Pandemic Diary—NY Times, Sweating, Women Leaders, Christian Revisionism, Menopause

On the NY Times: I think I’m already done with that NY Times subscription. They keep sliding to and appeasing the far right socially and fiscally under the guise of the middleground, a faux liberalism, and free press. It reeks of bias and pandering to certain imperious and arbitrary powers instead of the facts and truth and, you know, overall ethics and morality, and I’d rather not contribute to that with what little money I have. Their transphobic coverage is the worst and completely irresponsible, and I know there has been a history of homophobia, pandering to oppressive powers in the past, and I don’t like how they give preferential biased treatment to Israel while ignoring Israel’s apartheid and cruelties against Palestine and Palestinians. And that doesn’t even touch on their bias for NYPD, the far right Catholics, the rich and powerful, anti-union and anti-labor biases, and their love affair with Wall Street. So, this will be my last month. Sorry, but not even Tressie, Roxane, and Jamelle will keep me tethered to and supportive of that financially. I’ve subscribed to The Guardian and will give my $$ to them instead. I give it a month or two for the NY Times to change, but I doubt they will. They are run by people in power and power only listens to money and power and I have none—I have my voice and a choice. Sometimes I think they hire certain people to muzzle them or place a limit on what they can write and opine about in public. Append (a week later): I’m still considering this. How does one find the boundaries of corporate journalistic objectivity and integrity without misrepresentation or skewing toward an unhealthy and illiberal autocratic power? Within a diseased capitalistic society? That is something that also bothers me about their coverage—they rarely dissect capitalism and its inherently infected inequality. Why not? I will be writing more here about the news articles I read. I am still on Twitter and will continue to be, but my longer thoughts will live here. 

On Listening: I chose to listen to Illing and The Gray Area again because I wanted to hear Malcolm Harris and The Dark History of Silicon Valley. Using Palo Alto as a symbolism for a diseased capitalism without going to the source—Wall Street—lacks a willingness to get to the core of why and what and how (etc), but it was an interesting discussion regardless. That they chose to dissect and criticize capitalism nowadays is, I suppose, a step in the right direction, but I felt it was being weaponized against specific forces, the PayPal mafia, and not examining the entire system starting with Wall Street and this was the weakness in their arguments. I haven’t read the book yet. There were some blatant historical errors I’m surprised weren’t caught in publishing that even I picked up on. With the episode Taking Nietzsche Seriously? Wow. Sir, Christianity is not the source and does not have the monopoly on morality and to even suggest so shows complete and utter ignorance of history, philosophy, and religion. I stopped listening 25 minutes into the podcast because I was astonished at what I was hearing. That’s the second episode that has me shaking my head in frustration and worry. That gray area is being fallaciously used to deliver some questionable Christian revisionism and it is downright scary.  

On why I said I’m not going to make it easier for you to read about my struggles: I read this article at the Washington Post (gift article) about Madonna’s face and felt it like a punch to the solar plexus. That comment on Pride and Prejudice in particular is very enlightening. It is a fascinating piece worthy of a more thorough philosophical discussion, especially considering women over 50 are over their prime, so sayeth a 56-year-old male. What?!, you shout—yes, I know, I rolled my eyes too. With that and that tweet about Rihanna’s Vogue cover with her family, men are clearly not okay, but we knew that already; #MeToo and Trump broke them. That Guardian newsletter by Arwa Mahdawi is really good and I recommend you subscribe to it. She points to a story on gender trolling and how that likely contributed to the resignations of multiple popular, prominent, and successful women leaders—this is probably true somewhat, but I believe there was more politically not reported about those resignations. That it happened within a matter of a month or two makes it too much of a coincidence and I don’t believe in coincidences. The not so surprising news is Moira Donegan’s article on American teenage girls are experiencing high levels of emotional distress. With Republican fascism removing the civil liberties of women and LGBTQ+ including bodily autonomy (Roe), and, you know, the apparent male plague of the patriarchy, how in the world are teenage girls supposed to cope with all that is happening? They are not stupid. Which brings us back around to the NY Times and that Rowling story and the transphobic coverage—don’t think it is only manic and misogynistic men contributing to that diseased patriarchal mindset when you have women spouting shit such as pro-biological women. I want you to stand in front of a mirror and sound that out loud and actually hear how gross and transphobic and lacking it is in any sort of empathy and humanity. What is wrong with y’all. 

On my not sweating: You don’t sweat, you ask? I did not say that. I said I don’t sweat when I’m having a hot flash while menopausal, yet. I’ve always sweat heavily while exercising. I turn the heat down in my bedroom at night and sleep in the cold with a heavy blanket, but I usually wake up hot and have to throw that blanket off of me then I get cold so it’s hot cold hot cold etcetera. I love that blanket because it is heavy and I cannot afford a weighted blanket so I make do with what I have. I get cold easily so I’ve always worn layers. Since I went perimenopausal, I’ve consistently worn tank tops with casual skirts and dresses, leggings, shorts, and sweats and I am notorious for always going barefoot or wearing flip flops. Recall, I work from home so I’m not subject to a dress code and have been out of the professional sector for over a decade now. There’s a privilege in that even if it comes at the expense of pay and benefits, which is a tradeoff women constantly have to make in order to adapt and survive. 

On menopausal health and nutrition: I don’t diet with weight in mind and haven’t for decades. I don’t look at the scales because it is not a barometer for my health and I urge you not to. Listen to your body. I am not privileged to have health care and can not receive any type of hormone therapy. Would I? Hell yeah, probably (I would love some estrogen butt patches). I believe in adhere to science (I’ve had the Covid vaccine and all my boosters). I’m positive hormonal therapy and medical diagnosis and treatment would’ve saved me a lot of suffering, especially a nutritionist. I have noticed that when I don’t eat phytoestrogen foods this past year, my menopausal symptoms get ten times worse, especially back and joint pain (I think I have arthritis or an autoimmune disease or both) and digestion problems; my aggression and emotions spike. Same with exercise, sleep, and nutrition. Each body is different and you have to become a medical detective to find your own way through this minefield and what is a minefield to me can be a walk in the park to others. Have compassion for yourself and others that are going through this regardless. I’m still taking time away from supplements, teas, and spices such as cinnamon and turmeric because my digestion is hypersensitive. I would love to find a 50+ menopause women’s multivitamin that doesn’t cost $60+ and that isn’t as large as an avocado that I don’t have to take five times a day. 

Until next time. 

© 2023 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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