Updates May 8:
- Address correction! It’s 120 Tremont St, not 20 Tremont St.
- Not surprisingly, it’s sold out with waitlist. If you want to add yourself to the waitlist, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve often blogged and spoken about the many parallels between the women’s movement and the patient empowerment movement. Here’s one perfect quote from Miriam Hawley, one of the founders of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, whom I met last year:
“We weren’t encouraged to ask questions, but to depend on the so-called experts. Not having a say in our own health care frustrated and angered us. We didn’t have the information we needed, so we decided to find it on our own.”
– Miriam Hawley, 2004 (Wikipedia)
Sounds a bit like e-patient thinking, yes?
It’s hard to imagine the kind of advice women were given fifty years ago about their own bodies – Barbara Ehrenreich’s astounding book For Her Own Good: two centuries of the experts’ advice to women includes many tidbits, such as a doctor’s assertion that college education is hazardous to a woman’s long-term uterine health.*
So fifty years ago – May 9, 1969 – Miriam and a bunch of other uppity women got together at Emmanuel College in Boston, for an event that led to real change. I had the thrill this winter of connecting with Miriam. And this year, on Friday evening, May 10, a 50th anniversary celebration will take place at Suffolk University in Boston.
But wait – there’s more! The other big news for 2019 is on that orange invitation / poster:
In 2019 we launch a new phase – Our Bodies Ourselves Today – to carry the OBOS torch of the feminist health movement into the future.
“OBOST” will live at Suffolk’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights, which is why the event will be there.
Registration (free) is open now. I’ll be there – I hope you’ll register and attend, too. What they stood for then – and stand for today – has much in common with the culture change we’re working on in medicine. After all: in all of healthcare, it is about our bodies, ourselves. Come honor these pioneers.
* Uterine trouble from higher ed?? Seems to me that men have more trouble mixing college and their reproductive systems … and I say that having been one.
Carolyn Thomas says
Thanks Dave for the heads up about this post, and especially about Suffolk U’s 50th Anniversary celebration of OBOS!
This book, and the Boston Women’s Health Collective, and the organizations inspired to embrace this revolutionary philosophy were profoundly important to me in my 20s.
It was a heady time in those early days, when so many women honestly began to believe we could impact societal changes.
I know this event will be fantastic – enjoy it!
Bobbi Henderson says
I know this is going to be a fantastic event! It is very exciting News and I wish I could be there. Women are having a great impact on society…We get stronger every year. Thank you so much for keeping this flame alive. “Our Bodies Our Lives” YES!