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The Making of the Aging Woman Open Access

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The Making of the Aging Woman asks what the invention of the word menopause in 1821 and the evolution of a patriarchal capitalistic thinking have in common and how these elements worked together to impact women’s lives profoundly. In 1821, “menopause” was a word coined to describe the end of women’s periods as an ailment; the word has shaped the discourse about women and aging for women using a multitude of mythical body representations. These mythical discourses corroborate Barthes’s affirmation that “men do not have with myth a relationship based on truth but on use.” Thus, The Making of the Aging Woman is also inscribed with a capitalist vision of the economy of the body-making surplus that participates in the gendered making of biocapital. This work shows how the making of hormonal mythologies, in correlation with capitalist mythologies, has shaped the medical treatment of the aging woman’s body and has been threatening it. This work participates in the de-contextualisation and re-contextualization of the making of the aging woman in order to either sustain women’s knowledge about themselves and /or continue challenging the power structure that has oppressed the woman’s body.

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