This is a guest post by Echo Zen. Echo is a feminist filmmaker, animator and women’s health advocate, currently deployed in the States to counter the influence of Tea Party moppets. When ze’s not doing ad consulting for birth control, ze tries to blog semi-regularly for Feministe (partly to set a good example for zir sister).
Regardless how one feels toward V-Day, Eve Ensler or this year’s One Billion Rising, it’s a good springboard for kicking off projects around V-Day’s themes – which for my mates means demystifying female sexuality and women’s bodies. (For me it means cupcakes, but I’ll explain later.)
This year our local V-Day chapter floated an idea for a YouTube sex education series with overtly, shamelessly feminist themes, to help with promoting this year’s Vagina Monologues. It wasn’t as straightforward as it sounds – but first here’s what we prototyped. We dubbed it “Sex + Gchat,” mostly because it features sex and Gchatting. (Transcript’s in the YouTube link…)
“It took a couple months to do,” we explained to an ad hoc focus group of sexual health students.
“Wait, months? All you did was film people on laptops! The condom ninja you did on HIV didn’t take that long,” a friend replied.
Technically he was right. But directing a one-off funny video about ninjas is different from prototyping a series to be passed onto student activists, lacking in budget, peoplepower or even cameras with which to shoot future episodes. Unlike the “slush fund for the feminist lobby” that rape enablers and political misogynists love screaming about, nobody reading Jill’s blog is under the impression feminists are exactly awash in resources. The prototype’s parameter was it had to be doable with webcams or mobiles, for students who only had time to film in their flats – basically a format simple and reproducible (for easy future episodes), and yet interesting enough to compete with French cat videos and pseudo-feminist slut-shamers.
After revisions, unimpressed focus groups and returns to the drawing board for more revisions, we finally came up with something the groups liked. But of course, what tests well with focus groups doesn’t always resonate with the public. So, whilst the feminist blogosphere’s not exactly made up of normal people (because only masochists subject themselves to constant death threats), we decided to open up the development process to commenters here to critique and offer input. If you were on a budget but otherwise had free reign to do your own feminist sex education series, what would you do differently?
Posts on Jill’s blog about videos tend to be the least popular, statistically speaking. So if you read till the end, here’s a bonus for sticking with us…
If you had a bad Valentine’s this month, hopefully that made up for it!
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