Women's History Month: March
We do live in an amazing time. Women are more and more becoming embolden to speak their voice and really live in their truth. We are starting to own our own power and even uniting a bit more with one another, seeing each other as less of a threat and more of a pillar of strength. We're breaking down generations of taboo whether related to our roles in our relationships, our home, our social circles, or even about our bodies and sexuality. I am here for it and loving every minute of it.
For Women's History Month, I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane and thank a few #trailblazers, although feel a bit inspired to go further back even, into the history of women healers and thank them, giving them too, a voice and acknowledgement for all that they endured to make way for myself today. Maybe next March.
In my office, I have a framed picture of the 1991 nude image of Demi Moore pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair. It was the first of its kind, and I thought discreet, gorgeous, and powerful. In high school, long before I ever envisioned myself as ever being pregnant and not yet even knowing what a midwife was, this cover captivated me. I found it inspiring and was proud. Thank you, Demi, for taking this courageous step and carrying some of that criticism on your shoulders, as I remember that well too.
Rupi Kaur, Canadian poet, posted an image of herself bleeding through sweatpants as she woke one morning to the realization she had started her period. Essentially all women experience this at one point or another. She documented it and shared (please read her post because it is much more articulate and poetic than my paraphrasing) that society is more comfortable with the pornification, even degradation of women, than they are that this represents the potential to make humankind each and every month. The controversy that sparked from that post proved her words accurate.
While I missed the Rupi Kaur headlines in 2015, I very much remember those made by Harvard Business School graduate, Kiran Gandhi when she ran a 26 mile marathon in orange pants because she didn't want to run wearing an uncomfortable feminine product, and those staring at her bloodstained crotch were mortified in spite of personal hygiene not being much of a priority for anyone after mile twelve anyway. Women have periods.
More and more celebrities shared their own challenges with infertility, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, even cystic acne which has freed many others to talk and share and end their own silence. Actresses Kim Cattrall and Helen Mirren have shared the power of the "pause" and aging disgracefully, while Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin taught us all about why vibrators need a complete revamping so they can be well utilized by senior women with arthritis.
Social media, podcasts, magazines, and really great books are being published daily that give power to women. We are listening to one another and elevating each other's voices. We really are standing on the shoulders of our foremothers. We don't have to be sexy in our sixties and hold onto every morsel of our youth. We can embrace our silver locks and be grateful that each wrinkle on our face is evidence of a life that wasn't lost young, but rather lived to its fullest.
The #metoo movement ignited much talk about sexual politics and violence that continues to be part of conversation even seven years after its first introduction. I shared my own sexual abuse story in a previous post, and like many of you, it wasn't my only experience being violated. Imagine how a mandatory signed collaboration agreement is secured between a male dominated profession and a female dominated profession dependent upon this requirement to practice, at least with prescriptions. This is hush hush though, because shaking that apple cart can get one blackballed. Hollywood has taught us those lessons, as has politics.
These women though, I thank immensely. Mary Breckinridge, thank you, for establishing midwifery as a professional role in the United States, and Pink for being a badass breastfeeding momma while on tour, and even Cardi B for demanding fair pay. These women are legends.
Today though, I sit on the brink of my crone years. I had my last child just six years ago, just as I stepped into my forties, and this past month, I missed my first menses. The time for the peri-menopausal joy ride has come and I welcome it. I am eager to turn in and focus more on my own needs, to sink more into me time, and to give less care to what everyone else needs from me. I want to experience life in peace and get off the race to achieve all that I can that is life in your twenties and thirties. My hope now is less about leaving a legacy or building an empire and more about just experiencing life with joy, being the best me I can be.
What I know to be true as a women's health clinician though, is our bodies travel that path with ease if we enter it healthy and happy. If we make these transitions with some level of dis-ease or un-happiness, we will hit bumps, sometimes rather turbulent, in the trail. My goal remains to be at my fittest by fifty, and not because I need to because of societal pressure, but because I want to feel great. I enjoy toning my body and caring well for it. Now is when I can make that time my priority. This month I've spent some time creating a program for embracing those crone years, better understanding the imbalance of our hormones, and digging more into living my most authentic life. End of May, this program will be ready for each of you to join, if so desired. Circle up with me. Let's embrace this transition with joy and vitality, but more so, with complete authenticity and belonging.