The Atlantic magazine has an otherwise interesting article just out about how suffering through the end of their monthly cycle might now be a thing of the past for women. But that’s not the real newsmaker in this story. It’s that men need no longer to have their period either. Are you confused? You should be.
This curious turn comes on the heels of PinkNews, a pro-gay news site in the United Kingdom, getting all twisted up last week because a major British charity seeking a cure for cervical cancer had the audacity to claim that it’s solely a woman’s concern. They celebrate the fact that the charity was shamed into admitting that yes, men are also at risk. But you would expect such silliness from a gay news source. But what about a seemingly serious publication like The Atlantic? It’s worth paying attention to their turn in this direction as a significant cultural indicator.
The Atlantic story is about how, as science writer Marion Renault puts it, “menstruation has now become an elective bodily process” because of interesting and controversial advances in women’s healthcare. Or as Sophia Yen, a pediatrics professor at Stanford Medical School quoted in the story, put it, “We now have the technology to make periods optional.”
You can read the article to get those details. My interest here is the astonishing editorial choices made by The Atlantic. As you read the piece, it is dramatically clear the editor fell all over her/him/themself to make sure the article bows low to the new gender theory orthodoxy that yes, both men and women do indeed have periods and no one should think otherwise. And ironically, they want us to know that men don’t have to have the periods that we’ve all along known they don’t actually have. Let’s first consider the title of the piece.
They did all they can to avoid using “her” in reference to who menstruates, opting instead for the gender-neutral “their.” And then we see these other careful moves on the editorial dancefloor to avoid letting the reader think menses is a female issue by deftly employing otherwise perfectly silly phrases such as “people who have periods…” in this sentence: “People who have periods spend an average of 2,300 days of their lives menstruating.” But the next sentence demonstrates they can’t even keep up the illusion across two sentences of text,
If more people chose to silence their period—or even just dial down the volume—that would mean a decrease in iron deficiency (which women experience at far higher rates than men) …
See what they just did there? Our science writer is referencing that long-established medical fact that actual, biological women suffer from iron deficiency and men do not. But, according to the new gender politics, if a man can have a period just as normally as any woman can, a man will also have iron deficiency like any woman. Equality and all that. And this reveals that problem at play here. The Atlantic’s editor is following a completely made up and wholly novel theory that a man can be as legitimately a woman as any other woman merely by declaring himself one.
The article then goes on to employ this curious term,
The cost of so-called feminine products can add up to thousands of dollars over a person’s lifetime:
So-called… And then in reference to actual academic research on women and how they navigate their menses, the editor at The Atlantic inserts this parenthetical clarification.
A recent study found that nearly two-thirds of low-income women surveyed in St. Louis couldn’t afford menstrual hygiene products during the previous year. (This study, and others cited in this story, did not specify whether participants included trans men or nonbinary people who get periods).
I will leave it to you, the reader, to wonder why “this study” or none of the other medically-based studies referenced in the otherwise fine Atlantic piece didn’t specify whether “men” were included in their analysis. If you need a hint, it had to do with the difference between doing actual science and pushing a wholly creative ideology that is directly at odds with one of the most fundamental realities of what it means to be human.
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