Welcome to the rePROFilm Periodical – featuring a mission-aligned short film of the month and accompanying podcast conversation. The Periodical is generously underwritten so that our monthly curation is FREE and available for anyone to take part in.

Sign up via email or check in on the 15th of each month for the latest volume, film, conversation, and links to organizations we’re loving and things we’re learning about.

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VOLUME 9:

The HORRIFIC State of Sex Ed

We’re celebrating Halloween at the end of the month, so it feels like the perfect time to address the “scary” topic of sex education. 

Some politicians and pundits would have us believe that comprehensive sex ed is its own kind of horror show. But at rePROFilm we believe it’s about protecting children, not harming them. And we all have a role, whether we’re parents, educators, or maybe a well-meaning neighbor — like Regina, the middle-aged protagonist and ad hoc sex educator from “Heroines.” It’s our Vol. 9 short film pick, and we believe it could — and should — launch a thousand conversations about the ramifications of talking – or not talking –  to kids about sex.

This volume of the rePRO Periodical includes an interview with “Heroines” director Katia Badalian and includes links to stories and organizations that break down what sex ed looks like in the U.S. right now — and how educators and parents can best help all kinds of kids approach sex and relationships in a healthy way. 

There’s a whole lot of noise surrounding this issue, but we owe it to the next generation to cut through the B.S. and figure it out.

Determinedly,
Team rePROFilm

In her directorial debut, Russian-American filmmaker Katia Badalian flips a familiar narrative on its head. While 10-year-old Nina waits for her mother to pick her up, her neighbor Regina engages in a comically poor lesson on the “birds and the bees.” As Nina, Sage Adler delivers a riveting silent performance throughout the older, experienced woman’s clumsy monologue. In the final scene, Badalian reveals part of Nina’s backstory that gives us new insight into her silence.

With Special Guest Katia Badalian

Listen to a convo with the “Heroines” director about how her own experience of child sexual abuse informed Nina’s story, her affection for women like Regina, and what her film has to say about the importance of sex ed.

 Content Note: This podcast contains discussion of child sexual abuse.

“I received zero sex education. It was only bits and pieces that I heard from different women or men … or being a teenager and talking with my peers and sneaking and watching porn and being like, ‘Oh, this is what sex is.’”
— Katia Badalia

What does sex ed look like in your state? 

SIECUS is an org that “advances sex education through advocacy, policy and coalition building,” and one of the ways they do that is by tracking the state of sex education in the U.S. Click through to see what’s being taught — and what’s not — in classrooms near you. 

(SIECUS)

The clit test is like the Bechdel Test for sex scenes

The women behind the Clit Test recently ended their project, citing a need for a more inclusive approach to “improving sex scenes.” (But not before it became part of the “Don’t Worry Darling” drama.) This 2020 article explains why they pushed for more clitoral representation at the movies.

( British Vogue )

Parents Can Get Sex Ed Right

Many experts believe the most effective kind of sex education begins at home. “Kids need a trusted source they can turn to with questions about love and sex – and research shows how parents can get it right,” writes Sophia Smith Galer. Her article summarizes current research and offers parents practical advice for sharing age-appropriate info with their kiddos. 

(BBC)

Queering sex education

Historically, sex ed has centered cis, heterosexual pairings. But queer kids need different kinds of info — and all kids need to learn about different kinds of relationships. This is a great intro to the concept of queering sex ed. 

(Wisp

For more on this topic, see Tyler Burgese’s terrific series on queering sex ed for Culture Study.
a
nd Anne Helen Petersen’s substack.  https://annehelen.substack.com/p/queering-sex-ed

AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed

Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships. Amaze has an amazing online library of videos covering everything from “Why Does it Burn When I Pee?” to “Condoms: How to Use Them Effectively” to “Tips for Safer Sex and Pregnancy Prevention.” We’ll definitely be sharing these with our parent friends and teens. 

(AMAZE)

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth partners with young people and their adult allies to champion youth rights to bodily autonomy and build power to transform policies, programs and systems to secure sexual health and equity for all youth.
Advocates’ Youth Activist Network stands 75,000 strong on 1,200 campuses and in tens of thousands of communities.

Join us on 10/7 for a screening of CHOICES – a short film exploring the challenges and possibilities of pregnancy and reproductive agency – written by Jess Jacobs and directed by Erica Rose. The screening will take place in conjunction with The Art of Abortion – Art Exhibit and Auction to Bust Abortion Stigma, followed by a talkback with artists, filmmakers, and organizers on how they envision art as a catalyst for abortion access. See you on October 7th at Wild Goose Creative in Columbus, 7pm!

UNDERWRITERS

Many thanks to the additional underwriters who have joined us, allowing the rePRO team to bring you the Periodical for free each month.

Through film and conversation, rePRO advocates for reproductive health, justice, and bodily autonomy. We lift intersectional issues, using the power of storytelling as a catalyst for knowledge, intention, and action.
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