Southern Women, Feminist Health: Place, Politics, and Priorities in Five Feminist Women’s Health Organizations in the Southeastern U.S., 1970-1995 Open Access
Blank, Johanne (Spring 2019)
Southern Women, Feminist Health:
Place, Politics, and Priorities in Five Feminist Women’s Health Organizations in the Southeastern U.S., 1970-1995
By Hanne I. Blank
This project, Southern Women, Feminist Health, bears witness to the history and ongoing existence of feminist women’s health organizations in the southeastern United States. By presenting case histories of five southeastern feminist women’s health organizations between 1970 and 1995, this research proves that such organizations existed, and continue to exist, in a region they are sometimes thought not to have existed at all. This begins to fill a southern regional gap in feminist health historiography while also considering ways southernness might have influenced the specific ways feminist women’s health developed in the southeastern United States, thus contributing to the interdisciplinary conversation on “southernness” and its meanings.
This study thus confronts the idea of southern distinctiveness, approaching it via the modalities of feminist historiography as a question of lived experience as well as through more external and objective measures, and argues that historical actors may have perceived their experiences as being distinctively southern, or as distinctively linked to southern histories. Simultaneously this study takes part in an emerging scholarship on southern feminist, queer, and Black lives which contends that regional distinctiveness must be evaluated in a context inclusive of regionalized oppressions. In doing so this project employs a “multiple Souths” sociogeographic model and five locations: Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tallahassee, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; and two quite different versions of Atlanta, one Black and the other largely white.
This project firmly establishes the women’s health movement as a phenomenon with a diverse and widespread southern presence, something lacking in the extant literature. It engages the hyperlocalized and frequently ephemeral nature of grassroots activism, allowing comparative views of ways local organizations manifest dynamics, goals, and ideologies of larger, national movements. This project argues that although feminist health activists shared some basic tenets of what feminist health could and should be, what activists attempted and realized was neither so uniform or so singularly focused on reproductive and sexual health as is often assumed. In these southern manifestations of the women’s health movement, much depended on the activists’ positionality—including location—as they struggled to create better health options for women.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chapter One 36
Feminists vs. Doctors: Feminist Health and the
Politics of Professional Regulation in Feminist Women's
Health Center, Inc. vs. Mohammad et al.
Chapter Two 71
Divided Loyalties: The Mari Spehar Health Education
Project, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1977-1982
Chapter Three 103
She Did it Her Way:
The Singular Origins of the Memphis Center for
Chapter Four 149
Sisterhood, Self-Help, and Strife:
the Making and Unmaking of the National Black
Women’s Health Project
Chapter Five 194
Business as Usual: The Atlanta Feminist Women’s
Health Center and the Art of Feminist Health Survival
Some Southern Women’s Health Organizations and
Abortion Providers, 1970-1995
List of Archives and Special Collections 253
About this Dissertation
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|Southern Women, Feminist Health: Place, Politics, and Priorities in Five Feminist Women’s Health Organizations in the Southeastern U.S., 1970-1995 ()||2019-04-04 17:47:13 -0400||