Greta Gerwig’s Maternal Instinct

Barbie delivered much more than expected this past weekend—and I don’t mean its box office figures. Director and cowriter Greta Gerwig succeeded in making a film that’s not just entertaining but also insightful. Gerwig’s film serves as a commentary on aspects of modern women’s experiences that deserve more attention, from the emotional impact of sexual objectification, the seeming unpredictability of women’s physiological changes, and . . .

Rihanna's Refreshing Realness on Motherhood: "Life Starts Over..."

“Life starts over when you become a parent.” These words, spoken just about three months ago, come from 34-year-old new mom, Rihanna, also known as the entertainer headlining this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. In interviews published last fall before her Savage X Fenty premiere, Rihanna spoke a lot about the evolution of the fashion show from past shows, but when it came to motherhood, she described it as more of a complete restart of life—“life that you’ve never known before,” she says.

NYT Report Reveals Many Prenatal Tests Give False Positives for Grave Diseases

Many of us have heard stories of women who received a prenatal test indicating their baby has some horrible health condition, only to have the baby born completely healthy. Anecdotes like these have fueled prolifers’ insistence to take prenatal testing results with a grain of salt or to decline them altogether, noting that they add pressure to consider abortion for some moms, and add stress to all of them. These stories have now been legitimized in research . . .

We Lost Gabby. Let's Not Lose the Opportunity to Learn Real Lessons From Her Story

One hopes in this time digesting a highly publicized story of abuse, we as a culture can look closer and learn more about the dangerous, ugly, and well-disguised realities of abuse in the lives of those around us, because it is humbling. It is humbling to acknowledge how something so terrible could happen to a capable and smart girl such as Gabrielle Petito. And it is humbling to acknowledge how someone as cunning as an abuser could fool many of us, as it apparently . . .

Interview with Elina Berglund of Natural Cycles

Like many women, Dr. Elina Berglund found herself needing birth control. But, like an increasing proportion of birth control-seeking women, Elina didn’t want to go on the synthetic hormones found in popular options like the pill or the patch. She also didn’t want anything invasive like the implant, the vaginal ring, or an IUD. When she couldn’t find anything that suited her needs, she did what any resourceful scientist does: she hit the books . . .

'Black Widow' Highlights the Tragedy of Forced Sterilization

We heard it referenced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson) told Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) that she could never conceive children because her tyrannical spy/warrior training program in Russia forced sterilization on its members. “In the Red Room where I was trained... where I was raised, they have a graduation ceremony. They sterilize you. It's efficient. One less thing to worry about. The one thing that might matter more than a mission. . . "

Britney Spears Speaks Out on Coercive IUD, Working Conditions, and Putting on a Smile for Social Media

Britney Spears alleged in a court hearing this week a significant amount of coercion at the hands of her conservators, including her father Jamie Spears. Spears’ strict guardianship-type arrangement, which has been in place since her mental breakdown over a decade ago, received widespread attention for its unfairness after Hulu aired “Framing Britney Spears” . . .

The Little Discussed But High Blood Clot Risk of Hormonal Birth Control

In April, the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine received scrutiny after six women experienced a rare blood clot condition, causing the United States to pause its distribution “out of an abundance of caution.” Immediately, some trying to downplay the risk compared the J&J vaccine to hormonal birth control. While the type of blood clot apparently caused by the J&J vaccine and those caused by birth control are different types of clots, I couldn’t help but wonder if the comparisons to birth control . . .

Nightbirde Stuns 'America's Got Talent' with Humble Anthem 'It's Okay'

Not even cancer can dim the 30-year-old's hope from shining through. Moments when humility and hope are on center stage may be rare, but that’s just what happened this week when Jane Marczewski received the honors of the Golden Buzzer from judge Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent. Marczewski, who goes by Nightbirde when performing, sang an original song called “It’s Okay” for the four judges. After introducing herself, Marczewski, age 30, reveals that the song touches on some of the challeng

I was pressured for wanting my at-risk baby. Abortion and eugenics can't be separated.

Recently, the head of Planned Parenthood acknowledged the racist and eugenic beliefs of its founder, Margaret Sanger, and stated that the organization is working to undo the damage these views have caused. I applaud Alexis McGill Johnson for openly discussing the ugly origins of Planned Parenthood, but completely disagree that the organization is capable of stopping what Sanger started. Eugenic motives are still alive and well in the abortion- and contraceptive-providing business, of which Planned Parenthood is a leader.

Exclusive: ‘Country Girl’ Rissi Palmer Shares a New Acoustic Version

Rissi Palmer broke records in 2007 when she became the first Black female country singer in decades to rock the Billboard charts. Her hit song, “Country Girl,” took the world by storm, expressing a message of being true to yourself and not worrying about the stereotypical boxes people may put you in. Fifteen years after writing this groundbreaking song, Rissi has recorded an acoustic version exclusively for Verily which we are thrilled to share with you, along with a brief interview . . .

An exclusive interview with Lisa Hendrickson-Jack

Many people know Lisa Hendrickson-Jack as the creator of the most popular podcast on fertility health, Fertility Friday. Others know her from her pivotal book The Fifth Vital Sign. Still others know her for her one-on-one coaching in navigating the challenging transition from hormonal birth control to fertility awareness charting. However you may know Lisa, we are pleased to bring you an interview with her, completed exclusively for Natural Womanhood.

Netflix’s ‘Cuties’ Didn’t Have to Participate in Exploitation to Expose It

I love the idea of media and film putting social ills like sexualization in a critical view, so typically I’d be intrigued by a storyline like that of Netflix’s Cuties—which follows an eleven-year-old Senegalese immigrant girl as she navigates the meaning of her femininity and seeks acceptance among her peers in a hypersexualized culture. However, as I watched clips of the film circulate on social media, I had to pause to consider whether I could view it.

Weinstein Lessons We're Still Learning

This week, Harvey Weinstein—movie mogul of the Weinstein Company whose misbehavior all but started the #metoo movement—was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual crimes against women. For many, this result comes as no surprise. Many have read Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker articles, expanded in his book Catch and Kill. Weinstein has received backlash for accusations of sexual crimes for years in the court of public opinion. But in the judicial court...
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