I can think of nothing worse!!…..
So, we have ‘baby on board’ badges for pregnant women, which weren’t around during my pregnancy and I certainly wouldn’t have worn that one… and now there are suggestions that we have ‘M’ badges for women suffering from the menopause! What next? We may suffer from severe menopausal symptoms, we may stand upon a train, but I don’t people to offer me their seat because I’m wearing an ‘M’ badge, oh no!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed about the menopause, I’m not someone who doesn’t want to talk about it! I’m pretty vocal believe me! But I don’t feel the need for strangers to look on with wary/fear/sympathy…. In their eyes!
If you are on public transport and you ask politely if someone would, open the window, move over or give their seat up, and they don’t why would wearing a menopause bade make a difference? You can see it now, “would you mind giving your seat up – “Yes I would mind” – “But I’m menopausal” – “Of course!”. Not that likely is it?
“Menopause badges are a well-intentioned idea, but our society isn’t ready for them.” writes Dr Louise Newson in the Telegraph.
She continues, “These women need targeted, individualised medicine and emotional support. They need to be empowered with information about their treatment options. What they do not need is to be made to feel different”.
Every woman has a different experience of the transition and while symptoms can be debilitating, getting the right information and understanding the treatments available would do much more than labelling these women which could make them, even more, self-conscious.
Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, has also jumped on board, calling for businesses to offer their ‘menopausal’ staff flexible working arrangements! Unison is also demanding ‘menopausal’ women rights, they are now entitled to more breaks during the day and allowed to leave early if they want to.
Sadly, these factors could actually work against women wishing to continue a career into their later years, they could see promotions passing them by, new employment opportunities not becoming available, we do need to be careful, we can’t have it all!
As a menopausal woman myself, I totally support women getting the proper medical help they need. While we can see the good intentions for proposing a badge, it’s certainly not the best solution.