Feminism and Profit in American Hospitals The Corporate Construction of Women's Health Centers

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-2007


This article provides a critical analysis of the evolution and impact of hospital-sponsored women's health centers. Using original data gathered from interviews, participant observation, and content analysis of documents and brochures, the authors describe the development of four models of hospital-sponsored women's health centers and illustrate three specific mechanisms of the co-optation process. They show how many elements of feminist health care were used for the purpose of marketing and revenue production rather than for empowering women and transforming the delivery of care. Following Stratigaki's notion of negative countereffect, the authors show how the key feminist concepts of women-centered care and empowerment ended up contradicting their original meaning and purpose. Rather than being the subject of care, women became the object of treatment and revenue production.