The femex class explores different aspects of what it means to be female and tackles topics that are silenced, considered taboo, or often marginalized.

Here is our syllabus for the Fall 2016 session.


Introduction

We will share session logistics, requirements, syllabus, as well as collaborate on how to create/maintain a safe space. We will collectively draw up a class working agreement, as well as share what participate anticipate and hope to get out of participating in femex.

Communication

We will discuss factors, such as identity, that influence our communication styles and how our communication styles look in various settings, relationships, and group dynamics. We will build knowledge around non-violent communication.

Anatomy, Sex, & Gender

In this class, we explore anatomy, sex, and gender. We explore how we’ve been socialized when it comes to these topics and how we experience gender and sex. We also explore our understanding of the vulva in hopes to help de-stigmatize and de-mystify vulvas.

Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality

We will examine our experiences and understanding of power, privilege, and oppression. We will explore structures of oppression, different “-Isms,” and the variety of identities we hold and how they each contribute to and transform our experiences of the world.

Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality pt 2

We will continue to discuss intersectionality and our own experiences of privilege and oppression. We will also spend time talking and role-playing about ways we can act in solidarity and be better allies, and how to empower ourselves to push against oppression we face. We explore ways to push back larger systems of oppression and power dynamics.

Women's Health & Menstruation
We will discuss the structures of western medicine and non-western approaches to women's health. We will hold a discussion of cultural stigmatization of women's menstrual cycles in media/cultures around the world. Women's health/menstrual resources will be shared.

Body Image & Portrayals of Women

We will look at how participants view themselves and others, what shapes our self-image, and how this affects our lives. We will discuss cultural variables for body image. We will also begin to explore how women's sexuality is portrayed in different forms of popular media (magazines, television, films, music, etc.) and how these portrayals influence the ways women and society view women's sexuality, including influences such as age, race, class, etc.

Body Image Projects

Participants share something about their relationship to their body/body image. Presentations usually span the entire class and can include images, poems, videos, collages,old pictures,etc.

Contraception & STIs

We build knowledge around STI’s (Sexual Transmitted Infections) and share safer sex tools/resources. We also provide space to explore how to communicate about STI’s and contraceptives with sexual partners. We discuss stigmas around STI’s and cultivate space for participants to share their experiences around contraceptives, STI’s, and safer sex methods.

Reproductive Choices & Parenthood

We will take an in-depth look at the variety of reproductive choices. We will discuss cultural, ethnic, societal, religious, and political factors that affect reproductive choices. We will also discuss pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood/parenthood, and their relationship to sexuality. Topics covered will include pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, birth, and parenthood.

Sexual Orientation & Relationships

We will look at how society views sexuality as well as factors that shape our sexuality including heteronormativity, religion, class, culture, and ethnicity. We will explore our individual identifications and discuss sexual orientation and spectrums.  We will explore various types of relationships such as parents, family, friends, colleagues, different forms of romantic relationships (monogamy, polyamory, etc).

Sexual Practices & Desires (Self Pleasure/Orgasm, Porn, Erotica) 

We will encourage participants to explore their sexual identities and the factors that influence the way they express their sexuality and sexual practices. We will explore the definition of sex and the factors that contribute to what we consider sex. We will discuss self-pleasure, the positive/negative views of masturbation, and our relationships to porn/erotica. *There will be a femex-wide out of class porn viewing party around this week, but not during class*

Consent & Sex Work

We will explore what boundaries and consent looks like in various situations. We will discuss how to set and communicate boundaries. We will also discuss various facets of sex work both historically, socially, and globally.

Boundaries & Violations

We will provide space for participants to share experiences related to violation of boundaries. We will provide space where participants feel safe, supported, and won’t experience victim-blaming. We will provide tools for moving beyond self-blame and discuss how power and boundary violation are connected to power and oppression.

Empowerment

We will reflect on our session together and participants will share what has made them feel powerful throughout the class. Participants bring something to share with class that makes them feel powerful (song, image, a quote, activity, etc).