Intended for healthcare professionals


The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 13 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:922
  1. Sandra Coney (, Executive director of the women's health consumer advocacy group Women's Health Action
  1. New Zealand

    First published in 1991 by Hamish Hamilton

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    Germaine Greer is fated to be a prophet with few followers. From the knickerless groupie of the free love days, exhorting women to explore their own genitals, to the middle aged woman advocating joyful celibate cronehood, Greer's vision has always been idiosyncratic. Her interpretation of sexual liberation has evolved as she herself has aged, but she has not always succeeded in taking women with her.

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    In The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopauseshe argued that women would come into their true selves when middle age disqualified them sexually. She urged women to use their invisibility to seize their own power and she warned them of the Evil Empire—gynaecologists and pharmaceutical companies, peddling the panacea of postmenopausal hormones.

    It is now 11 years since Greer's book was first published. In that time hormone replacement therapy has been normalised as what women do at the menopause. In the United States, this started happening a long time …

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