When irritation begins to perk it’s ears at my emotional state, often one of the first questions I’ll hear from a particular friend is “Are you PMS-ing?”
No, actually, I am not. And, now my irritation is harder to ignore because you want to invalidate my feelings by chalking them up to hormones.
(Wait maybe I am PMS-ing, because now that comment is really getting to me, and now I feel guilty for directing my irritation at you… SPIRAL!)
As a feminist, the real crux is physiology and how that should/does affect our behaviors as women and interactions with the opposite sex and with each other. Women have a stereotypical reputation for being more emotional than men, for having that once-a-month thing turn us into emotional, raging hormone-soaked she-monsters that do nothing but cry and eat ice-cream and whine and blow up at the tiniest things.
So, when I was working through the irritation of dealing with the new scratch and dent in my shiny new car (a valid reason for being irritated, I think), and really working to let it go because there’s just no way I’m going to spend the money it would take to repair the completely cosmetic damage to my car, and my friend asks me if I’m PMS-ing, it just drove me nuts! I didn’t lose it or anything, but I suddenly had no desire to continue the conversation with her. I think it’s probably a fair question to rule it out, but does that really have to be the first question that comes up every time something “emotional” comes up?
Now I know that hormones have a very real effect on our emotional state, and it can be really tough to sort out when it is or isn’t a factor. I’ve never been pregnant, but I know from friends that it can really screw you up hormonally/emotionally. And, I’ve definitely had those “times of the month” when thing just seem more dire, and it passes once the leaking and cramping pass. But, in this case, I just wanted to find a way to deal with walking up to my car every day, seeing the damage, and not being angry or annoyed that it’s exterior is no longer flawless. What’s that you say? “But girls don’t care about cars!” grrrrrr!
Have you found that “PMS-ing” affects your interactions? Do you find that people dismiss your concerns because it’s “probably hormonal?” And, how do you deal with that?