A women's health journalist returns to the 1970s women's health movement to understand how, in today's supposed age of empowerment, women's bodies are still so vulnerable to medical control—particularly their sex organs, and as result, their sex lives. She tells the stories of patients, clinicians, and reformers, uncovering history and science that could revolutionize the standard of care, and change the way women think about their health.
Filled with appalling stories of malpractice and marginalization, her report will galvanize readers to ask how women can demand better care. Everything Below the Waist is a call to action, insisting '[w]e need clinicians who focus less on controlling women's fertility and more on enhancing our health.' Women of childbearing age in particular should not skip this important and well-researched analysis of a field that holds their lives in its hands.
The book’s upsetting anecdotes, startling statistics and terrific interviews will leave you outraged or simply sad. Block concludes with a call for 'physiological justice' and a new feminist health-care movement. This is the book’s weak spot. Block doesn’t explain how a national movement to help women take back their health care would coalesce. Telling women to question their doctors and research their options sounds like former special counsel Robert Mueller telling Americans to read his 400-plus page report. Good idea! Still, Everything Below the Waist is a must-read for women, especially any woman who might ever need to see a doctor.
In this very readable and well-researched book Jennifer Block provides a wealth of insights and information as to how women are mistreated 'below the waist' by the American medical profession ... This is a very big agenda and, perhaps not surprisingly, not totally realized. Block is much more successful in presenting information on medical mistreatment than she is in demonstrating why mistreatment persists in terms of the power dynamics between doctors and patients, doctors and midwives and doulas, doctors and pharmaceutical companies, doctors and media, doctors and women’s organizations, and feminists of various persuasions. Perhaps this is largely a matter of structuring and focussing the material she has gathered, as there are many intriguing observations and asides on the reasons behind mainstream feminism’s interest, or lack thereof, in women’s health care.