Our mothers' generation didn't really have a frame of reference for it either.
But many years ago, some cultures honoured mid-life women as wise women.
These women received and accepted the honourable name of 'Crone'.
Our society has progressed far with respect to the opportunities available to women.
The roles of women and men aren't quite as clearly defined now.
However, we live in a very productive society, and individuals and lifestyles who do not buy into this results-driven philosophy are held up for examination and even ridicule.
So for the most part we emphasize the concrete rather than the abstract...
the outer-directed physical instead of our inner emotional, psychological and spiritual life.
The journey of menopause is misunderstood.
This journey is so much more than the cluster of physical symptoms addressed by many physicians and by most of the books I've come across.
The physical changes are present of course, and are important to an extent.
However, they are only the obvious manifestations of a profound internal metamorphosis.
Metamorphosis by definition is a change of form or structure; a transformation.
We now know that women's "circuits", as Dr.
Christiane Northrup calls them, are completely re-wired at this time, affecting every bodily system.
My answer to the question "Why do women hate menopause?" is that menopause is misunderstood by our society and often demeaned consequently.
This demeans us as women so we try to avoid or ignore the whole menopause thing.
We all know youth is preferred to age in the western world.
It is sold to us and marketed at us all the time.
Menopause is interpreted as equivalent to aging, and something to be avoided at any cost.
Just as some gays apparently have internalized homophobia, most women have internalized ageism, and/or menopause-phobia.
It's only natural, as we are products of the culture we live in.
I know it's challenging, but let's not buy into this "party line".
Let's step up and be exactly who we are, warts and all.
Let's live the best life we can.
And if society doesn't like it, it can lump it! Copyright Ellen Besso 2007