In the 19th century, doctors believed if a person used their brain too much during their period they would disrupt the blood flow, go insane and die. Likewise, they claimed menstruation arrived with symptoms such as "general weakness," "nervousness" and "hysterical affectations."
But while science and medicine have since caught up to speed with the basic facts of the reproductive system — starting with the wild concept that people can somehow function normally despite bleeding from their vaginas — some people, it seems, are still lagging behind.
Last week, News.com.au reported on a woman in Australia who discovered her male coworkers were secretly tracking her menstrual cycle in order to avoid her during that "time of the month."
"They want to stay away from me when I'm PMSing, because I get a bit moody," the unnamed woman, a friend of News.com.au writer Elizabeth Daoud, told the outlet.
She told Daoud she had gotten in a "small argument" with one of her male colleagues when, on the topic of relationships, he suggested she was single because she "talked back." When she got upset, he asked if she were on her period.
"I was shocked and said, 'Yes. How do you know?'" she said. At that point, her coworker revealed he'd been tracking her period on his work calendar — which he'd shared with the other men in the office.
As it turns out, people have created apps like MyMate, iAmAMan and PMS buddy — none of which are still available in the iTunes App Store — for precisely this purpose: to help people nail down their partners' cycles to avoid sticky situations — you know, like a woman overreacting to her coworker telling her why he thinks she's undateable.
When Daoud talked to her friend's colleague, on the condition of anonymity he told her he believes menstruation gives people a free pass for their behavior.
"What's sexist is how women are allowed to blame their volatile actions and unstable emotions on their 'periods,'" he said. "I just wish men had that option too."
He added that he didn't think the calendar would be a big deal since he and his coworker are "good friends and not just work mates."
For anyone who might agree, here's a PSA: Friends don't track friends' periods.