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Women will also get angry when they are overworked and under or unpaid. When there are unfair social structures and hierarchies. When there are unrealistic expectations.
Now you will ask me immediately, what is IMSing? Not something most of us have heard or read about, right? Because we do not talk about it much.
Let me tell you – you’ll never forget it now.
The Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) is a behavioural state of nervousness, frustration, hypersensitivity, anxiety, irritability, lethargy and depression that occurs in adult male mammals following withdrawal of testosterone (T).
But why am I talking about IMS today? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Generally, men make less testosterone as they get older. Forty percent over age 45 have levels that doctors consider below the norm (<300 ng/dL). Problems with the testicles or the pituitary gland can cause it. It can also be linked to a number of ailments, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Heavy consumption of alcohol is also linked to decrease in testosterone. While smoking isn’t directly related to fall in testosterone, it can cause heart, lungs, and blood pressure complications.
Makes sense now? Ok, then. Now, let’s get to what I wanted to say when I began talking of IMS.
There are numerous jokes on angry, complaining, demanding wives and ‘very difficult’ female work colleagues. And then there are nasty ones about female bosses. With time, instead of considering her mental, emotional and social situation, PMS was considered a valid reason behind a woman’s not very pleasant behaviour.
Now mood swings do happen when hormonal changes occur but to say – oh, she is just PMSing – to trivialize a woman’s point of view, her pain, her concerns and even her anger, is very common these days, at home, in public spaces and at the work place too. From eww-ing at the word period, the society very quickly escalated to blaming period symptoms for all the ‘angry-frustrated signs’ they saw in an woman.
For generations women have taught kids to not shout when the father comes back home from work.
Women have rushed to the kitchen several times to check if the salt in sabzi and dal was accurate, whilst running back and forth bringing hot fluffy rotis, a dupatta tied on the head to suppress that usual headache that comes every week.
When she got all dressed up for the evening only to be told that it was a tiring day and movie night could be some other night, and now she has to walk to the kitchen again, wrapped in rejection. But she was all accepted in bed that night because, just because, the man was not too tired for bed.
Women have also sobbed in lonely corners when all they wanted was their own mother and father around. Or when she cried softly not because a shard of glass cut her finger but because no one noticed a band aid on her finger, because who even does?
Or the helplessness when the grocery was out of her budget and she still had to buy books for kids, or when a man was staring and smirking at her when she was brining her child from the bus stop. And well, I can go on and on.
But, hey, PMS seems like a valid reason behind her anger and her frustrations, her anxieties and her depression, right? Very, very legit reason. It’s science. Science related to women’s bodies and behaviour that we know so much about, right?
For once and all, women will get angry when mansplaining occurs – we understand directions, we know how gadgets work, we know how to drive a car, and guess what, we understand jokes, too. It’s just that some are not very funny.
Women will also get angry when responsibilities and chores are not shared equally.
And I write this not in anger. I swear I am not PMSing.
For sure women will be angry, but scared to tell, when they feel unsafe.
It’s all riddled. Our heads, our emotions and our hormones with what surrounds us.
Believe it or not, most of our anger stems from the perpetual tiredness.
It’s exhausting. Surviving as a woman, is exhausting.
And I am sure surviving as a man in this very difficult world is too. Work place is extremely demanding. There are unrealistic goals. There are expectations, and with that come frustrations. Men have to constantly look strong and reliable. There is little room for self expression and anger comes naturally and it’s understandable. And then there is maddening traffic. We get it!
But I guess, women are saner for not blaming IMS for men’s very unpleasant behaviour. The science around men’s bodies and behaviour, you know? Or should we, if that can help men feel any better? I don’t know, you think about it and let me know. I’ll go cook the rotis now.
Image source: a still from the film Secret Superstar
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Mostly writing, other times painting. Here to celebrate little wins. I am on the same page as you, just a different book - you read mine, I'll read yours.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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