I Live for Menopause
2018, 04:15 minutes, Colour
In I Live for Menopause, Dayna McLeod uses her queer, aging, body to confront ageism with humour to imagine a menopausal future that is full of promise. Based on Lady Gaga’s 2013 Applause, Montreal musician Jackie Gallant scores a slamming dance track full of throbbing beats, synth, and underwater majesty.
To mainstream and queer culture, the Older Woman’s body is a dying body, an abject body, an undesirable, unfertile body that is spent, used and finished. This body is actively getting older, actively changing, and actively distancing itself from an idealized youth. This body is often perceived not as straight or queer, but as asexual, invisible, or irrelevant. There is no room for her to occupy a social position as an empowered, embodied subject of pleasure and desirability. Further, a sexually aggressive Older Woman is read as desperate and ridiculous, the butt of the joke for her attempts at occupying the position of beauty in a young woman’s arena if she dare challenge her assigned role. Any efforts on her part contribute to impressions of her undesirability as media, fashion trends, and social mores constantly check her for wrinkles, creases, sagging, cracks, and fine lines.
By embracing this body through the use of humour, parody, abjection, and a queer feminist process, Dayna McLeod challenges these ageist and sexist ideas. I Live for Menopause emphasizes how she just can’t wait to go through menopause, can’t wait for the hot flashes, can’t wait for the night sweats. Contrary to popular culture, this Older Woman is magical: she is mystical and she is powerful.
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