Our Bodies Our Selves: A Course By and For Women.
Boston, Mass.: Boston Women’s Health Course Collective/New England Free Press, 10th printing, November 1972. 4to. Illustrated wrps. Three gatherings of newsprint, side-stapled. 136pp. Illustrated throughout with photographs, drawings and diagrams.
The first book of its kind to be written by women, for women, containing eleven sections devoted to various aspects of women’s health and sexuality. Under headings such as Anatomy and Physiology, Some Myths About Women, Venereal Disease, Birth Control, Abortion, Pregnancy, Prepared Childbirth, and Women, Medicine and Capitalism, it features factual information along with first-person stories, “meant to be used by our sisters to increase consciousness about ourselves as women.”
The book’s origins began at a women’s conference held at Emmanuel College in Boston in May 1969, and the realisation by several of those who attended that “there were no ‘good’ doctors and we had to learn for ourselves.” Following one of the workshops, called ‘Women and Their Bodies’, a group of around a dozen women coalesced to discuss their bodies, their lives, sexuality and relationships, and together they founded the Boston Women’s Health Course Collective. In December 1970 the collective produced and circulated a book named after the workshop (printed in a run of only 5000 copies), and a second printing, re-titled “Our Bodies, Our Selves”, featuring the same cover photograph and identical contents, followed in April 1971. It became an underground success and led to the first commercial, expanded edition, published by Simon & Schuster in 1973. Since then it has been regularly updated, reproduced in 33 languages and sold millions of copies.
Newsprint paper slightly age-toned; upper wrapper slightly tanned, with faint UK price pencilled to upper right corner and small nicks to lower edge; o/w a Very Good plus copy of this radical manual for female self-empowerment.