Caroline Rusterholz

[W]omen clients came to us because we were all women. Women doctors, women nurses, women running clinics. 1 Helena Wright From the opening of birth control clinics in the early 1920s to the Family Planning Act in 1967, women have been central actors in the campaign for birth control and contraception in Britain

in Women’s medicine
A British–French comparison
Caroline Rusterholz

During the interwar years, women doctors medicalised birth control in Britain by developing a number of strategies to position themselves as experts in contraception and sexual disorders. 1 Among these strategies were publication of medical articles on birth control and participation in medical conferences. Yet these forms of dissemination of medical knowledge were not restricted to the national sphere; British women doctors also took part in international conferences on birth control. In fact

in Women’s medicine
Open Access (free)
Sex, family planning and British female doctors in transnational perspective, 1920–70

Women’s medicine explores the key role played by British female doctors in the production and circulation of contraceptive knowledge and the handling of sexual disorders between the 1920s and 1970s at the transnational level, taking France as a point of comparison. This study follows the path of a set of women doctors as they made their way through the predominantly male-dominated medical landscape in establishing birth control and family planning as legitimate fields of medicine. This journey encompasses their practical engagement with birth control and later family planning clinics in Britain, their participation in the development of the international movement of birth control and family planning and their influence on French doctors. Drawing on a wide range of archived and published medical materials, this study sheds light on the strategies British female doctors used, and the alliances they made, to put forward their medical agenda and position themselves as experts and leaders in birth control and family planning research and practice.

Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

In ‘One Woman's Mission’, an article in the Sunday Times Magazine in 1973, pioneer birth control activist and female gynaecologist Helena Wright recalled the pivotal moment in her career. In 1928, Wright intrepidly dedicated herself to making contraception both acceptable and accessible. Looking back on this decision, she explained: ‘It seemed to me in a prophetic way, that birth control was the single subject that women doctors had to get hold of.’  1 The implications of Wright's vision for

in Women’s medicine
Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

Birth Control Clinics but in many instances these are staffed by registrars who are birds of passage and incidentally again mainly male. One outcome of these changes is that an important source of work for women doctors, and one … which they are ideally qualified to undertake, many being wives and mothers, will be closed. I feel it is important that the MWF should approach the British Medical Association and also make representations to the department of Health and Social Security about the uncertain future many of us now face

in Women’s medicine
Caroline Rusterholz

This chapter delves into the many ways in which British women doctors pressed for the development of an international movement for birth control and family planning, from the first attempt in 1928 to create an international organisation to the establishment of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952. 1 In addition, this chapter pushes the transnational approach even further by showing how the circulation of actors and knowledge from Britain to France eased the creation of a

in Women’s medicine
Open Access (free)
A transnational journey of expertise
Caroline Rusterholz

gynaecologist Helena Wright, with the backup of the Birth Control Investigation Committee (BCIC), was testing the ring in her private practice, while Dr Margaret Jackson also fitted her patients with the device in her private practice in Devonshire up until the 1960s, at which point she started testing other new intrauterine devices as well. The last chapter of this book takes the testing of the Gräfenberg ring and later forms of intrauterine devices as a case study through which to explore the crucial contributions of Helena Wright and Margaret Jackson to

in Women’s medicine
Expanding the work of the clinics
Caroline Rusterholz

Oh this isn't so boring if you get your climax. Joan Malleson, 1950s 1 During the interwar period and onwards, family planning centres expanded their birth control sessions into sexual advice, which became available primarily through the activities of women doctors in Britain. They set up advisory sessions on ‘sub-fertility’, which

in Women’s medicine
Open Access (free)
Lesbian citizenship and filmmaking in Sweden in the 1970s
Ingrid Ryberg

lesbian filmmaking was inserted into the National Board of Health and Welfare’s budget and administered as an issue of birth control education. Looking closer at the two films’ representation of lesbianism, noting how they downplay sexual desire, I argue that rather than simply exemplifying the transnational lesbian feminist movement’s alleged anti-​ sex politics, this articulation of lesbian identity should be understood as shaped by the interaction with official sexual policymaking in Sweden at this crucial moment in time. These neglected films and their production

in The power of vulnerability
Author: Jacopo Pili

Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.