A steady companion in my adolescence...

By OBOS — May 3, 2011

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.

In this series, readers tell their stories about their experiences with the book and its impact on their lives. View more stories.

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