University of Chicago Legal Forum


This Essay explores how menopausal bodies are managed and monitored in contemporary U.S. culture. The focus is on two distinct aspects of that management and monitoring: menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and the burgeoning market for technology-driven menopause products and services. While each of these allegedly improves the menopause experience, a closer investigation reveals a more complex interaction of profit motives and traditional notions of gender identity. The Essay identifies problems with current medical and business practices and suggests a role for law in destigmatizing menopause, ensuring availability and safety of MHT, and enhancing privacy for users of menopause-oriented apps and digital services

Careful consideration of menopause brings this Essay into ongoing conversations about theorizing beyond the gender binary and stereotypical notions of femininity. Purveyors of both MHT and menopause-related digital products and services appeal to mostly cisgender women by emphasizing ideas of youthfulness, attractiveness, and sexual desirability. We locate these profit seekers within “menopause capitalism,” the marketing and selling of menopause-related products through messages that celebrate autonomy, community, or femininity from entities that are, at their core, commercial enterprises.

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