Be Bold and Beautiful, Please

WOMEN WITHOUT HER MAN IS NOTHING

 Agree with this sentence? Well, I’m pretty sure you will both agree and disagree, depending on the way you read it. By the way, this is just supposed to be though provoking, and not sexist or anything (:

 I refer to the article from Newsweek’s February 5 2007 issue. The article is titled ” The First Lady Steps Out”.

 Just a short side tibit:

Japan’s latest prime Minister is Know as PM Abe, and not Abc (yes, there are people who get it wrong)

It is pronounced as “Ah-bay”, and not “Ebb”, which, admittedly, was how I intially pronounced it.

 Back to the main topic.

In essence, the article talks about the new PM Shinzo Abe’s wife, otherwise known as Japan’s first lady, Akie Abe. Her unconventioanl way pof handling such a vital role in the political scene is something that Japan, or even Asia, has nnot seen is a fair long time. Unlike Mrs Abe’s predecessors who took a backseat with regards to their respective husband’s political life, Mrs Abe has, apparently, been helping her husband in boosting his popularity amongst the people. Akie Abe has something to say about everything- and, she dares to say it, be it on her blog or in different languages. So far, much that she has done has been well accepted by the general public, from her leaks of her husband’s private life to their display of affection for one another.  However, it is inevitable that Mrs Abe has her fair share of critics as well. Detractors say that she is going against her husbands political stand, which is to continue former Koizumi’s structural reforms while simultaneously reassuring those who have yet to benefit from the booming economy. Her husband garners most of his support from conservertives, yet Mrs Abe is anything but conservative.

Politics, I cannot deny, is interesting to hear about, but participating in the political scene is one risky move – at least that is how I feel. Of course, there is the power and posh lifestyle that tends to come with the rise in statusand importance, but on the flipside, one has to CONSTANTLY be mindful of what one says because even the tiniest wrong choice and usage of words can result is public outcry. Definitely, you can argue that with high and effective education, saying the right things at the right time will be a natural thing, but if you ask me, there are times when we have “outbursts” – a sudden unprecedented explosion of emotions. What is worst is that your political career can be over with just one outburst!

 That said, I admire Mrs Abe’s style of how she presents herself to the public.  To actually steer away from the norm is without a doubt, not an easy thing to do. What’s even more admirable is that we are not talking about any typical occupation or person here ; Mrs Abe is THE first lady of Japan. If her unconventional ways does not say anything about her courge and boldness, i don’t know what does.

 Honestly, I’m extremely delighted that Mrs Abe is shining as as individual, and not just the Pm’s wife. In my opinion, this is a sign, a good sign, that female power and importance is rising in society. After all, I am pretty sure no one would like to go back to the times when females were not even given education! My heart goes out to the females of that generation. i hope that this trend will continue, and that female will continuously step up to the plate and deliever. It warms my heart whenever I see females enjoying tremendous success in whatever that they do. Not that I am prejudiced or anything. I just want equality of man and women. (:

I think I can relate to this article very much. It actually encourages us females to follow in the footsteps of Mrs Abe, that is, to step up to the plate and not follow behind men your entire life. In simple terms, it is asking us to be bold and beautiful. Hmmm, sounds familar?

Thats all from me!

Cheryl Lim 

MEN. O. PAUSE.

The New Prime Time

MENOPAUSE:

The physiological cessation of menstrual cycles associated with advancing age in women. (definition credited to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause)

The transition from a regular menstrual cycles to a fulle year without any periods.(credited to Newsweek Jan22)

Something i am not looking forward to.

Women usually experience menopause during the age of 40-59 as this particular article states. Thie year, I (and most of my classmates) are going to be/are only 15 years of age- still a fair distance from reaching the 40-year-old milestone. However, menopause is still something pertinent in each and everyone of lives.

When my sister was about my age (she is 19 this year), all her friends were complaining about how annoying their mothers were. Why? They were all going through menopause. I remember them telling my sister on how erratic their mother’s moodswings were and how much they had to suffer. These moodswings that menopausal women experience are due to the hormonal imbalance, just in case you are wondering. My sister then thought to herself: thank goodness Mother is not menopausal. Not yet anyway. Now, to put it in more pleasant terms, i think my mother is going through her second childhood, not that she really got out of her first anyway.

Thankfully, she is handling it quite well. Despite the fact that her moods are totally unpredictable at times, we all seem to manage just fine. Then just what am i afraid of?

At puberty, us females must have been most fearful of our period. What do we do when it comes? Do we have to tell our mothers? What should i do if i stain my dress or my bed? After Health Education lessons on puberty, questions of such genre must have been constantly running through our head. Same applies to menopause. Although now we have more time to prepare ourselves mentally (for puberty, we only learnt of it in school at around Primary 4, at the age of 10), there is still that anxiety and uncertainty that will only be eradicated through experience, and only experience. Books and articles on menopause will help you to understand the whole process better, but you will only get a feel of the menopausal process by actually going through it.

Research has proven that women with more children experience menopause later than those with less children. Are there actually measures to prevent menopause? I highly doubt so. However, there are many ways to deal with menopause, as mentioned in this Newsweek article. As the Adidas catchline goes: Impossible is Nothing. Everything can be overcomed. What we can do to help our loved ones going through menopause would be to try our best to tolerate and accomadate them. After all, we will be going through the same process in the future, and we hope to have supportive family members and friends to be by our side during those difficult times.

Now, there is just one question i have left unresolved. What is the possibility of a clinic or hospital catering solely for menopausal women? Hmm, i think the doctors and nurses ther would probably lose their sanity.

Jeannette