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June 17, 2024

Oort Cloud Oddities: Women's Equality Day

By Alexandra Queen

"Ph Balanced for a Woman" Ain't Near Enough

"Get me a beer!" I shouted to my husband from the couch last weekend. "Raiders are playing a preseason game against the 'Niners and I must share the inevitable humiliation of my team."

"Raiders and Niners? There'll certainly be enough humiliation to go around," John said, coming back from the fridge with a cold beer for me. "And what ever happened to 'please'?"

"The 26th is Women's Equality Day," I told him. "What are you making me for dinner?" "Since I made breakfast, I was kind of hoping you'd make dinner. But there's homemade cheesecake in the fridge for you for dessert. The 26th is almost two weeks away."

"What, I don't deserve the same treatment as a man the other 364 days of the year?"

John gave me a look. "I don't want to hear anything about women being just the same as men until I see you spending twenty minutes a day tweezing your nose hairs. Equal pay for equal labor is a good thing. Women's voting is a good thing. But you don't know what it's like to be a man until you start growing unsightly nose hair."

"Bah, I have to shave my legs! I do yards and yards more hair removal a day than you do!"

"Nose!" he pointed an accusing finger at it.

"Bikini area!" I tried to counter.

"I have to pluck hair from the inside of my nose! Inside!! Grab and haul until it comes free! Multiple times! From inside my nose!"

We glared at each other for a minute.

"Yeah, you win. Want some beer?" I passed him the bottle.

Anyway, August 26th is Women's Equality Day, marking the 85th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. We ladies have certainly made some strides over the last 85 years in politics (Condi! Hillary! Margaret "I will nuke you" Thatcher!) and in business (Oprah! Mary Kay! Martha "I'm back in cuz of yoga" Stewart!).

But this WE Day I have a bone to pick with the medical industry. Instead of dying shortly after menopause like most women did in the early 1900's (nobody was expected to live much past 50 back then), women today are expected to be at the peak of their careers. But dealing with cyclical hormonal imbalances is a reality for all women, and it gets worse in menopause. Both my grandmothers spent roughly fifteen years being hormonally wacky during "the change of life". Fifteen years of being weird and irrational! Not a week or two of PMS, but fifteen years of it!

My wish this year on WE Day is that western medicine will get off its gluteus maximus. Stop wasting so much time figuring out how to give women larger or smaller breasts/noses/cheekbones/tummies so they can become male fantasy objects and start figuring out how hormones work so our rational minds don't have to wrestle so much with our body's treacherous hormonally induced mood swings.

In the spirit of the folk singers and activists of yore, I've written a song to sing around bonfires. If anyone wants to head down to the Mayo Clinic or Stanford and protest with me, grab a guitar and some phyto-estrogens and come on along! Guys, you can come, too; John's working on a song about how many roads must a man walk down before the hair on the top of his head ends up growing out his nose.

Speaking frankly, I have to say
Isoflavones and Black Cohosh
Have improved my average day
(Though saying why would be rather gauche)

They say we've made strides in our Women's Rights
I say that those sayers have got it wrong
The research on hormones is so bad it bites
Endure PMS? Sure, but tell me how long!

Male doctors waste research on menopause?
Level a mood swing? Pick up our "downs"?
You'd think productivity would be enough cause,
But apparently not for those chauvinist clowns.

Doctors won't speak about "women things"
Though it ruins two weeks out of every four.
The work force must deal with emotional swings,
And we with the bloating, the pain, and much more.

Left on our own to medicate
We return to the lore of the herb and the witch
Herbs to help certain things not to come late
Natural remedies against being a "cranky person".

So speaking frankly, I have to say
Isoflavones and Black Cohosh
Have improved my average day
(Though saying why would be terribly gauche).

Comments and advances in women's rights to Alex.Queen@gmail.com

This article first appeared in the August 21, 2005 issue of the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin.

Article © Alexandra Queen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-08-21
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