Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Review: Ask Dr. Ruth

Ruth Westheimer in the film Ask Dr. Ruth

Ask Dr. Ruth tells the biographical story of Ruth Westheimer. She’s closing in on her 90th birthday in this documentary, and still publishing books about sex. You can see this fascinating woman’s story on Hulu.

When I searched Amazon for books by Dr. Ruth (affiliate link), I literally got pages of results.

The story unfolds from her cramped apartment Washington Heights in New York City, where she has lived for over 40 years. She unpacks her memories of surviving The Holocaust, her three marriages, the births of her two children, and her struggles to get an education as a sex therapist.

She became America’s most famous sex therapist. There was nothing related to sex she wouldn’t talk about in public without embarrassment. She had radio and television shows, taught university classes, and influenced several generations of Americans.

In telling her story, she revisits places in Israel and Switzerland. She finds old friends and searches for information about her parents who were lost in The Holocaust.

Her children and grandchildren as well as some of her friends tell stories about Dr. Ruth. There’s quite a lot of archival footage of her on television and radio shows, both her own shows and interviews on other shows.

She’s a tiny woman with a boundless supply of energy. She radiates joy and kindness. She laughs often. In regard to sexuality, her mantra was “there’s no such thing as normal.” If two adults in the comfort of their own privates spaces wanted to do something, it was normal for them.

She taught men how to make sure women had orgasms – even men who thought women couldn’t do such a thing. She spoke about safe sex when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its worst in the 1980s.

If ever there was an example of #EldersRock, it’s Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

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The poster for Ask Dr. Ruth with a review at Old Ain't Dead

Watch The Trailer for Ask Dr. Ruth

Have you see this biopic about Dr. Ruth? What do you remember about her in relation to your own life?

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