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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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...

Addressing Our Maternal Mortality Crisis with Fertility Awareness

Pregnancy is hard, and it always will be. But, thanks to modern medicine, pregnancy should be life-making and not life-taking. Unfortunately, in America, maternal mortality rates have been increasing since the 1980s, according to the CDC. Further, America’s maternal crisis reveals racial disparities, as black women and Native American women are about three times as likely to die from delivery complications...

An Interview with Olympian Meryl Davis

Meryl Davis learned a lot on her road to becoming an Olympic champion ice dancer. Skating from the age of five and ice dancing from the age of eight, Davis and her partner won the silver medal at the 2010 Olympics and four years later, the gold. Davis has also been a champion off the ice. Three months after taking the gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Davis was announced the champion of Dancing with the Stars. Along the way, Davis has learned how to set goals, work towards them, and pace her

Memo to Women's Media: Women Want to Be Treated as Whole Persons

Last week, we kicked off a series of articles written by the Verily editors in response to a Washington Post piece titled “Women’s Magazines Are Dying. Will We Miss Them When They’re Gone?” The first article, written by our editor in chief Meg McDonnell can be found here. Today, we hear from Mary Rose Somarriba, current associate editor and former Culture section editor at the founding of Verily Magazine. For women’s media to succeed in today’s challenging market for publications (which we’ve s

Standing By Her: The Vital Role of Female Friends in Today's Culture

We get by with a little help from our girlfriends. Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and an expert on the role of communication in relationships. Her highly acclaimed You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, takes a deep dive into the nuances of female friends' communications (and just came out in paperback in August). We know that having girlfriends to talk to contributes significantly to mental health, but we had some ques

Interview: Actress Mayim Bialik Has a Seriously Refreshing Take on Sex and Objectification

Many of us knew her as Blossom. Some also know she has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Twenty-four million Big Bang Theory fans know her as Amy Farrah Fowler. Two people know her as mom. Her name is Mayim Bialik, and the latest title she's added to her list of accomplishments is author of the book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular. This book, aimed at helping girls and young women navigate the pressures of the day, isn't her first dip into cultural conversations. Bialik is also found
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