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“Can I suggest you pack your bags and head off into the sunset right now?” Lucy Mangan takes on the 'man period'

Lucy Mangan

Hello, ladies! Now, I hope you’ve all got your Super-Reasonable Bonnets on today, because I’ve got some news that requires them. According to recent research, 26% of British men – so, roughly one in four of the peen-sporters you see around you every day – believe they get periods. They claim that they feel cyclically below par and emotional once a month because they have ‘man periods’.

I’m going to have to deal with this news via a series of numbered points. Despite me not being premenstrual at the moment, I am for some reason finding myself alternating between laughing hysterically and feeling too stabby to write a normal column.

So, regarding the 26% of men who think they are having periods.
1. No.
2. No, you’re not.
3. You’re really, really not.
4. You haven’t got ovaries and wombs, you see? I would like the 5% of you who also claimed to suffer from monthly cramps to take particular note of this.
5. What you’re having are ‘moods’. And that’s fine. All humans have them. Women’s are often thought to be more affected by hormones at certain points in the menstrual cycle, though the evidence for this is actually quite mixed. The evidence for their moods being powerfully and negatively affected by people assuming that they are entirely governed by their cycles, however, is very strong indeed.
6. What you are doing is indulging in the same kind of attention-seeking, neurotic behaviour that you see in people who, if told by a friend that her mother is dying of cancer, say: “My second cousin three times removed almost had cancer. But it turned out to be a bad cold.” Or the people on Twitter who respond to campaigns seeking to highlight an issue and redress a skewed balance (for example #blacklivesmatter) with wilful misunderstanding and a childish attempt to grab back a perceived moral high ground (#alllivesmatter).
7. So stop it.
8. And, by the way, you know that £81.53 extra you spend on food and snacks per month compared with your non-menstruating peers? That could be behind much of the “bloating, tiredness, general irritability and greater sensitivity to personal weight” you report.
9. So remember.
10. You do not have ovaries. You do not have a womb. You are not menstruating. You do, however, almost certainly need to grow a bigger pair of balls.

Almost more urgently, I must address the partners of the 26%, of whom 58% said that they believed them (you – see points 1-4 and 9-10 above as a matter of urgency). And the 43% who said they made special efforts during their men’s time of the month by “trying to cheer him up” and “walking on eggshells round him”.

In many ways, you are better women than I. In others, you are morons, the foolish enablers of self-indulgent horrors. Is this really who you want to be with? Is this really how you envisaged life? Allied with someone who can’t bear to see anyone else meriting sympathy without wanting to grab a slice of it for himself? If you did, then congratulations – you have fulfilled your destiny admirably, and then some. If not, can I suggest you pack your bags and head off into the sunset right now? Leave a few packets of Nurofen and a hot water bottle behind if you’re feeling kind, but go. There’s 74% of the male population out there more worthy of you. Good luck.



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