Canada: La CORPS Féministe
Corps Accord: Guide de Sexualité Positive (2019)
Translation: Body Consent: Positive Sexuality Guide
French (for Canada)
Our Bodies, Ourselves Project
La CORPS Féministe (La Collective pour un Ouvrage de Référence Participatif sur la Santé féministe), a Quebec-based nonprofit, produced “Corps Accord: Guide de Sexualité Positive,” a French adaption of the relationships and sexuality chapters from “Our Bodies Ourselves,” in 2019.
The group formed in 2014 with the objective of translating “Our Bodies, Ourselves” into French and adapting it to Quebec and Canada. The book offers scientific information about women’s health and presents women’s experiences from a critical feminist perspective. It focuses on sexuality and relationships and discusses changing attitudes towards marriage in Canada and includes culturally-specific data on indices such as same sex marriage, interracial marriage, and sexual assault.
The book includes the unique experiences and needs of First Nation women and women with disabilities, gathered via individual and group interviews with women served by allied organizations in the community.
Explaining the need for such a resource, La CORPS Féministe expressed concern about ongoing funding cuts to Canada’s public health system, which is leaving people – and women in particular – with limited choices. People are exposed to vast quantities of information generated by pharmaceutical companies. All of this is compounded by the scarcity of sexual health education in school and colleges.
In spring of 2019, La CORPS Féministe held a series of book launch parties to celebrate the book’s publication.
The group has recently begun the process of adapting the pregnancy and birth chapters from “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
Content Available Online
The first 20 pages of “Corps Accord: Guide de Sexualité Positive” are available both here at the OBOS website and at the publisher’s site.
How to Obtain Print Copies
The book is available for sale from its publisher, Éditions du remue-ménage.
Community Action & Activism
La CORPS féministe decided to take on this project for several reasons:
- To propose a critical discourse on medicalization. In a context where the greed of pharmaceuticals companies has almost no limit, it seems crucial to offer a perspective that deconstructs disease and healing.
- To support informed choice. This is possible only when people have access to independent and scientifically accurate information on the impacts and secondary effects of biomedical devices (including pharmaceuticals) and on alternatives to biomedical technologies and devices. People also need to hear the experiences and preferences of people living the same situation and need access to resources (financial, social, cultural) that allow the possibility of choice.
- To offer a discourse on sexuality that is not based on performance or danger. In popular culture and media (magazines targeting women, pornography available on internet, etc.) sexuality is overwhelmingly present, but most of the time it is displayed on a quantitative way (how long, how many times, how often, etc.) and mostly from the perspective of heterosexual relationship where male pleasure is favored. In schools, youth are taught about sexuality mainly on how to avoid dangers such as STIs, unwanted pregnancy, and sexual assault. Our group examines sexuality by exploring the emotions, feelings, self-esteem, body image, desires and hopes of women. In this way the focus is on sexuality from within, rather than from an external perspective.
- To work collectively on the translation and adaptation. In Quebec, as in many places of the western world, the women’s movement is divided on several issues. New propositions, or claims, stemming from the most marginalized women (trans, First Nation, racialized, etc.) are too often left behind by the most institutionalized women’s groups. La CORPS féministe, with hopes for better cohesion and solidarity, collaborated with several advocacy groups and worked with consciousness raising groups and grassroot advocacy groups to collect narratives and adapt the data, analyses and references to local realities. As a consequence, the book displays a variety of feminist perspectives on the same subject, even if sometimes these perspectives are contradictory.
La Fédération du Québec pour le Planning des Naissances
La Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances (Quebec’s federation of family planning – FQPN) has supported La CORPS féministe from the very beginning. In fact, it is only with their help that the group was able to start outreach to build community for the project.
FQPN, a feminist organization that advocates for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, was founded in 1972 and has individual members as well as 45 local, regional and provincial group members.
FQPN aims to:
- Promote a global approach of health and of sexual and reproductive rights as well as a healthy sexuality, free of coercion and with respect for diversity
- Support empowerment and autonomy in regard to sexual and reproductive health for women (cis or trans), trans men and non-binary people
- Promote the recognition of the right of having children or not, in a healthy environment, free of violence and with sufficient resources
- Advocate for the access to free, diversified and good quality public services in sexual, reproductive and maternal health
Email: lacorpsfeministe [AT] gmail.com