Media Mentions

Letter to the Editor: ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Will Go On, In Print and Other Forms

By Judy Norsigian & Bonnie Shepard | The Boston Globe |

We appreciate the front-page coverage of Our Bodies Ourselves and its transition to a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization (“Closing the book on ‘Our Bodies,’” April 6). We offer some important clarifications.

First, the 2011 edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” is not out of print; it is distributed in hard copy and e-book editions by Simon & Schuster, and its feminist perspective on women’s health issues is timeless. Most medical information in the 2011 edition is accurate, since information most subject to change went on the website, not … More

A Bible Discontinued

By The Scrapbook | The Weekly Standard |

Once upon a time, before the advent of Google and WebMD, medical information was dispensed by medical professionals in doctor’s offices. These were dark times, at least if you believe fans of the infamous “women’s health bible,” “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”

The book began life in the late 1960s as a glorified feminist health pamphlet, stapled together and passed around like samizdat by a group of self-described women’s liberation radicals in Boston. The booklet covered topics such as masturbation and postpartum depression as well as more standard fare like the … More

‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’? It’s Shelved

By Jessica Valenti | The New York Times |

When your mother handed you a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” it meant one of two things: You were about to have a pained conversation with a parent wielding a hand mirror, or you were meant to take the book, read it and never mention it again. Either way, you were prepared.

For generations of girls, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was the starter pack to adulthood: It let you know whether your vulva was weird looking (it wasn’t), what kind of birth control you … More

‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ — a ‘beacon of light’ for millions of women — fades away in digital age.

By Vikki Ortiz | Chicago Tribune |

First published at the start of the women’s liberation movement by a group of 12 women at a workshop called “Women and Their Bodies” at Emmanuel College, the book famously addressed topics previously considered taboo or inappropriate to discuss. “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was designed to be a guide for women who wanted to learn about themselves, communicate their findings with doctors, and challenge the medical establishment to change and improve the care that women receive, according to the organization’s website.

Read the full story: ‘Our Bodies, … More

We Asked 5 Sexual Health Experts What Made ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Such a Revolutionary Resource

By Sarah Jacoby | Self |

At the time it was originally published, marital guides—which contained information about how to keep your husband happy—were common. But “Our Bodies, Ourselves” “took a very different approach,” Dr. Streicher says. There were other books out there that explained safe sex or what happens in terms of the reproductive cycle, but this one also covered “the element beyond that, [which] is pleasurable sex, pleasurable intimacy,” she says. “This was about what you need to know as a functional mature woman in terms of your own … More

Our Bodies, Ourselves,’ the Revolutionary Feminist Health Book, Will No Longer Print New Editions.

By Brigit Katz | Smithsonian.com |

“I feel such love and gratitude for all that OBOS and its amazing book has given us,” one commenter wrote under Shephard’s announcement. “For me at least, this book was the original roadmap that connected women, health, education and power. It’s been by my side for a very long time, like a good friend.”

Read the full story: ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves,’ the Revolutionary Feminist Health Book, Will No Longer Print New Editions

“Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the Guide That Revolutionized Women’s Health, Will Stop Printing New Editions

By Stassa Edwards | Jezebel |

Originally called Women and Their Bodies, the initial version is a radical document—not simply because it provided a frank and friendly perspective on taboo topics but because the work was framed by the collective’s anti-capitalist and intersectional perspective. (The group has a copy of the original 192-page text online and it’s well worth a look). The approach to women’s healthcare in Women and Their Bodies reflects too the goals of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. NPR notes that prior to publication, the collective gave presentations … More

In Celebration of the Women of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

By Ruth McCambridge | Nonprofit Quarterly |

When the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective began putting together Our Bodies, Ourselves in the early Seventies, first as a series of broadsheets and then as a book with full blown chapters, it was a radical act. That now-familiar work talked frankly about women’s anatomies and their life phases—masturbation, menstruation, menopause and comparative assessments of birth control methods—in a single handy-dandy manual. It was a guide to women’s bodies without a trace of shame or salaciousness or cuteness—amusing, yes, and well-illustrated…entrancing even. It answered all the questions … More

Feminist Health Guide ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Will Stop Publishing

By Neda Ulaby | NPR |

At some point, you or a woman you know has likely looked through a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves. The book was revolutionary when it was first published in the early 1970s. It taught women about their own anatomy and sexuality at a time when talking frankly about sex was considered — well, unladylike.

Now, the organization that publishes Our Bodies, Ourselves has announced that after nearly 50 years and nine editions, it’s ceasing publication of the signature book. Executive Director Julie Childers says the the small nonprofit Our Bodies … More