Have you noticed how patriarchal language affects fertility? Specifically, your fertility and experience of that? Most of the information that explores how patriarchy affects female fertility is published, it seems, in scholarly articles. Like this one exploring how women's empowerment affects fertility choices like longer birth intervals.
Or this one about assisted fertility - a scholarly article tinged with the author's own personal fertility experiences - in which she concludes:
"The dominant feminist "story" about artificial reproduction is the story of the dominant patriarchal male,who uses technology to both reproduce himself and control women. My story is written from the perspective of the childless woman who uses technology to fulfill her wish to bring children into her life".
In a previous publication on ovulation after menopause, I explored how patriarchal ideas about female fertility influence medical language.
While this audio below came about when writing another article during which I sought the collective noun to describe a group of women. That word, I discovered, is gaggle. So the noun to describe a group of women is gaggle! I do recall learning that back when I was 10, but perhaps had locked it away somewhere!
Geese gaggle apparently. Perhaps it is different for you but that word suggests to me an incoherent noisiness that is irrelevant, superfluous and irritating. And this echoes, in my view, how patriarchy has perceived collectives of women. And how, with words like gaggle, the value of the collective feminine voice has been undermined and women connecting deliberately together sabotaged.
Then, out of curiosity, I continued searching for the collective noun to describe a group of men.
A band of men.
And the impressions that this evokes, for me, are harmonious and fluid. They are inviting. There is a rhythm. And most importantly perhaps, the sound created by a band - as opposed to a gaggle - is worth hearing. It is worth listening to. And it has value.
So what has this to do with fertility after 40 and 50?
Well these words reflect the hidden relative value that patriarchy holds about women and men. And influence how the female voice and opinion is viewed.
Women over 45, 50 and beyond who are communicating a desire and intention to have a baby represent a wave of women in the world who are asking for something new. A collective creating a tsunami that is transforming 'old' ideas around female creativity and what is possible or appropriate for women 'of this age'.
Words like 'gaggle' have encouraged segregation within this powerful feminine group. And distracted women from plugging into a core part of their female creativity. Which is amplified and nurtured through connection with other women on a similar journey.
Because when sharing together with intention, women weave a womb space in which possibilities are planted and new realities birthed. And this challenges the patriarchal status quo.
We can change that now. (By joining my Engaging the Feminine® Community which is in beta mode at the moment as we put the final pieces together. But there is gorgeous co-creation going on there).
And by choosing new words that honour the feminine in the creative process. And inspire us to connect.
So I wondered "what would represent feminine wisdom and value more appropriately than gaggle?". And here is what came to mind:
Because for me they infer that a collective of women is positive, nurturing, safe and something that facilitates the birth of something new.
So that is what came up for me at first. But I would love to hear what your feminine wisdom has to suggest! What words, to replace gaggle, would you like to accompany you on your journey into and through motherhood? Please share below because your contribution here really, really matters!
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