Don’t Tell Me to Love My Body: Fatphobia and Body Liberation
Body image affects all of us, but does it affect all of us in the same way? This workshop encourages all participants to explore their relationship with their own body as well as their relationships with the systems of oppression that shape our relationships with our bodies (e.g. fatphobia, racism, misogyny, etc.). We learn some of the history behind our culture’s current hatred of fat and interrogate the false association between fat and unhealthy. Ultimately, the workshop asks us all: What can we do to make our communities and our world better places to exist in our bodies?
How to Talk to Kids About Sex
When is the right time to start talking to kids about their bodies? The answer is: now! This workshop will help parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone with children in their lives, figure out how to approach this tricky subject. Together we’ll explore any discomfort that we as adults feel about this topic. We’ll examine our own values and goals, and then we’ll delve into the details: how to communicate effectively, how to be inclusive, how to encourage consent culture, and more! We’ll end by talking about how to use teachable moments as a more effective alternative to “the talk.”
Food, Sex, and Rest: Pleasure as Embodied Joy
Pleasure is powerful; it is healing, informative, and joyful. Yet, some of the most pleasurable experiences are often fraught, making them difficult to enjoy. Our conversations about sex, food, rest, and other pleasurable experiences are often filled with shame and attempts to control and restrict – pleasure is rarely the focus. Western ideals such as “mind over matter” and “I think, therefore I am” cause us to disconnect from our bodies, and see control of bodily desires as “morally good.” In this workshop, we will discuss mind-body dualism and how it has led to a culture that condemns bodily desires and glorifies ignoring, restricting, and controlling them. We will reflect on what we find pleasurable, the barriers stopping us from seeking those pleasures, and valuing a pleasure-filled life.
Beyond “Check Your Privilege”
We may hear the word ‘privilege’ often, but are we talking about it in ways that lead to greater understanding? This workshop provides an opportunity to think intersectionally about a variety of unearned privileges. Participants will examine a multitude of privilege categories, determine how those privileges affect people, recognize how each system of privilege hurts the privilege-holder, and walk away with strategies for dismantling these systems in daily life and professional practice.
Building a Positive Food Culture
How many of us have felt worried about others’ judgement of how we eat? How many of us have judged others? Where do these judgments come from? In this workshop, we explore our values and judgments about food. Which foods do we call “good” and which do we call “bad”? Where did we learn those values? Is the moral language of “good” and “bad” appropriate to describe food at all? We critically assess our understandings of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” and work together to brainstorm strategies for creating a more positive food culture in our communities.
From Eugenics to Mass Incarceration: The Reproductive Justice Framework
Too often our current reproductive rights conversation begins and ends with abortion. Safe access to legal abortion is vital, but true reproductive justice means more than that. In this workshop, we reflect on our own ancestor’s reproductive justice narratives and look at the history of reproductive injustices in the United States from genocide and rape of indigenous communities hundreds of years ago all the way up to the forced sterilizations, inaccurate sex ed, and mass incarceration happening today. Participants will work together to think through how to continue to center marginalized communities when advocating for reproductive freedom.
Discovering and Asserting Personal Boundaries
We hear a lot these days about the importance of setting boundaries. But we don’t always know what our boundaries are! In our individualistic culture, how do we assert boundaries while still maintaining mutualistic, empathetic relationships? In this workshop, we use a series of prompts to explore our emotional and physical boundaries in a variety of contexts. After identifying some of our boundaries, we will work on the important skill of expressing them.
Sexual Shame and Healing
Unfortunately, sexual shame is a pretty universal experience. We have all had times when we’ve felt like something is wrong with us, like we are less than what we are, due to our sexuality. Shame is dangerous; it prevents us from protecting ourselves, caring for ourselves, and valuing ourselves and each other. But healing is possible, and talking about it is the first step. We all deserve the freedom to explore our unique sexualities free from shame, feeling great about ourselves. At this workshop, we will begin to talk about some of our feelings of shame, connect with each other, hopefully laugh a little, and come out the other side a little more free.
Manspreading, Mansplaining, and Walking Alone at Night: The Gender Dynamics of Taking Up Space
When women talk as much as the men in a room, they are perceived as dominating the conversation. From young ages, we receive messages about how much we should and shouldn’t talk, what we should and shouldn’t wear, where we should and shouldn’t be. These messages are largely determined by our genders (as well as races and class statuses). This workshop explores these gendered messages and the space we take up (physically, verbally, emotionally). In the end, we think about how to begin to shift these dynamics in our individual lives and our culture at large.
Body Parts and Boundaries
It’s never too early to start learning about your body! This workshop is designed to empower children under the age of 10 to be able to name their own body parts as well as to set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. It includes a coloring book about bodily autonomy and acting out scenarios that allow children to think through what they would do in that situation to make themselves and others feel good.
I do workshops on many different topics with many different age groups. If you need a workshop on a sexuality, gender, or body topic not on this list, contact me with a request and it is likely that we can make it happen!