If Men Menstruated…

If Men Menstruated…

What would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women didn’t ?

The answer is clear: menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event.

Based on an essay written by Gloria Steinem.
Ms Steinem’s essay originally appeared in the October 1978 issue of Ms. Magazine.

  • Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood
    New secret rites would be instituted
    There would be stag parties with lots of beer
    Hallmark would introduce a whole new line of cards
    Men would brag about how long and how much
    Bar contests would be inevitable
    Locker room talk would center around pad size and type
    Men’s magazines would contain lots of helpful articles on PMS
    Society in general would change
    Liberal males in every field would be kind to women,
    due to the fact that they have no gift for measuring life
    Judges would cite monthly stress in pardoning a rapist
    Newspapers would be full of stories such as:
    The Federal Government would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts
    Research grants would flow like, uh, water
    Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free
    Male radicals, left-wing politicians, and mystics, however,
    would insist that women are equal, just different
    Some occupations would continue to be dominated by men
    The Military men would cite menstruation as proof
    that only men could serve in combat
    Businessmen would insist that women cannot be as aggressive as men
    since they have no “cycle” governed by the planet Mars
    Politicians would say that women cannot subordinate their “selfness” for the great good, since only men experience the “Cycle of Enlightenment”
    Religious leaders would try to redefine the role of women in the Church
    Catholics would maintain that only men should be Priests,
    since men give blood for our sins
    Rabbis would insist that without the monthly loss of impurities,
    women remain unclean
    Evangelists would hold that in order for women to be in the clergy,
    they would have to self-inflict a wound monthly
    Sexual roles would change some
    Men would try to convince women that intercourse was
    more pleasurable at “that time of the month”
    Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself —
    though probably only because they needed a good menstruating man
    “Just because” would become a valid reason for
    either having sex or avoiding it
    Male intellectuals would offer new moral and logical arguments
    How can a woman master any discipline that demands a sense of time, space, mathematics, or measurement, without that in-built gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets
    In philosophy and religion, men would ponder if women compensate for missing the rhythm of the universe
    Psychologists would maintain that they’re trying to compensate for their lack of symbolic death-and-resurrection every month
    Some men would prefer customized macho pads
    John Wayne Maxi-Pads
    Dave Lettermen’s “Light Bachelor Days”
    Joe Namath Jock Shields
    Men would interact with each other differently
    Street guys would brag: “I’m a three-pad man”
    High-fives would be exchanged for: “Yeah man, I’m on the rag!”
    Menstruation would be a proper topic of conversation at time or place
    The Entertain Industry would feature:
    “Friends”: The gang would try to convince that Ross that he is still a man, even though he missed two periods in a row
    Newman and Redford would star in “Blood Brothers”
    Telethons for research and relief of unpleasant side-effects

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.