“Our Bodies, Ourselves” for a New Generation: Revising a Feminist Classic

In the spring of 2005, the National Women’s Studies Association Journal published a special section by the OBOS editorial team exploring the challenges of revising “Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century.”

In her introduction, Heather Stephenson, the book’s managing editor, explains:

This series of three reports about Our Bodies, Ourselves (forthcoming May 2005) offers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of transforming a classic text of second-wave feminism—often called the bible of women’s health—to meet the needs and sensibilities of today.

The first report explains the challenges encountered by the “tone and voice” editor as she edited for inclusive language, content, and tone, while also considering how race, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, and other concerns affect the text.

The second report describes the new chapter on gender identity and sexual orientation, outlining the process and politics with which the author approached its creation.

The third report describes the author’s efforts to meet an overall goal of the book—to broaden its appeal to a younger audience—and also to restructure the sexual anatomy section and address current “hot topics” such as menstrual suppression.

You can read each report by clicking on a title below.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” for a New Generation: Revising a Feminist Classic by Heather Stephenson

Including Every Woman: The All-Embracing “We” of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” by Zobeida E. Bonilla

Reexamining Gender and Sexual Orientation: Revisioning the Representation of Queer and Trans People in the 2005 Edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” by Elizabeth Sarah Lindsey

Breasts, Blood, and the Royal V: Challenges of Revising Anatomy and Periods for the 2005 Edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” by Marianne McPherson

These articles first appeared in the National Women’s Studies Association Journal (NWSA Journal), Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2005 and are reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.