Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Celebrate Maggie’s Day

September 14th, 2011 by Elizabeth Kissling

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

Raise a glass – today is Margaret Sanger’s birthday. Learn about her and her work at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project.

3 responses to “Celebrate Maggie’s Day”

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    Here’s to Margaret Sanger whose courage of her convictions changed the course of women’s lives in America, and beyond.

  2. Thank you, Liz, for celebrating Margaret Sanger’s birthday and making me aware of the wealth of materials by and about her that are being collected and shared.

    Maggie was right that no woman is free who does not “own. . .her own body.”

    You will notice that I left out her “control” word. The King James Bible translation says something about man (sic) going out an conquering the earth. I think today that might be translated to understand ecology and optimize rather than interfere with the amazing natural processes in our world.

    Likewise, we need to take an ecological rather than a controlling approach to our reproduction.

    A similarly feminist woman as Sanger, but an endocrinologist who has spent my career trying to understand and optimize rather than suppress women’s amazing, totally mind-body-emotion integrated reproductive complexity, I would reframe Margaret Sanger’s statement:

    “No woman can call herself free who does not feel ‘at home’ in, and have the tools to work with and understand the complexity and holistic integration of her own reproductive self.”

    Ironically, my initial impetus to understand women’s reproduction came from my personal, profoundly negative response to a birth control pill available in 1967.

    Thanks again, Liz.

  3. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Thanks, Laura and Jerilynn. I’ve often said that Margaret Sanger’s birthday should be a national holiday in the US, so I’m kind of amused that the two responses this post has received are from Canadians. (Not that Sanger doesn’t belong to everyone, just my twisted sense of humor.)

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