So I’m up in Maine with the family and a group friends at a rented vacation home. The kids are sacked out and there’s about 25 minutes of puppetry of the pundits on MSNBC before the dulcet tones of Obama will woo the members of the Mile High club. So I grab a copy of Our Bodies in Menopause off the shelf and flip through it.
Photo Courtesy of Our bodies Ourselves
In case you never snuck a peek of Our Bodies, Ourselves when your the parents of the kid you were baby sitting for were out, it is the September Vogue-sized women’s health Bible, first published by a collective of feminists in the early ’70s. They rightfully resented the paternalistic leave-it-to-the-experts attitude of the medical establishment, and encouraged women to take charge of their bodies and their health. The original contained pictures of women with bad haircuts with their vaginas splayed open, giving birth naturally and with great and painful heroism. Inspiring, in a I-am-woman roaring kind of way.
Not so, Our Bodies in Menopause, issued presumably because those second wavers are now debating hormone replacement therapy.
It is with mixed feelings that I realize that while it is possible to grow older in the spirit of those defiant, abortion-rights, question Big Pharma powerhouse women, I have only a fraction of the problems I am going to have in 10 or 15 years when I hit the big M. Waning hormones, increased risk for most serious diseases, body image issues up the wazoo and a lack of interest in sex (this last may be a blessing, considering that I might not have anyone who wants to have sex with me by then, especially if I become any more moody than I already am.)
Our Bodies, Ourselves was a bit like finding out the secret tricks your body could perform if you treat it and train it right. Our Bodies in Menopause is more like looking into the inevitable abyss; no matter how well you treat it your body, it’s going to treat you less well as time goes on.