A while ago, I had an idea for a website. It would be a kind of calendar site and tracker for men to keep tabs on their wives and girlfriends’ menstrual cycles. There are lots of these sites for women, but I couldn’t find any targeted at men.
In my very ad hoc survey, I found that most men had little or no idea about their partner’s cycles. The site wouldn’t specifically be aimed at getting notified about their partner’s PMS, but was more designed as a holistic heads-up. Men could use it as they saw fit. Presumably users would get email alerts or sync the information to their own digital calendars. I would take pains to make it as lighthearted as possible. I even had a good name: HerAuntFlo.com.
It wasn’t a very good idea, though, as I got a negative reaction from most people I talked to about it. No matter how I positioned it in conversation, it sounded kind of sexist to a number of women. So, like 90% of my ideas, I dropped it.
Today, Gillian sent me a link to PMSBuddy. It’s pretty much exactly what I describe, though it’s specifically targeted at the PMS-wary (or weary, I suppose) among us. The site’s slogan is “saving relationships, one month at a time”.
I’m kind of on two minds on the execution. On the one hand, I do think there’s a little value in the service. After all, it could theoretically help men behave more sensitively. On the other hand, is it fundamentally sexist?
Maybe the sexism lies in the male user’s reasons for signing up?
UPDATE: Tim (who has some entertainingly bad photos from MLS) sent me a link over Twitter to a coincidental TechCrunch profile of another site concerned with women’s cycles, Go28Days. Their spiel: “maximize your chance of conception or avoid pregnancy naturally”.