Photo Credit: California Milk Board
Poor men, they have to bear the brunt of PMS. That’s the message the California Milk Board is sending with their new "Got milk?" campaign, which is hoping to bolster milk sales by telling guys it can cure the symptoms of PMS, including those crazy irrational mood swings that they must fretfully endure. Man, it must really suck being a guy during that time of the month. Glad I don’t have to put up with that… wait a second, men don’t get their periods. Oh, I get it! What the Milk Board is saying is that women are such crazy b**ches when they’re menstruating that they make life a living hell for all men who dare to cross their paths. Now I really feel bad for them.
So, just to be clear, the ads hope to sell more milk by touting the health benefits of milk to women by targeted them to men by insulting women. That’ll definitely work!
The name of the campaign: Everything I Do Is Wrong. The posters feature apologetic, meek-looking men armed with quarts of milk with captions like, “We can both blame myself,” and “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you actually meant.” The California Milk Board has even launched a mock public service announcement site called, everythingidoiswrong.org, where dudes can do things like track the “current global PMS level” (meant to resemble the Homeland Security Terrorism Advisory System) -- because if there’s anything scarier than a terrorist, it’s a woman on the rag. I mean, am I right or am I right, people? Why is no one laughing? Yeah, I get it -- making fun of women’s periods has been comedic fodder since fifth grade. Of course, for the majority of us, it stopped being funny when we graduated from junior high..
As for the whole “milk curbs symptoms of PMS” argument, the Milk Board does link to a review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that found, “calcium supplementation has been demonstrated to relieve many of the symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, headache, and cramps of the premenstrual syndrome.” Not that you need milk to get your calcium. Some experts such as T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., author of The China Study, and Neal Barnard, M.D., of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine now believe that the hormones in dairy can actually make PMS symptoms worse by elevating estrogen levels in the body. Eating a lot of fat may do the same.
I’d love to see what would happen if guys actually had to withstand the cascade of hormones that course through women’s bodies every month. My husband gets the sniffles and you’d think he just contracted ebola. Our breasts ache; our stomachs balloon; it feels like a small animal is kicking us repeatedly in the ovaries; and we have blood flowing out of our genitals, for chrissakes. But chin up, right? If men got their periods -- and, really, thank god they don’t -- my guess is, they’d try to use it as an excuse for taking out their enemies, a la Dan White’s notorious Twinkie defense (he claimed the sugar high from eating a bucket load of Twinkies caused him to shoot and kill Harvey Milk).
Personally, my take on the ads is that they’re good for a juvenile snicker and, for the most part, harmless. They fall into the same category for me as Howard Stern does. While he probably doesn’t believe half the crap spilling out of his mouth, there are people who take it as gospel. Those are the people that concern me. The ads might cater to sexist idiots, but they aren’t going to turn people into one. And honestly, the ads are a lot more creative than most of the advertising out there. It will get them the publicity they hoped for, but it probably won’t help them sell any more milk. But then again, maybe that’s just me being sour, because I have my period.