According to Dr Andrea Davies, of the University of Leicester’s School of Business, “male academics should say the word ‘menopause’ at least three times a day in solidarity with their female colleagues” to enable them to discuss it “without embarrassment”.
To this end she has “organised the monthly Leicester Menopause Cafe, where male and female colleagues are asked to chat about the subject”, and “has also launched a menopause roadshow at the university”, maintaining that “workplaces need to become more menopause friendly”. Far from an isolated initiative, however, “last year a government report recommended that employers introduce desk fans to help menopausal women manage their symptoms”.
Not to be outdone, West Midlands Police has employed a hypnotherapist to help female staff affected by the menopause and it has been announced that the Home Office has “launched a consultation on updating the code of conduct amid concerns that menstruating detainees are being routinely ignored in police cells”. “Police officers will be required to ask female detainees if they are on their period and, if so, supply them with sanitary products to ensure they are treated with greater dignity”.
It strains credulity to suggest that any woman detained in a police cell would be shy of asking for anything she needed. But such initiatives feed the narrative that women are poor put-upon creatures who need the help of the self-appointed champions of equality.
At the same time, such “turn off topics” can be used to silence reasonable objections from men – but also from women, the vast majority of whom would consider it distressing or even insulting to be asked such personal questions by a public official with a box to tick.
At a time when concern about crime has seldom been so high, the police are having to treat “misogyny” as a “hate crime”, even though in two years there has been only one conviction, and police regard the measure as a waste of time – a tick box exercise eating up time and resources, covering “behaviours that were fairly trivial, did not warrant a police response and used up resources without being backed by a mandate from the public” – a mere vanity project.
Meanwhile, a British Social Attitudes Survey found that “while 61 percent of men thought it was ‘always’ or ‘usually’ wrong for a men to comment on a woman’s appearance in the street”, only 52 percent of women agreed.
As with “representing women” in Parliament, on TV, or in any human endeavour, nobody asks what real women really want. Appointing token women or enquiring about personal matters like periods or the menopause does not empower women but patronise them.
Yet females who do need protection – the under-age girls systematically abused by sex rings up and down the country – have been ignored.
Most law-abiding people, whether male or female, black or white, old or young, tall or short – but especially the victims of crime — want crime to be dealt with. It is now getting to the point where such gimmicks are failing to distract the public from government failures and only succeed in further enraging them — not least because they are being undertaken with public money.
With the present administration, however, there are no guarantees that the Government will call a halt to such nonsense.
They are far more likely to suddenly discover that “trans women” also have periods and undergo the menopause, and that real women can go to the Devil — along with British justice.
Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002).