Our Bodies, Our Blog

Watch Our Bodies Ourselves Virtual Events!

By OBOS |
An "Our Bodies Ourselves: Then & Now" 50th anniversary event in November 2019 in Newton, MA

Each year, Our Bodies Ourselves participates in various events that feature or celebrate the history, legacy, and ongoing work of OBOS. This past year, due to Covid-19, the events were held virtually. While we’ve missed seeing some of you in person, we’re glad that many of the events were recorded and can now be watched from home!

Below is a list of events available to stream:

In October, OBOS co-founder Wendy Sanford published her powerful new memoir, “These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class.” Porter Square Books celebrated the publication with an online book talk. Watch a replay of the event. (Please note: to watch the replay, click on “register” and then enter your email address. This will allow you to see the replay.)

Poster for Porter Square Book Celebration with Wendy Sanford

Last month, the Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde and Our Bodies Ourselves celebrated the publication of the first volume of “Nossos Corpos por Nós Mesmas,” a Brazilian Portuguese adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” The event featured “Nossos Corpos” project coordinator Raquel Pereira and book team member Janine Pimentel, OBOS co-founders Judy Norsigian and Norma Swenson, and pioneering Brazilian researchers on women, health and sexuality, Simone Diniz and Sonia Corrêa. Learn more about the event and watch a replay.

Screenshot of women in Brazil protesting for abortion rights

In August, OBOS board members Diana Namumbejja Abwoye and Judy Norsigian were invited to speak at a Virtual Radcliffe Book Talk, organized in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the book’s first edition and in connection with the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective Records housed in Schlesinger Library. The talk, moderated by Wendy Kline, a history of medicine professor at Purdue University, featured OBOS board members Diana Namumbejja Abwoye and Judy Norsigian. Note: For those who asked about how you can support either a reprinting of the Luganda adaptation that Diana spoke about or a new adaptation into Acholi (for women in northern Uganda): you can send earmarked donations via check to Our Bodies Ourselves, PO Box 590403, Newton Center, MA 02459.

In April, the Boston University School of Public Health held an event titled The Women’s Health Movement: Celebrating 50 Years of Our Bodies Ourselves. The panel of experts included Judy Norsigian, co-founder and board chair of Our Bodies Ourselves; Nashira Baril, founder of the Neighborhood Birth Center; Charlie Ruth Castro, co-founder of Fundación Mujeres Con Derechos, and Wendy Chavkin, professor emerita at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

In March, Suffolk University Summa Society held a webinar on “The Evolution of Our Bodies Ourselves.” OBOS co-founder and board chair Judy Norsigian, OBOS board member Diana Namumbejja Abwoye, and director of Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights Amy Agigian discussed the history of Our Bodies Ourselves and the forthcoming Our Bodies Ourselves Today online platform. Watch a video of the event.

Last November, the Waltham Public Library held an event titled “Then and Now: Our Bodies Ourselves: The Roots of the Women’s Health Movement” that featured interviews with OBOS co-founders Joan Ditzion and Judy Norsigian.

And finally, also in November, the BBC produced a wonderful hour-long radio documentary on the history and impact of Our Bodies Ourselves. Listen to the documentary.

Screenshot of women in Brazil protesting for abortion rightsScreenshot of women in Brazil protesting for abortion rights

Celebrating “Nossos Corpos por Nós Mesmas” and Transnational Feminist Health!

By OBOS |

After more than two years in the making, the first volume of “Nossos Corpos por Nós Mesmas,” has arrived! The book, a Brazilian Portuguese adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” covers topics including anatomy and sexuality, birth control, abortion, body image, safer sex and violence against women. The book was translated and adapted through a joint collaboration between the Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde (CFSS), the Research Group on Translation Studies at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the translation … More

A bottle of Descovy for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)A bottle of Descovy for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)

In the Fight Against HIV, Gendered Assumptions Have Deadly Consequences

By OBOS |

By Charlotte Babbin

In October 2019, the FDA approval of the new HIV-prevention drug Descovy was met with great excitement by doctors, HIV researchers, and many people at risk of HIV infection. Descovy functions as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medicine taken to prevent HIV infection. The second ever drug approved for PrEP, in research trials, Descovy reduced kidney and bone health side effects.

Not everyone, however, applauded the approval of this drug. To many people’s disappointment, Descovy was not approved for use … More

Banner reading "UNITED FOR 🌢 PERIOD PARITY".Banner reading "UNITED FOR 🌢 PERIOD PARITY".

Period Poverty is a Human Rights Issue. Period.

By Guest Contributor |

by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

What is period poverty?

Let’s talk about period poverty. Period poverty occurs when menstruators cannot access the menstrual products, underwear, and pain medication they need to maintain their menstrual health due to a variety of factors, such as cost, stigma, and gender discrimination. Globally, there are 1.8 billion people who menstruate and 500 million people who do not have the ability to maintain their menstrual health.

Menstrual health is a human rights issue. All those who menstruate have the right to the knowledge, … More

Stopping Keystone: A Victory for Native Women’s Health

By Guest Contributor |

By Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

In early June, after more than ten years of conflict, the Keystone XL oil pipeline project was halted by TC Energy, the company behind the project. This is a victory for Indigenous communities and environmental activists. However, the fight for justice is not over.

The destruction of tribal lands is fueled by the assault on Indigenous peoples’ — especially indigenous women’s — bodies. While the halting of the Keystone pipeline is an important step, many challenges remain: the Murdered and Missing Women … More

Logo for Our Bodies Ourselves TodayLogo for Our Bodies Ourselves Today

Celebrate Pride Month with a #GiveOUTDay donation to Our Bodies Ourselves Today!

By Guest Contributor |

by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone 

Our Bodies Ourselves Today, a new online platform featuring up-to-date information about health, sexuality, and well-being, is set to launch in 2022. The platform is being created by the Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights at Suffolk University in partnership with Our Bodies Ourselves. The post below was written by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone, an intern on the project.

Our Bodies Ourselves Today is running a #GiveOUTDay campaign throughout Pride Month! The OBOS Today platform will be a global, world-class resource … More

close up of antidepressant pillsclose up of antidepressant pills

When Antidepressants Leave Lasting Damage: Living with Post-SSRI/SNRI Sexual Dysfunction

By Guest Contributor |

by Emily Grey

My clitoris is now no more than an inert and sensation-less nub of flesh. I am unable to feel attraction, arousal or orgasm.… The effects of losing my sexuality have been absolutely devastating to my relationships and mental health. I have been robbed of an essential aspect of my humanity.” – Emily, age 24, PSSD 2 years

Sexuality is an integral part of our lives, central to our identity, our quality of life, and the ways we connect with other human beings. So what … More

addyi prescriptionaddyi prescription

False or Misleading Claims: More Problems with Addyi

By Guest Contributor |

by Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot

The so-called “pink Viagra” drug Addyi (flibanserin) is in the news again. This time, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s manufacturer, is being called out by the FDA for making “false or misleading claims about the risks associated with Addyi.”

OBOS has previously written about how the health risks of the drug outweigh its benefits. The FDA approved Addyi in 2015, after Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s manufacturer, engaged in an aggressive marketing campaign designed to convince people that it was only fair … More

Persistent and Pervasive: Feminists Take on Toxics

By Judy Norsigian |

For a variety of reasons, including gendered work and home experiences, women face different environmental health risks than men. Women are more likely to use personal care products, cosmetics, and cleaning products, and therefore more likely to face daily exposure to the toxic chemicals in many consumer products. As awareness of toxic chemicals has increased, feminist scientists and activists are drawing attention to the real adverse health risks they pose and have mobilized to work toward creative and radical solutions.

Sally Edwards, an environmental health scientist, … More