A Lively Libido at Any Age: Picking up on the perspective of the recent book from the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause,” Jane E. Brody of the New York Times debunks the myth that age in and of itself reduces libido. While loss of testosterone in both men and women might be a factor, other, more easily malleable factors — such as a strong self-image, strong overall health, and the introduction of novelty into long-term relationships — can contribute to the maintenance of fervent sexual desire throughout life.

Inspired? On the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” website, you can see a list of “10 Myths About Women’s Health Over 40.”

Building Nest Eggs Without the Analysis: Anita Hamilton of Time takes on Suze Orman, the CNBC personal-finance guru, and others who have books claiming to show women that the path to financial success requires shedding all their emotional hang-ups and their dysfunctional relationship with money:

All these books claim to help empower women, but they wind up doing exactly the opposite. Most egregiously, they exaggerate women’s financial foibles at a time when we are making more money than ever before. While still not on a par with men’s, women’s salaries were 77% of men’s in 2005, compared with 65% in 1985. These financial frenemies go on to suggest that our misguided habits are the root of this overblown “problem,” discounting the economic forces that deflate women’s earnings in the first place — things like unpaid family leave and wage stagnation for women-dominated occupations like home health aides and teachers. As Tamara Draut, author of ‘Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead,’ says, ‘We are still holding on to the idea that women’s problems are emotional.’

Fashion Trends: Anne D’Innocenzio of the Associated Press reports that Gap Inc.’s Forth and Towne and Gymboree’s Janeville — two specialty store chains created recently to cater to “baby boomer” women — are shutting their doors after disappointing sales. American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Martin + Osa is reworking its fashion for women to appeal to a younger, 25-to-40 age group. As these specialty options begin to close off, however, department stores are seeing a rise in business from older women.

As a result, Marshal Cohen, a market analyst, confirms the response D’Innocenzio got from the boomer women she interviewed: It’s not the women’s problem. According to Cohen, “Retailers need to pick a lifestyle and ‘stop thinking about age.'”

Consumer Reports Redesign: Consumer Reports, the venerable provider of unbiased consumer product information that lost credibility last year due to a botched article on infant car seats, is changing editors and redesigning the magazine. The new editor in chief, Kimberly Kleman, says that the redesign is not a response to the car seat episode but instead is partly about attracting a larger female readership (presently, she says, “70 percent of its 4.3 million readers are male”).

Back to the Future: As we noted here last month, for a conference that bills itself as an introduction to “the minds that will make a difference in the coming years,” the upcoming “The New Yorker Conference / 2012: Stories From the Near Future” feels awfully retrograde.

Rachel Sklar at the Huffington Post discusses the surprising lack of women speakers, and she points to the lame response that Paddy Johnson, who wrote about the uneven distribution March 1, received when she contacted The New Yorker’s press office. In addition to exposing The New Yorker’s lack of engagement, Johnson offers a great tip for conference organizers:

Since the time of my writing about this conference, 9 male panelists have been added to their website list, and no women. It’s time we started calling people out on this. A List of Women for Your Conference exists. It’s time the New Yorker started using it.

New Menopause Research: Dr. Linda Gerber, senior author of a new study in the current issue of the journal Menopause on the link between hot flashes and high blood pressure in women, reports: “One third of the women we studied reported having hot flashes within the past two weeks. Among these women, systolic blood pressure was significantly higher — even after adjusting for whether they were premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal.”

The encouraging news, according to Gerber, is that now “future research will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying this relationship and may help to identify potential interventions that would reduce the impact of hot flashes on blood pressure.”

Mammogram Recommendations Get More Mystifying: An editorial in the New York Times brought together much of the new information both questioning (and supporting) the efficacy of mammogram screenings for women under 50:

First, a major medical group disputed the need for regular mammograms for all women ages 40 to 49, as is currently recommended. Then a widely used computer system that was supposed to make mammograms more accurate was judged to make them less accurate. And guidelines just issued by the American Cancer Society recommend annual M.R.I. scans — in addition to mammograms — for all women at especially high risk of developing breast cancer, starting at age 30.

Plus: Joanne Silberner of NPR’s Talk of the Nation has her own revealing discussion of the computer system under fire — with digressions to many other women’s health issues — with Constance Lehman of the University of Washington and Dr. Deborah Armstrong of John Hopkins.

Then Again, It Might Be a Siren’s Call: OK, this is late notice, but Wallace Baine’s spot-on critique of how Hollywood was just fooling us with the “Helen Mirren Revolution” — and has little intent of noticing the viability, let alone the sexuality, of older female actress — is just too good to pass up. Make sure you read to the end where he does the rare thing: implicates men in the process.

Speaking of late, we need to give a shout-out to Elaine Ayala of the San Antonio Express-News for linking to us in a sidebar to a pre-Oscars story about Hollywood applauding older actresses.

Hollywood is Calling You: Ellen Sandler, former co-executive producer of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” is offering a free workshop in New York City on April 18 for playwrights who are also interested in also writing for TV. A wine and cheese party follows.

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