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Periods, Mansplained

By Kathleen Toohill

‘I promise you it’s totally possible to get rid of cramps through exercise.’

Editor’s note: The following is a satirical piece designed to lambaste despicable ideas surrounding reproductive anatomy, menstruation, and gender. To that end, it utilizes some cissexist and heteronormative language. As we’ve heard from readers since the piece’s publication, some usages of this language, sans the proper editorial note(s)/overt satirical markers, are erasive to some people assigned female at birth. We apologize for any harm caused and will aim to be more inclusive in our editorial process going forward.

Well, actually, I read that there’s no such thing as PMS. What happens during, you know, that time of the month, is that your body is reacting to a number of complex sociopolitical factors that make you think you’re experiencing cramps, headaches, and mood swings, but there’s no scientific basis for it. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment? Basically, a bunch of Stanford students were assigned to be guards, and other students were prisoners, and the guards ended up waterboarding the prisoners and all this wild shit. They were trying to study Naziism, but if you think about it, it also explains why so many women think they have PMS. People are pretty suggestible—most of them will believe anything you tell them.

You might not have realized that you can actually die from tampons if you leave them in too long. There’s this disease called tampon shock syndrome that basically causes your whole body to go into shock. This one girl lost her leg. You’re supposed to change your tampon every one to two hours, during your, you know, red sea, so you don’t get TSS. Like how guys have to shave every day or we end up with a 5 o’clock shadow. Sometimes it’s hard to remember things like this, but I’ve found that the more you apply discipline to one specific area of your life, the more disciplined you become overall. Have you read the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Workweek? It’s about how you can actually fit a week’s worth of work into four hours. I think you’d dig it.

Well, actually, the reason tampons are taxed is that they’re non-essential goods. Like candles. The way to tell whether something is essential or non-essential is to ask yourself: Would I die if I didn’t have this? There are other ways to deal with your, you know, barbecue sauce bath, that aren’t tampons, so that makes them non-essential. Another way taxation works is that it’s used to disincentive certain behaviors. Like, for instance, there’s a tax on cigarettes because smoking gives you lung cancer. Are you familiar with how supply and demand works? Basically you draw two lines — the supply curve, and the demand curve — and where they meet is called the point of parity. Basically, if there were no tax on tampons, demand would outstrip supply, and then prices would skyrocket, and you’d be way worse off.

Trust me on this — I read that some tampons are actually made with hay and dental floss, because they’re cheaper than synthetic fibers, and they work just as well, for stopping the, you know, crimson tide. There’s this concept in economics—my sophomore year roommate actually minored in Econ—that explains that manufacturers prefer to use cheaper raw materials to maximize their profits. Like, if I were a chef, I would buy slightly expired ingredients, because they’re cheaper, and that won’t really affect the quality of the food. I found out that you can actually drink milk more than a week past its expiration date. Tim Ferriss talks about that in The 4-Hour Chef, which is pretty much my bible for weekly meal prep. If you want to start eating healthier, you should definitely check it out.

You probably didn’t realize that in some countries, women are ostracized during their, you know, lady leakage. They have to wear these red cloaks with white bonnets, and they’re called handmaids for those few days. That part is just in Syria. Actually, women used to be ostracized in the U.S. too. It makes sense, if you think about it, because of all of the estrogen. I read that large amounts of estrogen in the human body are actually more dangerous than large amounts of testosterone. In women’s prisons, the cycles of all the inmates actually sync up, and the guards have to be careful about riots. That’s what happened in this documentary I saw, Orange Is the New Black.

I promise you it’s totally possible to get rid of cramps through exercise. What’s the lady Advil called? Midol? Too much of that stuff can kill you. And it doesn’t actually work, either. I read it had the same effect as a placebo in a study of a dozen women who had their, you know, female flood. Exercise usually does it for me when I’m not feeling great. Have you read The 4-Hour Body? You might actually find it helpful. Tim Ferriss talks about how you’re supposed to work different muscle groups on different days, otherwise the lactic acid builds up, and your muscles explode. It happened to this one guy who did too much CrossFit. But I’d definitely recommend the book. Switching up your workout routine can actually help reduce body fat too.

Well, actually, prostate exams are supposed to be a lot more painful than cramps. A lot of men rate them as a nine out of 10 on the pain scale, which is one away from a 10. I think guys just talk about it less when we feel pain, you know, because of how we’ve been socialized. It’s way more socially acceptable for women to complain about cramps during, you know, your scarlet spillage. But when we drink milk that’s gone bad or something and our stomachs are completely messed up, we’re just supposed to grin and bear it. I actually don’t think epidurals would have been invented if men were the ones who had babies. It’s another one of those mind over matter things, you know? I could totally give birth if I had to.