Nouveau Thoughts: April 2006: Archives

April 27, 2006

You Didn't Just Say That? genre: Nouveau Thoughts

"You Just Didn't Say That?" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "Nouveau Thoughts" is to present a provocative thought for debate and discussion. A key objective is to take established or accepted ideas or beliefs and challenge their legitimacy in order to extract any hidden or overlooked truth. The thoughts posted herein are not intended to offend or impugn...they are merely topics or issues I have pondered in search of meaning and clarity. Feel free to share your opinions, observations, and objections. A search for truth cannot be completed if one is afraid to explore the extremes. Today's new thought has to do with the persistent conflict between the left and the religious right.

Nouveau Thought:

The assault on liberals and the use of the term "liberal elite" is the manifestation of doubt within the religious right regarding the validity of their Biblically derived way of life and its associated reliance upon God to withstand the fear of their own pending mortality.

The mere presence of secularism is interpreted by the mindset of the religious right as an attack that must be extinguished. The psyche of the religious right is threatened by the existence of this discordant theory. The mere chance that secularism could prevail is seen to have the potential to force them to confront their beliefs such that they could find themselves absent a functional means to confront their mortality. Tolerance of secular thought is therefore unacceptable because it permits this internalized anxiety to persist. Comfort can only be achieved when there is an absolute consensus of thought that unanimously supports their singular ideology.

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 11:01 AM | link | Comments (2)
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April 12, 2006

You Didn't Just Say That? (Encore) genre: Nouveau Thoughts

"You Just Didn't Say That?" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "Nouveau Thoughts" is to present a provocative original thought for debate and discussion. A key objective is to take established or accepted ideas or beliefs and challenge their legitimacy in order to extract any hidden or overlooked truth. The thoughts posted herein are not intended to offend or impugn...they are merely topics or issues I have pondered in search of meaning and clarity. Feel free to share your opinions, observations, and objections. A search for truth cannot be completed if one is afraid to explore the extremes. That said, the first entry will explore menopause.

Nouveau Thought:

"Menopause" is the culmination of patriarchal dominance fully manifested in order to emphasize the diminished worth of the aging woman so as to allow the male partner to justify the infidelities of a "midlife crisis" whereby he seeks to promote his genetic legacy with younger fertile females.

Menopause is defined in the dictionary as: the period of natural cessation of menstruation occuring usually between the ages of 45 and 50.

Menopause
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Menopause (also known as the "Change of life" or climacteric) is a stage of the human female reproductive cycle that occurs as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down. As the body adapts to the changing levels of natural hormones, vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and palpitations, psychological symptoms such as increased depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and lack of concentration, and atrophic symptoms such as vaginal dryness and urgency of urination appear. Together with these symptoms, the woman may also have increasingly scanty and erratic menstrual periods.

Technically, menopause refers to the ceasing of menses; whereas the gradual process through which this occurs, which typically takes a year but may last as little as six months or more than five years, is known as climacteric. Popular use, however, replaces climacteric with menopause. Menopause can either be natural or surgically induced. A natural or physiological menopause refers to the ceasing of menses that is a part of a woman's normal ageing process. However, a surgically induced menopause refers to the ceasing of menses for reasons such as because the woman has had a previous hysterectomy.

The average onset of menopause is 50.5 years, but some women enter menopause at a younger age, especially if they have suffered from cancer or another serious illness and underwent chemotherapy. Premature menopause (or Premature Ovarian Failure) is defined as menopause occurring before the age of 40, and occurs in 1% of women. Other causes of premature menopause include autoimmune disorders like thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus. Premature menopause is diagnosed by measuring the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH); the levels of these hormones will be higher if menopause has occurred. Rates of premature menopause have been found to be significantly higher in both fraternal and identical twins; approximately 5% of twins reach menopause before the age of 40. The reasons for this are not completely understood. Cases of transplant of ovarian tissue between identical twins have been successful in restoring fertility.

Post-menopausal women, especially Caucasian women of European descent, are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Menopause is rare in animal species. One possible explanation for its evolution in humans is the grandmother hypothesis. Recent studies showed menopauses in gorillas, with an average age of 44 at the time of the menopause.

Grandmother Hypothesis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The grandmother hypothesis is meant to explain why menopause, rare in mammal species, arose in human evolution, and how late life infertility could actually confer an evolutionary advantage. The hypothesis suggests that this is because of risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth and the relative importance of parental investment to the human species. Grandmotherly investment may also be important in the few other animals which experience menopause, such as whales. Kristen Hawkes originated the hypothesis, and C.G. Williams was the first to posit that menopause may be protective.

Both pregnancy and childbirth are extremely detrimental to the health and longevity of women. Pregnancy increases a woman’s caloric intake requirements and childbirth exposes women, especially older women, to deadly infections. For these reasons physical anthropologists think that older women in primitive times were less productive child bearers than younger women.

It is conceivable that older mothers that lost their procreative viability were able to spend more of their time helping, protecting and teaching their children and grandchildren. Such an investment of time is referred to by behaviorists as parental investment. Experiments and natural observation have shown that those animals that have had time invested in them by family members, in the form of protection and teaching, are much more likely to live to the age at which they are able to reproduce.

On average, prehistoric women who experienced menopause may have lived longer lives and were better able to spend time supporting their children and their grandchildren. The progeny of these menopausal women benefited from additional parental investment and were therefore more likely to live to procreate. These progeny also benefited from inheriting their mother’s genes because these genes caused them to experience menopause and have more prosperous progeny of their own. This rationale is used by anthropologists to provide an evolutionary theory of menopause which holds that menopause in modern women is a remnant of a protective adaptation that allowed older females to better focus their maternal resources.

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 9:28 AM | link | Comments (0)
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