Our Bodies, Ourselves

It was trouble. Libraries banned it. Women hid their copies. Critics called it trash and pornographic. It dedicated chapters to lesbians, abortions, masturbation and health issues faced by women but ignored by male doctors. And 9 editions, 25 translations and 4 million copies later, the book Our Bodies, Ourselves is considered the book that changed the game on women's health and patients' rights overall. Our project, Game Changer explores the ongoing impact of Our Bodies, Ourselves.



Part Three of The Current

Our Body, Ourselves - Judy Norsigian / Wendy Kline

When a women walked into her doctor's office in the 1960s, her doctor was almost certainly male.And he was the expert and not to be challenged. A woman's questions, her understanding, her insights - often didn't count for much. Then in 1970, a book called Our Bodies, Ourselves appeared in bookstores. And a visit to the doctor would never be the same again. We aired a clip from one of the original authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves from an interview in 1973.

There have since been nine editions and 25 translations. Our Bodies, Ourselves became firmly established as a game changer for women and their health. Issues such as masturbation, orgasm, and sexual orientation were explored and the book gained supporters - and detractors . Attempts were made to ban and censor the book.

In lieu of our project, Game Changer we're looking at the impact of Our Body, Ourselves and we were joined by Judy Norsigian who was part of the groundbreaking years at Our Bodies Ourselves. And she's still at it as the co-founder and executive director of Our Bodies, Ourselves. We were also joined by Wendy Kline, a professor at the University of Cincinnati and the author of Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction and Women's Health in the Second Wave. Both were in Washington this morning.

Judy Norsigian will be speaking at the McGill University, Thursday October 27th as part of the  public lecture series.

Related Links:

Last Word - John Carlos

In the days to come on The Current, we'll hear from a game changer who actually made a change at a game. It was the 1968 Summer Olympics and John Carlos stepped up to the medal podium to accept his bronze in the 200 metre dash. He and a fellow American runner then raised their fists in the black power salute.

It was an intensely political act -- and John Carlos would pay a price. But more than forty years later he's still raising that fist -- most recently at an Occupy Wall street protest. We'll speak with Carlos about the moment that changed his life.

On today's Last Word, he is describing that night in Mexico City when he stood defiant.


Other segments from today's show:

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