A new government website, launched to inform women about menopause, spells out, in its very first paragraph, that women are “all those who identify as women as well as those that do not identify as women but who share women’s biological realities and experiences”.
The website and campaign from the Department of Health, launched to some fanfare by Minister Stephen Donnelly, says “it seeks to take the mystery out of the menopause”.
The gobbledygook in the first paragraph would seem to be a barrier to ‘demystifying’ anything. As ever, women’s health, their rights and their concerns are being subordinated to the increasingly shrill demands of a tiny number of trans extremists.
It’s important to note that many transgender people, having changed sex, simply want to get on with their lives, and do not support the bizarre notion that gender is a spectrum or that everyone is ‘non-binary’ and that gender is a construct.
But these days, the shrillest voices seem to be the ones most often heard, and so we have the madness of the Department of Health winding itself up in knots trying to define the word ‘woman’ in a website on menopause.
Here’s the full introduction in all its glory:
“When this website talks about “women” it is intended in the most inclusive sense of the word. It is used as shorthand to describe all those who identify as women as well as those that do not identify as women but who share women’s biological realities and experiences. In using this term, we seek to include not exclude. Using gender to inform health policy is just one way of creating more targeted, personalised health services for all people in Ireland.”
Right. That won’t be winning any Plain English awards anytime soon.
A giant banner on the menopause site tells visitors: “If you know a woman, you should know menopause”.
The irony seems entirely lost on Stephen Donnelly and the crew in the Department who began the campaign by acknowledging that they do not, in fact, seem to know what a woman is.
The campaign aims to tackle the ‘taboo’ around menopause. How this is achieved by insisting that anyone other than women experience menopause is beyond me.
This is not the first time, of course, that women have been belittled by the HSE or by various government initiatives. In 2020, the HSE came under fire for a decision to remove references to “women” in its online information about cervical cancer screening.
Under the changes, the HSE’s webpage about the screening programme referred to “anyone with a cervix” rather than “women” or a “woman”.
No wonder women increasingly feel diminished by the rush to pretend that biological sex isn’t real.
Interestingly, the new Menopause initiative was informed by what the Department of Health describes as a “radical listening project” on women’s health which found that “many women don’t recognise symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in themselves”.
The HSE describes menopause “as a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones. This change causes menopause. It happens when your ovaries produce less oestrogen (a hormone) and no longer release an egg each month.”
Here’s a ‘radical’ insight: people who do not have ovaries do not go through menopause. They are not women. Women go through menopause. Men don’t.
As part of the “radical listening” the Department of Health said it “commissioned research which paints an illuminating portrait of the Irish woman’s menopause experience.”
The number of women that were included in the research, I have to say, seems rather small, with just 20 one-to-one discussions amongst the age groupings likely to be experiencing menopause or have already gone through the change.
But the research did find that women felt that “their voice doesn’t matter”, that there was a “lack of visibility of women”, and that women were not afforded dignity.
A Department that doesn’t seem able to define what a woman is certainly isn’t going to change that perception.
Looks like we menopausal women have yet another hot-flush-inducing, annoying, insulting irritation to deal with.