Current public health promotion of breastfeeding relies heavily on health messaging and individual behavior change. Women are told that “breast is best” but too little serious attention is given to addressing the many social, economic, and political factors that combine to limit women’s real choice to breastfeed beyond a few days or weeks. The result: women’s, infants’, and public health interests are undermined. Beyond Health, Beyond Choice examines how feminist perspectives can inform public health support for breastfeeding.
Written by authors from diverse disciplines, perspectives, and countries, this collection of essays is arranged thematically and considers breastfeeding in relation to public health and health care; work and family; embodiment (specifically breastfeeding in public); economic and ethnic factors; guilt; violence; and commercialization. By examining women’s experiences and bringing feminist insights to bear on a public issue, the editors attempt to reframe the discussion to better inform public health approaches and political action. Doing so can help us recognize the value of breastfeeding for the public’s health and the important productive and reproductive contributions women make to the world.
Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, women argued that unless they gained access to information about their own bodies, there would be no equality. In Bodies of Knowledge, Wendy Kline considers the ways in which ordinary women worked to position the female body at the center of women’s liberation.
As Kline shows, the struggle to attain this knowledge unified women but also divided them—according to race, class, sexuality, or level of professionalization. Each of the five chapters of Bodies of Knowledge examines a distinct moment or setting of the women’s movement in order to give life to the ideas, expectations, and pitfalls encountered by the advocates of women’s health: the making of Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973); the conflicts surrounding the training and practice of women’s pelvic exams; the emergence of abortion as a feminist issue; the battles over contraceptive regulation at the 1983 Depo-Provera FDA hearings; and the rise of the profession of midwifery. Including an epilogue that considers the experiences of the daughters of 1970s feminists, Bodies of Knowledge is an important contribution to the study of the bodies—that marked the lives—of feminism’s second wave.
Julia K. Depree Ohio University Press, 2004 Library of Congress RC552.A5D43 2004 | Dewey Decimal 362.196852620092
Something other than a memoir of a life well lived, Body Story conveys Julia K. De Pree's troubling journey from adolescence to adulthood and from anorexia to health.
For De Pree, between being a girl and being a woman, there was starvation. Body Story is her intimate account of girlhood, virginity, anorexia, and motherhood. De Pree's prose is spare and unguarded, revealing in vivid flashbacks and poignant vignettes the sources of her inner pain.
In high school, the five-foot-ten De Pree weighed as little as 114 pounds. She was too weak to raise her arms above her head. “In a paradoxical way, I starved my body in order to understand my life,” she writes. “I had to place my body in suspension before I could move physically into sexuality. Starving allowed me to create an interim space between innocence and experience.”
De Pree renders the starkness of anorexia along with the process of recovery, relapse, and, ultimately, redemption. She also tells the story of the physical landscape, from her origins in the Midwest to the American South, Paris, and the vast New Mexican desert, as well as the psychic landscape of her body as it encounters the joys and challenges of maturation, childbirth, and motherhood.
De Pree offers readers a new way of understanding women¿s bodily experience, as she writes about the mystery and the meaning of her illness. As many as eight million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Body Story, unlike clinical reports or news accounts, illuminates the complexity of anorexia as the narrative moves toward a subjective and deeply personal truth.
This evocative and often radiant vision is a unique window into womanhood and selfhood in middle-class, contemporary America.
In Diagnosing Desire: Biopolitics and Femininity into the Twenty-First Century, Alyson K. Spurgas examines the “new science of female sexuality” from a critical, sociological perspective, considering how today’s feminist-identified sex researchers study and manage women with low desire. Diagnosing Desire investigates experimental sex research that measures the disconnect between subjective and genital female arousal, contemporary psychiatric diagnoses for low female desire, new models for understanding women’s sexual response, and cutting-edge treatments for low desire in women—including from the realms of mindfulness and alternative healing.
Spurgas makes the case that, together, all of these technologies create a “feminized responsive desire framework” for understanding women’s sexuality, and that this, in fact, produces women’s sexuality as a complex problem to be solved. The biggest problem, Spurgas argues, is that gendered and sexualized trauma—including as it is produced within technoscientific medicine itself—is too often ignored in contemporary renderings. Through incisive textual analysis and in-depth qualitative research based on interviews with women with low desire, Spurgas argues for a more radical and communal form of care for feminized—and traumatized—populations, in opposition to biopolitical mandates to individualize and neoliberalize forms of self-care. Ultimately, this is a book not just about a specific diagnosis or dysfunction but about the material-discursive regimes that produce and regulate femininity.
Embodied Protests examines how Bolivia's hesitant courtship with globalization manifested in the visceral and emotional diseases that afflicted many Bolivian women. Drawing on case studies conducted among market- and working-class women in the provincial town of Punata, Maria Tapias examines how headaches and debilidad, so-called normal bouts of infant diarrhea, and the malaise oppressing whole communities were symptomatic of profound social suffering. She approaches the narratives of distress caused by poverty, domestic violence, and the failure of social networks as constituting the knowledge that shaped their understandings of well-being. At the crux of Tapias's definitive analysis is the idea that individual health perceptions, actions, and practices cannot be separated from local cultural narratives or from global and economic forces.
Evocative and compassionate, Embodied Protests gives voice to the human costs of the ongoing neoliberal experiment.
Women have long needed a book devoted to their unique issues with diabetes. This up-to-date and practical guide advocates simple lifestyle changes that can help women reduce their risk of getting diabetes or, if already diagnosed, prevent the disease's most serious complications.
Faith and the Pursuit of Health explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in Samoa, a place where rates of obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders have reached population-wide levels. Pentecostals grapple with how to maintain the health of their congregants in an environment that fosters cardiometabolic disorders. They find ways to manage these forms of sickness and inequality through their churches and the friendships developed within these institutions. Examining how Pentecostal Christianity provides many Samoans with tools to manage day-to-day issues around health and sickness, Jessica Hardin argues for understanding the synergies between how Christianity and biomedicine practice chronicity.
Are girls entering puberty earlier than they used to? This question, which has been debated recently by doctors and scientists in the pages of Time magazine and the New York Times, proves that there is still a great deal to learn about women's reproductive health. Female Fertility and the Body-Fat Connection is the record of one scientist's groundbreaking and decades-long work on the connections among fertility, body fat, and reproductive health in women.
Rose E. Frisch explains here how, in women, a certain amount of body fat is crucial to the reproductive system and sexual maturation. Women who are too lean are infertile and cannot conceive children; young girls who are too thin have a delayed onset of their first period. Female Fertility and the Body-Fat Connection illuminates how and why a "critical fitness" level underlies a woman's reproductive health. In the process Frisch gives readers a comprehensive view of the research done to date on the relationship between body composition and fertility and also describes her own journey as a woman scientist working to advance her critical-fitness hypothesis both to the general public and the scientific community. Frisch answers the questions every woman has about the desirable weight for health and fertility and even includes tables to help women find their own best weight. She also demonstrates how important diet and exercise are for the long-term reproductive health of women, and shows what factors influence the onset of puberty in girls.
Each milestone of the reproductive life span is affected by food intake and energy output, the factors affecting the storage of fat. Female Fertility and the Body-Fat Connection is a cornerstone to understanding the health of girls and women.
Thanks to advances in technology, medicine, Social Security, and Medicare, old age for many Americans is characterized by comfortable retirement, good health, and fulfilling relationships. But there are also millions of people over 65 who struggle with poverty, chronic illness, unsafe housing, social isolation, and mistreatment by their caretakers. What accounts for these disparities among older adults? Sociologist Deborah Carr’s Golden Years? draws insights from multiple disciplines to illuminate the complex ways that socioeconomic status, race, and gender shape the nearly every aspect of older adults’ lives. By focusing on an often-invisible group of vulnerable elders, Golden Years? reveals that disadvantages accumulate across the life course and can diminish the well-being of many.
Carr connects research in sociology, psychology, epidemiology, gerontology, and other fields to explore the well-being of older adults. On many indicators of physical health, such as propensity for heart disease or cancer, black seniors fare worse than whites due to lifetimes of exposure to stressors such as economic hardships and racial discrimination and diminished access to health care. In terms of mental health, Carr finds that older women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety than men, yet older men are especially vulnerable to suicide, a result of complex factors including the rigid masculinity expectations placed on this generation of men. Carr finds that older adults’ physical and mental health are also closely associated with their social networks and the neighborhoods in which they live. Even though strong relationships with spouses, families, and friends can moderate some of the health declines associated with aging, women—and especially women of color—are more likely than men to live alone and often cannot afford home health care services, a combination that can be isolating and even fatal. Finally, social inequalities affect the process of dying itself, with white and affluent seniors in a better position to convey their end-of-life preferences and use hospice or palliative care than their disadvantaged peers.
Carr cautions that rising economic inequality, the lingering impact of the Great Recession, and escalating rates of obesity and opioid addiction, among other factors, may contribute to even greater disparities between the haves and the have-nots in future cohorts of older adults. She concludes that policies, such as income supplements for the poorest older adults, expanded paid family leave, and universal health care could ameliorate or even reverse some disparities.
A comprehensive analysis of the causes and consequences of later-life inequalities, Golden Years? demonstrates the importance of increased awareness, strong public initiatives, and creative community-based programs in ensuring that all Americans have an opportunity to age well.
According to the popular press in the mid twentieth century, American women, in a misguided attempt to act like men in work and leisure, were drinking more. “Lady Lushes” were becoming a widespread social phenomenon. From the glamorous hard-drinking flapper of the 1920s to the disgraced and alcoholic wife and mother played by Lee Remick in the 1962 film “Days of Wine and Roses,” alcohol consumption by American women has been seen as both a prerogative and as a threat to health, happiness, and the social order.
In Lady Lushes, medical historian Michelle L. McClellan traces the story of the female alcoholic from the late-nineteenth through the twentieth century. She draws on a range of sources to demonstrate the persistence of the belief that alcohol use is antithetical to an idealized feminine role, particularly one that glorifies motherhood. Lady Lushes offers a fresh perspective on the importance of gender role ideology in the formation of medical knowledge and authority.
Dr. James Burt believed women’s bodies were broken, and only he could fix them. In the 1950s, this Ohio OB-GYN developed what he called “love surgery,” a unique procedure he maintained enhanced the sexual responses of a new mother, transforming her into “a horny little house mouse.” Burt did so without first getting the consent of his patients. Yet he was allowed to practice for over thirty years, mutilating hundreds of women in the process.
It would be easy to dismiss Dr. Burt as a monstrous aberration, a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. Yet as medical historian Sarah Rodriguez reveals, that’s not the whole story. The Love Surgeon asks tough questions about Burt’s heinous acts and what they reveal about the failures of the medical establishment: How was he able to perform an untested surgical procedure? Why wasn’t he obliged to get informed consent from his patients? And why did it take his peers so long to take action?
The Love Surgeon is both a medical horror story and a cautionary tale about the limits of professional self-regulation.
While breast cancer continues to affect the lives of millions, contemporary writers and artists have responded to the ravages of the disease in creative expression. Mary K. DeShazer’s book looks specifically at breast cancer memoirs and photographic narratives, a category she refers to as mammographies, signifying both the imaging technology by which most Western women discover they have this disease and the documentary imperatives that drive their written and visual accounts of it. Mammographies argues that breast cancer narratives of the past ten years differ from their predecessors in their bold address of previously neglected topics such as the link between cancer and environmental carcinogens, the ethics and efficacy of genetic testing and prophylactic mastectomy, and the shifting politics of prosthesis and reconstruction.
Mammographies is distinctive among studies of contemporary illness narratives in its exclusive focus on breast cancer, its analysis of both memoirs and photographic texts, its attention to hybrid and collaborative narratives, and its emphasis on ecological, genetic, transnational, queer, and anti-pink discourses. DeShazer’s methodology—best characterized as literary critical, feminist, and interdisciplinary—includes detailed interpretation of the narrative strategies, thematic contours, and visual imagery of a wide range of contemporary breast cancer memoirs and photographic anthologies. The author explores the ways in which the narratives constitute a distinctive testimonial and memorial tradition, a claim supported by close readings and theoretical analysis that demonstrates how these narratives question hegemonic cultural discourses, empower reader-viewers as empathic witnesses, and provide communal sites for mourning, resisting, and remembering.
If not for the reproductive functions of women, would there be anything called women’s health care? A review of medical literature, practice, and policy in this country would suggest that the answer is no. Offering a startling view of the current state of health care for women in the United States and laying the foundation for a new, widely defined women’s medicine, Man-Made Medicine makes an urgent statement about gender bias in the medical establishment and its pernicious effects on the well-being of women and the care they receive. These essays by physicians, lawyers, activists, and scholars present a rare interdisciplinary approach to a complex set of issues. Gender stereotyping and bias in the collection, analysis, and reporting of scientific data and in the ways health-related news is covered by the media are examined. The exclusion of women from the health care policy-making process and the effect such exclusion has on the determination of priorities among potential areas of research are also explored. With discussions of the plight of specific populations of women whose health care needs are not being sufficiently met—for example, immigrants, prisoners, the mentally ill, or women with HIV/AIDS, disabilities, or reproductive health problems—this book considers matters of race and class within the parameters of gender as it builds a fundamental challenge to the existing health care system. A range of current reform proposals are also evaluated in terms of their potential impact on women. Suggesting no less than a radical rethinking of women’s medicine, Man-Made Medicine gives essential direction to the discussions that will shape the future of health care in this country. It will be of great interest to a wide audience, including health care advocates, policymakers, scholars, and readers generally concerned with women’s health issues.
Contributors. Ellen Barry, Laurie Beck, Joan Bertin, Janet Calvo, Wendy Chavkin, Kay Dickersin, Abigail English, Elizabeth Fee, Carol Gill, Nancy Krieger, Joyce McConnell, Judy Norsigian, Ann Scales, Susan Stefan, Lauren Schnaper, Catherine Teare
New Blood offers a fresh interdisciplinary look at feminism-in-flux. For over three decades, menstrual activists have questioned the safety and necessity of feminine care products while contesting menstruation as a deeply entrenched taboo. Chris Bobel shows how a little-known yet enduring force in the feminist health, environmental, and consumer rights movements lays bare tensions between second- and third-wave feminisms and reveals a complicated story of continuity and change within the women's movement.
Through her critical ethnographic lens, Bobel focuses on debates central to feminist thought (including the utility of the category "gender") and challenges to building an inclusive feminist movement. Filled with personal narratives, playful visuals, and original humor, New Blood reveals middle-aged progressives communing in Red Tents, urban punks and artists "culture jamming" commercial menstrual products in their zines and sketch comedy, queer anarchists practicing DIY health care, African American health educators espousing "holistic womb health," and hopeful mothers refusing to pass on the shame to their pubescent daughters. With verve and conviction, Bobel illuminates today's feminism-on-the-ground--indisputably vibrant, contentious, and ever-dynamic.
With the publication in 1996 of The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health, women seeking answers to questions about their health had access to the combined expertise of physicians from three of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions: Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. With complete information on women’s health concerns, physical and behavioral, this A to Z reference quickly became a definitive resource, praised especially for its coverage of topics not previously considered under the umbrella of women’s health. The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health reunites the authors to bring a valued health reference up to date for a new generation—and for those women who have come to rely on the Harvard Guide and are now wondering what to do about their health as they enter a new stage of life, asking questions like the following:
I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy. Should I stop? How?
Could this rash be lupus?
I’ve been on the Pill. What is my risk for stroke?
Fat is bad, fat is good: What should I believe? And what’s left to eat?
When does ordinary worry become chronic anxiety?
What screening tests do I need now?
In addition to revised recommendations reflecting the current medical thinking on menopause and hormone replacement therapy, the New Harvard Guide includes:
updated recommendations about cardiac health and heart disease—the #1 killer of women in the United States
entries reflecting recent advances in the understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases
better coverage of health concerns throughout a woman’s life span, from her first period to menopause and beyond, with a new entry on perimenopause
expanded nutritional recommendations, including a unique chart of the U.S. government’s Daily Reference Intakes for micronutrients, broken down for teens and women whose needs may differ because they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or postmenopausal
updated information on over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, procedures, screenings, and diagnostic tests
In Not Quite a Cancer Vaccine, medical anthropologist S.D. Gottlieb explores how the vaccine Gardasil—developed against the most common sexually-transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV)—was marketed primarily as a cervical cancer vaccine. Gardasil quickly became implicated in two pre-existing debates—about adolescent sexuality and pediatric vaccinations more generally.
Prior to its market debut, Gardasil seemed to offer female empowerment, touting protection against HPV and its potential for cervical cancer. Gottlieb questions the marketing pitch’s vaunted promise and asks why vaccine marketing unnecessarily gendered the vaccine’s utility, undermining Gardasil’s benefit for men and women alike. This book demonstrates why in the ten years since Gardasil’s U.S. launch its low rates of public acceptance have their origins in the early days of the vaccine dissemination. Not Quite a Cancer Vaccine addresses the on-going expansion in U.S. healthcare of patients-as-consumers and the ubiquitous, and sometimes insidious, health marketing of large pharma.
Pain. Vomiting. Hours and days spent lying in the dark. Migraine is an extraordinarily common, disabling, and painful disorder that affects over 36 million Americans and costs the US economy at least $32 billion per year. Nevertheless, it is frequently dismissed, ignored, and delegitimized.
In Not Tonight, Joanna Kempner argues that this general dismissal of migraine can be traced back to the gendered social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. Because the symptoms that accompany headache disorders—like head pain, visual auras, and sensitivity to sound—lack an objective marker of distress that can confirm their existence, doctors rely on the perceived moral character of their patients to gauge how serious their complaints are. Kempner shows how this problem plays out in the history of migraine, from nineteenth-century formulations of migraine as a disorder of upper-class intellectual men and hysterical women to the influential concept of “migraine personality” in the 1940s, in which women with migraine were described as uptight neurotics who withheld sex, to contemporary depictions of people with highly sensitive “migraine brains.” Not Tonight casts new light on how cultural beliefs about gender, pain, and the distinction between mind and body influence not only whose suffering we legitimate, but which remedies are marketed, how medicine is practiced, and how knowledge about disease is produced.
Through a series of essays by leading demographers, environmentalists and reproductive health advocates, A Pivotal Moment offers a new perspective on the complex connection between population dynamics and environmental quality. It presents the latest research on the relationship between population growth and climate change, ecosystem health and other environmental issues. It surveys the new demographic landscape—in which population growth rates have fallen, but human numbers continue to increase. It looks back at the lessons learned from half a century of population policy—and forward to propose twenty-first century population policies that are sustainable and just.
A Pivotal Moment puts forth the concept of “population justice,” which is inspired by reproductive justice and environmental justice movements. Population justice holds that inequality is a root cause of both rapid population growth and environmental degradation. As the authors in this volume explain, to slow population growth and build a sustainable future, women and men need access to voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services. They need education and employment opportunities, especially for women. Population justice means tackling the deep inequities—both gender and economic—that are associated with rapid population growth and unsustainable resource consumption. Where family planning is available, where couples are confident their children will survive, where girls go to school, where young men and women have economic opportunity—there couples will have healthier and smaller families.
In Plastic Bodies Emilia Sanabria examines how sex hormones are enrolled to create, mold, and discipline social relations and subjectivities. She shows how hormones have become central to contemporary understandings of the body, class, gender, sex, personhood, modernity, and Brazilian national identity. Through interviews with women and doctors; observations in clinics, research centers and pharmacies; and analyses of contraceptive marketing, Sanabria traces the genealogy of menstrual suppression, from its use in population control strategies in the global South to its remarketing as a practice of pharmaceutical self-enhancement couched in neoliberal notions of choice. She links the widespread practice of menstrual suppression and other related elective medical interventions to Bahian views of the body as a malleable object that requires constant work. Given this bodily plasticity, and its potentially limitless character, the book considers ways to assess the values attributed to bodily interventions. Plastic Bodies will be of interest to all those working in medical anthropology, gender studies, and sexual and reproductive health.
Politics Of Women's Health
Susan Sherwin Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress RA564.85.P65 1998 | Dewey Decimal 362.1082
For four years this interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners, including physicians, lawyers, philosophers, and social scientists, collaborated closely on te development of these essays. The result is an examination of both the real world of women's health status and health care delivery in different countries, and the assumptions behind the dominant medical model of solving problems without regard to social conditions. The writing is also informed by some of the authors' own experiences with women's health issues: birth, menopause, major surgery, and providing care for mothers and grandmothers.
Rather than focusing on types of medical interventions, The Politics of Women's Health asks what feminist health care ethics looks like if we start with women's experiences and concerns. It begins to unravel two key concepts of women's empowerment -- agency and autonomy -- that apply to all areas of concern to women.
In Public Privates, a book about looking and being looked at, about speculums, spectacles, and spectators, about display, illumination, and reflection, Terri Kapsalis makes visible the practices and representations of gynecology. The quintessential examination of women, gynecology is not simply the study of women’s bodies, but also serves to define and constitute them. Any critical analysis of gynecology is therefore, as Kapsalis affirms, an investigation of what it means to be female. In this respect she considers the public exposure of female "privates" in the performance of the pelvic exam. From J. Marion Sims’s surgical experiments on unanesthetized slave women in the mid-nineteenth century, to the use of cadavers and prostitutes to teach medical students gynecological techniques, Kapsalis focuses on the ways in which women and their bodies have been treated by the medical establishment. Removing gynecology from its private cover within clinic walls and medical textbook pages, she decodes the gynecological exam, seizing on its performative dimension. She considers traditional medical practices and the dynamics of "proper" patient performance; non-traditional practices such as cervical self-exam; and incarnations of the pelvic examination outside the bounds of medicine, including its appearance in David Cronenberg’s film Dead Ringers and Annie Sprinkle’s performance piece "Public Cervix Announcement." Confounding the boundaries that separate medicine, art, and pornography, revealing the potent cultural attitudes and anxieties about women, female bodies, and female sexuality that permeate the practice of gynecology, Public Privates concludes by locating a venue from which challenging, alternative performances may be staged.
Menstruation, seen alternately as something negative—a "curse" or a failed conception—or as a positive part of the reproductive process to be celebrated as evidence of fertility, has long been a universal concern. How women interpret and react to menstruation and its absence reflects their individual needs both historically as well as in the contemporary cultural, social, economic, and political context in which they live. This unique volume considers what is known of women's options and practices used to regulate menstruation—practices used to control the periodicity, quantity, color, and even consistency of menses—in different places and times, while revealing the ambiguity that those practices present.
Originating from an Internet conference held in February 1998, this volume contains fourteen papers that have been revised and updated to cover everything from the impact of the birth control pill to contemporary views on reproduction to the pharmacological properties of various herbal substances, reflecting the historical, contemporary, and anthropological perspectives of this timely and complex issue.
In the early twentieth century, shifting attitudes and new public health standards brought an unprecedented interest in and effort to regulate issues affecting reproduction and maternity. Maternal and infant health, nutrition, and medical care came under scrutiny, as did the issue of birth control. While the prior gained public support, the latter remained controversial. Though some reformers saw birth control as an important part of maternal welfare, others sought to separate it from more popular reforms. The careers of the four prominent but usually neglected reformers (Elizabeth Lowell Putnam, Ethel Sturges Dummer, Mary Ware Dennett, and Blanche Ames) examined in this book embody the struggle to define and resolve these tensions.
The study of these reformers offers a new perspective on more recognized leaders in the arena of reproductive health and rights, especially the U.S. Children's Bureau and Margaret Sanger. Putnam's elitism contextualizes the class politics of the Bureau, underscoring its sensitivity to the vulnerable and its innovative approach to public health. Dummer reminds us of roads not taken by policy makers in the Bureau, accentuating the differences between a child-centered and a woman-centered agenda. Dennett highlights the obstacles to women reformers in the formal political sphere, while Ames's penchant toward maternalism and compromise also led to difficulties. Together, they illustrate the complexities of formulating an effective approach to securing reproductive rights and health.
Like 75% of American women, Ronnie Citron-Fink dyed her hair, visiting the salon every few weeks to hide gray roots in her signature dark brown mane. She wanted to look attractive, professional, young. Yet as a journalist covering health and the environment, she knew something wasn’t right. All those unpronounceable chemical names on the back of the hair dye box were far from natural. Were her recurring headaches and allergies telltale signs that the dye offered the illusion of health, all the while undermining it?
So after twenty-five years of coloring, Ronnie took a leap and decided to ditch the dye. Suddenly everyone, from friends and family to rank strangers, seemed to have questions about her hair. How’d you do it? Are you doing that on purpose? Are you OK? Armed with a mantra that explained her reasons for going gray—the upkeep, the cost, the chemicals—Ronnie started to ask her own questions.
What are the risks of coloring? Why are hair dye companies allowed to use chemicals that may be harmful? Are there safer alternatives? Maybe most importantly, why do women feel compelled to color? Will I still feel like me when I have gray hair?
True Roots follows Ronnie’s journey from dark dyes to a silver crown of glory, from fear of aging to embracing natural beauty. Along the way, readers will learn how to protect themselves, whether by transitioning to their natural color or switching to safer products. Like Ronnie, women of all ages can discover their own hair story, one built on individuality, health, and truth.
Winner of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender 2013 Outstanding Book Award
Winner of the 2013 Bonnie Ritter Book Award from the Feminist and Women's Division of the National Communication Association
The feminist women’s health movement of the 1960s and 1970s is credited with creating significant changes in the healthcare industry and bringing women’s health issues to public attention. Decades later, women’s health issues are more visible than ever before, but that visibility is made possible by a process of depoliticization
The Vulnerable Empowered Woman assesses the state of women’s healthcare today by analyzing popular media representations—television, print newspapers, websites, advertisements, blogs, and memoirs—in order to understand the ways in which breast cancer, postpartum depression, and cervical cancer are discussed in American public life. From narratives about prophylactic mastectomies to young girls receiving a vaccine for sexually transmitted disease, the representations of women’s health today form a single restrictive identity: the vulnerable empowered woman. This identity defuses feminist notions of collective empowerment and social change by drawing from both postfeminist and neoliberal ideologies. The woman is vulnerable because of her very femininity and is empowered not to change the world, but to choose from among a limited set of medical treatments.
The media’s depiction of the vulnerable empowered woman’s relationship with biomedicine promotes traditional gender roles and affirms women’s unquestioning reliance on medical science for empowerment. The book concludes with a call to repoliticize women’s health through narratives that can help us imagine women—and their relationship to medicine—differently.
Women Living With Self-Injury
Jane Wegscheider Hyman Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress RC552.S4H95 1999 | Dewey Decimal 616.85820082
They cut their arms and legs with knives and razors; scratch at their skin; burn, bruise, or stick themselves with cigarettes, hammers, pins, and other objects; bang their heads and limbs; and break their own bones. Although women who live with self-injury have recently gained recognition in the media, they have, as a result, become even more stigmatized.
In this book, author Jane Wegschneider sheds light on this misunderstood condition. Fifteen women talk about their battle with self-injury and explain how and why they repeatedly and deliberately injure themselves. Most admit they do it because it makes them feel high or safe. They also describe living with ceaseless shame, secrecy, and fear of discovery which could make them unemployable and ostracized. Candidly discussing their attempted and successful recoveries, they reveal the impact living with self-injury has on their day-to-day lives -- where they are competent workers, partners, friends, and mothers.
Hear the voices of these women as they speak to a public that generally sees self-injury as frightening, senseless, and repulsive. Concealing scars or other signs of injury is crucial for them and partly dictates their daily routines, choice of clothes, and the lies they tell to excuse any traces of injury. For these productive women who work outside of the home and often raise children, hiding self-injury is of paramount importance during their workdays and in their relationships with partners, families, and friends.
Hyman's approach is unique in that she not only talked to these women but also really listened to their stories -- something rare in the misunderstood realm of self-injury. Professionals, perplexed by self-injury, have not always tolerated its complexity. As a result those who injure themselves have remained shrouded in secrecy, isolation, and shame -- until now.
This book offers compassion as well as encouragement for recovery by making available the emotional experiences of sufferers in their own words. It is an important book for those who self-injure, their loved ones, anyone who knows of or suspects self-injury in a friend, and mental care professionals.