Professors reveal how feminists have changed our world

(Author photos available on request)

‘More than Medicine: A History of the Feminist Women’s Health Movement’

It was the beginning of a women’s health movement that revolutionized health care—feminists in the ’60s and ’70s who upset the way medical care was delivered and tackled issues of sexism and gender inequality in the practice and profession of medicine.

In “More than Medicine: A History of the Feminist Women’s Health Movement,” author Jennifer Nelson, director and professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Redlands, illustrates how mainstream medicine historically failed to address the needs of people of color, the poor and women—and how women activists transformed the meaning of health care.

“They started setting up their own feminist clinics and reversing the hierarchy so that feminists and lay practitioners are in charge. They want doctors occasionally, but as assistants and to write prescriptions. They talk about medicine being not just medical care but the treatment of the entire person,” Nelson says.

Nelson’s first book, “Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement,” was published in 2003. She teaches courses in women, gender and sexuality studies at Redlands and holds a Ph.D. in United States history from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

‘Mary Pickford: Hollywood and the New Woman’

She was the first “America’s Sweetheart” and a classic “rags-to-riches” tale, but there is more to the story of Mary Pickford. In fact, while writing “Mary Pickford: Hollywood and the New Woman,” author Kathleen Feeley was surprised, she said, to learn of the depth and range of Pickford’s accomplishments.

“Pickford was an “actress, producer, screenwriter, studio executive, philanthropist, newspaper columnist, board member, suffragist, and film preservationist.  Most people think her career and life effectively ended in 1933 when she retired from acting, but nothing could be further from the truth.  She married for a third time and adopted two children.  And she continued to work in these roles until the final decade and half of her life,” Feeley said.

The Pickford biography is one in the “Lives of American Women” series. “Meant for use in the undergraduate classroom, the books in the series allow instructors to incorporate American women of all backgrounds into the historical narrative,” said Feeley, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Redlands.

Feeley co-edited “When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in United States History” in 2014 and is currently at work on, “The Mightiest Publicity Powers on Earth: The Rise of the Hollywood Press Corps in Mid-Twentieth-Century America.” She teaches courses in history at the University of Redlands and holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History and Women's Studies from The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.