A: We are living in a Golden Age of menopause and peri-menopause resources! I spend a lot of book recommendations apologizing for the cis-centric and entirely white voices, but not after 2021, when it comes to menopause! Gen X and millennials are aging into menopause, and they are not going to accept that bullshit. They want research, sure, but they also want full, free choice around how they relate to their own bodies and how it ages. Here are three resources you can trust/believe:
What Fresh Hell Is This? by Heather Corrina. They provide a deeply honest, funny, inclusive overview of the experience of peri-menopause, grounded in their own personal experience. Heather is the founder and head of Scarleteen, one of the very best sex ed sites for young people on the whole entire internet, so you know when they turn their attention to peri-menopause it’s going to be good. And wow is it good. THEY INCLUDE AN ODE TO THEIR COOLING PILLOW. I took a picture of the poem and sent it to my sister.
Black Girls Guide to Surviving Menopause is a podcast and more by Omisade Burney-Scott. (You can watch her brilliant StyleLikeU interview here). She is here to disrupt shame and stigma, to open the discussion, normalizing menopause, and confronting the ways people are marginalized as they age. Her work will feel like dinner among all the best relatives you never knew you had. Grief and identity, rage and convergences, you’ll feel loved and welcomed.
Menopause Manifesto by Jennifer Gunter. You know Jen Gunter from her takedowns of goop, you love Vagina Bible already, and now here is the menopause book that leverages the science and a feminist lens (and humor!) to scour away misogynist myths. You want the history of menopause in medicine? You want stuff on SLEEP? Here ya go!
Most of the rest of it is up to you. (For example, do you enjoy an astrological point of view? Cool! I can’t help you find a good resource, but I’m sure it exists.)
But I would offer two more standards:
First, I would say that you might consider weight-neutral resources, things that don’t medicalize ordinary weight change and that don’t treat weight loss as a “treatment” or “cure” for anything (which it is not, it is not; please also read Health At Every Size.)
Second, relatedly, I would say you might consider resources that emphasize your joy and humanity, over your objectively measured “health.” You’re a person. You deserve love and pleasure and all the delights of life. You don’t owe anyone your compliance with any measure of anything.
As a person in peri-menopause myself, I’ve been delighted to see the world of advice expand to be more diverse inclusive, more intersectional, more explicitly feminist and non-medicalizing (even when it’s written by medical doc!) I hope these are helpful for you and point you to even more resources.
Stay safe and see you next time.