Good Grief

[Content Note: Gender essentialism; heterocentrism; cissexism; misogyny; infertility.]

The latest in awesome Lady Explaining, care of evo psych:
A brave scientist has sought to answer a question that has baffled for centuries: why do women get premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Professor of Molecular Evolution, Michael Gillings, believes that in our evolutionary past there was a hidden selective advantage to PMS, because it increased the chance that infertile pair bonds would dissolve, thus improving the reproductive outcomes of women in such partnerships.

"In the past, women had many fewer menstrual cycles than women in modern societies, because they did not have control over reproduction and were either pregnant or breastfeeding most of the time," said Gillings.

"Imagine that a woman was pair bonded with a sterile or infertile male. Then, even in the past, they would have had regular cycles. If women in these relationships exhibited PMS and this increased the likelihood of the pair bond dissolving, this would be a huge reproductive advantage."

..."Under this view, the prevalence of PMS might result from genes and behaviours that are adaptive in some societies, but are potentially less appropriate in modern cultures," said Michael.

...PMS affects up to 80 per cent of women, and has been observed in all countries where PMS has been investigated, dating back to the time of Hippocrates.

The levels of disruption ranges, and can lead to personal, social, and economic costs. Symptoms include anxiety/tension, mood swings, aches and cramps, cravings and disinterest in usual activities.
Literally every single thing about this is making me laugh endlessly, starting with "brave scientist" and ending with the "economic costs" of PMS, because you know issues that predominantly affect women don't matter unless and until we can demonstrate they might be costing a man somewhere some money.

There are really good reasons to study PMS, and I don't want to diminish at all the severity of PMS for lots and lots of people who get periods. That's not amusing.

What is amusing is positing that the reason PMS exists is so that women partnered with infertile men get super bitchy on a regular basis until those dudes hit the bricks and free up their lady-property to make whoopee with someone who can put a baby in them and thus TAME THE PMS BEAST!


[H/T to Iain, who sent this to me with the note: "You're gonna love this." LOL!]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus