I think Jacqui Smith, whose programme Porn Again was broadcast on BBC 5 Live last night, is brave to talk openly about her husband using pornography. It’s certainly caused a sensation, and, as some people suggest, whether or not she’s using this as an opportunity to open up a career in journalism isn’t the point. But pornography being a major issue in society certainly is. I discovered just how much during my research for Sex, Meaning and the Menopause.
Well done Colin Firth for winning the Oscar last night for his performance as George VI (Bertie) in the wonderful King’s Speech.
The film is about how Britain’s future king comes to terms with his awful stammer. I can’t imagine how dreadful it must have been for him to have made those speeches. Courage is an understatement. But it’s the relationship between Bertie and his eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue that brings the film to life. Bertie had someone batting on his team. Someone who brought out the very best in him. It’s this that brought tears to my eyes.
I found myself surprisingly disturbed as I listened on BBC i-player to Roisin McAuley’s absorbing BBC Radio 4 documentary, Leaving Mr Wrong (available until Mon, Feb 21st). In fact, it would be fair to say that it really hit me between the eyes how marriage has changed since I was born.
My mother, and most of her generation, would never have dared challenge their husbands. It was socially unacceptable (and therefore unthinkable) to divorce. But as the BBC documentary pointed out, babyboomer wives now seem to be walking away from their long-term partnerships in droves, often leaving their husbands flabbergasted, hurt and lost.
It’s happened again – another article about how postmenopausal women are really only forty.
Have I missed something? No. I haven’t. I just need to reach for a photograph of me at 40 and then look at one of me now, and sorry. I ain’t the same.
Fair enough for the Western Mail to point out that ‘the sixth decade no longer means shampoo and sets and settling down like your grandmother did.’ And having interviewed over 60 women for my book on Sex, Meaning and the Menopause, I agree that most older women have never had it so good.
After announcing this morning that Nelson Mandela has been admitted into hospital for tests, BBC Radio 4 News continued by saying he was ‘not in danger.’ Much loved though he is, Nelson Mandela is 92, and as far I am aware, not immortal. Clearly his body is beginning to pack up, and he is getting ready to die. That’s what happens to people who reach this grand age. Attributing the concept of danger to this is, for me, ridiculous.
I’ve just read yet another article (this one from Menopause Relief) about how you can ‘cure’ low libido during and after the menopause.
Why, when evolution at this time of life naturally lowers libido for many of us, is there this fixation and expectation that older women should automatically need and want sex?
Yes. Having thoroughly researched the subject of sex and the menopause for my book, Sex, Meaning and the Menopause, there are plenty of post menopausal women who want an active sex life. And it’s quite right they should be helped if it becomes difficult. But there are plenty who would be quite happy never to think about it again.
I love the latest sex discrimination tale concerning the menopausal Mary Bassi who at the age of 56 was sacked as a stripper in Houston, Texas. Call me old fashioned, but I kind of empathise with her bosses. I mean, if you’re a bloke and out for a night on the seedier side of town, surely you would want to see young, or at least younger flesh?
Then again, I am tempted to shout hurrah for Bassi who had the bloody nerve to carry on wanting to expose herself well past the days where I (a year older than Bassi when she was sacked) am reticent to wear a swimsuit unless it’s an Edwardian bathing garment, mop cap, et al.
It’s been just over a month, with Christmas and the New Year thrown in, since Woman’s Hour discussed the latest views on the Menopause and HRT. The reason why I haven’t commented on this before now is because I wanted time to reflect on what was said, and also to stop feeling cross.
While I understand that the menopause can produce all kinds of unpleasant symptoms, why, oh why, do the media, books and websites about this major life change focus on medical issues, or how to fix it?
Cripes, I thought I was onto something new as a prophetess of what really happens during the Menopause.
Listening to Sunday on BBC Radio 4 this morning, however, it seems God got there first.
Radi0 4, as you probably know, is currently marking 400 years of the King James Bible, and this morning’s first readings were from Genesis. Chapter 18 verse 18, beautifully delivered by Samuel West, really caught my attention when God tipped up unannounced (for a change) with two mates for lunch with a very elderly Abraham. Continue reading “God and the menopause”
Been talking to quite a few women this week. Their stories about menopause are touching, particularly those who are struggling to make sense of what is happening to them physically and spiritually.
To prepare herself, one woman had done quite a lot of reading around the menopause. When it arrived, she recognised various bodily symptoms, but nothing prepared her for what she was going to feel about her self.