GIVING VOICE TO MENOPAUSE
A She Listens project
Giving Voice to Menopause is a multilayered wellbeing and health project which aims to bring into public view and conversation the existence and multifaceted experiences of menopause. Menopause is experienced by one half of the population yet little is spoken of this profound stage in a woman’s life when significant physical, psychological and spiritual change occurs. This is causing harm in our culture. As the full experiences of women are denied, knowledge and education is limited and women are left to try and figure out what is happening to them in one of the most profound stages of life. This silence reinforces the shame and stigma of the menstrual taboo with harmful consequences for women and society.
As described in About Bloody Time, the dominant cultural narrative on menopause is of deficiency, pathology and loss. Without hearing the rich tapestry of women's diverse voices to counter this narrative, women often view their own experiences through this lens and have to negotiate their needs in their workplaces, educational institutions, and with people in medical and other social systems who also view menopause in this way; the shame and stigma and ignorance is perpetuated.
The aim of the project Giving Voice to Menopause is to create opportunities for the diverse stories of women's menopausal experience to be shared and heard. It is a move to inject the telling of this stage of women's life into the cultural conversation, to expand the field of telling of women's experience, and to counter the harm being done when society does not listen nor learn from wisdom and knowledge of women's physical, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing.
The project is designed to create opportunities for women to speak about their experiences, to grow networks and links to health and educational material regarding menopause. It values the importance and nourishment of holding conversations amongst women about their experiences and aims to grow communities of wellbeing and support. When stories are told, validation and witnessing occurs, relationships and connections are made, and information channels can be discovered and shared.
The premiere of the film Giving Voice to Menopause screened online on World Menopause Day 2021.