Not In the Mood

Women are more likely to be no-shows: to withdraw from events or call in sick.
-Dean and Borenstein (2004)

Women feel fatigue and want to rest more in the week before menstruation.
-Baker (2007)

Premenstrual side effects reduce work productivity.
-Steiner et al (2003), Silberstein (2004)

Women approaching menstruation are more likely to perceive themselves as having impressed others poorly in a social setting.
-Sommer (1983)

Daybreak by Maxfield Parrish

“Can I get anything for you?”

“No, I’m just tired. You go on with your swim.”

In the final days of a regular cycle, progesterone and estrogen are in freefall. A woman feels more passive and prefers solitude. She is less likely to initiate activities and more likely to think she has performed poorly in social interactions. In Daybreak, perhaps the horizontal woman’s leg is propped up to alleviate the premenstrual discomfort in her lower back--the only suggestion that all is not well in a calm composition that is highly rational. Unlike Cassatt’s orchard workers, these women are not energized collaborators. Unlike Picasso’s Demoiselles, there’s no engagement with the viewer.