Women's Health Advocacy: Rhetorical Ingenuity for the 21st Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women's Health Advocacy

Rhetorical Ingenuity for the 21st Century, 1st Edition

Edited by Jamie White-Farnham, Bryna Siegel Finer, Cathryn Molloy


262 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367192259
pub: 2019-08-06
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9780367192242
pub: 2019-08-06
Available for pre-order

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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 to activists, patients, and professionals.

Table of Contents


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



About the Editors

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 Liberal Studies English and 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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies