[Not So] Feminine Rant

A friend and I were having a texual-based conversation last night. It went like this:

Remember how I told you I really need to get my period? CASE IN POINT.

Whenever women rant about how horrifying it is to experience the monthly symptoms of pre-menstruation, I find that most men that make it past the word "menstruation" without running in the opposite direction tend to respond along the same lines. It's always something to the effect of a verbal eye-roll, a sarcastic defense of their gender deeming women that have the sheer gumption to single themselves out because of a monthly bodily function either dramatic, feminist, or a hormonal cocktail of both. As if we have the ovaries to insinuate a gender superiority, or that we -- by the nature of our strife -- are capable of more than you. Because being a guy is no picnic either, you feminist so-and-so!

Fine. So you accidentally get hit in the balls by a stray something every couple months or so, and when you were 16 your hot teacher asked you to answer a question on the board during a particularly graphic midday fantasy. Get over it.

In the same way that every man I've ever met insists that testicular-jarring is the worst pain imaginable, I respond thusly: please image feeling that pain for one hour. Just one. And then add the sense that someone is inflating a balloon in your stomach, hire a midget to follow you around repeatedly punching your abdomen, stretch it out for about three days and then get back to me. And hey, while you're at it, throw in the need to sob uncontrollably at every lone leaf floating down the street.

I'm really not one to play the gender card. I don't think that there is any one superior sex, though if I had to trust one to CEO a company with a hairline fracture, it would be those with two X chromosomes.

Being a woman is a tricky thing. Even in writing this, I feel the nagging thought that I'm doing something wrong -- I'm playing the "PMS" card, I'm making men uncomfortable, I'm airing my bloody underwear. See, right?! I just said "bloody" and you cringed! Are we supposed to talk about this stuff, but keep it to our knitting circles? Are we supposed to reach the brink, but never jump over it? Are we supposed to dance around the topic endlessly, pretending that it both exists and does not exist -- to keep the illusion alive that we are not women bound to a monthly process that makes simple daily tasks feel like climbing Mount Everest?

Again, to reiterate: I am not a feminist. I love being a woman, and I love men, and women that love men, and men that love men, and men that are really women, and, and...and. But I do understand that we have still not yet reached that point of understanding between genders, where men sympathize with our monthly monster and we don't smack their balls for fun. I could point out the pressure that women feel, to be this way or that, to have this or that trait, to be capable, et al. I could recognize the same in men but justify ours as being so much less forgiving. But I won't, because while I think that no man could ever understand what it feels like to burst into tears at the word "orange," I have nothing in the way of experiencing an organ that lives externally and acts of its own free will. Or...desires.

Because look, here's the thing: we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and our experiences -- to try and get those around us to understand us, because I am Me and you have no idea what I've been through -- that aren't we missing something along the way? If we all spent our years trying to get heard without doing any of the hearing, doesn't that make us all just shouting bumper cars? To be a human is a two-part process. It's the feeling and the understanding that does, indeed, make you uniquely you. But you will forever be just that without a few other "you's" to connect to. And connection takes time, understanding, patience and love. It IS the back-and-forth.

To be a woman is a combination of both the best and the worst that this world has to offer. But the same could be said for men, children, homosexuals, blacks, whites...each and every person around you has experienced their personal heaven and personal hell. Because what is life, without a little of everything? And that, my friends, is the most roundabout way of saying Life is Life that has ever been. Be it a good one for you all.

Happy Friday!

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