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Do Men Need An iPhone App To Track Women’s Menstrual Cycles?

Do Men Need An iPhone App To Track Women’s Menstrual Cycles?

Well, regardless of need, they’ve got one.  Apparently, iPhone apps for following women’s periods are a booming market; the latest, called “Code Red,” allows men to type in the first day of their female partner’s (or any other woman whose cycle they would like to track) period for a couple of months, and the phone responds with a “devil horns” symbol during PMS time – and a “frisky ovulation alert” during ovulation.  And yes, before you ask, the app works on the iPad.

“Code Red” is admittedly less offensive than other period tracking apps – I’m thinking especially of IAmAMan, which allows the owner to track the menstrual cycles of several women at once, because of course to be a man is to be a gadget-loving adulterer.  And if marketed as a way to track women’s fertility, I suppose it’s not as problematic as it could be.

But let’s just take a look at the way the app is advertised on Apple’s website.  The description: “Men’s best defense against the monthly Her-ricane.  Men no longer need to fear the wrath of menstrual madness. MEDL Mobile is pleased—and very relieved—to introduce Code Red: a simple but powerful menstrual calendar for men to keep track of—and survive—their girlfriend’s/fiancé’s/wife’s monthly cycle.” 

“Code Red” provides a series of helpful alerts and tips to let men know how to “brave even the most violent of storms.”  Because clearly, women are completely ruled by their menstrual cycles.  At the end of the day, as Monica Hesse writes in the Washington Post, “one might speculate that the proliferation of these apps all ties into some deep fear of womanhood — an attempt by men to make sense of what they do not understand.”  My frustration with the app is very simple.  If you want to know where your wife/girlfriend/fiance is in her cycle, ask her. 

As Jodi Jacobson points out on RHRealityCheck, “We can’t quite accept socially that there is a spectrum of sexuality inherent in being human and that not everyone is embraced under the culturally constructed ‘one (heterosexual) man and one (heterosexual) woman’ notion of marriage.  We still hide condoms in drugstores and some men still have problems buying tampons for their significant others because its….embarassing.”

I also find the assumption that women are fundamentally different people during various phases of their menstrual cycle to be deeply irritating.  Women have bad moods; we want sex at different times, and it’s usually not related to our reproductive cycles.  Women are not machines to be monitored, any more than men.  And if men are terrified of their partners during different times in their partners’ menstrual cycles, well, then I’m sorry for them.

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Photo is a screenshot from Apple.com.

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128 comments

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12:53PM PST on Feb 6, 2014

Men can be just as baffling as women. They like to say/believe they are simple creatures, and act like women are aliens who need their own manual, but men really aren't that simple. They can definitely be hard to predict when they are "in a mood".

As far as the app in general goes, if they got rid of the sexist marketing, it would be a good thing for women who want to track their cycles for whatever reason. Fertility, convenience, whatever.

12:52PM PST on Feb 6, 2014

You know what? Men have ups and downs too. So do children, women who no longer have periods, and well..pretty much every human on the planet. Guess what everyone has to do to "deal with" these horrible blind-siding emotional occurrences that spring up from these...human creatures? Pay attention. Be sensitive. Show empathy. Give enough of a crap to deal with the daily ups and downs that afflict human beings.

Some claim that men have "cycles" as well, they just aren't as obviously marked by a physical happening that can be "tracked". http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53725

Some of these same men, who want sympathy for their own ups and downs "because cycle!" are the same ones who are first to yell "Broadzilla!" when a woman is on her monthly. It's kinda sad, really. You can't have it both ways.

You either have to agree that ALL people should be "mood-tracked" for our personal convenience, or that they should just be dealt with the normal way. By us CARING about another human being's emotional well-being, paying attention to signals, being generally kind. And until men can be "tracked", I guess tracking is off the menu. :P

Using an app to predict moods is like using a magic 8-ball anyway, since just because you're on your cycle, doesn't mean you're always going to vamp out or start crying or want ice cream or some other sexist stereotype. Yet, you can be OFF your cycle and read some sexist crap like this and go from zero to medieval pronto. :

7:29AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

I think every person who bleeds monthly should be checked into their bodies as much as they want. I agree with Kaitlyn K-- femstrual calendars are tools, though this one is not respectful. It took me years to predict my cycle, now I know that mine is a bit shorter than average (24 days vs. 28). DOWNLOAD A FREE MOON calendar here! (see why some people call it "moon blood"-- your cycle might follow the moon, esp. if you have a 28-ish day cycle.)
http://www.mooncup.co.uk/mooncup-community/free_lunar_calendar_2012.html

5:36PM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Oh gawd... the world is sick.

1:37PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Ha, ha Jessica, thanks for the laugh ..

I agree with you Barbara, though it is FANTASTIC if a guy shows personal interest in his wife to the extend of having an app that would tell him when sex is off limits or whatever else it reminds him about that his wife shared with him, they discussed regards her period, it is VITAL that it remains PERSONAL..

Like one's sex-life, periods are PRIVATE and PERSONAL.

1:02PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

I'm sorry I am a crazy beotch around this time maybe it will helps guys understand it's a good time to back off. Of course I would love an app that would REALLY help guys.......

Like a G spot app! Can I get a ohh yeah??!!??

sorry it's friday I get crazy on fridays ;)

12:56PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

There are few men's comments on here that do seem sincere, Kudos to those few, the rest of you men...well...don't give a rattz butt when we are on our periods! And this is a personal matter between husbands and wive's... Don't think I want my boyfriend showing his friends when my period takes place!! and that's just what men do, they have no concept for the word PERSONAL....

10:57PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

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9:37PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

First let me say I don't love the article, but do find it kind of funny! Anyway, I want to give a shout out to www.bigforge.com. If anyone hear wants to build an iphone app (hopefully not as controversial!), BigForge is great. Very affordable and great customer service.

6:42AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

I am a GUY. I do not have an iPhone but I have the Nokia N900 and an app called "Maegirls" which does the same thing however, it is not as rude or vulgar as the other apps. It is just a simple scrolling calendar that has different colored bars for PMS, menstruation, and fertile days. I only use it for the two most important women in my life, my girlfriend, and my mom. (Yea I know kind of awkward having my mom but trust me it helps) These types of apps can be viewed as bad or good but it depends on whose using it. Last night my girlfriend started crying randomly and I had no idea what was going on. Therefore, I checked my app and it reminded me that she might be on her premenstrual cycle. I do not use the app to distance myself but to understand that she does not have control of her hormones right now, so I can be more accommodating. No one in a relationship likes being yelled at for no reason but if you can understand the cause then you can plan with it.

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