Reading “Our Bodies, Ourselves”: Rethinking Women’s Health and Second-Wave Feminism

Lecture Description

This talk focuses on the readers—several hundred ordinary women who responded to editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves in the 1970s and 1980s—to illustrate how readers played a crucial role in the development and articulation of health feminism. By analyzing the exchange between writers and readers of the most popular and influential women’s health text of this era, it reveals the process by which feminists translated and interpreted medical information on women’s bodies. To understand the nature and impact of the women’s health movement, scholars need to look beyond the feminist literature and feminist organizations of the 1970s. Everyday women readers, whose voices inform this study, actively redefined women’s health from a feminist perspective.


Gender, Masculinity, Femininity Women

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