What’s Down There?: Empowering Pelvic Self-Exams for Women Who Are Ready to Look
with Amy Jo Goddard, M.A.
Director & Producer of At Your Cervix
Sunday, April 9th in Marina Del Rey, CA
You will learn about the sexual anatomy of the vulva, vagina and uterus in much greater detail than you ever learned about in a health or biology class, from a feminist sex educator with over 20 years’ experience in the field; you will also learn to use a speculum to perform an exam on yourself and to find your cervix (if you have one!). In a safe, comfortable environment you will have the opportunity to learn about your sexual body in a way that few women get the chance to.
This workshop brings back the radical self-help groups of the 1970s, giving women an opportunity to learn about their sexual and reproductive parts and to take a mirror and look at their own cervixes. We explore how to use a speculum, what to look for, and how to make ourselves comfortable. Then women have the opportunity to look at their own cervixes and each other’s. No one has to look or share, but most will be excited to try! This is an act of self-empowerment, creating confidence, self-knowledge, and new awareness of the body.
About Amy Jo & At Your Cervix: Amy Jo Goddard is the director and producer of the forthcoming documentary At Your Cervix, which breaks the silence around the unethical methods used by medical and nursing schools to teach students how to perform pelvic exams; the most egregious being on unconsenting, anaesthetized women. At the same time, the film highlights the Gynecological Teaching Associate (GTA) Program in New York City. Fueled by the spirit of women’s health activism, the GTA program began over 30 years ago and it has been shown to be the most effective way to teach exams and is also the most ethical and empowering to women. Amy Jo taught medical and nursing students how to give safe, respectful pelvic exams in all of NYC’s major medical teaching institutions for 10 years–work that is documented in At Your Cervix. She estimates that she has personally had over 1,000 educational exams.
This workshop is being documented for At Your Cervix and a small crew will be present to shoot footage for the film. All shooting will take place while participants are fully clothed–it will focus on participants’ educational experience, asking questions, interacting with Amy Jo, looking at specula, etc. If participants would like to share on-camera about their experience afterwards, there will be an opportunity to do so.
Who this is for: Adult women-identified people of all ages; you do not need to have a cervix to attend. We especially welcome women who have never come to a workshop like this!
When & Where: Sunday April 9 at a private, comfortable location in the Marina del Rey area. You will receive the address after registering, as well as an e-mail with more information about what to bring.
Requirements to attend: We are asking for a $25 donation toward the At Your Cervix campaign in order to confirm your spot and cover the cost of space rental, production equipment, the specula and other teaching supplies. Donations go directly to At Your Cervix and are tax deductible through the Independent Filmmaker Project. We also offer a sliding scale: write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the reduced low income option.