WOMEN

HuffPost Her Stories: Let's Talk About Menopause

Plus: What coronavirus means for sex workers.
Discussions about menstruation have become more commonplace, but menopause is still a taboo topic in many circles.
Discussions about menstruation have become more commonplace, but menopause is still a taboo topic in many circles.

Hi, readers!

When I talked to people around me, it seemed like menopause was considered like the end of life as a woman, which is kind of sad,” says HuffPost France’s Marine Le Breton.

While writing a piece about menopause, Marine found that feminism has encouraged more discussion about menstruation but that menopause is still off-limits in many circles.

“Men are praised for their gray hair while women are seen as old, less beautiful, and, moreover, infertile!” Marine tells me. She notes that while women seem to be embracing their gray hair, society still appears to have a long way to go to erase the taboo of the time period in which menstruation ends and women’s bodies change again.

Women have also reported facing consequences professionally due to menopause. The Guardian spoke with several women last year who reported anxiety, confusion or loss of confidence, which sometimes led to absences or disciplinary measures at work. Others have reported having to take time off when they are experiencing menopause symptoms.

And although workplaces have become more cognizant of many life changes, most don’t have policies addressing menopause.

“Employers need to do more,” Rachel Maclean, a member of the British Parliament, has said. “Employees don’t get the support they need.”

But in many places, the first step may be to just talk about the subject more, Marine tells me.

“It doesn’t have to be a taboo,” she says. “It’s happening to all women, and it’s no disease. It’s changing a lot of things for women, but it is not something they should have to hide.”

Have you encountered a stigma toward menopause in your community or workplace? Share your story with me.

Until next week,

Sara

Sara Bondioli, editor, HuffPost U.S.

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Readers of French can follow Marine Le Breton (@marine_mlb) for more stories about feminism, discrimination, LGBTQ rights and animal welfare, or follow HuffPost France (@LeHuffPost) for more news about topics of discussion there.

Sex workers are facing concerns about their health and their bills amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Sex workers are facing concerns about their health and their bills amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Sex workers in Seattle are worried about their health and their income in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, HuffPost U.S. reports. Intimate contact is one of the easiest ways to contract the virus that causes COVID-19, putting sex workers at risk. And some have already seen demand for their services decline amid virus fears. But many can’t afford to stop working while bills pile up.

Indian society often pressures women to find a husband at an early age.
Indian society often pressures women to find a husband at an early age.

More and more Indian women are putting off marriage, but societal pressure to find a husband well before age 30 continues. Those who don’t settle down early on are often made to feel they have become too old to be desirable as a wife. At the same time, women may be encouraged to put educational and career ambitions on hold to first secure a husband — only to feel later that they have passed the optimal time for those pursuits. Today, women are learning how to navigate the anxiety created by these expectations.

ICYMI