Home / World / The Guardian view on the Bank of England: keep the menopause out of economic theory | Editorial

The Guardian view on the Bank of England: keep the menopause out of economic theory | Editorial


Let’s talk about the economy without repeating misogynist myths

The economy, according to a newspaper headline, is “at a menopausal moment”. The deputy governor of the Bank of England, former Goldman Sachs banker Ben Broadbent, has been quoted as comparing the current slump in productivity to a similar, and much debated, spell of stagnation in the late years of Queen Victoria’s reign. This period was identified in 1952 by the economist Henry Phelps Brown as “the climacteric of the 1890s”. Broadbent, asked to explain what was meant by a “climacteric”, said that it was a biological word meaning “menopausal, but can apply to both genders … it means you’re past your peak, you’re no longer potent”.

And with that Mr Broadbent, to use another bodily metaphor, fell flat on his face. Anyone equipped with basic common sense, leave alone in possession of a prominent position in public life, ought to be ashamed of the claim that the menopause means that a woman is over the hill and lacks “potency”. Such ideas are, plain and simple, misogynist myths.

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