Twitter's resident women's health expert will star in the CBC Gem show Jensplaining, debuting in August
Dr. Jennifer Gunter has been pushing back against misinformation regarding women’s health and well-being for years – in her practice as an OB-GYN, as a columnist for The New York Times, and of course on Twitter, where she regularly calls bullshit on folk remedies, government attempts to restrict reproductive rights and celebrity-backed wellness brands (most famously, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop).
This summer, Gunter will have a much larger platform from which to carry on her fight: her new web series Jensplaining launches on CBC’s Gem streaming service August 23.
Over 10 episodes, Gunter will address a number of topics relevant to women’s health. The first three tackle menstruation, wellness and vaccines, unpacking the myths and misconceptions about each – and offering accurate information and advice from expert guests – in a comprehensive but friendly manner.
“I mean, science should be fun,” Gunter told NOW. “Facts should be fun, and they should be accessible.”
The show is designed to be an oasis in a sea of misinformation, to help viewers avoid dangerous fads and whatever new terrible idea surfaces in a celebrity Instagram feed.
“Especially now, with the short [viral] clips that show up on social media, you never know what hashtag is gonna be the thing that people pay attention to,” she says. “We’ve probably been headline-driven since the beginning of time – I’m sure if people heard Cleopatra used this certain type of bee pollen, everybody in Egypt would have demanded it through word of mouth. But it probably hasn’t been as geared toward science before.”
Jensplaining offers the chance to cut through the urban legends and junk science and provide clear, factual information – and maybe move the needle a little on science-show representation, too.
“The people that we think of as public educators are all men,” she points out. “Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, you know. There are many amazing female educators out there, but they’re not the ones that we think of.”
On August 23, Gunter is stepping up. And the show’s not just for women, mind you.
“Everybody in Canada should know all about the clitoris and all about periods and all about vaccines,” she says. “Because these things matter.”