Jess Phillips on why we need to talk about menopause in parliament

My guest today has been MP for Birmingham Yardley since 2015. Jess Phillips still lives in Birmingham, with her husband and two sons, not far from where she grew up with her activist parents, going to women’s liberation playgroup and hanging out with her nan who listened to Prime Ministers Questions while ironing. Before becoming an MP, Jess worked for Women’s Aid - and is currently Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding.

She has also written four books (because she’s obv got so much spare time on her hands). the latest is Everything You Need To Know About Politics - a typically no bull guide to the ins and outs of being an MP. (I don’t want to prejudge anything, but I’ve got to say it reads an awful lot like a manifesto for a new kind of politics that is a touch less pale male and stale than the one we’re used to.)

Jess is quite unlike any other MP I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a few. (For my sins.) She joined me to talk about believing you CAN, why Carrie Bradshaw’s behaviour is problematically coercive and every girl has a “Cousin Anne”. She also says she won’t be standing for leader of the labour party any time soon, older women are woefully under represented and when the time comes, she’ll be wearing her menopause proudly in parliament. (Jess, we will be holding you to that!)

You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including Everything You Really Need To Know About Politics by Jess Phillips and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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