Informed Resilience: Confronting Sexism and Ageism During Menopause

By: Guest Author

Published: February 14, 2024

Written by Ainsley Lawrence- Guest Contributor

Aging is something normally met with contempt and avoidance for women and treated as something to be fixed rather than celebrated. As a result of this, older women tend to be subjected to sexism and ageism in every aspect of their lives, from their homes and personal relationships to their workplaces and healthcare.

Almost 50 percent of women experience ageism discomfort in the workplace, making this physically taxing phase of their lives even harder. Discrimination disparities are even more polarizing when you examine ageism statistics between ethnic groups – African-American women experience 20 percent more discrimination than the average woman, especially in terms of ageism and sexism.

So, how do we overcome adverse social perceptions surrounding menopause that lead to harmful discriminatory practices? We’ll guide you through the best ways to offset sexism and ageism throughout menopause so you can still live your best life despite these social stigmas.

Tips for Receiving Optimal Healthcare

Healthcare is a crucial part of managing menopause. But it is no secret that women have historically faced a multitude of oppressive or ignorant practices when seeking healthcare, and are often told that their issues are simply related to stress, psychosomatic, or solely weight-related. To combat this, you should aim to work with doctors who have a diverse clientele and who are well-versed in inclusive medical practices.

Comprehension is also a vital part of healthcare, and many older women may be susceptible to misleading medical practices or healthcare scams. Obtaining a medical advocate to be with you during exams and procedures will make sure your autonomy is fully protected, you can effectively communicate your needs and you will be able to make empowered decisions about your health. Additionally, even if you are familiar with Medicare, it is easier than you’d think to fall victim to fraudulent acts, like phone calls from fake Medicare representatives looking to mine your personal information. Be sure to ask as many specific questions as possible before offering any information about yourself.

Maintaining Your Finances During Menopause

Whether you’re working or retired, menopause tends to affect your wallet in one way or another. Expensive health insurance premiums and prescriptions can make a dent in your savings. Predatory beauty marketing can make you feel compelled to get expensive Botox or cosmetic treatments.

Many women also find they need to reduce their working hours or slow down in their careers to deal with symptom management. For others, ageist and sexist perceptions come into play. You may be facing a demotion because of your “decreased capacity”, or you could be overlooked for opportunities that can expand your wealth that you are qualified and due for.

Connecting with a financial advisor is one of the best ways to find out which investment and savings options are right for you. Many firms, like Mission Wealth and Ellevest, are designed specifically to guide women in the right financial direction, connecting them in a sexism-free way to wealth management tools and savings options that work for their evolving healthcare and lifestyle needs.

One of the best ways to properly care for your finances is to stay well-informed about the ins and outs of your assets and what it takes to maintain them. For example, many women find dealing with mechanics daunting and downright misogynistic – experiences with mechanics who try to dupe women into paying much more than necessary due to assumed automotive ignorance are more common than you’d think. To get ahead of the game, research what your car needs and ask the mechanic detailed questions before offering payment to any mechanic or dealership. Be sure to ask whether the parts used to fix your vehicle are new or recycled and whether the mechanic charges an hourly or fixed rate.

Regaining Your Confidence

Cook fun, hormone-friendly meals

Food is medicine and it can help you manage menopause symptoms. There are a ton of ways to get the nutrients you need to battle common menopause symptoms like fatigue or insomnia. Here are a few examples of foods to incorporate in your diet:

●     Chicken;

●     Quinoa;

●     Beans;

●     Yogurt;

●     Brown rice;

●     Strawberries;

●     Carrots.

Foods full of lean proteins, iron, and fiber will provide you with the energy and strength you need to overcome bodily changes caused by fluctuating hormone levels. Recipes you can try include a hearty coconut lentil soup or taco bowl with ground turkey, brown rice, and a cilantro lime avocado sauce.

Make time for self-care

For some women, life slows down during menopause, and for others, life seems to be busier than ever. Take at least one hour every day to do relaxing wellness activities like meditation or yoga.

Your fitness can help boost your mood, but you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for a gym membership. There are plenty of workouts that you can do in your garage, including yoga routines, dumbbell workouts, or even ten-week programs that rely entirely on body weight exercises and don’t require fancy gym equipment.

Get informed and find support

You should take the opportunity to subscribe to blogs, read books, and consult medical professionals about what to expect during menopause. This will allow you to sufficiently prepare yourself for any changes to come, quelling anxieties that can exacerbate your symptoms.

Finally, many women going through menopause choose to join online or in-person support groups aimed at women in this stage of life. You’ll gain friends along the way, and you’ll have access to valuable resources that can improve your journey down the line.

Menopause can feel scary – your body is changing, and unfamiliar surges of unpleasant feelings like hot flashes or anxiety can have a lasting impact on your mental health. The best way to curb any worries or stress about this phase of your life is to educate yourself on both your body’s changes, the medical care you need, and how to manage your assets.

The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.