Now I don’t want to spring this on you as it is something of a shocker, but, did you know women bleed? Yes, women bleed every month or so and when they stop bleeding they have something called the menopause. It’s an essential part of procreation, of life on earth.
It’s awful, isn’t it? Of course, that bleeding thing accounts why women are not equally represented on boards, in management, in the media, get equal pay, oh it explains a whole lot of things.
It really is the last taboo, isn’t it? Openly talking about ‘women’s things’. What my Mum’s generation referred to as ‘down below stuff’. It even recently made the national news as a news item, because a female tennis player said her bad performance was probably down to the fact that she had her period. I sympathise. I used to pass out regularly from the pain. Period pains dominated my life until I discovered the blessed pill. I absolutely know it affected my performance during a couple of crucial exams. And when the menopause started it all began again. Until I discovered HRT which I am fortunate enough to be able to take.
But we don’t talk about it because it only happens to women. Even many young women today only talk about it with other women, or their partner, as if men in general will be revolted by the idea, or embarrassed. Which is truly ludicrous, isn’t it, as it happens to half the population.
Imagine for a second, how things might be if women had made the world. I’m pretty sure we would have had better medication and treatment very early on. Maybe we’d have bleeding rooms at work! What an idea. Places of refuge at work with comfortable seating, emergency sanitary provision, cushions, hot water bottles, everything of comfort.
I also suspect that miscarriage would be better researched and treated (yes, I had one of those too, something else talked about in hushed tones). It’s a while ago but an insensitive young doctor approached me after I’d had a massive haemorrhage and nearly died, and asked me what I’d done to myself! He seemed oblivious to the tears streaming down my face. ‘Nature’s way, my dear’. Nature’s flipping way hasn’t stopped research into other conditions. But then again, it only afflicts women.
So, don’t be coy any more, women, periods and the menopause are not something shameful that we must protect the poor men from. They are very real things which happen to us and they have a significant effect. Don’t be embarrassed by your sex any longer but let’s make waves and change!
You might enjoy a review I wrote of a book on the history of periods and advertising. It’s a hoot. It’s called Flow, the cultural story of menstuation. It’s by Elissa Stein, (read her interview here) and it looks great on your coffee table!
RenewYou is my one day course for women, licensed to a network of international trainers. Find out more by clicking here.
UPdate: Homeless women in particular need our help as this article shows. Click here to read it.
Posted on March 18th, 2015 by Jane