Here we go with the reverse ferret

I can’t begin to tell you the utter heartbreak I feel some days as I watch my children playing on the monkey bars. Statistics flash through my brain and I plead with the universe: please don’t let my kids be one of them.

Ninety-two per cent* of adolescent girls will have period pain and a third miss work and school because of it.

One in nine women will have endometriosis and will suffer an average of 6.2 years before being diagnosed.

They will be more likely to suffer from a myriad of pain conditions just because of their gender.

Their pain won’t be believed or treated in the same way that it would be if they were boys.

They will only earn 87 cents to the dollar of the boys when they grow up.

Feminists – actually, just realists – shouted for decades that sure, periods happen but they’re just one of those things. They may incommode but they don’t incapacitate. So, stop with this patriarchy of not allowing women to go to work, give us economic liberation now.

So, now that economic liberation is largely here – sure, we might whine a bit about a few rough edges but what is left is near entirely a matter of personal choices by individuals – we get the feminists of this new generation whining about how periods are the most appalling thing ever and why aren’t you all paying attention and making allowances?

I still remember my first really painful period. I was 15 and literally thought I was dying. The GP told me it was just retrograde menstruation and sent me home. It was the beginning of 17 years of being fobbed off, not heard, not understood. I was told that maybe the pain wasn’t that bad, I was told to have a baby (which does not cure endometriosis).

Well, here’s a thing. No one has said it does cure it. But endometriosis is uterine tissue – that lining that reacts over the cycle – appearing in bits that aren’t the surface of the uterus. It is also often enough true that having a baby reduces the impact and or severity of periods and or period pain. The having a baby doesn’t move around those misplaced uterine bits but it might well reduce the pain of them therefore.

But back to the major point here. Feminism used to be about shut up and get out of the way, bastards. Now it seems to be about how poor little me deserves special attention. It’s not entirely obvious that this is a change for the better.

14 thoughts on “Here we go with the reverse ferret”

  1. “I plead with the universe: please don’t let my kids be one of them. ”

    The lady followed the drs advice then? and it didn’t work, i think we should allow for some upsettedness.

  2. I can’t believe I’ve just read an article that doesn’t try to pretend that ‘men’ get period pain and endometriosis too! In 2021!

  3. There’s a weird prejudice amongst the medical profession that because the pain of menstruation and childbirth isn’t evidence of patholigy it doesn’t really need to be taken seriously. Fortunately, we have solved the problem of painful periods via painkillers and/or the Pill. If that doesn’t work, it probably is evidence of pathology which does need to be taken seriously.

    The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Obs and Gynae was brought home to me recently after I was in hospital for a very minor gynae op.

    Gynae Nurse: Would you like morphine?
    Me: No, I’m not in pain
    Gynae: Well if you feel any twinges just ring this bell and I will bring the pain relief immediately.
    Me: OK, but I’m not in any pain

    vs

    Obstetrics:

    Me: (after 4 hours of excruciatingly painful induced labour) Please can I have some pain relief?
    Midwife: You can’t have pain relief until we move you to the labour ward and we can’t move you to the labour ward until you’re 6cm dilated and you’re only 3 cm.
    Me: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
    Midwife: (sniffly) Well, if you’re really desperate you can have some paracetomol

    There are some issues around taking this stuff seriously. Hard to blame the patriarcy though when the midwifery profession is clearly responsible for most of it.

  4. The wife definitely was no more than 5cm dilated when she got pethidine: which helped her dilate 🙂

    Mind you, “our wonderful NHS” supplied a midwife who didn’t fancy doing stiches so decided to leave it to her replacement; two hours later.

  5. Yes, given that midwifery is near exclusively female it’s rather a comment upon women on women rather than male upon female…..I did rather like my mother’s comment about the old days. When having me she had to be reminded to put her cigarette out before partaking of the gas and air mixture…..

  6. JuliaM – me too!

    Feminism used to be about shut up and get out of the way, bastards

    Rilly?

    I always thought it was self-absorbed, unhappy women mistakenly believing that getting into men’s business would fix their personality and/or sexual problems.

    See: the temperance movement, Jane and Michael’s Mum in Mary Poppins, Andrea Dworkin’s rape erotica, etc.

  7. I thought Good Queen Vicky whole-heartedly approved of chloroform back in the 19th century.

    Still no doubt it’ll come back into fashion eventually.

  8. There is a rationale for rationing pain relief. If you can’t feel anything you can’t push in time with the contractions.
    Or so I was told as I held the gas mask while my wife swore at me using some vocab I didn’t know she knew.

  9. Given that more than half (is it 60%?) of medicine graduates are female, it’s hard to blame the patriarchy. Blame the medics though: they can be incompetent for both men and women.

    Aside, most blokes wouldn’t go to the GP for pain (unless they are opiate addicts). Men famously wait until they have a limb falling off; even then they’ll say “‘tis but a flesh wound”.

  10. “It is also often enough true that having a baby reduces the impact and or severity of periods and or period pain.”

    Well… given that a pregnancy and natural birth tends to put the word “pain” definitely in perspective…
    Won’t stop the whiners from whining though…

  11. JulieM: “I can’t believe I’ve just read an article that doesn’t try to pretend that ‘men’ get period pain and endometriosis too!”

    Yes it does, it claims periods and period pain are due to the person’s gender, not to their sex. So, the solution is simple. Change gender. Want to get paid more? Don’t bother working more, just change gender.

  12. Why can’t women simply wear those fantastic pads and towels advertised on tv when they are having their periods? Then they could all go skiing, scuba diving, and sky diving with smiles on their faces.
    Those who suffer from PMT can be used to test SAS defence strategies. (This from someone with daughters, which meant that for three weeks a month, I was scared to go home!).

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