She’s so hot…and it’s so cold

Posted by on Jun 8, 2009 in HRT, Inspiration, menopause | 0 comments


I ran across a wonderful review and commentary on Louise Foxcroft’s ‘Hot Flushes, Cold Science’ in the Lancet journal this past weekend.

Writer Londa Schiebinger points out the Foxcroft details how western medicine took “a natural process” and made it into a disease.  [The book] “tells a much needed story — it’s a must read for those who don’t know how western medicine has created dread and shame in menopausal women. Foxcroft reveals the underbelly of a history [of physician’s attitudes towards and treatments of menopause] rife with chauvinism, misogyny and collusion. It also reminds us of the need for good medical research in this area.”

Some of the more drastic treatments throughout the 19th through 21st Centuries have included:

  • Removal of one or both of the ovaries (which was associated with a death rate of 45%)
  • Radiating ovaries to restore femininity
  • HRT and its associated cancer and heart disease risks

All of these, being sold to millions of women, of course, on the premise that menopause is truly a woman’s hell.

Even though the National Institutes of Health has specifically stated that menopause is not a disease, many western practitioners continue to perpetuate the myth and line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies. However, Schiebinger reminds us that “women’s power, including the power to say “no,” may be their best defense against the maladies” that our culture associates with menopause.

I am inspired by the upsurge in interest and research into alternative approaches to address menopausal symptoms, by the strength that many women are now showing by refusing to start hormone therapy or insisting that they wean off of it, by writers like Foxcroft who are ballsy enough to confront the status quo and insist that women be encouraged to take control over their healthcare and their bodies.

I started Flashfree a little over a year ago with a mission to provide timely information about alternative approaches to menopause and to encourage women to create a new paradigm about midlife and its challenges. Undoubtedly, science has its place in helping us toward some of these goals. However, only by constantly challenging and pushing back will we be able to truly become masters over our own destinies.

No Comments


  1. The Roundup: June’s News and Tidbits « Flashfree - [...] She’s so hot and it’s so cold – A new book lays the groundwork for how western medicine has…
  2. Got ‘tude? « Flashfree - [...] attitudes towards menopause. One of the most discouraging (and telling) findings was that the medicalization of menopause affected Caucasian…
  3. Wednesday Bubble: HRT – Ask the Hard Questions « Flashfree - [...] biases, ranging from the inherent health risks to the belief that menopause has been treated as a disease for…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *