The best gift for making a conscious, disciplined trip through menopause is postmenopausal zest. This is a special, buoyant sort of energy, fueled in part by the change in ratio of testosterone to estrogen. . . . Once a woman has come through the menopausal passage, she can say good-bye to pregnancy fears and monthly mood swings. Now that she is no longer confined by society's narrow definition of woman as sex object and breeder, she is freer to integrate the masculine and feminine aspects of her nature. She can now claim the license to say what she truly thinks.
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Source Notes: New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time (part 4, "Flaming Fifties: Women"; chapter 9, "Wonder Woman Meets Menopause") (1995). Sheehy explains that Margaret Mead coined the term "postmenopausal zest" and observed its presence in women in different cultures.
Gail Sheehy is an American writer and lecturer, most notable for her books on life and the life cycle. Her second book, Passages, has been called "a road map of adult life". Several of her books continue the theme of passages through life's stages, including menopause and what she calls "Second Adulthood".
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