A representative syllabus from our Spring 2018 session:
We will share session logistics, expectations, and class syllabus, and collaborate on how we will create/maintain a safe space. We will collectively draw up a class working agreement and share what participants anticipate and hope to gain through their femex experience.
We will discuss factors, including identity and experience, that influence our communication styles and how those styles look in various settings, relationships, and group dynamics. We will build knowledge around and practice nonviolent communication.
Anatomy, Sex, & Gender
We will challenge and break down the sex and gender binaries. We will also explore how we’ve been socialized when it comes to these topics and how we personally experience and relate to our gender and sex.
Health & Menstruation
We will discuss cultural stigmatization of menstrual cycles in media/cultures around the world, build knowledge around health/menstrual resources, and create space to examine our own relationships with menstruation. We will share experiences with the health care system and with getting access to health care, and discuss mental and emotional wellbeing.
Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality I
We will examine our experiences and understanding of power, privilege, and oppression through exploring structures of oppression, different “-Isms,” and how the variety of identities we hold each contribute to and transform our experiences of the world.
Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality II
We will continue to discuss intersectionality and our own experiences of privilege and oppression. We will also spend time examining allyship and ways we can act in solidarity to be better allies, and how to empower ourselves to push against oppression. We will explore ways to push back larger systems of oppression and power dynamics.
Reproductive Choices & Parenthood
We will take an in-depth look at a 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. Topics covered will include pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, birth, and parenthood.
Body Image & Portrayals in Media
We will discuss concepts of self-image, cultural variables for body image, and societal factors that contribute to the way we view ourselves. 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, and more.
Body Image Projects
Participants will share introspections related to their relationship with their body/body image. Presentations usually span the entire class and can include images, poems, videos, collages, old pictures, etc.
We will build knowledge around STIs (Sexual Transmitted Infections) and share safer sex tools/resources. We will discuss social stigmas around STIs and cultivate space for participants to share their experiences around STIs and safer sex methods. We will also provide space to explore communicating about STIs and contraceptives with sexual partners. We will also discuss options for contraception and share experiences around different methods of contraception.
Sexual Orientation & Relationships
We will explore factors that shape our sexuality including heteronormativity, religion, class, culture, and ethnicity, and discuss social view of sexuality that contribute to our own experiences. We will examine our individual identifications and discuss sexual orientation and spectrums, including various relationship models such as parents, family, friends, colleagues, and different forms of romantic relationships (monogamy, polyamory, etc).
Sexual Practices & Desires
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 to be. We will discuss self-pleasure, the positive/negative views of masturbation, and our relationships to porn/erotica.
Boundaries & Consent
We will explore what boundaries are, including how to set and communicate boundaries. We will define consent in the framework of understanding boundaries, and practice modeling consent in various situations with the aim of contributing to a culture of consent.
Boundaries & Violations
We will provide space for participants to share experiences related to violation of boundaries through fostering a 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.
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).