Recently, a friend on Facebook shared this picture, and well, you be the judge of this ridiculousness:
Obviously, I was outraged, and looked it up just to be sure it wasn’t “fake news”, because you know, FAKE NEWS. Here’s a link. But let me not change focus. Ms. Deshpande’s statements are bogus in every way and not just because they show an utter lack of understanding of biology, physiology, and psychiatry. There are a number of ways her statement can be challenged—if that’s the case then why is the female principal out working when traditionally men earn money, how do the ovaries know what clothes the woman is wearing, if by dressing like men she means t-shirt and jeans then there are t-shirt and jeans made specifically for women, etc., etc. But I am not concerned about that because there are lots of people to make those rationalisations.
What is of greater concern to me however, is how women’s health is taken so lightly. Diseases that primarily affect women are easily brushed off as either consequences of something that a woman is usually not supposed to do, or the butt of silly jokes. If she wears clothes resembling men, then obviously that’s going to change her physiology. I’ve also seen a news article citing a cleric who believes that driving a car would affect the ovaries and pelvis, causing birth defects. And if you have ever sat in a breast cancer awareness class beside some obviously horny 21 year old boys playing with a breast self-exam model, you would know how much we care about women—even though breast cancer affects men too.
We as a society have also questioned the legitimacy of PMS. Take this Slate article for example. Its author, Frank Bures claims that PMS might actually be a “cultural syndrome” and not a real biological issue. This article tries hard to be politically correct and studiously avoids the phrase that “women fake PMS symptoms” but that’s basically what he’s trying to say. Vox debunked this theory right away, but we still live in a society that doesn’t want to take women’s health seriously.
Basically we bring it upon ourselves. Great.