“Are you getting your period?”
“I get annoyed with [my husband] when I overreact to something and he retorts: ‘are you getting your period?’” my friend says.
Just imagine what it would be like if we treated men the same way.
“You’re only mad because you have blood dripping from your penis. Not because of what I did.”
“You always get so emotional and moody when your penis drips.”
“Please go stay in the hut with the other men whose penises are dripping. Your impurity will soil me.”
But instead, we say “Ugh. Men!” We might call them moody, or angry, or irrational, but we never accuse them of having fluctuating testosterone levels, which of course they all do. Even with the well-recognized link between anabolic steroids and aggression (‘roid rage), no angry man is ever dismissed with a “are you having a testosterone secretion burst?”
I wonder, too, if, as some have argued of depression, fluctuation in mood and behavior might be adaptive. Like the psychiatrist who asked his patient if the antidepressants were working. ”Yes, they’re working great, I feel so much better. But I’m still married to the same alcoholic son of a bitch. It’s just now he’s tolerable.” Just because a variety of factors, from sleep deprivation, to hunger, stress, pheromones, hormones, caffeine withdrawal, medications, etc. affect our mood and reactions to external circumstances, doesn’t mean those reactions are wrong or inappropriate. It doesn’t mean we can simply dismiss someone as hormonal or a storm to weather without considering their objections seriously.