Recently, a video was released featuring various well known women, with the aim of bringing menopause into the spotlight. However, I was dismayed to find that most of the content emphasized the negatives of this phase, and there were very few comments on the positives.
Of course it sometimes it takes more effort to find and focus on the positives, but it is really important, especially when menopause is not a short term thing, but a phase that lasts 2 – 3 years on average.
Just as puberty happens over several years, at the other end of a woman’s fertile period, menopause is a gradual shift of the body from one phase to another.
During puberty, shifting levels of hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone create body and brain developments, shifts in moods and emotions, and a period of fundamental growth and change at many different levels, just like at menopause, which is almost like the same process in reverse.
However, we don’t generally suggest to pre-pubescent girls that they are about to enter a terrible phase that will be a nightmare from beginning to end! No one who has been through puberty or parented teenagers would call it easy, but it can be navigated with care and nurturing, and out of it blossoms a young woman or young man, with their whole life ahead of them.
So why do we see menopause as such a negative phase? It is really the opposite process to puberty, with our bodies winding down the reproductive systems and adjusting our hormones accordingly. It is a period of change and adjustment, often coinciding with children growing up, or parents needing more care, which makes it stressful, along with hormonal changes, but it leads to the emergence of a woman of experience, wisdom and a lifetime of knowledge behind her. A woman who can begin to really focus on her own dreams and her untapped potential!
It is high time women were given the chance to focus on this time as a period of growth and transition, rather than it being portrayed as the end of a woman’s usefulness. What does it say about our society that so many women feel the end of their natural fertility marks the end of their ‘womanliness’?
It is time to rebrand menopause as a time of transition that takes women from the power of youth to the power of wisdom and experience!
‘Girl Power’? What about ‘Woman Power’? The true power of older women? That could be an amazing force in the world if we just recognize and embrace it!!