I've always hated injustice, especially an injustice that I felt helpless to change. And right at the moment, I am feeling the injustice that is dealt to women, and I am feeling it quite acutely. Not just the injustice of sexism – although that is something I am always aware of, and feel acutely in itself. (For example, just yesterday my FIL referred to a niece as “pushy.” He bristled when I said that he would never describe a boy as pushy. “Of course I would!” he countered, annoyed. But the truth is he doesn't (and wouldn't) talk that way about his grandsons. And she isn't. Just another example of the “girls are pushy, boys are strong” injustice.)
I am feeling (perhaps for obvious reasons) the injustice of our biology, of evolution. Women have it rough. We do. For decades of our lives most of us have to endure inconvenient monthly bleeding, cramps (sometimes mild, sometimes crippling), and soldier on pretending nothing is wrong, lest we be called weak. We hide the fact we have our periods, we hide the pain, the disgust, the inconvenience. Yet over half the world’s population endures this. And yet we still hide it. Pretend that nothing is happening to us, even if we’re fainting and anaemic and in serious pain. We all know the jokes that note if men menstruated, there would be a compulsory 4-5 days off work once a month. These are not jokes. They’re truths. And then the sexism comes into play - jokes (by men) about women’s hormones, our “time of the month,” all give them a convenient opportunity to dismiss our opinions simply because they put it down to PMS. (There’s an interesting study that suggests PMS may not exist as widely as believed. But that we may note negative emotions at particular stages of cycle, and put them down to PMS rather than for other legitimate reasons. It also suggests that maybe men dismiss our opinions and concerns simply because they are a "result of PMS" rather than treat these concerns as real and valid.)
Then there’s endometriosis and infertility and pregnancy and childbirth and cancer screening for breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers. The procedures, the pain, the indignity. That’s without touching on emotions and how it affects our lives. Not to mention menopause, and all the physical symptoms we have with that. And the financial price we pay for these in addition to the physical and emotional price must add up over our lifetime. And men … well, they get to coast through their lives with little to compare our physical trials. And get paid more.
Women are accused of being the weaker sex, yet we cope with all this without complaint. We deal with all this, and still go to work and look after households and families and run companies and countries. We are not weak. We are so strong. And because of that, I've decided that right now I'm going to complain. Just for the sake of it (because we can't fix it). Physically, women get a raw deal. It’s unjust. It’s a serious design flaw. It’s crazy. It's messy. It sucks. And I am completely and utterly sick of it.