Menopause the Musical (a registered trademark) puts a hand on our chests and shoves us firmly back into the biology-equals-destiny dead-end. One of the false claims made by the promoters of the show is that menopause is universal and unites all women, which is simply not true. Menopause is not only complicated by the ageing process, which is entirely individual; it can coincide with life crises that are stressful and even devastating. There is nothing in the musical about dealing with the terminal illnesses of parents, for example. Not too many laughs there. A significant proportion of women will go through menopause with no symptoms whatsoever, but the show presents menopausal uproar as unavoidable, just as it presents a lust for chocolate as universal. Another piece of misinformation peddled by the show is that women do not discuss the symptoms of menopause and think they are alone, which would be a possibility only for women who never read the women’s press.
I’m all for wearing a lapel badge that says “Beware mood swings”, but that’s about it. Menopause the Musical is a version of Springtime for Hitler, the show that shouldn’t have been a hit. I’m thinking of a moneyspinner called Prostate Pandemonium, starring Michael Parkinson and Peter Stringfellow. Wouldn’t it be empowering to see ageing men living their urinary chaos out loud, being upfront and honest about their humiliations, dressing in purple, high-kicking and wetting themselves?
Read the entire Germaine Greer article here. While I’m thinking about it, Germaine Greer’s book on menopause which you can order by clicking here, entitled The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause is GREAT. It is by far the best book I’ve ever read on this time of a woman’s life. I had essentially zero symptoms of the so-called “change,” which is now nicely and tidily behind me. I have never felt better physically than I feel right now. I have more energy than I have ever had, and I’ve always been very much a high-energy person. I had no recognizable “hot flashes.” I had no “sleep disturbances” which weren’t attributable to something besides this theoretical “change.” I did not have “mood swings” or become “depressed.” I had no problems with incontinence, of course. Incontinence is not something any woman should ever suffer, or expect to suffer; it is almost always caused by doctors who cut women in medicalized childbirth, who remove women’s (often healthy) uteruses just because, who “induce” labor prematurely, or who mismanage women’s labors and births. I have had 11 children, one at a time, and have absolutely zero problems of this kind, despite all the ageist, misogynist spin about “menopausal” women. My cycles were different from time to time as I neared menopause, but a cycle is a cycle is a cycle; this did not cause any grievous disruptions to my life. Basically, if I didn’t know there was such thing as a “change” (mostly because it has been lied about and hyped to the seventh level of heaven by male propaganda), I wouldn’t have noticed anything except that my cycles stopped. Then I would have said, “Oh, my cycles stopped.” And moved on with my life!
The biggest and most important — and best kept secret, it seems to me — is that post-menopausal life is GREAT! It’s the BEST! In so, so, so many ways, it’s a revelation, a time of new beginnings, deepening strength, greater vision, a new and greater capacity to connect and make sense of things, much greater self-awareness, and, for women, importantly, a greater determination to act out of one’s own beliefs and views, as well as out of one’s own self-interest, without feelings of wanting to please people or put them at ease, make them comfortable at one’s own expense. There is also a deepening of compassion and empathy, or there has been for me, without any accompanying difficult-to-handle emotional anguish or upsets of the kind which drained my energy and confused me when I was younger. Why don’t we hear about these very positive aspects of this dreaded “change”? They are not unusual. I have never taken a single dose of “hormones” or “hormone replacement therapy” and I never will. Neither did or will my mother, and she’s doing great. Same with my grandmothers.
Male heterosupremacy LIES about menopause like it lies about few other phenomenon– and that’s saying something, given how much male heterosupremacy lies about almost everything! I love it that feminist women are rising up and naming the lies for what they are. No woman should grow up as we did, fearing this dreaded “change” that amounts to nothing at all — so long as a woman stays the hell away from doctors as much as she can.