Give me another reason to gripe about how hard it is to be a female.

"Girl" by bacsa

When I was 5, I remember telling my whole extended family that I wanted to be a boy. Boys got to do everything — they played outside longer, climbed trees without being scolded, and they didn’t have to grow a scary set of front bumpers when puberty strikes. One of my father’s cousins (forgot exactly who) told me that it was still difficult to be male. She said:

  • Men are responsible for working and providing for the family
  • They have to be circumcised around the age of twelve which will hurt like shit (yes, boys in my country have to get it done before puberty to prove their manhood)
  • They have to drive
  • They have to carry heavy things all the time

I remember feeling doubtful if she was right. But I forgot all about it after someone handed me my hula hoop and I ran out of the house to play. Ah, the glory of being 5 again.

At that time, I didn’t know how WRONG her answer was. It was the 1980’s and not Jane Austen’s era. Women have been working for a living, driving their own cars, and helping their dudes lift heavy things for a while now. We just didn’t invest in the circumcision market.

But we do have something that men don’t: a uterus. And menses every single bloody month until nature decides to take our fertility away from us.

The last week was the most difficult for me. I was a mess and was suffering from weakness, hormone imbalance, and too-strong bleeding. Although it only lasted for four days, it trumps the time I bled for 3 weeks when I was 14 and would be near-collapse after going up the stairs. I was afraid it would affect my health so I stopped working out and dieting, started wishing I had a bottle of white flower, and poor C became my nagging-board for those four days. I did apologize sincerely after it was over but, seriously, PMS is no fun. I very rarely get cramps or mood-swings from it but when it hits, it’s crazy.

At work, I practically lived in the bathroom. I berated myself for not bringing more than one extra pair of pants and counted the hours until I could finally go home. During the weekend, I refused to leave the house and even missed watching a singing contest where a friend entered. I just couldn’t deal with having to run to the bathroom every hour and felt like I was swimming in a pool of blood and cramps. I would cry over the stupidest thing, invent crazy theories that my normally logical self would deem as nonsense, lost a lot of sleep, and wondered if God was angry with women to cause so much suffering that comes back month after month. But, just as C says, it eventually ends.

Because of those crazy four days, I’m back on iron supplements because my hemoglobin count is way lower than it should be. I’m back to eating 0% fat yogurt for lunch, obsessing about my weight, and I’ve taken off the towel from the elliptical machine. There is more misery over the rainbow, but at least I have another three weeks of feeling comfortable. 😀

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7 thoughts on “Give me another reason to gripe about how hard it is to be a female.

  1. I have to say I think you took the words right out of the mouths of so many woman and young girls. I too suffered terribly from my monthly visitor and never ever saw it as this glorious right of passage but more as a means of torture. But I have come to realize with age that woman have it because men could not bear it.
    We do all things we do because a man would fail miserably. But it is our lot in life. I had such bad cycles and was so sick I ended up having a hysterectomy at 29 yrs old .. I had my children by then so I was excited at the thought of not fighting that bloody war any longer. Life is much better now – I do have to take a hormone supplement but that one little pill a day versus the bottle of pain pills I would eat during my cycles seems like a fair trade!
    feel free to check out my blogs im always looking for readers and comments

    • Hi Jenlynwil,

      Thanks for passing by. It was really such an inconvenience. But I tell myself that it’s something that we women have to go through to have children. I’m still single and childless and my doctor tells me that having a child is the best medicine for irregularity. Haha. Until then, there’s always the pill to help control the problems.

      I can’t imagine men having to deal with the same issues month after month! You’re right, we can and do deal with it much better.

  2. Alas, it is true that both males and females have their own little quirks to deal with. Although I cannot attest to the same pain, there are inconveniences that males go through. Truly, being female is a wonderful thing and I say that probably because I’ve never dealt with that pain before on a monthly basis. I remember my girl-friends saying that if I knew what period-pains felt like, I wouldn’t think being a girl is “all that fun” anymore.

    You are already one of the lucky ones who don’t get mood swings and cramps regularly as there are girls I’ve been with who go through it every month on top of the heavy flow – ack. I can understand what you mean by it “coming back with a vengeance” though on the occasions that PMS decides to present itself. I didn’t notice you mentioned anything about a doctor or specialist so if your period is bothering you that much, that is always a good route to take to see if they can assist. If not, “alternative” practices such as TCM has been known to help reduce or eliminate the “side-effects” of your monthly visitor!

    Perhaps it is time to get pregnant if that’ll help regulate your periods again 😀

    • Thanks for the concern. It’s much appreciated. 🙂 I do see a doctor regularly (2 of them, a specialist for my epilepsy and a general practitioner for everything else). I was prescribed a certain pill for my period and it usually has a great effect on my “problems” and irregularity. It’s been years since I had a flow or cramping this bad. Problem is, even if I get off the pill, it might take me 2 years to conceive. But I guess there’s a price to pay for everything.

      By the way, that tampon chandelier in your blog is so funny!

      • Haha, I JUST found the chandelier before I went to sleep as I was crusing around on another site. Apparently it is actually hung from a prestigious building, just don’t recall which one! I’d love to stand next to it to take a picture, lol.

        There was a very good blog I read a while ago about a girl who used a contraceptive needle and now that she’s off it, she learned a lesson about using them. I definitely agree there’s a price to pay, although at times you’d have to consider whether it is worth the trade-off! Of course not being a girl, I’m not trying to talk you out of it, but making a well-informed decision is always best. Unfortunately, the site is in Chinese, so you’ll have to rely on Google Translate or something to translate it for you (not very well, but it is marginally understandable): http://bit.ly/dAT90O
        Any time you have to mess with the body’s hormonal functions always makes me go 😦

        LOL, I just re-read your post and noticed that you mentioned you have another 3 weeks of being comfortable! That’s a great way to see it, always the positive side, yay 😀 A few days of misery and weeks of happiness, life is good 😉

        • I read her post using Google Translate. In a way it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one struggling with hormone imbalance and there really are a number of us who have to resort to medication to have a more comfortable life and prevent iron-deficiency. They did the same thing for me, tests and ultrasounds, and I wasn’t sick. Sheesh. The body is so stubborn sometimes. 😀

          Do you mind if I link your blog from my site? Having a man talk about women’s issues is so strange but interesting.

          • Aww… that’s too bad you’d describe it as “strange”… lol, hate when people do that. Male/female issues can/should be discussed and understood by both genders these days 😛 We don’t live in the dark ages anymore, haha. Please, feel free to link to my blog, I’ll return the favour as well! The whole point of my site is really to bring to light menstruation to men, so of course it is a bit awkward, haha… moreso for them 😀

            Preventing iron-deficiency I do agree is extremely important. I had a friend who had to quit university because she could never wake up on time. Her mom thought it was because she disliked school or was just lazy, but turns out after some diagnosis, it was iron-deficiency which caused her to be tired and unable to wake up at a decent time like most people. It zapped her of her energy and eventually decided with her condition, she’d waste money trying to go to post-secondary. They had to sort it out and get her on supplements before resuming courses again. However, I heard that she skips it a lot and ends up being deficient again because “iron pills taste gross”… ugh. I wonder if it affects her period, but then I’m just “normal friends” with her and wouldn’t go into details asking her personal things like that. If she was one of my “regular girls”, I wouldn’t even think twice before asking, haha.

            Well, sometimes medication is what is needed to fix/alleviate a problem – unfortunately can’t get past that. However, whenever I can, I always try to look for more natural ways, only because I’m very afraid of messing with hormones and natural occurrences within the body. I know a couple of girls who were gung-ho about getting the “one period a year” needle until I talked them out of it XD Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, lol.

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