Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Female Troubles

No, I don't have any. At least not at the moment. But it struck me as odd this morning that the term "female troubles" is still in use. I thought we had progressed past vague euphamisms for bodily functions. Practically everyone I know will tell you about their colonoscopy, or the ten reasons why they refuse to get one. You can't turn on the news without learning about a new study that links breast cancer or testicular cancer or ovarian cancer to something or other (hopefully not to each other). Everything is out there. Everything.

And yet, in some circles women are said to have female troubles. This phrase encompasses a lot of stuff: irregular periods, endometriosis, fibroids, a difficult menopause, a falling uterus, you name it. Doesn't it sound a tad sexist? To have "female troubles" is almost to be troublesome ourselves.

"Eh, she's on the warpath again. Female troubles, ya know."

I find it rather significant that men don't have "male troubles." Why don't they? Is it because men are never troublesome? Is it because in a man, nothing falls, bulges, migrates, or fails to be on time? Um . . . I'm not going to answer either of those.


Indigo Bunting said...

Good idea (on the not answering).

As I do a lot of ob/gyn editing, I had to laugh at how right you are about this euphemism.

And wouldn't you think, in the heterosexual world, it would be men who had female troubles and women who had male troubles?

crystal said...

Yeah, the mysterious and odious "female troubles" don't seem to have a corespondent in the male, which sems unfair .... is this your testicle post? :)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm with you on this one. Even as a teenager, I could never figure out why I had to hide the fact that I was having my period (if there was a reason to mention it--I didn't go around making announcements).

I seriously wonder sometimes if this culture will ever grow up.

Susan said...

Hi guys! Yes indeed . . . women with male troubles, IB.

Ruth, we had so many code words for it when I was a teenager. Usually we said "my friend." Who thought of that one?? Some creative types said "my red-headed girlfriend (is visiting)."

Crystal, you thought I might have another one? :-)

Bridgett said...

I grew up in a house with a mother who always had female troubles. Luckily I inherited genetics from my father's side of the family. My next younger sister, though. Female troubles out the wazoo.