Do Orcas Have Hot Flashes?

In a recent issue of The Lenny Letter (source of the headline and image above) writer Ferris Jabr reports on emerging science exploring whether other mammals undergo the menopause and, if so, what is its evolutionary advantage?

Why, in non-human animals, would a lifespan that extends beyond reproductive years matter? Researchers think it’s all down to matriarchy. And grandmothers. If the survival of the species (defense, food, teaching survival skills. etc.) depends on females, mothers of the very young can’t do it all. They’re too busy. And here’s where post-reproductive members of the group are invaluable.

Of course, it’s all more complex than this synopsis, check out the article for more in depth reporting.

Menopause is not so much an ending as it is a rebellious beginning — the unfolding of a new chapter in life inked with the requisite wisdom to keep entire societies alive and thriving.

The Lenny Letter overall is a great resource. Delivered via email twice a week, it features feminist writers on a range of subjects: health, culture, art, politics, horoscopes, empowerment, and humour. It’s American-based, but publishes international authors. For information on a free subscription, check them out here.

Your thoughts? Can you relate to killer whales? Please comment here and join the conversation on our Facebook page.


Image credit: Jenny Smith for The Lenny Letter

X-Files actress Gillian Anderson Opens Up About The Menopause

And wishes we would all do the same

Gillian Anderson Jennifer Nadal photo from
Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

Gillian Anderson (X-Files, BBC’s War and Peace) and her friend journalist Jennifer Nadel made international headlines recently as they promoted their new book We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere.  In an interview with The Lenny Letter, both spoke candidly about their menopause experiences. The story was picked up around the world perhaps because prominent women rarely speak so freely on the subject.

Looks like that is beginning to change.

Read the interview HERE.

And please join our ongoing conversation at our Facebook page.


Photo via: