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Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers. 

1. The Tory split on Europe can’t be reconciled (Times)

Cameron’s isolation over Juncker is just the latest manifestation of a 150-year fault line running though his party, writes Philip Collins. 

2. Interest rates are entering the twilight zone (Daily Telegraph)

Central banks are only storing up problems for the future by sticking to printing money, says Jeremy Warner. 

3. Labour should be chasing Green voters, not Ukip supporters (Guardian)

Ed Miliband would be wrong to adopt an anti-immigration message, says David Edgar. Despite Ukip's surge, it has not recruited large swaths of loyalist Labour voters.

4. Draghi’s action has silenced the doubters (Financial Times)

The interest rate is as low as it can go but other measures could be stepped up, says Gavyn Davies. 

5. D-day 1944-2014: a standard for our times (Guardian)

D-day gave us a story and a myth and a standard of judgment we do well to heed, says a Guardian editorial.

6. You can’t reduce a 300-year-old union to a mushy peas analogy (Daily Telegraph)

Unionists can win in Scotland if they stop patronising and find some poetry, says Fraser Nelson. 

7. A Taliban victory wouldn't be an unmitigated disaster for Afghanistan - unless the west failed to support it (Independent)

They were brutal and reductive, but they brought the country closer to peace than at any time before or since, writes Peter Popham. 

8. What Xi and Putin think about the west (Financial Times)

Stable relationships will require understanding and a willingness, when necessary, to be tough, writes Philip Stephens.

9. Obama’s control freaks freeze out the media (Times)

The daily White House briefing could end as the president keeps a tight grip on his image, writes Justin Webb. 

10. Secret justice may be right for Putin's Russia – but not peacetime Britain (Guardian)

Judges have become co-opted into the security apparatus, bartering liberty for an assumed safety, writes Simon Jenkins. 

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Women aren’t supposed to blame their foulest moods on their hormones. It’s time we did

It’s our job to play down the, “I’m pissy and want chocolate because I’m getting my period” thing as much as possible.

“NEVER CALL ME AGAIN. EVER,” I bellow at some hapless cock dribble called Brian or Craig who is sitting in a call centre somewhere. It’s too bad we haven’t been able to slam down phones since 1997. No matter how hard I jab my index finger into the red “end call” icon on my iPhone, it doesn’t have the same expulsive effect.

I’d put hard earned cash on Brian/Craig’s next thought being this:

Someone’s time of the month, eh?”

And if so, he’s bang on the money. I’m about to period so hard, the shockwaves from my convulsing uterus will be felt in France. Maybe Brian/Craig shrugs too. Right now, it kills me to think of him shrugging. I need to have ruined his day. I need for my banshee shriek to have done, at the very least, some superficial damage to his eardrum. I need to have made this guy suffer. And I need a cake. A big cake. A child’s birthday cake shaped like Postman Pat. A child’s birthday cake that I’ve stolen, thereby turning his special day into something he’ll have to discuss with a therapist in years to come. I’d punch fist-shaped craters into Pat’s smug face, then eat him in handfuls. All the while screaming unintelligible incantations at the mere concept of Brian/Craig.

Brian/Craig works for one of those companies that call you up and try to convince you you’ve been in a car accident and are owed compensation. Brian/Craig is a personification of that smell when you open a packet of ham. I’ve told Brian/Craig and his colleagues to stop calling me at least twice a week for the past six months. Unfortunately for Brian/Craig, this time he’s caught me at my premenstrual worst.

There’s an unspoken rule that women aren’t supposed to blame their foulest moods on hormones. Premenstrual hysteria (literal hysteria, because wombs) is the butt of so many sexist jokes. It’s our job to play down the, “I’m pissy and want chocolate because I’m getting my period” thing as much as possible. It’s the patriarchy that’s making us cranky. It’s the gender pay gap. It’s mannequins shaped like famine victims silently tutting at out fat arses. And we’re not “cranky” anyway – babies are cranky – we’re angry. And of course I’m angry about those things. I’m a woman, after all. But, if truth be told, I’m cranky too. And, if even more truth be told, it is because of my hormones.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is PMS cubed. For years now, it’s been making me want to put my fist through a wall every time my period approaches. Take the sensation of watching a particularly jumpy horror film: that humming, clenched-jaw tension, in preparation for the next scary thing to happen. Now replace fear with rage and you’ll have some idea of what PMDD feels like. Oh and throw in insatiable hunger and, for some reason, horniness. For at least a day out of every month, I feel incapable of any activity that isn’t crisp eating, rage wanking or screaming into a pillow.

And if, like me, you also suffer from anxiety and depression, trying to detect where the mental health stuff stops and the hormone stuff starts becomes utterly Sisyphean. Then again, the extent to which the hormones themselves can fuck with your mental health tends to be underestimated quite woefully. It’s just a bit of PMS, right? Have a Galaxy and a bubble bath, and get a grip. Be like one of those advert women who come home from work all stressed, then eat some really nice yoghurt and close their eyes like, “Mmmm, this yoghurt is actual sex,” and suddenly everything’s fine.

For too long, hormone-related health issues (female ones in particular) have been belittled and ignored. There’s only so much baths and chocolate can do for me when I’m premenstrual. I wasn’t kidding about the Postman Pat cake, by the way. And, Brian/Craig, in the vastly unlikely event that you’re reading this – yeah, it was my time of the month when you called. And if I could’ve telepathically smacked you over the head with a phone book, believe me, I would’ve done.

Eleanor Margolis is a freelance journalist, whose "Lez Miserable" column appears weekly on the New Statesman website.