Our Bodies, Our Blog

A History of Menstrual Activism

By Rachel Walden |

A recent issue of the journal Health Care for Women International includes the article “From Convenience to Hazard: A Short History of the Emergence of the Menstrual Activism Movement, 1971-1992,” a succinct and fascinating history from author Chris Bobel. This article is well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy (the link above is to the abstract only). The article highlights “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and the ways in which our classic book addressed menstruation and menstrual products over the … Read

Read Names for HHS Secretary

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The latest buzz is that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is under serious consideration for secretary of Health & Human Services, but the Obama administration is still looking at other candidates, including former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta. From the Associated Press:

Sebelius, 60, signed on early with the Obama campaign, backing his candidacy over that of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s rival for the Democratic nomination and now secretary of state. Sebelius worked tirelessly for Obama’s bid and was a top surrogate to women’s … Read

Political Diagnosis: Stimulus Bill Gains Bipartisan Support; Paging a Worthy HHS Nominee; Reauthorization of SCHIP Expands Health Coverage; Early Names for Supreme Court

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A weekly look at what’s happening in Washington and in the new Obama administration related to women’s health and well-being …

Stimulus Bill Makes Progress in Senate: Senate Democrats Friday night struck a deal with Republicans over the economic stimulus bill, paving the way for a vote early next week. The Senate and House versions will have to be reconciled, but House Democratic leaders aren’t thrilled with the Senate cuts, reports the Washington Post.

The Senate changes bring what had been a $920 billion package down … Read

Yes Means Yes: Q&A With Lisa Jervis & Brad Perry

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Today we’re pleased to present an interview with two outstanding contributors to “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape,” a collection of essays recently published by Seal Press.

Lisa Jervis, the founding editor and publisher of Bitch magazine, and Brad Perry, sexual violence prevention coordinator at the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, take on popular perceptions of rape and what needs to be done to transform regressive attitudes toward sexual violence — in both … Read

Reiterating the Lack of Evidence Behind “Bioidentical” Hormones

By Rachel Walden |

Ever since the Women’s Health Initiative study found that women taking supplemental hormones had an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke, women struggling with menopausal symptoms have searched for safer alternatives. Companies that make bioidentical hormones (also called natural or compounded hormones) have been quick to jump into the void, often claiming that their products are safer and read effective than traditional “synthetic” hormones.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that this is true. Yesterday, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists … Read

Quick Hit: Tom Daschle Withdraws Nomination for HHS Secretary

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Tom Daschle, President Obama’s pick for secretary of Health & Human Services, withdrew his nomination today, citing the distraction surrounding his failure to pay all of his taxes in recent years. Daschle also will not serve as the nation’s health care czar.

From the Washington Post:

Daschle, a former Senate majority leader, had come under pressure since Friday, when it was reported that he did not pay read than $100,000 in back taxes, primarily for the use of a car and driver that … Read

Less Invasive Breast Biopsy Underused

By Rachel Walden |

When women have an abnormal mammogram and a biopsy is recommended, there are two basic options – a needle biopsy in which a sample is collected via a needle, or an open, surgical biopsy in which an incision is made and part or all of the tissue of interest is removed. Not surprisingly, surgical biopsies generally require a longer recovery time and can result in read complications, such as scar tissue that may interfere with future breast imaging.

In a study published in the January 2009 … Read

Candace Parker: Shooting for Career & Family

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

There are few female athletes whose pregnancy would be analyzed every which way in the public eye. Basketball phenom Candace Parker, 22, who drew national attention for winning a slam dunk contest when she was only 17, and later led the Tennessee Lady Vols to two straight NCAA championship titles and was the first pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, is one of those athletes.

Parker’s pregnancy — and what it means to her team, the Los Angeles Sparks, and to the … Read

“Yes Means Yes”: All Aboard the Virtual Book Tour

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

It’s about time we wrote about the new book “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape.”

Featuring read than two dozen essays, “Yes Means Yes” breaks down attitudes toward rape and female sexuality while providing smart media analysis and commentary on current social and political issues, including funding for sex education, sexual violence against immigrant women, and the dangerous notion of “gray rape.”

“Yes Means Yes” is also a blog, written by the book’s contributors. … Read

Double Dose: Breast Cancer Memoirs; Keeping Open the Window on Healthcare Reform; Red Sex, Blue Sex; Chemicals May Delay Pregnancy …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

What I Learned From Breast Cancer Memoirs: “Breast cancer memoirs have become such staples — reliably displayed during Let’s Wave Pink Ribbons for Breast Cancer month — that it’s hard to remember a time when women didn’t document their journey from onset through the catalog of treatments to restored health, stabilization, or imminent death. But it wasn’t always thus,” writes S.L. Wisenberg in the Chicago Reader.

She continues:

True, British author Fanny Burney wrote to her family about the agonizing mastectomy she underwent — … Read