Episode 117: Jennifer Block on "Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution"
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On this episode of the en(gender)ed podcast, our guest is Jennifer Block, journalist and author of the book, Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution. We speak with Jennifer today about the ways in which the health industry--from preparation and trainings of doctors, to research devoted to understanding women’s bodies, to the dismissal of women’s pain--contribute to a culture where women’s health is systemically ignored and minimized, and women’s trauma, in response, collectively normalized and accepted. We explore what it means to be a woman navigating our culture who centers her own health, well-being and care, and the obstacles she encounters and must overcome everyday.
During our conversation, Jennifer and I referenced the following resources and topics:
- The book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
- Actress Lena Dunham's struggle with endometriosis and subsequent decision to get a hysterectomy
- How the incentive structure for surgeons working on women's issues impacts the trends in frequency for procedures and outcomes for women's health
- The phenomenon of "unwarranted variation in care" for pregnant women depending on the hospital you visit
- How obstetric violence is physically and emotionally harming women and threatening our right to make decisions about our labor and delivery
- The Alabama case of Caroline Malatesta whose baby's head was forced back into her vagina to prevent her from delivering
- The 95 felony charges against midwife, Elizabeth Caitlin, for practicing midwifery without a NYS license
- Increased maternal mortality rates for Black women in NYS
- How Black babies are 3x more likely to die when treated by a white doctor
- Some ways ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment will equalize access to health care for women
- Our Bodies Ourselves, by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective
- A New View of a Woman's Body, by the Federation of Women's Health Centers
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