Saturday, 9 March 2019

The Cafe From Hell

My union is very proud of itself. It is introducing a 'menopause cafe' at my workplace which women 'of all ages' are encouraged to attend to learn about the menopause and support each other and...wait for are invited too, in the spirit of inclusivity!

Call me strange, but I would sooner pull my own toenails out one by one, even if I were at that stage in life, than join such a cafe, let alone tell my boss all about my intimate bodily functions in the expectation of special treatment.

Nor would I wish a condition to define me, should I be unlucky enough to suffer it. 'What do you remember most about _______?' 'Oh, I remember she had very bad menopause symptoms.'
Some gift to the world, huh?

Notwithstanding, women who are having a bad menopause are advised to cut caffeine and sugar out of their diet as this could exacerbate symptoms! Therefore a cafe is the last place they should go!

I also wonder how women who don't have to work for a living fare compared to women who do work. Do those who don't have a symptom-free change of life? What if it is all down to workplace stress? Of which there is no shortage where I work, so perhaps they should think about a more pertinent type of cafe.

For me a 'menopause cafe' is disempowering as it makes women 'the problem' yet again, discourages employers from employing us and does not fit with either equality or 'dignity at work', which we are all legally entitled to. Yet again we are returned to victimhood status owing to our gender. This level of overshare in the workplace is an equally unattractive prospect to me. Some things should remain between you and your loved one (or doctor).

Moreover there are plenty of alternative treatments on offer, or, if the worst comes to the worst, the dreaded HRT.

Interestingly it seems menopause symptoms are an invention of the 20th century and our 19th century ancestors did not suffer them. Too much artificial food, chemical and stress bombardment in our lives perhaps? Just look at how diabetes, obesity, allergies and other conditions have skyrocketed within living memory.

Men are known for mid-life crises. What cafes and special treatment will they be offered when they enter the womenpause, I wonder? Will women also be welcome to come along and understand what they are going through? And do men receive a constant steam of patronising cards through the post reminding them to have a 'scrotum scrape' every three years and that 'an appointment has been made for you' etc as if they are incapable of making an appointment for themselves should they want it?

The mind boggles.

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