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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Manente

IT'S TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE

It's time to change the narrative. Women's mental health has always been incredibly important to me. In my over two decades of working in the mental health field, there isn't much I have not encountered with women's health. The one theme repeatedly seen is women not understanding their bodies. Where did society go wrong? Ok, fine, that is a loaded question, but seriously, why are we so afraid to talk about what is happening to our bodies? From first periods to menopause and everything in between, are we failing women by not openly discussing it?

With the recent ruling by the Supreme Court and subsequently listening to people discuss the ruling, it is abundantly clear that many people have no idea what happens to a woman's body. If I hear one more person say an ectopic pregnancy can " just be moved to the uterus," I might scream ( fine, I already have screamed).

What has caused society not to understand the beauty and complexity of a woman's body? There are so many theories I can come up with. But instead of focusing on why we haven't, let us start focusing on how we can change the narrative.

We as a society, while progressing, still fear discussing women's issues. I talk to a lot of women, A LOT. And when discussing body issues, everyone, I mean everyone, whispers and says I know this is TMI, but. NO, stop whispering. Stop saying it's TMI. It is part of you, but society has made it the ugly side of being a woman. OUR BODIES ARE NOT UGLY! Our bodies can produce another human, and our bodies can feed another human. And eventually, our bodies take that away. The subtle hints of perimenopause start. But society has made us call it " our changes ."No, it is our bodies evolving into another form. The vocabulary that has been used for our bodies is incredibly male-driven. Oh, she's cranky; she has her period. Shut up, shut up, shut up. Learn about the hormonal changes every month for 30 or more years. Just educate yourself. Educate your daughters BUT also educate your sons. Just educate!



Finally, on a personal note, I want all of the women I have guided in decisions about their bodies and all of the women in the future who I will guide about their decision about their bodies - I am and will always be your ally.

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