A Menstrual Site for Men

That’s how PMSBuddy.com pitches itself. To wit:

PMSBuddy.com 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.

Note that they are smart enough to not include “employees” in the list of women to keep an eye on.

Is there anything the internet can’t do?

(Hat tip: Greg Feldman)


charles

I'm not sure I understand the issue here with women taking offence. Be realistic. People are influenced by exposure to light, by the day of the week because of work cycles, and by a host of other factors. Hormones play a huge role in our lives - both men and women. It's better to embrace reality than avoid it. It's not sexist, it's not demeaning, it's nothing of the sort. And it truly is an important consideration to keep in mind as is any factor that's been used as a core defense in a murder trial.

eugeneskinner

Forget about menstruation for a moment and consider a general principle about dealing with people. At any given moment, there might be any number of things going on with a person, causing them to be somewhat less than rational, cooperative, and sensible. Don't assume that they are hormonally wacked, mentally ill, or experiencing some kind of personal crisis, but consider the possiblility that they are having an off day for reasons that you can't know and might not ever know. Try just focusing on the objective at hand and how to accomplish it. State it in simple terms and leave it alone for a few days. Most people, most of the time, will come around to a reasonable approach.

Getting back to menstruation for a moment: Think about it this way. At least women are somewhat more predictable. I've been fooled many times, but because I don't tend to over-react, the situation almost always resolves itself. With men, on the other hand, the cycles are more unpredictable, so you can't count on them to get back to a rational state in only a few days.

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evil fizz

I'm curious to know how exactly how one is supposed to gather the data necessary to begin tracking. (Hi, Boss! Is it that time of the month right now? I want to track it on Outlook for the office calendar.) I take that back. I'm not curious, just vaguely nauseated.

Never did understand why it is offensive to imply that increased hormone levels impacts personality and emotional stability. Isn't that just science?

It's science which is routinely used to patronize women, i.e., "Oh, I don't have you take your anger seriously because you're PMSing!"

Happy

Some women (like me) don't menstruate. Can you blame their anger at your stupidity on hormones too?

Did you mention male hormonal fluctuations in your calculations? Oh, you didn't know most men have hormone fluctuations too? Try research.

david jay

Can anyone add to this idea:

Isn't "Hidden Ovulation" an evolutionary adaptation by the females of our species (compared to the colorful, swollen-pudenda of other animals "in heat") to advance their interests?

It's easy for a man to be sure he's raising his own children if he knows precisely when his female partner(s) is fertile, because he can make certain he was the exclusive mate during that time.

Without this knowledge, a man is compelled to spend more time at home, because he never knows when a competing suitor might slip in there and impregnate his mate! Remember, we're talking about early, early humankind here.

The female benefits when her mate sticks around more, providing protection and resources for the rearing of her offspring.

So, is the idea of PMSBuddy.com a modern step away from Hidden Ovulation? If so, what might be the future ramifications?

P.S. One thing I don't get about that web site - to start monitoring another person's cycle, you need to know their last menses onset date and the length of their cycle. How are people supposed to get this information about women other than their significant others?

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ahunt

uh Adam...again...the point is that the site promotes the stereotype of women as irrational, overemotional and hormonally controlled.

I agree with Liss over at Shakesville: pms does not impair reasoning abilities. It simply lowers a woman's tolerance for male BS.

But hey, Adam...if this tool inspires men to avoid being their usual oblivious selves for 24-36 days out of the year, maybe that would be a good thing.

CLC

forgot to add this - boys don't think men listen to women...only women are supposed to listen and guys are supposed to do all the talking and ordering about. When, for God's sake, are boys like the author of this "calendar" going to grow the freak up?

david jay

Wait until XKCD gets a hold of this!

ema

Right! Let's inject some reality here. All the site allows you to do is to track a person's menstrual cycle. Based on that information:

1) You cannot time PMS. [PMS symptoms arise anywhere from several days to 2 weeks before the onset of menses.]

2) You cannot diagnose PMS [Not only are the diagnostic criteria imprecise, there are more than 300 symptoms associated with PMS.]

3) You cannot predict an individual's PMS status. [There's a high level of intra-individual variation in PMS status over time. According to one study*, "among women who qualified for PMS during one or both years of the study, 72% demonstrated fluctuation in their PMS status."]

Bottom line: Just because Mr. Eisenberg came up with an innovative way to sell adds for Playboy lingerie and his site mentions menstruation doesn't mean we should lose touch with reality.

* Potter, J, et all. Premenstrual syndrome prevalence and fluctuation over time: results from a French population-based survey. Contraception. Volume 78, Issue 2, Page 194 (August 2008)

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ahunt

From Carleigh over at Shakesville:

"PMS just makes me less able to perform all of the accommodating emotional work I am expected to perform in my life. "

Bears repeating. When the boys are obliged to spend 2-3 days a month "accommodating" the emotional condition of the people around them...(as opposed to the lifetime responsibility handed out to the girls)...maybe the boys should just think of it as a character building experience.

Mattie Shoes

Women really need to grow up about this. Let me draw a parallel that women might have more experience with. Ever argue with a drunk husband/boyfriend? They seem totally unable to string together a coherent line of thought, their responses seem totally unrelated to whatever you just said, they won't back down even when it's obvious they're wrong, and they might not even remember it the next morning. Then when you get disgusted and say "I'm not arguing with you, you're drunk. This is pointless!" and they get all indignant and claim that, while they may have had a few drinks, they are most certainly not DRUNK...

Yeah, that's you. Not all of you, but a lot of you. Having important conversations with you while you're hormonally imbalanced and in pain isn't constructive. Now I'm sure lots of men use this as an excuse to avoid very real issues they don't want to deal with, and that's dumb too. But this "pay no attention to the hormones behind the curtain" stuff only strengthens the silly argument that 'women are irrational'.

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Fred Anon

I'm curious to know how exactly how one is supposed to gather the data necessary to begin tracking. (Hi, Boss! Is it that time of the month right now? I want to track it on Outlook for the office calendar.) I take that back. I'm not curious, just vaguely nauseated.

My boss would get really angry with everyone around her for a few days every month. It didn't even occur to me that it was PMS until a co-worker suggested it. Turns out it happens on a very regular schedule. I can now predict it with shocking accuracy. Am I being sexist to avoid her on those days? (She's very friendly at other times)

ahunt

"Ever argue with a drunk husband/boyfriend?"

Because of the breathtaking misogyny and male entitlement explicit in this rubbish, I am compelled to respond with the observation that manly inebriation merely accentuates the natural male approach to arguing: flight or fight.

Which is why, during an argument..."men are totally unable to string together a coherent line of thought, their responses seem totally unrelated to whatever you just said, they won't back down even when it's obvious they're wrong, and they might not even remember it the next morning."

As it happens, research suggests that in an argument with a woman, it is men who are less likely to stick to the issue, and more likely to flail around, avoiding addressing the issue at hand.

Also, it is men who fail to retain the cause and details of arguments. Look it up.

ema

Mattie Shoes,

Maybe you're in pain and it's not possible to have a, you know, conversation with you, but let me try nonetheless.

The issue isn't "pay no attention to the hormones behind the curtain." It's "the claim that hormonal fluctuations and being in pain disqualify a person from participating in important conversations just because the person happens to be female is an extraordinary one."

AnnikaB

Golly, I'm plenty irritated right now, and I'm nowhere close to my next menstrual cycle. Go figure, eh?

For a sizable group of men in my workplace, I'm not the mother or the wife or the girlfriend or the sister. I am the boss. If I caught you fidding with a piece of claptrap on company time trying to guesstimate my bodily functions, your hindquarters would be in a human resources sling before you could get the word "intense" out of your mouth.

Mattie Shoes, your parallels need some serious work.

Bob

I'm amazed at the sexism here. Both men and women can be quite irrational, and whether or not this site is offensive is quite beside the point. The blatant assumptions some posters (you know who you are) are making about those they presume to be men are really sickening.

Stop, take a look at yourself, and think: Is thinking like this really helping? If I make these kinds of snap judgments about strangers, am I causing strife for myself doing the same in my personal life?

I have no issue with your pointing out specific problems and logically extrapolating this out to a wider and more general degree, but the generalities being tossed around here are completely ridiculous.

TeacherMom

For those who fail to find this offensive, perhaps women should maintain a calendar of when men ejaculate since that obviously affects men's emotions.

This has no place on an economics blog. It reinforces ridiculous stereotypes.

Kate

This is stupid and offensive, and you should be ashamed for sharing it. What's the man's excuse for when he is being pissy for "seemingly no reason"? Because I work with plenty of men that I would like to avoid on those days.

sunshine

"increased hormone levels"
By the way, PMS is caused by plunging levels of hormones. Not increased hormones.

a_c

I like how women are so easily horrified by the exposure of the fact that they can be influenced by things outside our control. I suppose there's a little mind-brain dualist inside each of us.