Temple News ‘Menstrual Struggle’ Column Goes Viral: ‘When Your Girlfriend Suffers, You Sure Will, Too’

Temple News relationship columnist John Corrigan is currently earning scorn, snark, and tons of clicks for a piece he penned on the horrors a woman’s period inflicts on the men in her life.  Gawker calls it the “Most Ridiculous Period-Advice Column Ever.”

In the piece, Corrigan lays out the inconveniences boyfriends suffer when their significant others enter “that time of the month.”  According to him, these include a hold on all sexual activity, frequent trips to 7-Eleven to pick up comfort food, and existing as a human piñata for the torrent of criticisms that are directed their way.

In respect to the latter, as he writes at one point, “When your girlfriend suffers, you sure will, too.  Although it is not scientifically proven, women can maximize their mean streak during the menstrual cycle. . . . Your appearance, your performance, your family, your friends– everything is fair game for critique when you’re caught in a woman’s PMSing scorn.  They call it a period, but an exclamation point is more appropriate.”

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Upon publication, the column almost immediately entered viral-ville.  There are already many corners of the interwebs sporting ‘ha,’ ‘eww,’ ‘whoa’ or ‘oh God no’ reactions.  In the critics corner, the three main contentions: 1) It plays off cheap gender stereotypes.  2) It is offensive to women.  3) And it doesn’t, ahem, scream funny.

For example, in a pair of tweets (hat tip HuffPost), Erica Palan, the managing web editor of Philadelphia Magazine and a Temple alum and Temple News veteran, declared, ”A columnist for @TheTempleNews writes the most outlandishly offensive thing I’ve read since … the Romney campaign. . . . The thing is: If it’s parody, it didn’t work. And if it’s not parody, then it is in such poor taste that I can’t even believe it.”

Two comments beneath the piece expressing different perspectives: 1) “The fact that this is getting so much attention is ridiculous.  Why do we live in a society [where] people find any reason to feel they are victimized?  It’s so obvious that the author is trying to be humorous, sarcastic, and as many of you pointed out he [simply] didn’t do too good a job.”  2) “I’m a woman and I think this is absolutely hilarious.  Sending this to my boyfriend who will be equally amused.  Thanks for the morning laugh.”

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As the tweet above hints, amid the outrage, there has been interest: The column set a one-day temple-news.com traffic record, grabbing more than 27,000 hits yesterday.

The paper’s editor-in-chief Angelo Fichera, via Romenesko: “The column was read by our whole staff, including men and women, before it ran.  I think they all felt that this was not meant to be taken seriously. If you’ve read his column in the past, you know this is the same tone he’s always taken. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. That being said, we’re going to take the feedback into consideration. . . . It’s definitely been a learning experience.”

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