Greer’s re­think on menopause

The Northern Advocate - - Books - — Linda Thomp­son

The Change — Women, Age­ing and the Menopause By Ger­maine Greer, Blooms­bury, $26.99

It was 1991 when renowned Aus­tralian fem­i­nist Ger­maine Greer first pub­lished The Change. Now it’s a quar­ter cen­tury later, a dif­fer­ent co­hort of women have reached menopause and Greer has done a re­think.

Back in 91, no one talked about menopause. Women qui­etly dealt with hot flushes, took re­place­ment hor­mones and with­stood raw jokes about their un­avoid­able age­ing process that men seemed to avoid.

They did talk among them­selves about their dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence of menopause though, and the huge vari­a­tions in women’s ex­pe­ri­ences and how to deal with it be­came ap­par­ent.

But now, as it was then, women tend to take this in­evitable pas­sage alone.

There is mis­in­for­ma­tion and point­less meth­ods touted on the in­ter­net to deal with the of­ten em­bar­rass­ing and un­bear­able side ef­fects.

Greer deals with the many myths and deals prac­ti­cally with the emo­tional and phys­i­cal changes.

Times have changed — a bit. Greer ar­gues against women dis­ap­pear­ing as they age, and pro­motes the idea that menopause is the time when women can en­joy a free­dom from bi­ol­ogy.

She rightly calls it the cli­mac­teric, or crit­i­cal pe­riod. She is scathing of the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion and their pa­thetic at­tempts to “treat” women, and dis­cusses the many and var­ied “nat­u­ral” meth­ods to deal with the in­dig­ni­ties.

This should be on ev­ery ma­ture woman’s bed­side ta­ble, as a quick ref­er­ence that she’s not los­ing her mind and still has an abun­dant life ahead.

Ger­maine Greer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.