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Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control Paperback – Oct 7 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (Oct. 7 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781780996073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780996073
  • ASIN: 1780996071
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.1 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #275,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Holly Grigg-Spall effectively melts the candy coating that obscures a simple truth: what we don’t know, can indeed hurt us. Sweetening the Pill, equal parts personal journey, investigative journalism and feminist manifesto, cracks open the paternalist and corporate-driven ethos of self-improvement that undermines women’s body literacy. We’ve got to demand better: more transparency, more options and more support for self-determined health care. Getting there begins with the kind of courageous inquiry Grigg-Spall inspires. (Chris Bobel, associate professor of Women’s Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston and author of New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politic)

Holly Grigg-Spall is fearless, and her courageous advocacy on behalf of women whose stories are too often silenced is a model for others trying to make positive change through health activism. Read the book and get inspired, get angry, and most importantly get information. Sweetening the Pill is exactly the thing needed to energize and mobilize this important women's health conversation. (Laura Eldridge, author of In Our Control: The Complete Guide to Contraceptive Choices for Women)

In Sweetening the Pill, Holly Grigg-Spall lays out the reality of hormonal contraception, and the ubiquitous political and commercial interests at play, with breathtaking precision. With most young women using these drugs, and providers cynically side-stepping informed consent and respectful consultation, this is a core and urgent issue of our time. If you are interested in teen girl and womens' health, and the wellbeing and evolution of society as a whole, read Sweetening the Pill. It's a riveting read and a powerful tool for change. (Jane Bennett, co-author of The Pill: Are You Sure It’s For You? and The Natural Fertility Management Contraception Kit and A Blessing Not A Curse)

We discovered in the ‘70s that the personal is political. Holly Grigg-Spall starts with her and other women’s personal experiences with the Pill, then thoughtfully and thoroughly considers it scientifically, medically and philosophically to discover the political truth of the Pill. She shares strategies for finding new ways to control our fertility while regaining control of our destiny. Grigg-Spall’s careful study on the Pill’s effect on women’s health is long, long overdue. We are so busy fighting to keep hormonal birth control available that we don’t want to question what it is doing to our health and our lives. After reading this book, we can never see the Pill in the same way again. (Carol Downer, veteran women’s health activist and author of A New View of a Woman’s Body, How to Stay Out of the Gynecologist’s Office, A Woman’s Book)

Oral contraceptives have done so much for so many, but when they don't stand up to scrutiny, women have a right to know more.
Sweetening The Pill is a fascinating and up-to-the-minute account of the persistent questions around the effects of birth-control pills. Holly Grigg-Spall's cross-cultural perspective provides keen insights into the impact of the latest US health care initiatives.
Consolidating personal testimonies, current thought and the controversy surrounding the widespread and prolonged use of oral contraception, this book is a toolkit for action. (Chella Quint, writer, performer and educator at Adventures in Menstruating)

About the Author

Holly Grigg-Spall’s writing has been featured in the UK Independent and Times newspapers and the Washington Post. She has contributed to the Ms. Magazine blog, re:Cycling, the F Bomb, Bedside Manners and Bitch magazine. She lives in California, USA.

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