Taking workplace sexism to a whole new level in Australia

There are actually apps for this.
There are actually apps for this.

When my friend told me that her male colleagues were keeping track of her period, my initial reaction was, "Wait? What!"

When I asked her why, I couldn't actually believe what she told me.

"They want to stay away from me when I'm PMSing, because I get a bit moody," she said.

She laughed it off, not taking it seriously because she's good friends with the man who initiated the "tracking".

But I didn't.

She found out her male colleagues were keeping track of her "time of the month" after she had a small argument with one of them, who had asked her if she was on her period.

"I was shocked and said, 'Yes. How do you know?'" she explained to me.

It turns out he had been tracking her cycle on his work calendar, sending himself reminders of when her period was about to come up.

Making the whole thing worse, he'd sent the calendar to all their male colleagues so they could all keep track of her and their other female friends' cycles.

According to the male colleague, who along with my friend, wish to remain anonymous, it's a "good strategy to track her period cycle in order to avoid unnecessary situations".

He justified his action by adding, "I'm just trying to stay away from trouble."

Asked if he thought it was appropriate behaviour in the workplace, he said: "Probably not, but I would like to think we are good friends and not just work mates."

He said he always reminds her when she's PMSing and he walks away before it gets messy.

Asked if he thought it was appropriate behaviour in the workplace, he said: "Probably not, but I would like to think we are good friends and not just work mates."

The incident that sprung him into action came during a work lunch break. While discussing the topic of relationships, he took it upon himself to declare she was single because she talked back. (Are women not allowed to talk back, or does he expect all women to simply take orders from men and not say a word?)

The lightning bolt tells men when to stay away.
The lightning bolt tells men when to stay away.

Clearly upset by what he'd said, she began to cry. After apologising, he said he wished she had warned him earlier that she was on her period as it would've "saved [him] from apologising so much!"

He's got a nickname for a period: "C63", named "after the Mercedez Benz C63 that moves 0km to 100km in under four seconds ... that's how fast her mood will change".

But he's apparently doing things old-school by using calendar reminders. There are actually apps designed formen to keep track of women's period.

YEAH, YOU HEARD RIGHT, THERE ARE APPS FOR THIS

PMS buddy, which is no longer available, claimed to save relationships "one month at a time!"

The app, designed to let men know when their partner is about to start PMSing had a feature allowing men to track the period of up to 10 women. *Vomit face emoji*

My friend's male colleague said: "What's sexist is how women are allowed to blame their volatile actions and unstable emotions on their 'periods', I just wish men had that option too."

The app also had a "PMS meter" with green to red warning levels telling the male when their partner (or partners) "may be feeling a bit irritable". Their words, not mine.
In an interview with CNET, Jordan Eisenberg, the man behind PMS buddy, said the idea for the app started out as a joke.

He said "women don't appreciate it when you come home and maybe things are a little tense and the man says, 'Hey, do you have PMS?'"

This approach is in line with what my friend's male colleague said: "What's sexist is how women are allowed to blame their volatile actions and unstable emotions on their 'periods', I just wish men had that option too."

Other apps that have been targeted towards men include uPMS, which marketed itself as "an application for all guys out there suffering the monthly Psychotic Mood Shifts from their better halves."

'Advice' from uPMS.
'Advice' from uPMS.

Wow. Just wow.

And last but certainly not least, there's iAmAMan. This app claims it will "help you with your private life planning". What they mean by that is you can add multiple girls to your period-tracking list and put passwords on each name so if a suspecting girlfriend looks through your phone, she won't be able to see the other names. This app is also now off the market.

In a Gizmodo article on the app, one commenter said he would love to use an app like iAmAMan to track the periods and monthly "PMS rages" of the women he works with.
"If I need to ask one of them to do something for me, I know which one to ask without getting backlash," he commented.

IT DOESN'T STOP THERE, THERE ARE ALSO FORUMS

There are multiple forums on which men ask other men (or simply the general public) for advice on what the best app was for tracking their partner's period.

One user on an android forum began his post with, "First off to the ladies, I don't mean to be insensitive ... " Um, OK mate.

He goes on to say he thinks it's in his "best interest" to track his fiancee's period to make sure "I'm on my best behaviour during that week each month".

Some of the men on the forums claim to have genuine reasons for using the app. They want to be more caring and supportive of their female counterparts when they are going through the monthly cycle. That's all good and well. But can't they stop and think for a second, just a second, that what they're doing is causing more damage than good?

As the blogger of The Bittersweet Life suggested, maybe we should invent an app that warns women of when the "men in our lives are going to be jerks". It would certainly save a lot of headaches, don't you think?

- news.com.au

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