Amanda Lauren Walter and Elizabeth Faue, In the Shadow of Tragedy: Jeanne M. Stellman and the Work of the Women’s Occupational Health Resource Center

This article addresses the work of Jeanne M. Stellman, a major figure in women’s occupational health during the 1970s and 1980s, when women’s labor force participation,
demands for workplace equality, and exposure to occupational risk changed the political
landscape of the United States. Using a range of archival and published sources, it shows
how Stellman played an important role in the larger movement of women’s health activism by expanding our definition of occupational risk to include psychological stress but
also the impact of new technologies, such as video display terminals (VDTs). An occupational health and safety expert, Stellman questioned the gender bias of medical science,
especially its perception of women’s special vulnerability to reproductive health hazards.
With the introduction of fetal protection policies, Stellman joined a cohort of health
activists asserting women’s right to both workplace protection and workplace equality,
and established a Women’s Occupational Health Resource Center to further the work.


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