Learn how your diet may be affecting your IQ. We used to think that our IQ was fixed based on our genetics. But now we know that just as our genes can change during our lives, so can our neurons.
Menopause is the 3rd phase of womanhood, and overuse of hormones may disrupt it.
Suzanne Somers and other thought-leaders in the medicalization of menopause movement have, whether purposely or not, promoted the idea that menopause is unnatural, an evolutionary oversight born of the overdeveloped human lifespan. The underlying assumption is that after a woman has reproduced, her role in society and to her own DNA has been eliminated. Grandmothers are optional.
Another line of thought proposed by anthropologists who study woman’s role in human culture over a lifespan suggests otherwise. Grandmothers are essential leaders in the family politic, the key to raising healthy, stable, balanced children.
Anthropolgists studying the Hazda, a herder gatherer tripe in Africa find that grandmothers play a unique role in rearing children by:
- Tending to weaned children and making sure they are fed and looked after
- Foraging for food while mom breastfeeds
- Fairly allocating food resources
Researchers living among the Nestilik and Inuit while the societies were relatively intact in the 1920s noticed that when a hunter brings back a large animal such as a seal or a moose, it was the matriarch who wielded all the political power in determining how to divvy up the animal between brothers. Other anthropologists cite similar examples of grandmothers’ role in food-portioning and other power structures. I worry that having an excessive dose of sex hormones swirling around a sixty-something year old brain just might get in the way of the reasoned judgement required to maintain these leadership roles.
My own experience living and working among multi-generation families in rural Hawaii jives with the idea that grandmothers serve a stabilizing role in family life. They baby sat. They fixed things. I could see, when grandma brought the children, that they were getting a different kind of love, a non-judgmental everlasting sort of thing, that busy, working mom’s and dads just can’t provide. And when the going gets really rough for teens, those with close relationships to grandma have somewhere to go besides the streets.
So It Was with Pop Icon Lady Gaga
In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Lady Gaga talks about her close relationship with Grand-dame Gaga
Instead of rehab, though, when disaster struck, Gaga “went home.” She tells journalist Lisa Robinson, “All I will say is I hit rock bottom, and it was enough to send a person over the edge. My mother knew the truth about that day, and she screamed so loud on the other end of the phone, I’ll never forget it. And she said, ‘I’m coming to get you.’” Gaga says they went to her 82-year-old grandmother’s house in West Virginia. “I cried. I told her I thought my life was over and I have no hope and I’ve worked so hard, and I knew I was good. What would I do now?
And she said, ‘I’m gonna let you cry for a few more hours. And then after those few hours are up, you’re gonna stop crying, you’re gonna pick yourself up, you’re gonna go back to New York, and you’re gonna kick some ass.’”
Grandmothers are love, wisdom, and ego-lessness rolled into one leathery package. My thinking on the medicalization of menopause is that if a woman is having uncomfortable hot flashes and can’t sleep, then hormones are likely to help and should be used (preferably natural hormones). But to suggest that to experience your post-menopausal years fully you must inject high-doses of estrogen and progesterone into your body, as many new-wave health practitioners do, seems a failure to understand aging, and a rejection of the institution of grandmotherdom.