OBOS in the News

Our Bodies, Ourselves — Online

By VTD Editor | VTDigger.org |

Pincus was one of about two dozen women — many of them young mothers — in the Boston area who found themselves in 1969 unhappy with the scarcity of reliable facts about reproduction. Tired of “getting coffee for the guys” in local civil rights and anti-war activist circles, Pincus said, women “wanted to talk about themselves for a change.”

Each chose a subject for research and discussion — often inspired by personal experience, a problem encountered, such as birth control measures that didn’t work, pregnancy, a … More

How Will We Figure Out Our Bodies Without ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’?

By Aimée Lutkin | Lifehacker |

In an email to Lifehacker, Norsigian said even more explicitly that OBOS becoming less current felt extremely significant under the Trump administration, which has been working to curtail information about women’s health all over the world.

“This couldn’t be a worse time for OBOS to contract the important work it has been doing,” she wrote. “But with the fiscal realities OBOS faces, this new volunteer-driven model is the best OBOS can do.”

Read the full story: How Will We Figure Out Our Bodies Without ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’?

A Small Nonprofit’s Bumpy Road to Success and Organizational Failure

By Anna Berry | Nonprofit Quarterly |

National coverage focused on the despair many older women felt about losing access to future versions of the beloved, groundbreaking guide to female health and empowerment—although it’s still widely available, the last edition was published in 2011. The publication’s lasting legacy, though, has seeded its own successors, proliferating far beyond what it uniquely produced a half-century ago. And therein lies the rub: Perhaps this is the organization we all wish to run, one so successful at its central mission that its reason for existence has … More

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

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’? 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

The End is Nigh for ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’

By Bob Collins | Minnesota Public Radio |

Passed down, often wordlessly, from mother to daughter, the book provided women intimate insights into their own bodies and presented forbidden topics, from menstruation to masturbation, complete with illustrations.

“We didn’t have the Internet as we know it today,” said Jaclyn Friedman, the feminist author, who is 46. “If I had questions about my body, before I went to the doctor, I went to ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves.’ It was so comforting to have. It was totally nonjudgmental.” And, she noted, its encyclopedic range covered everything from … 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’ — 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