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Our Bodies Ourselves in the News - Archives

Translating Our Bodies, Ourselves

Friday, June 6, 2008

"The progressive social movements of the last half-century produced millions of pages of print, from manifestos to journalism to novels, but nothing as influential as Our Bodies, Ourselves."

So begins Linda Gordon's excellent (if we do say so ourselves!) article in The Nation, which comments upon author Kathy Davis's The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders and highlights the work of OBOS’s Global Translation/Adaptation Program. Check out Christine's take over at Our Bodies, Our Blog.

The Crisis of Primary Care Physicians

Friday, May 30, 2008

Physician and OBOS Board member Annie Brewster recently had an editorial published in the Boston Globe.  The Crisis of Primary Care Physicians examines the failures of the current medical system and her decision to leave primary care medicine.

Seattle Birth Advocates Celebrate OBOS Book

Thursday, May 1, 2008

 Seattle-area childbirth advocates
Seattle-area childbirth advocates and birth book contributors gathered at the University Bookstore in Seattle to celebrate the release of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth.  From left to right: Toni  Weschler, April Bolding, Judy Norsigian, Penny Simkin, Janelle Taylor, and Christine Morton.

Beauty and the Breast

Thursday, March 27, 2008

OBOS intern Lorelai Kluever has written a blog post for Beauty and the Breast, a blog designed to explore why women continue to get breast implants despite the fact that the surgery presents clear health risks. In her entry, Media Is Failing to Address Breast Implant Safety, Lorelai discusses an informal survey she gave to fellow UMass students, and how ads for plastic surgeons and breast implants fail to disclose the risks of breast implant surgery.

Promoting Evidence-based Medicine

Monday, March 24, 2008

Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE) began as a partnership between consumer health advocacy groups (including OBOS) and scientists involved in evidence-based healthcare. The group aims to improve consumers’ ability to engage in and demand high quality healthcare. A recently released video describes the group and its work, and features OBOS consultant Zobeida Bonilla.

Brief Film on OBOS

Friday, March 14, 2008

While on the publicity tour for Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth, OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian helped create a brief film on our organization for the WomenForHire.com website. Check it out below!

Mistress of Herself

Monday, January 7, 2008

 cover of Mistress of Herself The Feminist Press has just published a new book edited by BWHBC founder Paula Doress-Worters. Titled Mistress of Herself: Speeches and Letters of Ernestine Rose, Early Women's Rights Leader, the book examines the life of Ernestine Rose, a feminist, abolitionist, freethinker, and atheist who played a vital but often overlooked role in the nineteenth-century women's rights movement. The book can be purchased through the Feminist Press website.  Congratulations, Paula!

BWHBC founder publishes "Bodies"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BWHBC founder Wendy Sanford, who has been writing a memoir, recently had an excerpt from her manuscript published in Narrative Magazine. In the article, Sanford talks about how she became involved with the group that eventually formed the Boston Women's Health Book Collective. You can read part of the article here; to read the entire article, you'll need to go through the free registration process.

One Blazing Glance Benefit Raises Funds for OBOS

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Earlier this month, a benefit concert
featuring the world premiere of Berklee professor  Beth Denisch’s composition “One Blazing Glance” –  was held to raise fund for seven women’s groups around the world who are currently producing cultural adaptations and translations of Our Bodies, Ourselves
 One Blazing Glance benefit concert
 One Blazing Glance benefit concert One Blazing Glance took place at Simmons College, hosted by the Simmons Institute of Leadership and Change. The concert was performed by a Berklee faculty quintet that included Kathryn Wright (voice), Wendy Rolfe (flute), Felice Pomeranz (harp), Melissa Howe (viola),  Winnie Dahlgren (marimba), with guest vocalist Katie O'Brien. You can view a slideshow of the event here. Many thanks to Beth Denisch and the musicians for making the evening such a success!

Mass. Nurse-Midwives Honor Judy Norsigian

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Maternal and Child Health Professor Gene Declercq and OBOS’s own Judy Norsigian were honored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) for their contributions in advancing the profession of midwifery. Judy received the award on behalf of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, for the organization’s “tireless advocacy for women's health and for helping to expand the range of choices in care that women have during pregnancy and childbirth.” Click here for a picture of the honorees and to find out more.

How Feminism Travels Across Borders

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

 Cover of The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves

Longtime OBOS supporter Kathy Davis's new book, The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders, tells the stories behind the many foreign language adaptations of Our Bodies, Ourselves.  Scheduled to be published in October by Duke University Press, the book is based on interviews with founders of the BWHBC, responses to the book from international readers, and discussions with translators from Latin America, Egypt, Thailand, China, Eastern Europe, and Francophone Africa.

You can find out more about the book here, and if you're in the Boston area, you can hear Davis read from her book at 3 p.m. on October 19, at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge.

The "One Percent Doctrine"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Today's Boston Globe carries an op-ed written by OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian and longtime OBOS supporter and professor of maternal and child health at the Boston University School of Public Health Eugene Declercq. In The Folly of 1 Percent Policy (free registration is required to view the article), Norsigian and Declerq look at the health and economic consequences of treating birth as a potential medical emergency rather than as a natural biological process.  

OBOS Program Manager Heather Stephenson Moves to the Mountain

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Heather Stephenson, long-time OBOS program manager extraordinaire, has accepted a job as publisher at the Appalachian Mountain Club. Heather, who was the managing editor of the 2005 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, and editor of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause and the forthcoming Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth, will be sorely missed by her colleagues at OBOS. Luckily for us, she will continue to work as an OBOS consultant, writing commentaries with Judy for Women's eNews and other publications.

Health in the Sun

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In today's Women's eNews commentary, OBOS program manager Heather Stephenson offers some advice on how to manage the summer sun.  Protect Your Health in the Sun Worship Temple discusses the body image and health concerns posed by the sun-tanning season. 

New Diet Pill Feeds Weight-loss Obsession

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OBOS Program Manager Heather Stephenson and Executive Director Judy Norsigian have written another commentary for Women's eNews.  The commentary, titled Diet Drug Makes a Bitter Weight-Loss Dose, talks about the problem with weight-loss quick fixes and discusses the importance of healthy habits for people of all sizes.

Osteoporosis Hype

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

OBOS Program Manager Heather Stephenson and Executive Director Judy Norsigian have written today's commentary in Women's eNews. The commentary, Let's Make May the Month to Tame Osteoporosis Hype, urges women to become informed about the true benefits and harms of osteoporosis medications.

Warning: This Commercial May be Dangerous to Your Health

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian wrote today's highlighted commentary on the Women's Media Center (WMC) website. The commentary, Misleading Ads and How They Hurt Us, focuses on the scare tactics used by pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs to healthy people.

Honorary Degree for Commencement Speaker Judy Norsigian

Monday, May 21, 2007

OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian gave the commencement speech to this years' graduates of the Boston University School of Public Health. In addition, the school awarded Judy an honorary degree, in recognition of the tremendous work she has done to further women's health.

BUSPH grads
(click photo to see
larger image)

Adding Bite to FDA Screening

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An editorial written by OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian and Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families was published in today’s Boston Globe. The  editorial decries the Food and Drug Administration’s repeated failures to protect the public from drugs and medical devices that prove dangerous to patients, and calls upon Congress to pass legislation to overhaul the FDA.

Sexuality Workshop

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

OBOS founders Norma Swenson and Wendy Sanford will be facilitating a week-long sexuality workshop for women at the Omega Institute. The workshop, which will be held September 16 - 21, 2007, aims to weave together the participants own experiences of sexuality with information about women's sexual health and functioning and critiques of the social institutions that influence women's sexuality. To find out more, call 800-944-1001 or visit Omega's online catalogue.

Feminists Who Changed America

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The new book Feminists Who Changed America documents the historical achievements of more than 2000 pioneering feminists who ignited the second wave women's movement. It features many of the original founders of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, including Joan Ditzion, Jane Pincus, Judy Norsigian, Paula Doress-Worters, Nancy Hawley, Wendy Sanford, and Norma Swenson, as well as many of our contributors and supporters. Boston area folk are invited to a public symposium entitled “Then and Now” to hear contributors share their experiences. The symposium will be held on Saturday, March 24,  from 1:30-4:30 PM at the Barker Center at Harvard University.

See Red for Women Day

Sunday, February 11, 2007

OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian and OBOS contributer John Abramson collaborated on an op-ed that was published in the Feb. 2, 2007 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The editorial criticizes the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women Day” campaign (to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke), claiming that it exploits women's health concerns and pushes statin drugs, rather than promoting the dietary and lifestyle changes that are known to prevent heart disease.

Implants Still Not Safe

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian and plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Melmed have teamed up to alert women about the risks of silicone gel implants. Their op-ed on the topic, Implants Still Not Safe, was published in the Feb 2, 2007 edition of the Boston Globe.

Creating Equality in Women's Health

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Ayesha Chatterjee, OBOS's Global Translation & Adaptation Program Assistant, will be part of a panel, Creating Equality in Women’s Health. The panel, held in honor of International Women’s Day, will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2007, at Simmons College in Boston.

Doctors Must Not Be Lapdogs...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) recently published long-time OBOS contributor Adriane Fugh-Berman’s critique of the pharmaceutical industry.  Doctors must not be lapdogs to drug firms rails against pharmaceutical company sponsorship of continuing medical education courses.  In the essay Fugh-Berman points out that:

“…The illusion that the relationship between medicine and the drug industry is collegial, professional, and personal is carefully maintained by the drug industry, which actually views all transactions with physicians in finely calculated financial terms. Drug representatives are paid to be nice to us, as long as we cooperate, sustaining our market share of targeted drugs and limiting our continuing medical education lectures to messages that increase drug sales. This is an unspoken agreement, but no less clear for being covert.”

Pharmaceutical companies are also the largest funder of medical research. In his provocative essay Can We Trust the Evidence in Evidence-Based Medicine?, fellow OBOS contributor John Abramson examines the bias that results when drug companies oversee the direction and focus of medical research.

Aussie Cloning Article Quotes Judy

Sunday, November 19, 2006

OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian was quoted in an article on cloning in News Weekly, an Australian magazine. The article, Human cloning: U.S. feminists warn on cloning risks, examines the demand cloning creates for women’s eggs and the risks posed by Lupron and some of the other drugs used in multiple egg extraction procedures.

Keeping All Your Eggs in One Basket

Monday, October 16, 2006

Long-time women's health activist and OBOS contributor Barbara Seamen has published an article in O: the Oprah Magazine on the importance of women keeping healthy ovaries when having a hysterectomy.  In the past, surgeons routinely removed the ovaries of women over 45, believing it was "good prevention" for ovarian cancer. However, new research shows that for women who do not have a family history of ovarian cancer, keeping the ovaries until at least age 65 significantly saves lives by reducing the risk of dying from heart disease and complications of osteoporosis. 

For more information, see Conserving Ovaries During Hysterectomy Benefits Long-Term Survival of Women.

Support Womyn Warriors!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Sheroes Womyn Warriors 2007 Calendar is now available for sale! The calendar honors and celebrates women who have challenged exploitation and oppression in their communities and the world. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, a former member of the OBOS Advisory Board and a long-time colleague, is one of the women featured.

OBOS considered "most influential"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Our Bodies, Ourselves was named as one of the books that has had the greatest influence on the development of health services and health care policy.

39 members of the editorial committee and advisory board of the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy were asked to list their “Top 10” books, and when the results were compiled, OBOS was listed as one of the most influential. For a list of the other top books, see books that have changed health services and health care policy (.pdf).

Sex-training courses for women?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Are sex-act training courses for women a sign of greater sexual freedom or a new emphasis on service? Executive Director Judy Norsigian weighs in on the debate in Pleasure Politics Surround Sex-Skill Courses, an article in Womens eNews.

Former OBOS Intern Declared "Really Hot"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Former OBOS intern Jin In has been named one of the REAL hot 100! The REAL hot 100 is a list featuring young women from around the country who are breaking barriers, fighting stereotypes, and making a difference in their communities or the nation. Jin In was included for her commitment to empowering girls worldwide, and her service to women and girls for over 19 years.  For more information see www.therealhot100.org/.

Menopause Book Garners Great Reviews

Friday, June 23, 2006

Our new book on menopause, scheduled to be published in October 2006, is getting wonderful advance praise, including this quote from writer Helen Zia:

"Our Bodies Ourselves has done it again! After raising us from girlhood to womanhood and never shying from "taboo" topics, our beloved guides to our own bodies are now here to lead us through menopause with this detailed, inclusive, and woman-centered book– a must-read for every woman in her middle years."

Check out the rest of the reviews in our menopause book press room.

Sexual and Reproductive Health in Latin America

Friday, June 23, 2006

OBOS board member Bonnie Shephard's new book, Running the Obstacle Course to Sexual and Reproductive Health: Lessons from Latin America, has just been published by Praeger.

The book, which is available online, is described as such:

"These four multi-disciplinary studies focus on sexual and reproductive health advocacy and programs in Latin America. Based on original research and the author's 25 years of experience working in the region, the text illuminates the political, cultural, and organizational dynamics that pose an obstacle course to sexual and reproductive health--dynamics that veterans of the "culture wars" in many other regions of the world will recognize.  One groundbreaking study of advocacy in Colombia and Chile for the legalization of abortion and divorce discusses the "double discourse" system that keeps repressive laws in place and punishes public opposition to political norms that are based on religious doctrine. Another study of Latin American NGO regional and national advocacy networks examines the roots of difficulties they experience in unified decision making, often resulting in failure to take decisive political action."

Congratulations, Bonnie!  Everyone else: Ask your local and/or university library to order a copy!

Family Matters: Divorce and Domestic Violence

Monday, May 22, 2006

Susan Sered, coauthor of the Navigating the Health Care System chapter in the latest edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, has recently had a book published. Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity, co-written with Rushika Fernandopulle, profiles several of the 100 million Americans have no health insurance or are underinsured. Susan has graciously given OBOS permission to post Family Matters: Divorce and Domestic Violence (.pdf), a chapter from the book that examines how women are often forced to choose between staying in an abusive or unhappy marriage or losing their health insurance.

Wear Your Support for OBOS!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Now you can purchase your very own t-shirt, baseball cap, mug, or tote bag, decorated with the OBOS logo. To see our offerings, go to http://www.cafepress.com/obos. Tell your friends!

Drug Ads in Medical Journals: A Bad Mix

Monday, May 8, 2006

Longtime OBOS collaborator Adriane Fugh-Berman has recently published an article examining medical journals’ dependence on pharmaceutical advertising. The article, Advertising in Medical Journals: Should Current Practices Change?, was published in June 2006 edition of PLoS Medicine, an open-access, peer-reviewed medical journal.

GeneWatch Magazine: A Great Resource from OBOS Collaborating Organization the Council for Responsible Genetics

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Despite the growing prevalence of biotechnology in our everyday lives, and the expanding political implications such technology presents, the topic remains arcane and inaccessible to many of the people whom it most directly affects. From genetically modified foods, biological weapons, racialized medicine, and criminal DNA databases to stem-cell research, genetic biotechnology lies at the heart of so many decisions regarding our economic, social and personal well-being. For 23 years, GeneWatch Magazine, produced by Our Bodies Ourselves collaborating organization the Council for Responsible Genetics, has cut through the hype and jargon surrounding these topics and allowed people to learn and make informed decisions about critical scientific issues. GeneWatch is the only magazine dedicated to providing lucid, thoughtful analysis of genetic technologies alongside commentary on their social relevance.  

For example, recent issues of GeneWatch include: an interview with Boston City Councilor Chuck Tuner, one of the most vocal opponents of the Biosafety Level 4 lab proposed by Boston University; articles by Richard Lewontin, Ruth Hubbard and Jonathan Marks on the reemergence of race as a genetic construct; an article about BiDil, the new drug for African Americans with heart disease; Phil Bereano, Anuradha Mittal and Britt Bailey on genetically modified foods and biodiversity; and an interview with George Annas—one of the nation’s most prominent bioethicists—on stem cell research and where it is headed.

Boston Globe Publishes Op Ed on Elective Cesareans

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Boston Globe recently published an editorial on the myth of maternal request for cesareans that was written by OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian and professor of maternal and child health at Boston University School of Public Health Gene Declercq. The Op Ed, titled Mothers Aren’t Behind a Vogue for Caesareans, was published in response to the media generated by the NIH state-of-the-science conference "Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request."

Bioethics Panel Looks at Women's Rights

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian recently participated in a panel on bioethics and women's reproductive and sexual rights sponsored by the International Humanist and Ethical Union. The panelists, including Ruth L. Fischbach, a professor of Bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at Columbia University, Marsha J. Tyson Darling, a professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Center for African American & Ethnic Studies at Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, and Adrian Sà¢ngeorzan, a practicing gynecologist who lived and Romania and currently works in NYC, discussed, among other issues, the ethics of egg donation, stem cell research, and cloning.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Websites like Friendster, MySpace and Connexion let members connect with other people based on their interests and experiences. OBOS now has “profiles” on Friendster and MySpace that tell people a bit about our books and our programs, and refers users to our website. 

The Economics of Abortion Access in the US

Friday, February 3, 2006

OBOS contributor Marlene Gerber Fried recently published an article in the journal Conscience: The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion.  The article, the Economics of Abortion Access in the US: Restrictions on Government Funding For Abortion is the Post-Roe Battleground, examines how financial barriers and lack of availability of abortion services affect women who seek abortions.

Group Seeks Ban on Direct-to-consumer Drug Ads

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Judy Norsigian recently added her name to a list of primarily medical school professors who believe direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs is harmful to public health. The statement is sponsored by Commercial Alert, a nonprofit whose mission is to “keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere.” Commercial Alert also has a website called Stop Drug Ads, where people can send feedback to the FDA about their drug advertising policies.

Group Meets to Set Direction of Childbirth Book

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On December 1, 2005 a group of OBOS staff, founders, board members and childbirth experts met to discuss the direction of the upcoming childbirth book. The group, which met over dinner at Judy Norsigian’s house, had a heated and passionate discussion about how to create a book that helps women have the best birth possible. Among other topics, participants discussed the importance of critiquing the medical model of birth, providing women with evidence-based research on best practices, creating a nonjudgmental tone and style, and including a diverse range of birth stories. Participants included board members Sally Deane, Neda Joury-Penders, Bonnie Shepard, and Amanda Buck Varella; OBOS staff and consultants Elana Hayasaka, Judy Norsigian, Heather Stephenson, Sally Whelan, and Kiki Zeldes; founders Vilunya Diskin, Joan Ditzion, and Jane Pincus; and guests Leah Diskin, Debbie Fiedler, and Henci Goer. To see photos from the meeting, click here.

Associate Editor Bites Back

Friday, November 18, 2005

A former OBOS associate editor who left OBOS to pursue her PhD in London is still looking out for Our Bodies Ourselves. The most recent entry of her blog, Anglofille: The Diary of an American Fille in London, skewers two recent articles about the latest edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Our loyal former co-worker delivers scathing responses to the The New York Times Book Review essay and to a critical review in the Atlantic Monthly.

In Amerika They Call Us Dykes

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Harvard University senior Melinda Schottenstein recently completed a research project on the changing portrayal and inclusion of lesbians in Our Bodies, Ourselves. A .pdf of her paper, titled “In America They Call Us Empowered: Lesbianism and Our Bodies, Ourselves”, is posted here.

Hormone Controversies

Saturday, October 15, 2005

"Hormone Replacement Therapy, Cancer, Controversies, and Women's Health," an article co-written by OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian, has been published in the September 1, 2005 edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The article, based on a 2004 meeting amongst  historians, epidemiologists, biologists, clinicians, and women's health advocates, is co-written by several OBOS contributors and collaborators including Judyann Bigby, Ruth Hubbard, Nancy Krieger, Judy Norsigian, Cynthia Pearson and Barbara Seaman.

Dar Williams performs benefit for OBOS

Friday, September 23, 2005

Singer Dar Williams has organized a community-based charities campaign called the Echoes Initiative. As she tours across the country, she is selecting several nonprofits to highlight and publicize at her concerts. Our Bodies Ourselves was chosen as one of the first recipients, and after her Sept. 23 and Sept 24 concerts in Cambridge, MA she held a fundraising reception for OBOS. Thanks, Dar! (Click here to see photos of Dar with various OBOS staff and board members.)

OBOS Honored by National Women’s Health Network

Monday, September 19, 2005

In celebration of its 30th year, the National Women's Health Network is honoring 30 activists whose work has transformed and continues to transform our experience of women’s health. Our Bodies Ourselves has been selected as one of the honorees, along with several OBOS contributors, including Barbara Brenner, Adriane Fugh-Berman, Carol Sakala, and Marsha Saxton. You can find out more about the Honor 30 for the 30th program in the Women’s Health Activist, the NWHN newsletter, or at their website.

Evaluating Medical Research

Thursday, August 18, 2005

OBOS collaborator John Abramson, whose book Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine exposes the influence of drug companies on the American health care system, wrote a Neiman Report for journalists on on how to accurately report medical research findings. The report, Medical Reporting In a Highly Commercialized Environment, is an excellent exploration of how drug company funding biases both research and media coverage.

Big Pharma: It's Enough to Make You Sick

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels new book, Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients, examines the tactics used by the pharmaceutical industry to promote prescription drug use. OBOS contributor and Canadian Women's Health Network chair Abby Lippman has written a review of the book, Big Pharma: It's Enough to Make You Sick. The review was published in the August 6, 2005 edition of the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail.

OBOS Team Presents at NWSA Conference

Saturday, May 14, 2005

In 2004 OBOS managing editor Heather Stephenson, tone-and-voice editor Zobeida Bonilla, and contributors Marianne McPherson and Elizabeth Lindsey organized a panel discussion at the National Women’s Study Association (NWSA) on the role younger women played in revising the new edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Their reports were then published in the Spring 2005 NWSA Journal. The series of reports includes “Our Bodies, Ourselves for a New Generation: Revising a Feminist Classic” (Heather);  “Including Every Woman: The All-Embracing ‘We’ of Our Bodies, Ourselves” (Zobeida); “Reexamining Gender and Sexual Orientation: Revisioning the Representation of Queer and Trans People in the 2005 Edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves” (Elizabeth); and “Breasts, Blood, and the Royal V: Challenges of Revising Anatomy and Periods for the 2005 Edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves” (Marianne).

A brief summary of the articles is posted at the NWSA Journal website.

New OBOS Getting Lots of Press!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The new edition of Our Bodies Ourselves has been garnishing much media coverage. Check out our recent reviews from the Seattle Times (“New Edition of ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Updates the Groundbreaking Feminist Book”);  the Canadian Globe and Mail ("The Mother of All Women's Health Guides") and the Boston Globe (“A '70s Bible and its Ongoing Evolution.”  Ms Magazine also has a great piece about us in their online blog, Ms. Musings.

To find out more, see our list of current and forthcoming media coverage.

OBOS Contributors Discuss LBTI Health Concerns

Thursday, May 5, 2005

How has OBOS grown and changed to serve lesbians, bi women, and transpeople? The Center for New Words and the Fenway Community Health Center recently sponsored  a panel to address this issue. The panelists, which included OBOS founder Wendy Sanford, OBOS contributors Shannon Berning (“Relationships with Women”), Elizabeth Lindsey (“Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”), Gordene MacKenzie (“Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”), and trans activist Hawk Stone, spoke before an enthusiastic crowd at the Cambridge, MA YWCA. The event was videotaped by WGBH, the local PBS station.

Judy Norsigian Part of Menopause Show

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Executive Director Judy Norsigian was an expert panelist on a recent epidode of the PBS show "Second Opinion." The episode dealt with menopause, and amongst the talk of signs and treatments, Judy was able to point out the importance of viewing menopause as a natural process of aging, rather than as a medical illness needing treatment. 

Judy Norsigian on The Early Show

Thursday, April 28, 2005

OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian was interviewed for the CBS program The Early Show. The interview was televised on April 28 and can be viewed online on the CBS website.

OBOS Named One of 50 Worst Books of the Century

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

We recently learned that the conservative journal Intercollegiate Review included Our Bodies, Ourselves in its list, The 50 Worst Books of the Century (.pdf). Apparently the journal relied on the advice of “a group of exceptional academics from a variety of disciplines” to create the list. The #1 worst book of the century is...Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa!  OBOS didn't make the top 5, but trails back with the rest of the worst. The reason for its inclusion is thus: “Our Bodies, Ourselves, or, Our Bodies, Our Liberal Selves. A textbook example of the modern impulse to elevate the body and its urges, libidinal and otherwise, above soul and spirit.”

Barbara Bridgman Perkins Publishes Critique of Childbirth

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Barbara Bridgman Perkins, one of the founding members of Our Bodies Ourselves, recently published The Medical Delivery Business: Health Reform,Childbirth and the Economic Order. The book is an examination of how the business model of medical organization has shaped health policy as well as medical intervention in childbirth. To find out more, see the reviews at Amazon.com.

1998 AnnOnline Interview

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Back in 1998, when a new edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves was published, Judy Norsigian did a radio interview discusses the role of consumers in the health care system, social and political factors that affect our health, and the importance of health activism. 

OBOS Interns Tell Their Stories

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Recently three interns wrote short pieces reflecting on their experiences at OBOS during the summer of 2004. We've posted the pieces here for you to read. A Day in the Life of an Intern at OBOS  by Laura Subramanian; The Dailies by Stephanie Feuer-Beck; and 240 Hours by Kat Burchell.

Our Bodies Ourselves: Going, Going, Gone Global

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Women's Enews,  a nonprofit independent news service, recently published an article about the OBOS Translation/Adaptation Program. The article, "Our Bodies, Ourselves: Going, Going, Gone Global", examines some of the many OBOS cultural adaptations created by women's groups worldwide.

History of the Women's Health Movement in the U.S.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

OBOS Founder Norma Meras Swenson has contributed an essay on the history of the women’s health movement for the companion website for a Houghton/Mifflin textbook U.S. Women's History.  The essay explores the birth of the women’s health movement in the late 1960s and its importance today.

Women's Health and the Environment

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Each year the Annual Conference on Women’s Health and the Environment brings together a wide range of experts to better understand the relationship between human health and the environment.  At this year’s conference, Caring for Our Mental Health, OBOS executive Director Judy Norsigian discussed the factors that influence women’s emotional and psychological well-being.

OBOS Contributor Publishes Report on Bladder Disease

Thursday, August 14, 2003

OBOS contributor Vicki Ratner is part of a National Institutes of Health research group that recently published a comprehensive book on bladder disease. The report, Overcoming Bladder Disease: A Strategic Plan for Bladder Research *,  analyzed scientific research relevant to the lower urinary tract, defined unmet needs in bladder research, and developed goals and recommendations for future research.

* Please note that this report is a .pdf file, which means you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free by clicking here.

OBOS Contributor Reports on Bust-enhancing Products

Monday, June 16, 2003

"Breast Builder: the all natural herbal supplement designed to naturally increase the size, shape and firmness of women’s breasts!" And "All Natural Breast Enlargement: The Bust Enhancing Formula developed by a physician specializing in hormone regulation and anti-aging medicine."

Ads like this are widespread on the Internet, TV, and magazines, but according to a new report by OBOS contributor and physician Adriane Fugh-Berman, these purported bust enhancing products get a thumbs down. Her report, published in the June 2003 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, states that there are neither published clinical trials nor any scientific data that demonstrate whether any of these products actually work or are even safe. Her commentary also reviews the available evidence on the efficacy and safety of the various herbs contained in the products.

Founder Jane Pincus Speaks about OBOS History

Saturday, May 31, 2003

The first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, published in the early 70s, was 193 typewritten pages and sold for 75 cents. When the writers approached the radical (and all male) staff of the New England Free Press about publishing the book, the staff balked and claimed that women's health "wasn't political."

In an interview in the Rutland Herald, OBOS founder Jane Pincus recalls these and other salient facts about the history and creation of Our Bodies, Ourselves and the women's health movement.

Judy Norsigian Women's eNews Winner

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Each year Women’s Enews, a nonprofit independent news service, creates a list of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. The list profiles women who are “making news, often at great personal risk, by confronting issues of particular concern to women.” The 2003 winners, chosen from a list of 300 reader-nominated women, include OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian. The women were honored at the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century annual celebratory dinner, held in New York on May 20th.

OBOS Member of Community Works

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

OBOS is a proud member agency of Community Works, which raises funds for Boston-area social change organizations through payroll deduction charitable giving programs (much like United Way does). Please contact us if you are interested in including Community Works at your workplace. For more information about CW and its 28 non-profit members, see the Community Works website.

The Great Debate on Human Cloning

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian was recently participated in a debate about whether human cloning should be banned. The debate, which  took place at the Boston University School of Communication, allowed for three speakers on each side to advocate for their positions. To find out more, see "Anti-cloning Team Wins by a Nose."

Sisterhood is Forever

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Robin Morgan’s new book, Sisterhood is Forever, is the third in an anthology series on women's history and feminism (preceeded by Sisterhood is Powerful and Sisterhood is Global). The book, published by Washington Square Press, contains over 60 original essays Morgan commissioned from feminist leaders and activists.

OBOS’s Judy Norsigian, along with OBOS collaborators Barbara Brenner, Lisa Paine and Kiki Zeldes, contributed the essay "Our Bodies, Our Future: Women’s Health Activism Overview."

Founders Participate in Roe vs Wade Celebration

Friday, January 24, 2003

OBOS founders Joan Ditzion, Jane Pincus, and Vilunya Diskin participated in a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. The founders were invited by the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale (R.A.L.Y.) to speak about the beginnings of the women's health movement.

Joan described the climate of the 1960s, in which women's reproductive choices were very limited; Jane spoke of how the legalization of abortion had personally affected her and about her role in making the first film on abortion and reproductive choice; and Vilunya listed the many current activities of OBOS.

Poppy Alexander, one of R.A.L.Y.'s organizers, is a daughter of OBOS founder Ruth Bell-Alexander. And Betsy McGee, one of the first co-authors of OBOS, attended, as did Vilunya’s daughter and granddaughter, so three generations were involved in the celebration!

OBOS Contributor Publishes Book on Dietary Supplements

Saturday, January 18, 2003

OBOS collaborator and physician Adriane Fugh-Berman's new book, 5-Minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Clinical Consult, has just been published. The book, geared toward health care professionals, provides a concise, scientific, and readable reference to herbs, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, probiotics, over-the-counter hormones and other commonly used dietary supplements. The text describes the  supplement, assesses claims, clinical trials, and experimental data, provides dosage information, and evaluates reported adverse effects and drug interactions.

Judy Norsigian Receives 2002 Mass Health Council Award

Saturday, October 26, 2002

OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian was chosen to receive the 2002 Massachusetts Health Council award. The award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the general health of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The award was presented on Oct. 21, 2002 by former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

Judy Norsigian Presents Comments at NIH Workshop on Menopause and Hormones

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Prevention First, a coalition of independent health organizations including Our Bodies Ourselves, recently submitted comments at a National Institute of Health (NIH) workshop on menopause and hormone replacement therapy.  Judy Norsigian, executive director of OBOS, presented the comments, which called on the NIH to do the following:

  • Invest in research that will increase our understanding of the critical role of clean air, clean water and healthy food for safeguarding our health and preventing disease, rather than relying so overwhelmingly on long-term use of prescription drugs and other medical interventions.
  • Strengthen regulation of drug advertising and promotion to consumers and health care providers to ensure that both groups receive full and correct information about promoted products.
  • Strengthen enforcement of existing regulations, so that meaningful action against companies that violate those standards is possible.

To find out more, see Prevention First: A New Coalition of Independent Health Organizations.

Every Woman has a Story...

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Do you remember the first time you read Our Bodies, Ourselves? Historian Wendy Kline is conducting an online survey to document the impact of the book on women’s lives. You can take the survey yourself or read the results.

No New Money for Abstinence-only Sex Ed

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

OBOS is a co-sponsor of the No New Money campaign. The campaign, designed by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), was created to fight increased federal funding for unproven abstinence-only-until marriage programs.

Mother/Daughter Team on Oprah

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

"Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers talk about sex -- see what they have to say!" This was the lead on the April 29, 2002 episode of Oprah, in which OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian and daughter Kyra appeared to talk about what older and younger women think about sex. Oprah's website also lists various actresses' favorite books; in her bookshelf of favorites, Julianne Moore call OBOS "the best women's health reference book I've ever seen" and notes that she's had her copy since she was 18.

How a Group of Friends Transformed Women's Health

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

To mark Women's History Month, Women's Enews asked leaders of the second wave of the U.S. women's movement to look back on their work and answer three questions: In 1972, what were they fighting for? What did they accomplish? And what remains to be done? OBOS founder Jane Pincus took on the challenge, and her commentary, How a Group of Friends Transformed Women's Health, is posted at the Women's Enews website.

Drkoop.com on Women's Health

Monday, December 17, 2001

Drkoop.com recently hosted a one-day symposium called Women's Health: Where We've Been, Where We're Going. In the final session of the day, Dr. Lila Wallis and Judy Norsigian discussed the past achievements in women's health and what to expect in the future.

OBOS Statement on Human Cloning

Monday, July 16, 2001

As the US Congress considers various legislation to ban human cloning, and as it has become clear that experimentation with cloning human embryos is already underway, OBOS is asking women's health activists and others to take a close look at the myriad of issues surrounding this debate. Embryo cloning opens the door to the creation of genetic duplicate humans as well as to so-called "therapeutic" cloning (where stem cells would be harvested from a clonal embryo for research related only to developing medical therapies). There are important distinctions to be made between embryonic stem cell research using embryos NOT created via cloning techniques (for example, embryos created at in vitro fertilization clinics) and creating embryos for "therapeutic" clonal embryo research.
OBOS believes that embryo cloning is unnecessary at this time for embryonic stem cell research and therefore calls for a 5-year moratorium on the creation of human clonal embryos . We encourage others to support the statement posted here at our website.
To read more about feminist perspectives on human cloning, see Cloning as a Women’s Health Issue.

"Our Bodies, _______ ."

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

For all you trivia buffs out there: under the category "First Person,"  one of the questions on the June 8, 2001 Jeopardy TV show was "Our Bodies, ______."  The winning contestant -- a man -- knew the answer.

OBOS Part of New Health Coalition

Wednesday, May 9, 2001

OBOS has joined with other women’s health activists to form a coalition called Prevention First. The coalition hopes to shift the focus of biological and medical research away from genetics and new miracle drugs and onto true prevention. The initial campaign seeks to challenge and curb the so-called “direct-to-consumer” advertising of prescription drugs, now a 2.5 billion dollar enterprise, and to expose the profit-driven motives of pharmaceutical companies (see "Feminists Challenge Unethical Marketing by Prescription Drug Companies").

We've posted a description of the activities, goals, and members of Prevention First, written by founder Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action.

"Sojourner: The Women's Forum" Highlights OBOS Work

Thursday, March 22, 2001

The March 2001 issue of "Sojourner: The Women's Forum" focuses on women's health and features two articles that highlight the work of OBOS. A ‘Rich, Multivocal Collective Text’ is an in-depth review of Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas, while Feminists Challenge Unethical Marketing by Prescription Drug Companies is OBOS executive director Judy Norsigian's examination of advertising by pharmaceutical companies.

OBOS Receives Grant to Address Immigrant Women's Health Concerns

Sunday, February 25, 2001

Many women immigrants have great difficulty finding health, reproduction, and sexuality information that is accessible and culturally appropriate. OBOS recently received a grant from The Open Society Institute to develop a curriculum, teaching modules, and a training program to fill this gap.

The Training Program will be directed both toward service providers and peer educators among immigrant women, and will be based on chapters from Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas. Topics addressed will include sexuality, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, and organizing for change. Zobeida Bonilla, NCNV program manager and a medical anthropologist experienced in Latina health issues, is collaborating with the Immigrant Women Program of the National Organization of Women Legal Defense and Education Fund, The National Council of La Raza, their network affiliates and other community-based groups serving Latinas to develop the material and coordinate its distribution.

To find out more, read about our Latina Health Initiative.

"A Leader in Women's Health"

Friday, February 16, 2001

Earlier this year, OBOS founder and current executive director Judy Norsigian spoke at an event sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Women's Health at University of California, San Francisco. Norsigian shared her insights on the negative influence of advertising and mass media on women's lives and encouraged women to be critical of the media they see and read. The University's newspaper, UCSF Today, published an article, A Leader in Women's Health, about the speech and the work of Our Bodies Ourselves.

Armenian OBOS Seeks Funds

Thursday, January 4, 2001

Over two years ago, collaborators in Armenia began the project of translating, adapting, and publishing Our Bodies, Ourselves.  While the adaptation is now complete, distribution is stalled because of lack of money. Margot Dilmaghani, an American musician of Armenian heritage, is hoping to assist the women's health efforts in Armenia, and to this end has created a CD of classical piano music that she is offering as a gift to those who make donations toward the publication of the Armenian edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Information about the CD, called Celebration!, is available at Margot's website.

OBOS Carries It On...

Saturday, December 30, 2000

The Syracuse Cultural Workers 2001 "Carry It On" Peace Calendar features a beautiful collage of the many different translations and adaptations of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

"Encyclopedia of Women" Includes OBOS Contributions

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women is being billed as the first major reference work to provide comprehensive global, multicultural coverage of women's issues and concerns. The book includes an overview of women's health coauthored by Our Bodies Ourselves.

Press for the Updated OBOS

Thursday, November 2, 2000

A few years back, when Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century was published, the Boston Phoenix ran a review that focused on how the book has evolved over the years. The article, which includes an interview with OBOS founder Paula Doress-Worters, is available online through the Phoenix archives. An earlier New York Times article, They Talked and Talked, and Then Wrote a Classic, looks at how the book has changed as the original authors have grown older.

OBOS Receives Ministry to Women Award

Wednesday, July 28, 1999

The Unitarian Universalist Women's Association (UUWA), an organization working to preserve and celebrate the unique experience of UU women, recently awarded its 1999 yearly Ministry To Women award to Our Bodies Ourselves.

Grace Paley Tells It Like It Is!

Sunday, July 18, 1999

"The women's movement, that world changer, had been scattering consciousness-raising groups all over the country. Concluding that the person was political gave a way of speaking and writing and thinking, a way for women to make art, educate themselves, work at new kinds of work, rename time and themselves. A book like Our Bodies, Ourselves was almost enough to air out the last few dusty centuries." 

 -- Just as I Thought  by Grace Paley (Farrar Straus & Giroux; 1999)






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