Fertility Awareness – Sex Ed 2.0
Documentary, 28 minutes
Disa Mineur takes the somewhat reluctant filmmaker Mattias Olsson by the hand to guide him through the nether regions of the human landscape, and offers advice on how parents can talk to their teens about sex. Disa is a Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner, and in the film she shares insights on Fertility Awareness, the Justisse Method and Sexual Education. She also talks about the problem with Contraceptive Endocrine Disruptors (birth control pills), and tells her story of healing Cervical Dysplasia.
A Note from the Director
This wasn’t easy. Let’s begin there. Talking about sex definitely is not my thing. So why on earth make this film? Well, I can think of at least three good reasons.
One: The view I’ve had of the body, of medicine, of fertility and birth control can pretty much be summed up with that last word: control. I’ve inherited a belief that the body is a kind of machine. Something we can manipulate into doing what we want it to do. The same way we think we can manipulate the Earth into serving our every desire.
We frack the mountains, we dam the rivers, we clearcut the forests, we bottom trawl the oceans. We’d change the weather if we could. We’re about to launch tens of thousands of satellites into space to blast the Earth with 5G microwave radiation, in the name of Faster Internet for Everybody – without asking ourselves if that really should be a priority given the challenges of environmental destruction and rising depression rates that we’re facing.
Similar to our view of the Earth, many of us look at our bodies like this thing we can manipulate with drugs and hormones, to make it better suit our wants and needs. From that viewpoint, the usage of the birth control pill to medicate away the ability to be fertile seems perfectly rational. But – and this is one of many topics raised by Disa in this film – doing so will come with consequences for the ecosystem that makes up the body. Just like clearcutting a forest comes with consequences to the biodiversity and the levels of carbon dioxide emitted.
(The point here isn’t to say that birth control pills are unequivocally bad, but simply to give an example of a case where a deeper understanding of a practice would be beneficial.)
The connection between how we treat the body and the Earth comes into clear view through Disa’s reasoning, and is the main reason I wanted to make this film. But not the only one.
Two: I want to be able to talk to my kids about sex. I want them to feel comfortable coming to me with their questions. Now, they may not want to do that, and that’s fine. But if they do I don’t want to be the one to look away. I’d like to break the chain of “let’s not talk about this stuff” that I carry from my childhood and adolescence, and that I’m certain my parents and their parents carried before me.
I figure, to be able to talk about sex I need some practice. And some willingness to gain a deeper understanding on the topic. Making this film offered me a bit of both.
Three: Because it felt right.
Disa has kindly put together a list of recommended reading for anyone interested in diving deeper:
Cunt by Inga Muscio
The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack
Sweetening the Pill by Holly Grigg-Spall
Woman Code by Alisa Vitti
Come as you Are by Emily Nagoski
Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler
Everything written by Susan Rako
If you want to see more of Disa you can check out another Campfire Stories film, On Biodynamic Farming, where she makes an appearance.