1. Sasha L says...

    Perhaps slightly beside the point, but if your periods are making you miserable, look into not having them. Single best health decision I ever made. I realize that it won’t work for everyone, or be a healthy choice for everyone, but for lots of women, suppression could vastly improve the quality of your life.

    What I experienced: almost immediate end to chronic anemia, better sleep, less chronic pain, incredible lifting of depression and anxiety, weight loss, increased energy, less migraines, zero acne, and magically my husband and family became dramatically less annoying for half the month. I was just over 40, have suppressed for 5 years now, with zero side effects, and the first birth control pill I tried worked perfectly. Results vary! But it’s worth a chat with your Dr if you are experiencing negative symptoms with your period.

    PS, suppressing your period is just about as *natural* as having one, month in and month out, for decades…… Neither is the *natural* reproductive state for human females.

  2. Dana says...

    How about: expecting period every day since being one year postpartum, but still nowhere in sight! Actually, last week I was losing my mind, partly sleep deprived, but still felt like something was really wrong with me. The next day I got my period and rejoiced!! First one since my daughter was born 15 months ago!

  3. Leah says...

    Yes, yes, and yes again!! This is me and I don’t find it offensive at all.
    I’m a woman, I get my periods, and I hate going through the nasty mood swings and everything else it involves.
    If your mood is not effected by your period – good for you, you are very lucky. I definitely am, and I intended to talk to my daughter about it when the time is right, so she’ll know what to expect and how to deal with it.

  4. Tar says...

    me too!!! But this is a recent thing for me. It has been really throwing me off but I started to feel better about it after noticing the pattern.

  5. Marissa says...

    Our body chemistry certainly does account for our moods! Certainly not the only factor behind a bad mood but I know my hormones definitely contribute to my weepy, angsty, angry, bad mood feelings right before my period. This self-knowledge is useful.

    Demeaning someone for their hormones is one thing, but realizing you may be acting out of the ordinary because of your cycle is useful… time to hunker down and practice self care.

  6. S says...

    After seeing mixed reactions to this post, I went to Nina’s original illustration to see if I could dig anything up. The caption reads,

    “Forever finding excuses.”

    I completely relate with that. I feel better or slightly assured when that time of the month rolls around after a weird/hard/emotional day. I think, “Ah…it all makes sense now.” I don’t think Nina is trying to spread or encourage a stereotype that women are always in a bad mood. I can see how one may interpret it that way, but we should also keep in mind that the creator has his/her own perspective/inspiration/idea behind a drawing and ultimately, that’s what matters most.

    Regardless, happy Friday :)

  7. Ali says...

    I have read that during your actual bleeding estrogen levels are at the lowest point of your cycle, your hormone level is most similar to a man’s. Shows how biased our socilization can be to saying anything that is not male is strange. When we assume that blood = strange! scary! Must be hormonal!

    • Marissa says...

      I find I behave more irrationally and emotional than usual, so in that sense, yes, it is strange.

  8. Owl says...

    Haha! I find this funny! The cartoon woman is just cranky all of the time, regardless of her cycle! Lol. Ps: Myself- I am very sensitive to my hormones and need to have humour about it – it helps me survive the reality. It’s worse (and far more damaging) to pretend it doesn’t exist or happen to some us. I literally have to plan around my period week because of migraines and pain. Saying that we aren’t allowed to acknowledge that reality is denying what many women experience. And honestly, all that pain makes me sensitive and more emotional. It’s tough! And it’s real. I’m Very happy for women who can’t relate, it probably means you don’t suffer from your menstrual cycles the way some of us do. And for me, when my period is over and far away (4th cuadrant) I am as happy, energized and strong as can be! I plan my life accordingly. Humour helps. :)

    • Marissa says...

      This!

  9. Andrea says...

    hah, love this!

    thanks for the laugh :)

  10. Hayley says...

    This illustration plays into the same crap that gets thrown at powerful women like Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren: they are always “angry” and “emotional.” Why support that narrative?

    • Julie Crawford says...

      I totally agree, I love 99.9% of cup of jo content, but the whole ‘women are ruled by their bodies and hormones’ thing completely undermines women. Disappointing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so interested in this response because i saw this as a totally different thing — i interpreted it as a woman who got into bad moods now and again, but it actually has nothing to do with her period because it can happen anytime. like, it shows the ridiculousness/pointlessness of the stereotype.

      now i’m curious to ask nina what she meant when she drew it :)

    • kate says...

      Couldn’t agree more. Saw this and was disappointed.

  11. Colleen S. says...

    My bad mood is due to my younger sister. Our mom is less than a week away from surgery and nervous, and she moved in with our parents because she screwed up her life, and she is going around stressing our mom out and insulting her. I’m fiercely loyal to our mom, and she hates her guts. I know sisterly love is a big thing on this site, but my sister could disappear off the planet and I wouldn’t give a hoot.

  12. Laura says...

    No where near my period= ovulation which is the week I’m the most moody though!

  13. Rebecca Biscocho says...

    Yes. Relatable. Hahaha
    May I suggest comics by an illustrator named Fran Meneses (Frannerd)?
    Please check her out on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Her comics are very relatable and funny! Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!

    • Claire says...

      Fran is so amazing; she would be great on Cup of Jo! :)

  14. Ashley W says...

    This is so true for me. Totally sending it to my husband!

    As much as I don’t want to encourage stereotyping and all that, after having a baby I discovered just how sensitive I am to hormone changes: physically through loosening ligaments to the point of injury, as well as psychologically/emotionally…

    Having a kid has changed my perceptions on gender and I’ve accepted that while many many (many) things need to be changed in society, hormones and genetics play an enormous part in how people inherently are from birth. Including the fact that everyone exists on a variety of spectrums.

    <3

  15. Kay says...

    I usually like these illustrations but this one rubbed me the wrong way. Aren’t we perpetuating that women are always in a ~bad~ mood?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh just in a jokey way — just how we try to explain any bad moods to ourselves.

  16. anna says...

    I love this! :)

    I’d also add:
    Skipped a Period and Now Pregnant
    (The ultimate excuse for grumpiness.)
    This describes my week, much to the dismay of my husband who I was trying to keep the secret from until his birthday. The extreme moodiness set him off, though. haha

  17. LOL

    sigh

    it me

  18. i like these illustrations but this one is kind of offensive.. sort of simplifying what a woman is to various stages of having periods? blergh.

  19. Kate says...

    I read a fascinating study a few years back that said that in order to protect ourselves in those days when we might be pregnant, we evolved to be really picky about who we were around and the situations we’re in, basically just for safety. So during the ovulation and luteal stages, the body operates on a basis of “might be pregnant, not sure yet, but we’re ready just in case!” So, yeah, if you feel moody or sad or suspicious or angry and super emotional at certain times of the month, it’s thanks to evolution ramping up your fight or flight instincts to avoid harm. If no fertilization, the body sheds the uterine lining and we can relax a bit until the next go-around. (Obviously does not apply to all womxn or all situations!!)

    • Brooke says...

      Kate, I love this!! Such a wise and affirming explanation.

  20. Jill says...

    Even though there are other reasons for a bad mood, this reason is SO REAL that it’s funny.
    The next frame reads “too old for a period”. That sometimes makes me really cranky. Hahaha!

  21. Mims says...

    i’m on a campaign to replace “period” with bleeding. Let’s own it.

    • Lynn says...

      Word!

  22. Jane says...

    I…. relate to this a little TOO much! Don’t get me wrong, I’m irritable all the time, but I tend to develop more severe mood problems and occasionally even suicidal thoughts when I’m luteal. PMDD is a real disorder, and I’m going to a gynecologist Monday to see if I have it. :/

    Also, have you heard the theory that Sylvia Plath had PMS or PMDD and that it may have played a part in her suicide?

  23. Danielle says...

    I love Nina’s work so much! I was going to link to her awesome Kickstarter project illustrating a trip on the Trans-Siberian railway but it literally finished like a half hour ago!

    • Laura D. says...

      Same here! I love Nina and was happy for the opportunity to participate in her Kickstarter project. I can’t wait to see her book when it’s finished!

  24. Kelli says...

    Doesn’t this perpetuate the stereotype that if women are in a bad mood it’s “must be that time of the month?” Disappointed in this one.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      No it’s saying the opposite! We are just in bad moods haha :)

    • Sarah says...

      I’m with Kelli. I don’t think the single quadrant on how we have no reason is particularly helpful or funny–still suggests we are irrational. My period doesn’t drive my moods, and I have reasons when I feel negative emotions.

    • Addie says...

      Kinda got the same vibe.

    • Marta says...

      @ Kelli – I thought the same! :(

    • Sam says...

      I had the same reaction.

    • Joy says...

      I agree, this perpetuates a negative stereotype. If I think of my 9 y/o daughter and messages society provides about being a woman, this one bums me out.

    • Olivia says...

      I thought the same – not offended by the post at all but I’ve been thinking about this issue in general as I’m pregnant with a daughter. My husband brought up how his cousins 7 year old daughter had said to her mom “are you on your period?” When she was in a bad mood. I immediately said – NEVER make jokes like this in front of our daughter. I don’t want her to be taught we are “hormonal,” irrational, or unable to control our emotions due to menstrauation.

      That said, I was a complete moody bitch in my early first trimester and later apologized to my dear husband. Haha.

    • Caroline says...

      I agree with Kelli. I think it’s a reiteration of that idea. I’m sure the artist is a wonderful person. This cartoon is not for me.

    • JO says...

      I think it’s important to note that a bad mood and irrationality don’t have to go hand in hand. I DO often get in a bad mood when I have my period, but I am still capable of logic and rational decision making. I plan to teach my daughter that women do have bad moods, along with good moods, angry moods, etc and that she is not expected to always be happy and perfect. If her period is the cause of said bad mood, so be it. It’s society’s history of equating the menstrual cycle with hysterical behavior that is the problem; women, just like men, are entitled to any mood at any time of the month. And sometimes menstruation is part of the cause. That’s ok.

    • Amber says...

      I actually think it’s saying that your period has nothing to do with your bad mood by pointing out the ridiculousness/pointlessness of the stereotype.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, amber, same!

  25. Kelley says...

    I am in that first grid today for sure and desperately needed a laugh. Thank you for providing one!

  26. Denise says...

    Maybe because I’m in category 4 – in a bad mood having nothing to do with period – that period humor just made me even crankier. WHICH is, I admit, a little funny.

    • Agnes says...

      Haha!! Laughing at yourself for the win. Too little of it these days ;)

  27. Carrie says...

    Yep, I’m a nightmare right before my period. My mood is best just after my period, and I’m my most social and energetic right before ovulation :) The joys of charting, you learn so much about your cycle!

    • escondista says...

      I am the same way! So weepy and grumpy before my period, happy and content a few days into it, and I almost get anxiety now around ovulation. It is incredible and (if I am honest) sometimes annoying and frustrating to know my body so well!

  28. Caroline says...

    Nooooooo. Maybe I’m about to get my period but I really dislike this cartoon. Perhaps it’s in good fun but I any reiteration/reinforcement that a woman’s hormones are the only reason she is in a bad mood is…a bummer. Come on!

  29. Joy says...

    hahahahaha immediately sent this to my husband so he’d feel less alone.

    • Larysse says...

      Yup. Same.