PMS: Myth or Social Tragedy
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Politics and Activism

PMS: Myth or Social Tragedy

Premenstrual Syndrome is a negative notation used to suppress women.

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PMS: Myth or Social Tragedy

How many times have you heard one of your girls say they are “PMSing”? Now how many of your friends have actually been diagnosed for having Premenstrual Syndrome?

Very few women have actually been diagnosed with having Premenstrual Syndrome, but many of us still use the term... why? When do you find yourself identifying as “PMSing” the most? Is it coincidental that it's usually when someone accuses you of being too emotional or when your accused of snapping on your friends? For many of us we have used the Premenstrual Syndrome's name in vain. First, let's examine what PMS really is. Some would define PMS as the irrational rollercoaster a woman must ride before her monthly visitor stops by. While Wikipedia defines it as the physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before a woman's period. Now that list consists of over 150 symptoms: Irritability, tired, fatigue, and bloating just to name a few. On any given day, anyone can be diagnosed as having PMS. Your mom , dad, cousin, brother, teacher dog. Basically, all negative emotions or physical symptoms can be associated with Premenstrual Syndrome.


Where did this all come from? Nearly over thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece doctors attributed anything that was emotionally or mentally "wrong" with women to hysteria. In the 1800's doctors wrote articles connecting hysteria to the female's menstruation. So who came up with the official PMS theory? A man. In 1931, Dr. Robert T. Frank published a paper called "The Hormonal Causes of Premenstrual Tension". Mr. Frank believed during the time period before menstruation women took refuge by exemplifying foolish and irrational behaviors, declaring them unfit for to enter the workplace. So, ladies this misconceived syndrome that we claim so heavily was developed by this male:

Premenstrual symptoms do exist but attributing them to a full blown syndrome is a little more than a small exaggeration. A syndrome should show its symptoms every day. Not once a month. Have you ever heard about Premenstrual Syndrome used outside the country? PMS is more likely a cultural bound syndrome. A Culture Bound Syndrome is selectively used, usually as an excuse many people use as a reason to tolerate the female race. How many times do our legitimate feelings get attributed to the menses? As women, we sometimes fail to recognize the negative perspective associated with labeling ourselves as a premenstrual syndrome victim.


The menses are the time of the month when women are seen as unstable, and make reckless decisions based off of random mood swings. PMS enables us as thinking of menstruation under a negative light. We need to rethink the way we view our menstrual period. Yes, women have premenstrual symptoms but must we have so much pride in calling them a syndrome. In the end, menstruation is feared by society. It's considered a woman's flaw. The reason she's intolerable once a month. The reason a woman is sexually omitted from the man's mind for a whole week.


PMS makes the menstruation cycle more acceptable in society. In orthodox Judaism , Hinduism and Islam menstruating women are restricted from society, being viewed as possessing a high level of uncleanliness. If a woman menstruating was more socially acceptable, less women would have to hide behind premenstrual syndrome. Menstruation shows the power a woman holds, we have the ability to give birth to new life. We are reminded of our necessary role in human existence once a month. So I'm declaring PMS as a cultural tragedy. It's time to stop allotting power to this syndrome. It is time to stand behind our menses with dignity and not let anyone blame a woman's erratic symptoms on an unrealistic syndrome.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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