1st Edition

Women's Health Advocacy Rhetorical Ingenuity for the 21st Century

    240 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women’s Health Advocacy brings together academic studies and personal narratives to demonstrate how women use a variety of arguments, forms of writing, and communication strategies to effect change in a health system that is not only often difficult to participate in, but which can be actively harmful. It explicates the concept of rhetorical ingenuity—the creation of rhetorical means for specific and technical, yet extremely personal, situations. At a time when women’s health concerns are at the center of national debate, this rhetorical ingenuity provides means for women to uncover latent sources of oppression in women’s health and medicine and to influence matters of research, funding, policy, and everyday access to healthcare in the face of exclusion and disenfranchisement. This accessible collection will be inspiring reading for academics and students in health communication, medical humanities, and women’s studies, as well as for activists, patients, and professionals.


    Jamie White-Farnham and Cathryn Molloy

    Section 1: Rhetorics of Self

    Donna Laux

    1. Writing My Body, Writing My Health: A Rhetorical Autoethnography
    Kim Hensley Owens

    2. Temporal Disruptions: Illness Narratives Before and After Web 2.0

    Ann Wallace
    3.Analyzing PCOS Discourses: Strategies for Unpacking Chronic Illness and Taking Action

    Marissa McKinley

    4.Rhetorics of Empowerment for Managing Lupus Pain: Patient-to-Patient Knowledge Sharing in Online Health Forums

    Cynthia Pengilly

    5. Rhetorics of Self-Disclosure: A Feminist Framework for Infertility Activism

    Maria Novotny, Lori Beth De Hertogh

    Section 2: Rhetorics of/and the Patient

    Bridging the Gap in Care for Women

    Janeen Qadri

    6. Making Bodies Matter: Norms and Excesses in the Well-Woman Visit

    Kelly Whitney

    7. Doula Advocacy: Strategies for Consent in Labor and Delivery
    Sheri Rysdam

    8. Gendered Responsibility: A Critique of HPV Vaccine Ads, 2006-2016

    Erin Fitzgerald

    9. "Pregnant?" You Need a Flu Shot!": Safety and Danger in Medical Discourses of Maternal Immunization

    Lisa M. DeTora, Jennifer A. Malkowski

    10. "Most Doctors Will Just Say ‘Stop running’": Women Runners’ Narratives, Agency, and Identity

    Billie Tadros

    11.Reframing Efficiency through Usability: The Code and Baby-Friendly USA

    Oriana Gilson

    Section 3: Rhetorics of Advocacy

    Fighting Cancer from Every Angle

    April Cabral

    12. "You Have to Be Your Own Advocate": Patient Self-advocacy as a Coping Mechanism for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk

    Marleah Dean

    13. Activism by Accuracy: Women’s Health and Hormonal Birth Control

    Kristin Marie Bivens, Kirsti Cole, Amy Koerber

    14. Altering Imaginaries and Demanding Treatment: Women’s AIDS Activism in Toronto, 1980s-1990s

    Janna Klostermann

    15.Costly Expedience: Reproductive Rights and Responses to Slut-Shaming

    Laurie McMillan

    "The Rhetorician [of Health and Medicine] as Agent of Social Change": Activism for the Whole Woman’s Body

    Bryna Siegel Finer




    Jamie White-Farnham is Associate Professor and Writing Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

    Bryna Siegel Finer is Associate Professor and the Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Cathryn Molloy is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in James Madison University's School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.