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The rise of menopause visibility and the limits of a neoliberal and biomedical imagination

Orgad, Shani and Rottenberg, Catherine (2023) The rise of menopause visibility and the limits of a neoliberal and biomedical imagination. Feminist Theory. ISSN 1464-7001 (In Press)

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Menopause is currently a “hot” topic in the UK. This paper examines the Channel 4 television documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause as a key cultural text in the current UK “menopause moment”, demonstrating how the programme both reflects and contributes to the broader trend of menopause’s growing visibility and the emerging menopause market. We begin by situating Davina within broader social, cultural, and economic processes which provided a conducive context for the show’s largely positive reception, and which constitute some of the key forces fuelling menopause’s heightened public profile more broadly. We then move investigate the discourses that Davina draws upon, mobilises, and highlights. Our analysis shows how the programme invokes feminist terms, while discussing crucial structural conditions that underpin the continued stigma and shame around menopause. At the same time, we demonstrate that there is a striking disconnect between the structural inequalities that the documentary highlights and its consistent emphasis on individualised and privatised solutions. This disconnect, we argue, provides important insight into the dominant forces currently animating the current menopause moment in the UK. We conclude by underscoring how even the more recent critical renditions of menopause have thus far remained largely curtailed by biomedical and neoliberal logics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 Sage.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 11:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:07

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