On Monday, Dr. Jennifer Gunter, a practicing OB/GYN with a large social media following, experienced the indignity of having someone on Twitter try to mansplain to her that "moodiness is associated with ovulation not menstruation."
Gunter took the moment to tweet about some of the realities of dealing with menstruation. Then, she and her followers came up with the now-viral #IfMenHadPeriods hashtag.
The hashtag quickly spread, inspiring satire of male-dominated cultural discourse and imagining a world where women's reproductive health was less of a taboo subject.
All good, right? Well, not so much. While a lot of people had fun with the hashtag, many who saw it took issue with the idea that there aren't any men who experience periods, since there are quite a few trans men who certainly do.
Gunter eventually responded, reminding people of how the whole thing started: With some rando trying to tell her how periods work.
In an e-mail to Fusion, Gunter elaborated more, saying that she meant for "men" to be a stand-in for the patriarchy, and never intended to exclude anyone.
Like many people when I am angry about patriarchy/mansplaining/reproductive rights/gender pay discrepancies my reaction is "ugh men" but of course what I mean is "ugh systemic patriarchal oppression." I guess I assumed when the subject started with mansplaining that railing against the patriarchy was understood. There was never any intent in any of my tweets to marginalize anyone who menstruates.
Periods shouldn't be taboo for anyone.
All of this is even before we talk about the corner of the internet that hates both women's and LGBTQ rights. They were bound to react to all of this some way, right?
You know what? That's enough from them. Forever.