There’s a great dark comedy called Fleabag on the BBC. It’s written by a woman in her early 30s (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and is about these two very funny sisters with a dark, eff’ed up backstory and family life. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your list, no matter your gender. There’s a line in the beginning of the first season that made my husband and I laugh out loud for like ten minutes. We had to pause it because we were cracking up so much.
Like Game of Thrones, there was a huge gap between seasons but Season Two is out now. The third episode features perhaps one of the best descriptions of menopause and what we women go through with our bodies that I have probably ever heard. Not that I go around collecting menopause stories, but this one was brilliant. Please note: spoilers ahead.
In this episode, Kristin Scott Thomas of The English Patient and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame plays a lesbian who has just won a ‘woman’s business award.’ Because her character is awesome, she laments it being a gender-specific award and not simply an award for excellence in business. Just before this, there’s a hilarious scene where Fleabag, the lead character / bringer of chaos, has to chase KST’s character down to get her award back, but you have to see that for yourself.
Fleabag and this lady decide to get a drink. The elder woman assures the younger not to worry, life gets better after your 30s. She then proceeds to give this amazing speech about women’s versus men’s pain. It was so damn poignant and true that I was completely blown away.
She said, and I’m mostly paraphrasing here, that unlike men, women’s
pain is part and parcel of our physical bodies. Cycle after cycle, year after year. Not to
mention childbirth, breast pain, etc. Men don’t suffer this
way, so they create wars and sports where they have to touch each other ‘and
invent demons and gods and things so they can feel guilty about things, which
is something we do very well on our own.’ But our pain—ours is created at birth, part of the ‘joy’ of being
She continues, ‘…and then, just when you feel you are making peace with it all, what happens? —‘the menopause comes, the f***ing menopause comes, and it is the most wonderful f***ing thing in the world.
“And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get f***ing hot and no one cares, but then you’re free, no longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person.”
Brilliant. Like the entire series.