Feb 19 2012

As BlogHer’s own Isabel Anders has been teaching us in the last weeks, age often brings wisdom.

And I welcome the gray hair, like I do the wisdom. It is a badge, a outward sign of an inner triumph, a testament that I’m not making the same goofy mistakes many younger people seem to be making.

But, don’t worry, in my new intermittently posted series, “Reliving the 70s, Whether You Want To or Not,” Grammy Sunbonnet will be setting everyone straight, providing oceans of practical living enlightenment.

Our Bodies, Ourselves 1973

One of the amazing realizations I’ve had since I’ve joined BlogHer, has been the discovery of women’s current social awareness. I see opinions and emotions being bandied about, many times without a factual understanding of what has gone before. Why aren’t we standing on the shoulders of those women who paved the way for us to be as far along as we are today? Why aren’t we researching the history of the issues about which we care so passionately, before we opine on a topic of choice?

Specifically, how in the world can any members of a diverse, brilliant, educated and communicative body of women be without a foundation of feminine health and anatomical information?

In that light, I ask you, how can any young women in this day and age need to be told where her hymen is, or was, located? Not that I am belittling those who had no idea. Several commented on the post to that effect. The problem I’m having is, it seems, the landmark book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, the definitive work on feminine health knowledge that was commonly espoused, and openly so, for all of my young womanhood, has been lost or inadequately passed on.

Our Bodies, Ourselves 1992

I’m talking about information that was openly provided to any and all during the 1970s, and now seems to belong to the long distance past, waiting for the Rosetta stone of rediscovery. How in the world has this happened? Why isn’t this basic knowledge common knowledge?

Didn’t the college girls of the 1970s that sat around in group circles of self-exploration with mirrors and copies of the book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, grow up to be pro-active mothers and grandmothers? When their daughters were old enough for THE talk, didn’t they reach to the top of the bookshelf, pull down their old copy, blow off the dust and pass it on?

Our Bodies, Ourselves 1998

And how about all of the reprints and updates of the book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, in repeated publication by the non-profit Boston Women’s Health Book Collective since 1970? Haven’t all of these copies been read? And what about BlogHer, an Internet woman’s forum of Internet woman’s blogs, why is there hardly a mention of the book if one does a search, which I did the other day and again this morning?

The only mention I could find was a August 14, 2008 post from “veronicaeye” who, being a professional feminist, espoused the Our Bodies Ourselves Pregnancy and Birth book. But, rather than basking in grateful attention from BlogHer’s millions of readers, “veronicaeye’s” post has, as I write, absolutely ZERO comments. I guess the lack of response was overwhelming as that was her last post, although she has a fantastically informative, currently thriving blog, Viva la Feminista.

Our Bodies, Ourselves 2005

The book Our Bodies, Ourselves is a feminist success story. Selling more than four million copies since its debut in 1970, it challenged medical dogmas about women’s bodies and sexuality, shaped health care policies, energized the reproductive rights movement, and stimulated medical research on women’s health. The book has influenced how generations of U.S. women feel about their bodies and health. In addition, Our Bodies, Ourselves, has also had a whole life outside the United States. It has been taken up, translated, and adapted by women across the globe, inspiring more than thirty foreign language editions.

Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011

So, in closing, let Grammy Sunbonnet brew a fresh pot of tea and give you the keys to your feminine kingdom.

From this day forward, if you have questions about your body or yourself, lean on:

  • the extensive Our Bodies, Ourselves web site,
  • the book that started it all, available as a 2011 edition on the publications page, which BTW, has books for every stage of a women’s life,
  • the Health Information Center on the top bar of the Home Page to research any health concern, technical approach or organize for change,
  • and, finally, for a calendar of speakers from the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective who will be in your area.

Once you go and peruse the options of this web site, you will wonder like I do why anyone in this day and age would need a GPS to locate her hymen.

 

The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (now known as Our Bodies Ourselves) is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 whose board members include Teresa Heinz Kerry, Susan Love, and Gloria Steinem. Their mission is to empower women by providing information about health, sexuality, and reproduction. Our Bodies, Ourselves is the organization’s core vehicle for driving their mission. While OBOS is famous for its voice in policy, advocacy, and educational efforts related to women’s health, they see their role as a global content provider as paramount. Judy Norsigian is the Executive Director of Our Bodies Ourselves.

NaBloPoMo February 2012



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Oct 30 2011

The Irish drinking real milk is Sunbonnet Smart.

I enjoy receiving the newsletter from W. C. Douglass, M.D. called “Daily Dose.” As you might expect, it arrives daily in my e-mail box and it always has something of interest. This morning, I was intrigued by a lead article called Ireland Readies Raw Milk Ban. Here it is so you can see what you think about it:

New rules will turn milk lovers into outlaws
by W.C. Douglass, M.D.

Ireland’s famous fresh dairy products are about to go sour: After years of allowing unregulated raw milk sales, the government is getting ready to cut it all off practically overnight.

The total ban on raw milk sales might even be taking effect as you read this.

What’s amazing here isn’t just the 180-degree turn on raw milk from complete freedom to a complete ban — it’s the fact that Ireland is actually living, breathing PROOF that raw milk is safe and healthy.

Since the last ban was lifted in 2006, the Irish have turned to farm-fresh milk with the gusto they normally reserve for Guinness. One farmer told the Irish Times this summer that he went from selling no raw milk at all to 400 liters a week in no time flat.

Yet despite the growing raw milk consumption, there have been no major outbreaks of illness or disease.

And that’s not just the luck o’ the Irish at work — it’s because responsibly produced raw milk is not the risky cocktail you’ve been led to believe. In fact, bans like this one aren’t about safety at all — and they never are.

All countries with raw milk restrictions and bans — including the United States — have one thing in common, and it’s not healthier people: It’s a powerful dairy industry. Pasteurization is the hammer that industry uses to nail down control of everyone’s milk money.

Without pasteurization laws, farmers can sell direct to consumers and earn a good living. With those laws in place, however, most farmers have no choice but to sell their milk to Big Dairy operations for pennies on the dollar.

Farmers aren’t the only ones getting the shaft here — consumers also lose big, because pasteurization kills everything in milk worth having: powerful natural probiotics and healthy dairy proteins as well as key vitamins and minerals.

Those nutrients make raw milk an immune-boosting tonic that can beat allergies and asthma, fight illness and disease, and even cure autism in children.

To my Irish readers — and everyone else who has to fight for the right to drink raw milk — don’t let the authorities push you around. Get your raw milk however you can.

Irish shamrocks and fresh raw milk grow at
Your Family Cow in Chambersburg, PA

As Dr. Douglass indicates in his article above, there are restrictions against of selling unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk in the United States. This is true. Some states freely allow raw milk sales, while others totally ban the sale, while the states in between restrict the sale in some way. Sale of raw milk went relatively unnoticed for years.  As the public has realized the health benefits of drinking real milk, however, the commercialized high throughput product has suffered in sales and profit. Now, in some states, raw milk drinkers have to fight for the right to choose their milk product. And so, we are working hard for the freedom to choose just like they are fighting in Ireland now.

The milking barn at Your Family Cow, Chambersburg, PA.

In Ireland, there are many united groups of raw milk drinkers, just as there are here in the United States. The Irish groups’ missions mirror our own groups when they say, The Irish government intends to ban the sale of raw milk before the end of 2011. We want the right to choose and are calling for the government to introduce fair regulations rather than an outright ban…We believe that everyone has a right to drink one of Irelands best products; milk – in its pure unadulterated creamy and delicious form – raw milk. The choice is the key point here… Informed consumers should have the right to decide for themselves what they eat and drink.”

If you are interested in the Irish groups joining together to promote the drinking of healthy raw milk, then click on this link.  There are some remarkable discussions on the sale of raw milk planned for November 1, 2011 in the United States as well. To see an update on mothers bringing in raw milk from Pennsylvania and drinking in front of the FDA in Silver Spring, Maryland, click on this: “Will Tuesday’s ‘milk and cookies’ rally at the FDA be the ‘Woodstock’ of the Food Rights Movement?”

Ireland has world renown dairy products, many of which are
used to cook in this book. If you have an interest in
previewing The New Irish Table, hover your mouse over this link:

The New Irish Table: 70 Contemporary Recipes



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