Once a month I am held hostage by my hormones. Everything gets on my nerves, I am in a bad mood all the time and I can cry over the smallest things. It sucks and I really hate it, but that’s the reality of having a uterus and a menstrual cycle. Of course, like any reader and Rioter, I seek out books to comfort me in this difficult time of the month.
Thing is, I become really picky and irritable when I am in this type of mood so I can only read specific kinds of books. They’re usually easy, light reads or specifically about the hardships of having a uterus and living in a world controlled by the patriarchy. I oscillate between wanting to bask in nice feelings and feeding the angry monster inside me. What to read when I am in this contradictory mood?
Below I listed four books that match those exact needs, but I would love to know what others read during this time of the month. Let me know in the comments!
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
I guess this is a predictable choice given the subject matter, but this book helped me a lot. If I am being completely sincere, I will admit that this isn’t my favorite feminist book but it helped me understand why the female genitalia (and its functions and actions) is hidden from the public eye. Honestly, bits of it grossed me out and some of it was way too hippie for me, but that was the point: smashing taboos the patriarchy has taught us to abide by. I recommend this book if you are trying to love your period and whatever comes with it.
BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler
BITCH is one of my favorite magazines to read while I am feeling poorly or in a bad mood. It is described as “a feminist response to pop culture” and it’s my go-to source of feminist critique. This book is a compilation of essays previously published by the magazine and it’s great for transferring bad energy into things you should be angry about like rape culture and misogyny in Hollywood.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Most of Libba Bray’s books are appropriate for your PMS days: they’re quick and easy reads. This particular book will make you celebrate girlhood in all its glory. When a group of teenage beauty contestants gets stranded on an island, an awesome society is built with cooperation, cleverness and (trans-inclusive) feminism. It’s a pretty light read, but great for an afternoon where you want to read about badass, self-sufficient girls.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
This is such an easy read that it will definitely not annoy you, if you’re in a picky mood (I know I am always picky when I have PMS). It’s a story of re-falling in love, light time-travel and a lot of cheesiness. I love it, and it really comforts me when I am feeling down. Give it a go!
How about you? What do you read when you have PMS?