July 22, 2024

Menopause is so hot right now

If you had asked 20-year-old me to explain what “perimenopause” was, I would have stared at you blankly. Honestly, I would have struggled to even tell you much about menopause. It was never a mainstream topic of conversation and studies have found that most women were never educated about it. Indeed, I’m pretty sure I learned a lot more about Henry VIII’s wives at school than I could have expected from my own body as I got older.

Fortunately, things are changing. The stigma is being shaken off menopause and it is finally being taken seriously. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama spoke about their experiences and the need to have open conversations about this rite of passage. Actor Naomi Watts launched a lifestyle brand dedicated to menopause called Stripes Beauty, which was recently acquired by a luxury private equity firm. Other brands are popping up in the space as people realize that catering to menopause symptoms is a lucrative market.

Menopause is also being taken more seriously by the scientific community. In March, for example, First Lady Jill Biden announced a new women’s health in the White House initiative see if it is possible to delay menopause and the health issues that come with it. The announcement began with a sad but depressing story about misogyny in medical research. “In the early 1970s, researchers in the US noticed that women who had gone through menopause – so who had lower levels of estrogen – were more likely to have heart attacks,” said Jill Biden. “So, a study was done asking if estrogen prevents heart attacks; 8,341 people were selected for that study. All of them men! That’s how things were done.”

Doing things differently requires rethinking and treating the female reproductive system – to quote a piece on menopause research published by the New York Times this week – as “much more than just a baby maker”. Ovaries have a massive impact on almost everything in a woman’s body. Once your ovaries decline and stop making estrogen and progesterone and releasing eggs, your risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and other age-related ailments increases.

The ovaries are “the only organ in humans that we just accept will fail one day,” Renee Wegrzyn, director of the government agency leading this new menopause initiative, told the Times. “It’s actually pretty wild that we all just accept it.”

One reason why we have now finally stopped accepting it is that it is starting looks a lot like the ovaries may hold the key to how we raise them human lifespan – for both men and women. There has been a flurry of headlines recently the lines from The Quest for Longevity Begins in the Ovaries.

Longevity research, as you may have noticed, is all the rage right now among Silicon Valley types and the super-rich. There doesn’t seem to be a multimillionaire who doesn’t try crazy new ways to live forever. Now many of these people are indeed becoming very interested in the ovaries. So there you go: now it’s established there’s something in it for men, we can expect to see a lot more money go into menopause research.

Australian museum hangs Picassos in women’s toilet in response to court ruling

Until April, Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) had a women-only art exhibition entitled “Ladies Lounge”. It was supposed to be a comment about “the historical exclusion and imbalance in artistic representation”. A man sued and a court ruled that it should also be opened to men. The artist then closed it and now some Picassos that were in the Ladies Lounge hang in a place female toilet cubicle.

Dressing up is over: it’s fashion’s ugly decade

As a dirty freelancer, I’m ecstatic to hear that sauce-stained clothes are now officially fashionable.

A Dutch volleyball player convicted of raping a child has qualified for the Paris Olympics

In 2016 it was Steven van de Velde sent to prison for the rape from an underage British girl he allegedly met online. (Some outlets reported the girl was 12.) This does not appear to be a big problem for the Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo). In a statementthey said Van de Velde (29) “proved to be an exemplary professional and there was no reason to doubt him since his return”.

Texas abortion ban linked to 13% increase in infant and newborn deaths

What a surprise: “pro-life” policies actually appears to be pro-death.

‘Hot rodent boyfriend’ is the latest trend reshaping men’s looks – why can’t we extend this generosity to women?

The hot rodent boyfriend news cycle went on much longer than I expected. Still, Rebecca Shaw is always worth reading. “There are never stories that tell us, ‘Men go wild for sexy teapot women,'” Shaw mourns in the Guardian. “Or about how yet another movie cast another angsty spider-girl type as the lead.”

What did Joe Biden say during the abortion debate?

Biden repeated earlier statements that, if elected, he would restore Roe v Wade. (This is a big promise that will be many difficult to fulfill.) Unfortunately he did too presented this shockingly twisted nonsense: “Look, there are so many young women who have been – including a young woman who has just been murdered and [Trump] – he went to the funeral. The idea that she was killed by a – by – by an immigrant who came in, and they’re talking about it. But here’s the deal, there’s a lot of young women who are raped by their–by their in-laws, by their–by their spouses, brothers and sisters, by–just–it’s just–it’s just ridiculous. And they can’t do anything about it.”

Iceland has become the first sovereign nation to issue a gender bond

Gender financing”, which looks at investing through the lens of gender equality, is a growing area. Sexual tiesa type of debt that finances projects to promote women’s empowerment is a small part of this.

Let Afghan women join the UN talks next week

A UN meeting on Afghanistan will begin next week in Doha, Qatar. Women’s rights, or the complete lack thereof, is a pretty pressing issue when it comes to Afghanistan. But the Taliban has ensured that no Afghan women will be allowed to participate in the UN meeting and women’s rights are not even officially on the agenda. “The Taliban silenced women’s voices in the country by using violence and torture,” said Afghan politician and activist Fawzia Koofi written in the Guardian. “And by excluding women’s participation in the Doha meeting, the UN and others in the international community have enabled the Taliban to try to silence our voices outside of Afghanistan as well.”

The week in pawtriarchy

One of the only amusing bits of Thursday’s car crash of a debate was when Biden told Trump “you have the morals of an alley cat”. A decent soundbite, but a stain on the reputation of cats everywhere. The Alleycat Association of America is not a-mew-sed.

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