February 29, 2012
LETTER FOR THE FEB 15, 2012 BOOK PARTY FOR
VOICES OF THE WOMEN’S HEALTH MOVEMENT
From Cindy Pearson, Executive Director, National Women’s Health Network
The National Women’s Health Network considers itself to be the organizational daughter of Barbara Seaman. Barbara was one of the five co-founders of the Network and one of the mothers of the women’s health movement. Like a good mother, Barbara kept a watchful eye on her organizational daughter, the Network, and made sure we knew about things she thought were important. Sort of like how mothers used to cut out articles from the newspaper and send them to you with a little note – “thought you would be interested in this”. Barbara had an unparalleled ability to see potential connections — between issues, between organizations and between people. Sometimes her propensity for seeing potential connections could be a little bit annoying, like the time she invited five more people to a dinner party for eight that I was organizing. She let me know that we just had to get to know more about each other’s work, so what better way than having dinner together, and certainly it wouldn’t be a problem to pull up a few more chairs at the table would it? In fact, it was at one of those dinner parties when Barbara introduced me to Laura Eldridge. It was 2002, and Laura was helping Barbara with the book that would become Exploding the Estrogen Myth. Barbara could see the potential connection between Laura and the women’s health movement long before even Laura did, and Barbara made sure to connect all the right people to each other. Voices of the Women’s Health Movement is another example of Barbara’s ability to see the connections. For some time, Barbara struggled with how to organize what she jokingly called “my body book”. Personally, I thought she had taken on way too big a task. How could one book cover so many issues, and reflect work done over so many years? But Barbara saw the connections, and with Laura’s help, managed to put the finishing touches on this edition of Voices of the Women’s Health Movement before her untimely death. The book is such a great resource. I hope your panel tonight enjoys the experience of making the connections among issues and people that is so present in the book. Best wishes from all of us at the National Women’s Health Network.