I was pleased to read Robert Brake's article concerning the education of men about menopause.
It has been 15 years since I experienced clockwork menopausal symptoms and, you might say, am still smartin'. Being of the generation of liberated women, I found an abundance of literature in the public library about the phenomenon until then silenced by unspeakably Victorian values. It was helpful to know that PMS is the foretelling of the death of a woman's ovaries and thus her fertility. It in not amusing to find oneself irrelevant to youth and fertility in world culture driven by it. There are grave political implications surrounding the loss of fertility that women experience dramatically in this reversal of adolescence.
However difficult a wife's PMS symptoms on a husband, it is much more difficult to do stand-up comedy about it from a woman's point of view than from a man's. It is the ruin of many a marriage and used to be the merciful rationalization of innocence for many a crime of pre-menopausal hysteria, not to mention grounds for the institutionalization of madwomen. It is the time when many men transfer their affections from dutiful wives to college co-eds more refined than their own daughters, so intimidating the challenge a mature woman presents in a household.
The best thing about PMS is that three to five years after the onset of it, a transcendent wisdom and energy replaces the hormones of youth in a woman's life, albeit her looks may be gone. Post-menopausal women are able to look back on life and offer advice about true value hardware for one's computer and one's sexual choices. Not that old women can be any more tranquil than anyone else in today's economy.
Taken with a grain of salt, it is encouraging to see Mr. Brake speaking to this generation of husbands.
Barbara M. Martin