Karen Arthur: I Won't Shut Up About Menopause
For the seventh episode of the Period Story Podcast, I spoke with Karen Arthur, the fashion designer, sewing tutor, stylist, speaker and model.
We talked about a first period that felt really frightening at the time, but in retrospect, was quite funny. Karen talked about learning about periods and sex through conversations with friends, feeling squeamish and embarrassed and learning that having a period didn’t mean she was pregnant.
Karen says that having a preacher for a father meant that conversations about most things to do with women, and anything to do with bodily fluids were taboo. She had been brought to believe that bleeding was bad and the Problem page in Jackie magazine was how she mostly learned about sex, relationships and periods.
We talked about what Karen felt she should have known about her body and how becoming a teacher and head of year made her determined to learn as much as she could, in order to teach her students and her daughters. Karen shares how her daughters have educated her the most on periods and sex through their openness and willingness to have frank conversations.
She says it’s taken her time to unlearn her feelings of shame and recognise that the more people talk about these things, the better it is. This has helped her talk about menopause as well. Karen talks about the events she’s run to help open up conversations around menopause and how they’ve help women feel less alone.
Karen says that menopause is a transition to another life and we need to think about how we can thrive, rather than how we can just get through it.
Karen says that no one should suffer this alone and I completely agree!
Find out more about Karen: