Posts by Kiki

June 14, 2011

Body, mind, and soul

Submitted by: Heather Reiners

Heather Reiners

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” means empowerment, learning honestly about my body and knowledge to make decisions that are meaningful to me. As a women’s studies major just graduating this May OBOS has supporting my life’s mission in bringing education to girls and women on not only their bodies, but their ’body, mind, and soul’!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


June 1, 2011

Empowerment!

Submitted by: Molly

When I think of OBOS, I think, Empowerment! OBOS means knowing your body, your personal power, and taking control of your health care and your reproductive rights. OBOS is an essential voice for women.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


May 3, 2011

A steady companion in my adolescence…

Submitted by: Sarah Whedon

I really want to have a great story to tell about how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” provided personal health information at a moment when I desperately needed it. But it wasn’t really like that for me. The book was more like a steady companion in my adolescence. I kept it handy as a personal reference work and even lugged it off to college with me. I benefitted from it having been first published before I was even born.

When I think about “Our Bodies, Ourselves” what comes to mind most quickly and forcefully is the brief time I spent volunteering in the office. I took an introductory women’s studies course in college which involved a service learning component and I chose Our Bodies Ourselves to work with.

When you volunteer anywhere for a brief time, you rarely get to do anything glamorous, and my experience was no different. I stuffed envelopes. I think one time Judy Norsigian gave me an article to bring home so I could tell her what I thought of it. I don’t even remember the topic.

But the experience of volunteering made a big impression on me anyway. I think that’s because being in that office showed me in material form that it was entirely possible to care about women’s health and then start doing something about it and so create something that really mattered.

Volunteering at the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective was the first real action I took on behalf of women’s health. Now I have training as a birth doula, a graduate education in Women’s Studies, and a blog called Reproductive Rites.

Who knows what the future holds? Thank you, Our Bodies Ourselves.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 30, 2011

I have only love and admiration for those first brave women

Submitted by: Meg Sawicki

The first time I saw “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was in 1977 and I was a freshman in college. Some women I knew had the book and I remember thinking how fantastic it was that a group of women had written a collection of stories that shared their own wisdom about health and life and being a woman. For the first time I was affirmed that different was okay, and I was hooked.

To this day the book remains one of my favorite gifts to give young women who I love and care about, including my own daughters. I have only love and admiration for those first brave women of the Boston Women’s Health Collective who gave us real and important information about our health and happiness, and who set the bar for other women’s self discovery books as the first of it’s kind. Cheers and all good things to my sisters of the Collective to continue to light the way.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 29, 2011

I have proudly shared it with many young women…

Submitted by: Debbie Ali

I read and re-read the first copy on recycled newsprint in 1970; loved it when it came out bigger with more info. It was the guide to my learning about my body, and I have proudly shared it with many young women I have known over the years. I look forward to sharing it with my grand daughters and great nieces!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 27, 2011

I remember thinking how pink it looked!

Submitted by: Michele Hamilton

I remember reading OBOS in 1980. My friends and I held a meeting and took turns examining our own vaginas. I remember thinking how pink it looked!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 27, 2011

I didn’t know much about my body…

Submitted by: Joanne Accardi-Goldberger

When I was a college girl in the early 70’s, I didn’t know much about my body. Then came OBOS… it empowered me… my friends… my entire generation! Thoughts, questions we had been taught to suppress could now be discussed openly. Thank you OBOS for helping me get in touch not only with myself, but for becoming a life-time proponent for women’s health concerns. BTW: When my daughter turned 13, I gave her first copy of OBOS… may the tradition continue! Happy 40th Birthday!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 26, 2011

All women should have this book…

Submitted by: Cat Grant

Cat GrantI found this book when I was about 20. It politicized me about my body and other women’s bodies — in reading it I realized that our bodies weren’t “private.” I found it just as I was changing my position on women’s right to choose – moving away from a pro-life position to a position where women had the right to control their bodies.  I bought one in a second hand shop and passed it on to a younger woman and hopefully she passed it on too. A new edition is well needed for a new generation for girls and women.  All mothers, aunties, grandmothers should give this to their daughters, granddaughters and nieces.  All women around the world should have this book — and it wouldn’t hurt the men to read it either!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 26, 2011

So many excellent conversations…

Submitted by: Cheryl de Jong-Lambert

The thought of OBOS immediately brings to mind so many excellent conversations with girlfriends the world over. Today, the ”Pregnancy and Birth” volume in particular means having a son named after my husband’s maternal family, and a daughter named after my grandmother.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 25, 2011

Lesbians! Labias! Yeast infections!

Submitted by: Nancy Goldstein

I’ve had OBOS on my shelves since 1972 (I was 11) and even before, I’m pretty sure. It was the first place I could look up all sorts of things I couldn’t say aloud, or wanted to find out about privately (lesbians! labias! yeast infections!), and one of first places where I could hear other women’s voices talking about all of this verboten stuff. Nearly 30 years later it remains a vital, vibrant ”discussion” and source of information. All my love on its 40th birthday.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 23, 2011

I first read OBOS in 1971, my senior year of High School …

Submitted by: Harvey Kliman

Harvey KlimanI first read OBOS in 1971, my senior year of High School. Being the oldest of four boys I was always intrigued with the mystery of girls, especially the menstrual cycle, which may explain why I became an Ob/Gyn and now do research on the endometrium at Yale.

The creative link for our work on orgasm, menstruation and endometriosis came directly from a single sentence in the original OBOS which recommended masturbating to ease the pain of menstrual cramps. It turns out that orgasm helps to expel menstrual debris out the cervix and vagina, decreasing the risk of retrograde menstruation and the endometriosis that follows.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 22, 2011

My go-to resource for any questions I couldn’t ask out loud

Submitted by: Margaret Park Bridges

OBOS was born in 1971, just as I entered womanhood and turned 14. It became my go-to resource for any questions I couldn’t ask out loud. I had no idea it was as revolutionary a book as it was at the time. I’m not sure where I would have turned to get the straight talk and detailed answers it provided!

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Take part in OBOS’s 40th anniversary by sharing how “Our Bodies, Ourselves” made a difference in your life. View more stories and submit your own.


April 22, 2011

A sex education refresher: “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

Read more OBOS stories, and submit your own! Learn more about OBOS’s 40th anniversary.

Submitted by: Kim Comatas

I teach OWL (Our Whole Lives, a sexuality education curricula) and at the end of each session, we give each participant a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” What that means is priceless. It means the seven months we volunteered teaching youth will now be refreshed everytime they open that book. They will remember that sex can be positive and something that is to be treasured and enjoyed when the time is right. That if they have questions, we are empowering them with factual and age appropriate information in class and it is confirmed in OBOS.

OBOS means so much to me, but for our youth, it means so much more. Congrats on 40!!! It sure is fabulous!


April 21, 2011

Our go-to bible for information

Read more OBOS stories, and submit your own! Learn more about OBOS’s 40th anniversary.

Submitted by: Ellen Silver Highfield

Ellen Silver HighfieldI was introduced to OBOS in 1973 as a freshman at BU.  I had joined (that very new thing!) a Women’s Group.  It was the recommended reading, and became our go-to bible for information.  I always loved the clear, no non-sense, no beating around the bush information which was totally a new approach for me.  I felt very hip knowing about OBOS, and truthfully have used it many, many times over the years to answer questions.  I also stock it in my waiting room for patients.

I have particularly appreciated that OBOS has been translated into so many languages, making this important information accessible for all kinds of women around the globe.  Thank you!


April 19, 2011

OBOS caused a paradigm shift in my thinking…

Read more OBOS stories, and submit your own! Learn more about OBOS’s 40th anniversary.

Submitted by: Sandy Iredale

When I was young (read: naïve) about 35 years ago, I had internalized a set of faith-based instructions about how the world worked and how I was to conduct myself in it.

Exposure to the well-written, well-researched articles in “Our Bodies, Ourselves” caused a paradigm shift in my thinking, in my soul, to the core of me. Empowered by the (then) radical idea that my body was my own, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with ownership, there was no way I could defer automatically to the ‘authority’ of my family doctor, priest, husband. “Our Bodies, Ourselves” provided the raw materials from which I would establish in my psyche, soul and spirit a boundary between myself and others who might lay claim to my corporeal geography.

Most important, though, was the reading I did on the topic of abortion. Alongside the article on abortion was a photograph of a woman who died due to an ‘illegal’ procedure. Suddenly, I was face to face with reality. This was no longer merely a philosophical, religious, political argument for me. This woman died, alone, in agony.

Newly accepting ‘person-hood’ for myself, how could I deny her? If I cherished my right to choose to continue a pregnancy, how could I deny her the right to end hers? By denying her access to proper medical care, was I not complicit in her death? From that day forward, I knew that while my own personal choice might not be to abort, I could not deny another woman’s right to choose it and be provided a safe medical procedure and aftercare.

The woman in that photograph haunts me still. Access to proper medical care would have saved her life.