I don’t know about you but I am SO glad last year has been put to rest! Hope you all had a lovely new year, whether you spent it in your PJs or out on the town, and that 2018 brings good things and a helluva lot more hope than 2017 did.
Here are a few things that brought me to full attention this week, from the frustrating to the inspiring to everything in between…
- “A woman’s value doesn’t derive from her status as a mother. We are entitled to rights and liberties by plain virtue of our humanness…The problem isn’t an aspiration to make the world a better place for one’s children; it’s that women don’t feel quite as entitled to make the world a better place for themselves…In emphasizing that women are fighting so that our daughters can have the freedom to do as they please, we actually halt the progress we want. Without meaning to, we feed into the same norms that keep the world a hostile place for women who want a good and fair life.” Oh my GAWD did I ever love reading You Don’t Need a Daughter to Want a Better World. Similar to how annoyed as fuck I get when men on TV (or occasionally in my own world) say “I have a sister / mother / daughter / wife and that’s why I am doing _____”, I want to punch a wall. Really? That’s the only thing that makes you give a damn? So if you were orphaned and childless, you wouldn’t be as caring? Remember, a lot of those assholes in the White House, including the human garbage in the Oval Office, are married and have daughters. Fuck that shit. Just like women not fighting for themselves and using the “my daughters” excuse for marching, men not simply saying it’s the right thing to do, and using relatives as the reason, is a wuss move that doesn’t confront the reality of today. It’s about time we learn the word OVERT and not see it with a negative connotation. The word overt’s definition is “done or shown openly; plainly or readily apparent, not secret or hidden.” So while many may use it in conjunction with negative actions, it’s about being transparent about who we are and what we want. It’s the opposite of covert. And you know what? It’s time to be fucking OVERT, y’all.
- So I started writing not long ago about my journey into the perimenopause chapter of my life, and one thing really stood out to me in my reading, whether it be on medical or naturopathic, or holistic sites/books that straddle the fence between the two: No one seems to make it okay to just accept this stage and focus on true health and happiness. Even the most hippie dippie of sites are jam-packed with “natural HRT” remedies, TREATING perimenopause and it’s older sister, menopause, as some kind of disease. Just like pregnancy and childbirth are viewed by a large majority as an illness to be treated, rather than something that’s been happening since the dawn of time (and being in a developed country where maternal mortality is actually rising, we don’t have a helluva lot to be proud of). Just like there’s a Business of Being Born (thank you Rikki Lake!), there’s also billions being made in telling women that “the change” must be fought. Like anything else related to aging, particularly with women, the marketers out there have found ways to tell women that their natural state is a bad one, and we are not okay as we are. So even while Betty Kamen, PhD, said, “Menopause is a natural rite of passage and should not be treated as a disease,” few doctors actually agree, and I’m not just referring to MDs. Nearly every Naturopath you find out there has a whole cocktail of herbs to offer as “natural hormone replacement therapy” they try to sell you, rather than counseling you on things that are good for all of us – diet, exercise, and mental health. Oh but wait, that would mean they’d have to spend more TIME with you and have more TRAINING in those areas. Looking back at the history of HRT, after the first synthetic estrogen was marketed to disastrous consequences, a 1966 best seller by a gyno, Feminine Forever, claimed that menopause is “an estrogen-deficiency disease” and that “All the unpleasant symptoms which accompany menopause were the simple result of too little estrogen. Insufficient estrogen supposedly caused a woman to lose her youth, beauty, cheerful attitude, and bone density all at once, with the onset of menopause.” (source). I don’t know about you but clearly you can see that this was the claim of a male doctor. God forbid women don’t fit into their mold, god forbid we age and start to look different and – gasp! – potentially act different. This is the same industry that supports the torture of horses to create Premarin which comes from the urine of pregnant mares in North Dakota and Canada. See anything off-kilter here? Hey, if you want to take wild yams or get back on the pill, be my guest, but I’m just encouraging a more open look at why we’re being told that something is WRONG with us because we are getting older and our bodies are changing once again. And it just made me think, what if we pushed drugs on preteens to “combat” the “side effects” of going through puberty? No, we just know this is part of growing up and encourage acceptance. Amazing if we tried that with menopause. PS – Did you know there is no word for Hot Flash in Japanese? Read more about why HERE.
- There is definitely a lot of fun being in my forties where I just don’t give a damn about what others say like I once did. I’ve always been opinionated, but as I get older I’ve given myself even more permission to challenge the status quo, and when something doesn’t sit right, I investigate. So the other day my husband and I were talking about Catholicism and Mother Teresa and he enlightened me with the fact that her “sainthood” is total bullshit and she wasn’t all that folks liked to portray her as. Now folks, I’m agnostic, but have always been taught (and read in later years) a VERY one-sided perspective of who she was and of supposed great things she did, so was intrigued to do more research to learn about the reality. Mother Teresa’s Sainthood is a Fraud – Just Like She Was was a particularly good eye-opener I thought I’d share. Along with this, HuffPost editor Krithika Varagur wrote, “a 2013 study from the University of Ottawa dispelled the “myth of altruism and generosity”…was basically the result of a forceful media campaign from an ailing Catholic Church. Although she had 517 missions in 100 countries at the time of her death, the study found that hardly anyone who came seeking medical care found it there. Doctors observed unhygienic, “even unfit,” conditions, inadequate food, and no painkillers — not for lack of funding, in which Mother Teresa’s world-famous order was swimming…Mother Teresa’s image is a relic of white, Western supremacy.” (source). Folks, when you know better, you do better, and I’m glad to finally know better.
- 2018 is definitely about upping the Self Care game in my life. After so much stress and trauma of the past few years, I have a serious appreciation for my health and a real commitment to rediscovering my strength. My vision, while still not great, has incrementally improved, which is good, but I now have two small hemorrhages in the same eye (unrelated to the retina surgery) and am waiting for the hospital to call me to get me scheduled in for a carotid doppler scan to hopefully rule out anything related to the possibility of carotid artery disease which can lead to stroke (turns out those scans they now do at the optometrist – the one that replaces dilation that’s way less obnoxious – can show potential non-eye related issues…interesting stuff, and it was $39 on top of my regular VSP vision coverage – worth EVERY penny). Naturally that scares the shit out of me since my father died from a hemorrhagic stroke, and with the weight I gained during the 2.5 straight years of fertility treatments, I’m trying to channel that into positive actions to better care of my body and mind.
- So yes, lots of thoughts and powerful emotions coming out in this post. January is a big month. As it’s the start of a new year, I loved reading How to make your New Year’s resolutions a little less self-centered. Now THAT is inspiration for all of us – how to no only focus on our own healing, but on healing the world.