This pretty Sunday morning, I sat down with my bagel, the CBS Sunday Morning Show, and my blog reading list for my ninety minutes of relaxation before I began my day in earnest. I came across this post by Domina Jen and by the end my blood was boiling.
Jen touched on a topic that I have been confronted with only recently in the timeline of my life: men’s opinions of women who are menstruating. Obviously, like any woman, I knew that there was the expression “On the Rag” which men use to describe a woman who is menstruating. Yes, I found it offensive and I had not had it said to my face. Ever.
I now hear this phrase fairly often. “Are you on the rag?” It never fails to send me into a barely-contained, blood boiling rage. My issue with this question is that it implies I am only “allowed” to be angry/upset/argumentative/”difficult” if I am menstruating. Men can be any/all of those things without excuse or apology. Women are required to be even tempered at all times. If we are not, we must be hormonal because god forbid we should express a contrary opinion with anything other than an apologetic tone.
Maybe I’m exhausted. Maybe I’m hangry. Maybe I’m sick of picking up your socks which you can drop on the floor but can’t seem to move three inches to the left to drop into the hamper. Maybe I need some time for myself to just be. (Seriously, family, can I just get five minutes? I promise the house will not collapse around you while I’m sitting on the toilet.) Maybe I have a stress headache. Maybe I have one of the millions of things going on that give men permission to be irritable assholes. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m bone weary from conforming to the even-tempered, diplomatic, agreeable female standard that society demands and, for today, I either don’t have the energy or I’m giving myself permission not to. (It’s probably both because -news flash- men, no matter how much we love you, you’re frequently exhausting.)
And, no, I’m not on the rag.