Remember when people wouldn’t talk about Premenstrual Syndrome because it had to do with lady bits and lady blood and that’s just disgusting? So years went by with women feeling suicidal or homicidal or physically ill and everyone just ignored it until doctors finally came out all shamefaced and said, okay, we admit it, this really is a thing? And remember how it was the same with Postpartum Depression? Because PPD had to do with childbirth and lady parts and the fact that a baby coming is supposed to by joy-making and if you aren’t joy-filled every damned second, something is wrong with you and no one wants anything to be wrong with them so women just kept their mouth shut? Remember that?
I think menopause is kinda like that.
Why? Because too many people, (usually men, but some women too), still get squicky over anything that even hints of female sexuality and reproduction. Because menopause has to do with lady parts and getting older and gasp, getting older might indicate you aren’t as young and sexy as the 24 year old next door and no one wants to admit that.
Especially if you write young adult fiction.
Because young adult authors are supposed to be young and attractive and vivacious and not, heaven forbid, in their forties or fifties and menopausal. I’m not sure if it’s our industry, all industries or our whole damn culture, but no one wants to be the crone at the swinging young adult author parties because teens don’t like “Old Women”
But SCREW THAT because I bet that SE Hinton, Judy Blume and Lois Duncan have all gone through menopause and they are some of the BEST WRITERS OF TEEN FICTION EVER. And SCREW THAT because teens are NOT that shallow and I can name at least a half dozen middle-aged authors who don’t meet society’s standards of traditional beauty and teens RUN to their tables for a signing, FLOCK to the stores to buy their books and SEND them fan letters of love and adoration.
Because age has nothing to do with understanding and respecting the teen psyche. Age has nothing to do with writing books that reach out and evoke an emotional response from teens and other humans. PMS, PPD and menopause don’t hinder an author’s ability to write thought provoking, emotional and entertaining literature, they enhances it, just the way that all life experiences enhance it.
And that being said, be jealous, because I am one enhanced MOFO and my writing just keeps getting better. HA!