Our Bodies, Our Blog

Get Out and Vote!

By Rachel Walden |

Former Democratic Representative Patricia Schroeder gave one of the plenary speeches at the recent I attended. Her speech addressed the question, “”

Schroeder spoke about the growth of angry rhetoric and of corporate funding in campaign advertising, as well as of some people’s apparent lack of belief in facts and science. She encouraged everyone to get MAD. But she’s not interested in inciting read shouting: Schroeder asked instead that we all work hard to Make a Difference.

That said, tomorrow’s election … Read

Tell Us Your “Our Bodies, Ourselves” Story

By Rachel Walden |

At the recent Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare Advocacy Summit and joint colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations (#ccckeystone), I met many interesting people with fond memories of their first experiences with the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” book. I loved hearing these stories, about how a small group of friends used the book to perform self-exams, how it motivated women to advocate for themselves or become active in women’s health and rights, and the many other ways in which the landmark book has inspired so … Read

Meeting Dispatch: Resources from the CUE/Cochrane/Campbell Colloquium

By Rachel Walden |

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare Advocacy Summit, followed by the of the and Collaborations. Each of these organizations is focused on promoting evidence-based healthcare, through consumer advocacy organizations (CUE),  systematic reviews and meta-analyses on healthcare (Cochrane) and social, education, and justice work (Campbell).

Over the course of the conference, I attended a lot of great sessions, met plenty of interesting people, and learned about many resources of … Read

New Report Details Abuses of HIV-Positive Chilean Women

By Kiki Zeldes |

The and Vivo Positivo have released a new report, The report is the result of 2009-2010 study that included interviews with 27 HIV-positive Chilean women and health care providers, visits to public health facilities, and a review of relevant policies on HIV/AIDS and reproductive rights.

The report provides accounts of coerced and forced sterilization of HIV-positive women, negative attitudes from care providers, including … Read

Seeing Ourselves: (Mis)Representations of Girls and Women on Television

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

by Culley Schultz |

As a teenage girl, I watch television on a regular basis. “” happens to be a favorite of mine. Unlike most shows on television, “Glee” showcases students of every race, religion and size. There are multiple representations, but read importantly, there is accurate representation.

The majority of shows now depict glamorous lifestyles enjoyed only by the rich and skinny. Shows like “” are not only using unrealistically thin women, they … Read

Letters Respond to Lancet Home Birth Editorial With Feminist Perspective

By Rachel Walden |

In July, The Lancet published an editorial, “,” in which the editors discussed the apparent safety of home birth for most low-risk women, contradictory or low-quality evidence on infant outcomes, and the recent, controversial .

Perhaps most likely to cause feminist double-takes was the following comment:

Women have the right to choose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk.

New letters to the editor in the October … Read

Invitation to Participate in Study of Body Image in Women 50 and Older

By Rachel Walden |

Readers are invited to participate in a study being conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s . Participants will complete an online survey about body image and weight concerns in adult women 50 years old and and over.

From the researchers:

In contrast to extensive knowledge about body image and weight concerns in young women, we know very little about how body image and weight concerns change as women mature. We would like to develop a deep … Read

The Explosion of Pink

By Rachel Walden |

It’s October, so the explosion of pink products at the grocery and other stores shouldn’t surprise us: it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the time of the year when we’re asked to eradicate breast cancer by buying pink-ribboned  products.

Over the years, many women’s health activists have criticized the pink ribbon campaigns, protesting that these efforts do little to fund prevention, are less useful than direct donations, and promote a false sense of doing something to cure breast cancer. The New York Times Well Blog yesterday … Read

Paging Dr. Paul: Medicaid Coverage for Births and Family Planning Services is Essential

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

by Cory L. Richards | Guttmacher Institute

Rand Paul, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky, caused a stir last week when he argued that too many births in Kentucky are paid for by Medicaid, the joint federal-state insurance program for low-income Americans.

According to Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Medicaid pays for about half of the state’s 57,000 annual births. Paul is as saying that “Half of the people in Kentucky are not poor. We’ve made it … Read

National Midwifery Week, October 3-9

By Rachel Walden |

This week is National Midwifery Week, in which organizations and individuals promote midwifery and try to raise awareness about midwifery services.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives provides a list of things you can do to celebrate National Midwifery Week. My favorite suggestion, given my librarian bias: “Request your local librarian to create a special display of available books about the women’s health, childbirth, midwifery, and literature inspired by or mentioning midwives.” has some great tips for working with libraries on … Read