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A much-needed guide for anyone anticipating menopause; a natural process that all people with ovaries (51% of the population- btw) experience.
A much-needed guide for anyone anticipating menopause; a natural process that all people with ovaries (51% of the population- btw) experience.
195 backers pledged $7,110 to help bring this project to life.
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$7,110

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Menopause: It's for everyone.

A personal life experience of over half the world’s population and a life stage that impacts every person on the planet–female and male–menopause in 2018 is still a mystery to most all who have not yet directly encountered it. While there are books and websites devoted to the topic, there is scant mention of menopause in public beyond the occasional joke or trope about hot flashes or hormonal outbursts. As a result, not many people feel encouraged to talk about it, perpetuating its mysteriousness.

Menopause is a natural physiological process experienced in every female body during middle age. It's not a curse (neither are periods for the record), it is not an illness, and it's not something that anyone should have to endure silently. 

We, writer/designer duo Sasha Davies and Nancy Nowacek, noticed a number of our friends struggled during menopause because they didn't get the kind of assistance or information they needed. As pragmatic and appropriately skilled women we decided to do something that we hoped would improve the experience of menopause for generations of women to come.

Our handy booklet, Menopause: An Imperfect Guide, offers a refresher course on reproductive system anatomy and physiology, an outline of what the average person can expect during menopause–including the emotions one might feel–and suggestions about how to set oneself up for the best possible experience during this transition. Yes, our guide covers serious information but in a digestible way; like you'd hear it from a funny, wise older sister or friend instead of a capital "E" expert.

Whether you are on the precipice of menopause, have years to go before you begin, or have someone in your life who is experiencing menopause whom you'd like to support, this guide can help.

WHAT is our project?

We've written 72-page, digest-sized, imperfect guide to menopause. We call it "imperfect" because it is in no way comprehensive, or all-inclusive; it is a beginning. And perfection isn't the higher purpose of a beginning, is it? A beginning is an icebreaker that paves the way for in-depth exploration. 

Our guide offers foundational information like what exactly is a hot flash, definitions of commonly used hormone therapy terms, and a primer on female sex hormones; all in the kind of language you can relate to and understand. You might even laugh in a few places. And for you visual learners, don't fret; we enlisted the help of friend and illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt who brought menopausal experiences to life through her illustrations. 

This guide also explores why this transition happens in female bodies and why each person’s experience of it is so unique. Because we understand that menopause is inextricably bound with aging, we also included information about the emotional side of this transition and suggestions for how to navigate it.

WHY did we embark on this project?

Menopause is an inescapable reality for every female who reaches middle age. We believe that knowledge is power, in every aspect of life but especially in the realm of the body. As long as there is shame or stigma around the basic physiology of the female body there will be an underlying current of inequality. 

Our goal with this guide is to create a baseline for understanding menopause. We hope this booklet will answer existing questions and bring new questions to light. Above all we want everyone to be armed with the vocabulary and confidence to converse with others about menopause wherever and whenever the need arises.

WHO are we? 

Sasha Davies (writer) 

I have been a barista, a server, an administrative assistant, a project manager, a front desk person, a cheesemonger, an affineur, an author, a chef, and I’ve owned and operated a restaurant. I am a 44-year old woman who, until conducting research for this project, was operating with whatever knowledge about my body and sex that I picked up in high school health class, from friends and partners, and via movies and television. In this way, I believe I am incredibly average.

I am determined to break this cycle of blindness towards our physical bodies. This project is my first step towards that end.

Nancy Nowacek (designer)

While I have held many titles in my professional life--teacher, designer, creative director, branding strategist, amateur architect, camp counselor, artist--the work I do now focuses on claiming power through the body. Part exercise and functional movement, part dance and physical labor, the work I make examines all the ways in which the world around us suggests or controls the ways we use our bodies and offers counter-proposals to expand our understanding of our bodily capabilities. I make sculpture, performance, and drawings that collapse thinking into doing in order—amongst many things—to reestablish our bodies as a site of imagination. 

This work emerged from the relationship I have developed with my own physical body, which didn’t happen until my mid-30s. The personal confidence and strength I’ve gained living life in my body ignited a desire to help others claim power in their lives by lifting the giant curtain of shame, fear, confusion, or mystery that enshrouds the bodies, and thus, the lives of many.

REWARDS

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Menopause: An Imperfect Guide booklets

Booklet Cover
Booklet Cover

This reward is perfect for:

  • People who have heard little to nothing about menopause (regardless of their gender) 
  • People who are freaked out or turned off by 300-page long menopause books they've encountered and wish that a good friend would just bring them up to speed (aka people looking for menopause Cliffs Notes) 
  • People with a modicum of curiosity about the body they inhabit and how to care for it–whether age 22 or 52! 
  • People with loved ones approaching or in the thick of menopause that are interested in educating themselves so they can provide sound support.

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Menopause Greeting Cards 

Menopause Greeting Cards
Menopause Greeting Cards

 Greeting cards are great for anyone who:

  • Wants to spread the word about menopause 
  • Wants to send supportive messages to a special someone who is experiencing menopause 
  • Is looking for a way to announce the beginning of their own menopausal experience to friends or family Menopause Greeting Cards Menopause Greeting Cards

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Experience Being Heard

This is what you'll see if we talk via Skype!
This is what you'll see if we talk via Skype!

Just so you know exactly what you're getting into, this is what I look like on a computer screen when I'm listening intently. This is a great reward for anyone who wants someone to hear them out. I'm ready for you.

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THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING SUPPORTING THIS PROJECT (and yes, we're so excited that we are using all-caps to indicate our raised voices!)

Risks and challenges

Challenge #1: Publishing
Need we say more? Printing and distributing anything on a small-scale for a reasonable price is tough. Price breaks start to get real once your order numbers are up over 1000 copies; which is a frightening place to begin.

We have cultivated a relationship with a printer and sorted out a method of distribution that we believe will offer the best experience to anyone interested in learning more about menopause through our guide.

Our goal with this initial print run of 1000 is to gauge the appetite for information about menopause and get feedback from readers before we leap to a more substantial run. If we achieve our campaign goal, we can afford to produce 1000.

Producing 1000 copies will allow us to road test printing and distribution and get the content into the hands of many readers. This first run will also help us achieve some of our other goals. For starters, we'd like to make this booklet available at low or no cost to clinics serving people approaching or actively experiencing menopause. Getting copies into circulation will provide us with the exposure and feedback we need to make this a reality.

Challenge #2: Bodily Perspectives
We are two cis-gendered, white women and we know that we know only a fraction of people's experiences in menopause. As a result, we licensed this work via Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0, and as such, it can be amended, expanded and edited so long as credit for the work is properly attributed and it is licensed under identical terms. Licensing the work via Creative Commons is our way of inviting anyone who does not see themselves in what we've written to translate this work for other communities (note that we'd be thrilled to assist with and support translations in any ways we can).

Our primary goal is to ensure that information about menopause is broadly shared, furthering our mission to encourage body literacy and robust dialogue.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Digital Pack

    This is the information I've been looking for and I want it as soon as possible!
    Contributors at this level will receive a downloadable pdf of Menopause: An Imperfect Guide and will be in the loop for any and all updates on the project.
    Contributors at this level will be in the loop on project progress and will be thanked profusely!

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    How soon can I get a copy?

    Yesss! I've been looking for something just like this. Contributors at this level will receive one copy of Menopause: An Imperfect Guide and will be in the loop for any and all updates on the project.
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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    Menopause Greeting Cards!

    A snazzy 4-pack of greeting cards featuring our favorite menopausal experiences: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and joy.
    These are a limited run item so get a pack while they last!
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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    Reading & Writing Pack

    Contributors at this level will receive both a copy of Menopause: An Imperfect Guide and a set of four Menopause Greeting Cards and will be kept in the loop for any and all updates on the project.
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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    Besties: 5-pack

    Yessss please! I want to share this with all my closest friends.
    Contributors at this level will receive five copies of Menopause: An Imperfect Guide and will be in the loop for any and all updates on the project.
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    Wholesale Pack (10 copies)

    Get ten copies of Menopause: An imperfect guide to sell in your shop! Please only choose this if you are a physical or online shop.
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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    Experience Being Heard

    An experience available to any person experiencing menopause–directly or indirectly–who doesn't feel like anyone is listening to them.
    I will hear you out. You may not know me (Sasha); I promise I am a sound listener. We will have 30 minutes together via phone or skype (whichever is more comfortable for you) where you will get to unload your feelings, thoughts, frustrations, and victories. I will refrain from offering anything beyond empathy.
    You can say what you have to say however you want as my lips will be sealed upon the completion of our conversation.
    We will also send you a booklet (of course).
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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    Family Reunion: 10-pack

    This is the booklet I've been waiting for and I can't wait to share it with cousins, in-laws, and everyone in-between!
    Contributors at this level will receive 10 copies of Menopause: An Imperfect Guide and will be in the loop for any and all updates on the project.
    Shipping costs will be added to your total.

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Funding period

- (28 days)