! i’m seeing red after reading that post (and not even “PMS-ing” — make of that what you will)

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