Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forewarned of the frightfuls

Hat-tip to Julie for e-mailing me the link to this story.

I'm amused at the news of a public service Web site launched by entrepeneur Jordan Eisenberg.

ONE hundred thousand men sick of copping a monthly serve from cranky wives and girlfriends have signed up for an online reminder service that warns when pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is about to hit., the brainchild of a 28-year-old bloke whose mates were too often in cycle-related strife, is designed for men who have a darling of a partner for three weeks of the month – and a demon for the rest.

The reminders include pithy messages of encouragement such as “She’s on yellow - tread carefully, fella” - as well as tips for how men can mitigate the damage.

It tells men never to ask if a woman has PMS, and if all else fails to buy flowers, deemed to be "kryptonite to PMS."

Championing itself on the catchcry, "saving relationships one month at a time," the website also features a "national alert level" indicator for the US, showing how many women have PMS each day as well as the "overall threat index" on a scale of 1-4.

CEO and founder Jordan Eisenberg developed after friends talked about the world-class diplomacy men needed to bring up the topic of PMS with their partners.

"It's hard for guys to know if they did something to piss off their lady and hard to remember when PMS is, and always awkward to confront and ask the question without coming off like a jerk,” he told

“One of the guys actually kept track in his daily planner, and from there we decided to automate this process and offer it to the masses."

He admits that while functionality is first and foremost, some women may find the idea of their cycles being "tracked" a tad offensive.

"Certainly some do," says Eisenberg, "but the majority do feel it is helpful, and the remainder at least get a kick and a laugh out of it.

“Those in relationships have been overwhelmingly supportive and many have actually signed themselves up to warn their boyfriends (or) husbands. If anything, we feel we can minimise unnecessary fights by allowing men to offer some slack."

PMSBuddy started nine months ago and is now tracking the menstrual cycles of more than 100,000 women worldwide, including 4000 in Australia and 1000 in New Zealand via the site and a Facebook application.

Users enter the date and length of a woman's last cycle. Women can sign up to send reminders to up to five men in their life.

Anything from one to five days notice can be specified, allowing for warnings of various degrees of danger in the form of yellow, green and red alerts.

Eisenberg has received hundreds of emails of praise from both men and women, he said.

And if the online forums are anything to go by, it has certainly stirred some controversy.

There's more at the link, including some feedback from women.

I must admit, I've never had a girlfriend whose monthly dreadfuls were so bad as to need this kind of service . . . but I know some friends who haven't been so fortunate. Also, my lady friends tell me that for some of them, the four-weekly frightfuls really are that bad, so a warning to those they love (at other times) might not be out of place!

I'll be interested to see how this develops.



Betty said...

Mom had it so bad she would go into periods of staring blankly out a window, tuning out everything. And then she'd go outside and rake the gravel driveway after an hour of screaming bloody murder at us and making us feel as small as she could. I think hers qualified as PMDD. Menopause was a godsend in her case.

Lilorfnannie said...

Yeah it can be that bad, no doubt. Before I had kids I just charted off a couple days a month when I would just stay at home if at all possible because I simply couldn't cope, and if I couldn't, I'd do my best to just not talk to anyone, period. Cranky doesn't even begin to describe it! After having kids the hormones got better though. But I think this isn't such a bad idea at all.

LabRat said...

I usually chalk such things up to using your hormones as an excuse to get out of responsibility for a week, whether it's men blaming any reaction they dislike on PMS or women using it as an excuse to vent their spleens on the innocent...

...But am forced to admit for some, it really is JUST THAT BAD. Hormones can do some wiiild things to women, especially as far as we've deviated from our ancestral patterns. Used to be a woman could expect to either be pregnant or lactating far more often than she had periods...