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Speaking about menopause without fear of prejudice or negative responses

Speaking about menopause without fear of prejudice or negative responses

katie.robertson / 30 Nov 2023

E2W and Men for Inclusion have worked with and been a keen supporter of Kate UsherMenopause & Gender Equity Consultant, Speaker, Trainer & Author. We are delighted to be sharing her thought leadership on our blogs.

I was working with a very senior woman recently.

She could nail someone to the wall over a business deal. She has been involved in restructuring the organisation she works for and sadly has had to make numerous people redundant.

These are all complex, difficult and at times emotional activities. But, even with all of this, she couldn’t tell her husband or her colleagues she was menopausal, and it was starting to take its toll. This is the danger zone for women. This is when they choose to leave their careers or downgrade their ambitions. It’s also the time relationships start to crack.

Menopause affects every person with ovaries. It doesn’t matter how much we earn or how successful we are. The fear this woman and so many others feel, drives us to diminish ourselves and stay silent.

They fear that by talking about their menopause they will define themselves as:

  • Old
  • Obsolete
  • Inapplicable
  • Past it
  • Incapable
  • Unattractive
  • Asexual

These fears sit deep in our psyche, driven by historical stereotypes. To counter balance this we - this means everyone, not just menopausal women - need to start to:

  • Recognise menopause occurs in our 40s and early 50s
  • Educate ourselves
  • Talk about menopause as a normal and expected phase in life
  • Use age appropriate images
  • Speak out to stop the cycle of banter
  • Offer meaningful support to women, their partners and their colleagues
  • Understand that menopause affects everyone

We should all be able to talk about menopause without fear of prejudice or negative responses. To enable us to get to this point we must all play our part in addressing negativity when it occurs, whether that be from other women, men or ourselves.

Do you know someone who is struggling to talk about their menopause? Please get in touch with Kate and follow her LinkedIn page for regular and insightful content. 

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