Sandy Steele, Claire Walker and Claire Tregaskis respond to Rose George’s long read on the menopause
I feel deeply for Rose George, but what saddens me most about her essay (Long read, 16 August) is the amount of tarnish on the lens through which she (and any struggling menopausal woman) gets to look at what’s happening to her: it is heartbreaking to hear her muse in all seriousness that a post-menopausal woman is pointless in evolutionary terms; that the only acceptable place for menopause is in menopause jokes, and that getting out your fan in public makes people think of periods.
When menopausal women feel strong they can bat aside these assumptions, but from the depths of hormonal hell it’s not such an easy thing to do. So many of these unhelpful whisperings stem from the things we read in print and online while looking for support at a vulnerable time. I wish it were of more interest to the reading public to hear about women who have thrived during and after menopause. I don’t mean Rose George’s 84-year-old Twitter troll, who simply dismisses the nightmare of a difficult menopause. I mean women who have endured and been transformed, and are able to share their experience with those of us who are still flailing in the thick of it. Perhaps the Guardian could build on Rose George’s courageous discussion-opener by tracking some of them down?
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