Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution


Product Details

$27.99  $25.75
St. Martin's Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.1 X 9.5 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Block is an independent journalist focused on women and health. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, Pacific Standard, The Cut, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Her first book, Pushed, led a wave of attention to the national crisis in maternity care and was named a Best Book of 2007 by Kirkus Reviews. A reporter with Type Investigations, Block won several awards for her investigative reporting on the permanent contraceptive implant Essure, which has since been discontinued. For early chapters of Everything Below the Waist, she won a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her son.


"A devastating read: From mammograms to hysterectomies to miscarriages to ob-gyn's overreliance on caesarean sections, it's a book that weighs the real costs of people not receiving the care they deserve." --Bitch Media

"Thought-provoking, empowering information that all women should have." --Library Journal (Starred)

"A must-read book for any aspiring medical professional." --Bustle

"With extensive historical research and personal interviews, Block...demonstrates that women are more vulnerable to overtesting, overdiagnosing, overtreatment, and mistreatment than men...packed with important information, highly recommended for health professionals, classes in women's studies, and any woman who seeks guidance in these issues." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

"Block's journalistic standards are impeccable. From the first sentence, she draws you in, evoking every emotion, with the book often reading more like a novel than an exposรฉ on the complicated world of women's medicine." --Toni Weschler, author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and Cycle Savvy

"Nearly fifty years ago, the women's health movement transformed the doctor/patient relationship and empowered women to listen to and believe in their bodies. In Everything Below the Waist, Jennifer Block suggests that perhaps the movement was not quite as transformative as we'd like it to have been. This is a powerful and important book that forces us to face the limitations of medical technology to truly liberate women. It's also a great read; I couldn't put it down. It should be required reading of anyone interested in the future of women's health." --Wendy Kline, Professor, Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine Department of History, Purdue University

"Amazing. This book is full of information new to me even as a long-time activist. Block shows how what we don't know is making us sick, even if we are healthy. A challenge to feminist orthodoxy and, in some cases, feminist naivete, at its center is a critique of the use of technological fixes to solve social injustices." --Loretta Ross, cofounder of SisterSong and coauthor of Reproductive Justice

"Here, at last, is the comprehensive feminist medical examination we've been waiting for. Jennifer Block methodically, skillfully, and compassionately dismantles standard practices that continue to do so much harm to women. Buy one copy for yourself and a second copy for a friend, sister, aunt, mother, cousin, daughter, neighbor. Block is a national treasure, and this is her most ambitious work yet." --Elisa Albert, author of After Birth

"Attention women: your 'wellness' visits may be unnecessary and may even lead to harm. That's the disturbing fact at the center of Jennifer Block's important expose of a health-care system that is most profoundly failing female patients. Every woman needs to read this book." --Pagan Kennedy, New York Times contributing writer and author of Inventology

"This book is brilliant, controversial, exhaustive, funny, and necessary... I cannot wait to buy it for friends wondering how to live feminist lives in the contemporary age." --Renรฉe Ann Cramer, Professor of Law, Politics, and Society, Drake University and author of Pregnant with the Stars