The illegal Birth Control Handbook printed by McGill students in 1968

A little piece of McGill University history was recently highlighted in a post from Atlas Obscura called The Illegal Birth Control Handbook that spread across college campuses in 1968

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Under Canada’s Criminal Code at the time (1968), the dissemination, sale, and advertisement of birth control methods were all illegal, and abortion was punishable by life imprisonment.

Originally aimed at McGill students, the Birth Control Handbook was mostly self-funded, but students at 10 other Canadian universities, as well as Princeton University and the University of Maine, also chipped in. The McGill Daily wrote that the Handbook hoped to “bridge the gap between high school hygiene courses and street corner advisory sessions.”

The handbook did much more than bridge that gap, providing much-needed information that many women today still struggle to access about their own bodies and reproductive health. It also still holds up pretty well and is quite explicit even by today’s standards.

Definitely worth flipping through if not only for the beautiful images included. You can check out and flip through the handbook in full on Archive.org (my favourite place to visit online).

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birthcontrolhand04cher_0038  birthcontrolhand04cher_0011

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For more on the handbook and legal landscape at the time of printing and distribution of The Birth Control Handbook, you can check out the original article from Atlas Obscura.

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On t’watch | Montreal Anti-Street Harassment Posters

 

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These amazing posters have been popping up around Montreal. Since I’m a hermit I haven’t seen them myself but several friends have been posting the ones they saw to Facebook and Instagram so I decided to check out the on t’watch blog where you can see them all.

Instead of an about page, the main page of the blog displays the project’s intentions (a perfectly chosen bilingual word):

“Around the corner, leaving our homes, on route for work, never safe from the looks and the unwelcome comments that make you feel small. A walking piece of meat, of course they feel entitled to look and comment. We are taught to live in fear, always threatened with the possibility of being assaulted and never offered any tools to deal it other than ridiculous advice (never walk anywhere alone at night, don’t wear skirts, and lately, don’t take a taxi by yourself if you happen to be drunk, etc) that serves to reinforce rape culture and put the onus on the victim instead of targetting the rapists. Thus, perpetuating notions that it is normal to be accosted, that it’s in men’s nature, implying that certain behaviors are to be expected in public spaces.

The simple and oft banal fact that we are regularly bombarded with sexist ads and imagery condition our behaviors. Objectified, commodified, used to sell the norm, why is anyone surprised that most of us regularly experience sexual harassement and/or racism in the streets of Montreal? These experiences that are systematically invisibilized, denied, normalized; they are our daily experiences which we so often deal with in silence, unsure of how to respond. A symptom that indicates that our dealings with the Other are still tied up in the dynamics of domination that are easier to name than to deal with […]”

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(cont.) ” Unlike urban and street art, this project is one of reappropriation of the city not one of revalorizing or embelishment. Making these power dynamics visible, naming them, acknowledging that they exist, also allows for them to be destroyed little by little.

This is an invitation, to all people who are tired of feeling like a walking piece of meat, all those who dont know how to respond to those entitled morons’ gaze and comments, to any person that is sick of being a “victim”.

Here is your invitation to reappropriate our spaces, to create an environment of confidence to take ‘the power back, one of solidarity, but more so to reitirate that it is not our responsibility to alter the way we dress, where we walk, at what time, with whom, how we hold ourselves, who we look in the eye and how we are walking. It’s not up to us to fix our behavior, CONTROL YOURSELF YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES, and shut your mouth.” 

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Amazing stuff! I love that this blog is bilingual and that the posters each have an english and french version!  The proje(c)t page of the blog is also worth checking out.

They remind me a lot of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s amazing Stop Telling Women to Smile project posters, which I’ve just realized I never posted about! I’ll be sure to make a future post just on her work which I’m so proud to have on my own walls at home.

VIA ontwatch | blog féministe / feminist blog.

Introducing SextEd! (aka why I haven’t posted all week)

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I have failed to regularly update the blog in a little while, but I’m really excited to tell you why!

Back in December I started working for an awesome Montreal non-profit community organization called AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM). I had been volunteering there since last summer as a media/communications volunteer when I heard about a really exciting project they were planning on launching – a sexual health text messaging program for youth! People would be able to text their questions about sex to ACCM and receive a text response from our volunteers (BTW we’re looking for volunteers so email me if you want more info).

It was pretty much impossible for me to maintain my cool when it came to wanting to be involved in this project so when ACCM posted for a position to get the project started I applied to be the SextEd Project Assistant and got the job.

I spent the next 6 months doing a lot of research and working with a programmer, designer and volunteers to create a texting system, frequently asked questions database, website, and just about everything else the program needed. After much trial and error, the program officially launched two weeks ago and I’ve been answering questions by text message since.

Here’s a little bit on SextEd:

SextEd is a texting program run by AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) to help youth get information and answers to the questions they have about sex and sexual health. Anyone can text their questions about sex to us and one of our trained volunteers will send them an answer within 24 hours. It’s completely anonymous, free and easy to use!

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Since our launch we’ve been getting texts daily and answering questions non-stop. It’s really awesome to know that people who would otherwise have no reliable source of information are finding us. We’ve gotten questions we expected and ones we didn’t, so they’re really keeping us on our toes! While SextEd is being marketed towards “youth” anyone can actually use the service. We all have questions at any age so if ever you’re looking for an answer send us a text.

Anyone who knows me can probably tell that this is a dream project for me, I get to spend my days answering and empowering youth to make their own decisions about sex based on accurate non-directive info. We’ve also been getting some great media on the project which has helped many people find us so please spread the word to people you know of any age!

Oh and by the way: All of our amazing promo materials, including our logo and video were created by Montreal digital media artist AJ Korkidakis (Little Pixel Media). If you haven’t already come across his stuff you should definitely check it out.

If you feel like checking out some of the media we’ve gotten:

Montreal Sexual Health Resources// Ressources en Santé Sexuelle à Montréal

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Asking for help can be hard, especially when it comes to something as personal as sexual health. Sex & Pancakes is all about helping you get the answers you’re looking for, but not every question or problem needs a long answer. Sometimes you just need to know where to go. For those times, I’ve compiled a list of Montreal Sexual Health Resources because I’ve yet to find them all in the same place, but have often been in situations where it would have been helpful. Please feel free to share this list because you never know when someone might need it.

This list is a work in progress so if you have a resource to add send an email to info@sex-pancakes.com or comment below and it will be added as soon as possible!

Good to know:

  • In Quebec, once you’re 14 years old you can see a doctor without your parents and it’s against a doctor’s confidentiality requirements to share your results to anyone other than you, including your parents. You can also ask your doctor how they will contact you with test results for more information on if they might leave a message if there’s no response.
  • In Quebec, most family doctors also do Pap tests, so if you’re comfortable with your family doctor this is the easiest way to get them done. If ever you’re not you can ask for a referral. You should start getting regular Pap tests when you start being sexually active or reach 18 years old; whichever comes first.
  • For general health questions or to find a local health resource you can call Info-Santé at 8-1-1 from any Quebec number.

FRANÇAIS //

Demander l’aide nécessaire peut sembler difficile, surtout lorsqu’il s’agit d’un sujet aussi personnel que la santé sexuelle. En ce sens, Sex & Pancakes est là pour vous aider à trouver les réponses que vous cherchez. Sachez que ce ne sont pas toutes les questions et problèmes qui nécessitent une longue réponse. Parfois, il ne suffit que de connaître l’endroit où aller. Pour tous ces cas, j’ai compilé une liste des Ressources en Santé Sexuelle à Montréal, les ayant souvent cherché afin de vous fournir ces informations. J’ai donc cru bon les regrouper afin de les rendre disponibles à tous. Alors, ne soyez pas gênés et partagez cette liste: on ne sait jamais lorsque quelqu’un en aura besoin.

Si vous connaissez une ressource qui devrait se trouver dans cette liste, envoyez-moi un courriel à info@sex-pancakes.com ou encore laissez un commentaire dans la section suivant cet article. Je l’ajouterai le plus rapidement possible.

Bon à savoir:

  • Au Québec, dès que vous atteignez l’âge de 14 ans, vous pouvez consulter un docteur sans vos parents et ce dernier ne pourra dévoiler les résultats de vos tests à quiconque autre que vous, en raison de la loi sur la confidentialité médicale; pas même à vos parents. Vous pouvez également demander à votre docteur la manière par laquelle il vous contactera pour vous témoigner vos résultats s’il n’y a pas de réponse au numéro laissé.
  • Au Québec, la majorité des médecins de famille effectue les tests Pap. Alors, si vous vous sentez à l’aise avec votre médecin de famille, il s’agit du meilleur moyen d’accéder à ce service et de faire ces tests. Si, au contraire, vous préférez voir quelqu’un d’autre, vous pouvez toujours demander d’avoir une référence pour un autre docteur. D’ailleurs, vous devriez commencer à passer des tests Pap régulièrement dès le moment où vous êtes actifs sexuellement, ou encore dès que vous atteignez l’âge de 18 ans; selon le cas qui survient le premier.

WHERE CAN I GET FREE CONDOMS?
OÙ PUIS-JE TROUVER DES CONDOMS GRATUITS?

@ Concordia University

Off Campus

WHERE CAN I GET TESTED?
OÙ PUIS-JE ÊTRE TESTÉ?

Head & Hands (À 2 mains)

5833 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
514-481-0277
Free, confidential medical services including STI testing to anyone between 12-25 years old. Services by drop-in Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 16h45-21h30. *You must show up before 17h as this service only accommodates 10 people each day and patients are chosen through a random draw. If you don’t get chosen you’re guaranteed a spot the next day!
Des services médicaux gratuits et confidentiels, incluant des tests de dépistage d’ITSS, pour les jeunes entre 12 et 25 ans. Est également disponible une clinique sans rendez-vous le mardi et jeudi soir entre 16h45 et 21h30. *Veuillez prenez note que vous devez vous présenter avant 17h puisque seulement 10 places, sélectionnées par un tirage au sort, sont disponibles pour ce service, Si vous n’êtes pas choisi, on vous garantit toutefois une place le lendemain!

Clinque Médicale L’Actuel

1001, boul. de Maisonneuve Est, Room/Salle 1130
(514) 524-1001
Sexual health clinic with wide variety of services from the basic STI and quick-HIV testing to post-exposure prophylaxis in case you believe you’ve been exposed to HIV, and opioid replacement therapies.
Clinique de santé sexuelle offrant des services variés, incluant des tests de dépistage d’ITSS, de dépistage du VIH avec résultats rapides, de la prophylaxie post-exposition sexuelle (si vous pensez avoir contracté le VIH) et des traitements de substitution aux opiacés.

Clinque Médicale de L’Alternative

2034 Rue St-Hubert
514-281-9848
STI and HIV testing as well as birth control and emergency contraceptives by drop-in and appointment.
Des tests de dépistage d’ITSS et du VIH, ainsi que des contraceptifs et la pilule du lendemain. Des services disponibles avec ou sans rendez-vous.

Jewish General Hospital – Infectious Diseases and STI Clinic

3755 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Pavillon G, G-148
H3T 1E2
514-340-8222 x8230
STI and HIV testing with hospital card. Registration for the walk-in begins at 8h30 and a hospital card can be obtained the same day.
Des tests de dépistage d’ITSS et du VIH, sur présentation de la carte d’hôpital (qui peut être obtenue la journée même). L’inscription à la clinique sans rendez-vous débute à 8h30am.

Concordia Health Services (Concordia Students)

1550 De Maisonneuve Ouest, Room GM-200
514-848-2424 x3565
If you’re a Concordia student, make an appointment with a physician for an STI screening.
Si vous êtes étudiant à l’Université Concordia, vous pouvez prendre rendez-vous avec un médecin afin de passer un test de dépistage d’ITSS.

McGill Health Services (McGill Students)

3600 McTavish – 3rd floor Brown Student Service building/ 3ème étage du Édifice Brown Services Étudiants
514-398-6017
Students can be seen for general check-ups, prescription renewals, STI testing, PAP smears, general and/or travel immunizations, and referrals.
Les services disponibles aux étudiants incluent: examens de routine, renouvellement des prescriptions, tests de dépistage d’ITSS, frottis de dépistage, vaccins (rappels ou départ à l’étranger) et références auprès de spécialistes.

CLSCs

The Following CLSCs offer sexual health services (including testing):

Les CSSSs suivants offrent des services en lien avec la santé sexuelle (incluant des tests de dépistage):

CSSS de Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle
*Youth clinics / Cliniques jeunesse

  • CLSC de Dorval-Lachine 1900 rue Notre-Dame H8S 2G2 514-639-0650
  • CLSC de LaSalle (Métro Angrignon) 8550 boul. Newman H8N 1Y5 514-364-2572

CSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île / West Island CSSS
*Youth clinics / Cliniques jeunesse

  • CLSC de Pierrefonds 13800 boul. Gouin Ouest H8Z 3H6 514-626-2572 x4367
  • CLSC du Lac-Saint-Louis 180 ave. Cartier H9S 4S1 514-697-4110 x1313

CSSS de la Pointe-de-l’Île
*Youth clinics / Cliniques jeunesse

  • CLSC de Mercier-Est/ Anjou 9503 rue Sherbrooke Est H1L 6P2 514-365-2572
  • CLSC de Pointe-aux-Trembles/ Montréal-Est 13926 rue Notre-Dame Est H1A 1T5 514-642-4050
  • CLSC de Rivière-des-Prairies 8655 boul. Perras H1E 4M7 514-494-4924

CSSS de la Montagne

  • CLSC de Côte-des-Neiges (Métro Côte-des-Neiges) 5700 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges H3T 2A8 514-731-8531
  • CLSC de Parc-Extension (Métro Parc) 7085 Rue Hutchison H3N 1Y9 514-273-9591
  • CLSC Métro (Métro Guy-Concordia – exit St-Mathieu) 1801 Boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest. H3H 1J9 514-934-0354

CSSS de Saint-Léonard et Saint-Michel

  • CLSC de Saint-Michel 3355 rue Jarry Est H1Z 2E5 514-722-3000
  • CLSC de Saint-Léonard 5540 rue Jarry Est H1P 1T9 514-722-3000

CSSS d’Ahuntsic et Montréal-Nord 

  • CLSC d’Ahuntsic (Métro Henri-Bourassa) 1165 boul. Henri-Bourassa Est H2C 3K2 514-384-2000 x8313
  • CLSC de Montréal-Nord (Métro Cadillac) 11441 boul. Lacordaire H1G 4J9 514-384-2000 x7645

CSSS du Coeur-de-l’Île

  • CLSC de la Petite-Patrie (Métro Beaubien) 6520 rue de Saint-Vallier H2S 2P7 514-273-4508
  • CLSC de Villeray (Métro Jarry) 1425 rue Jarry Est H2E 1A7 514-376-4141

*For a larger list of places to get tested in Quebec including private clinics: 
*Pour une liste des endroits offrant le dépistage des ITSS, (incluant des cliniques privées):

http://www.santemontreal.qc.ca/chercher-une-adresse/mots-cles/?motcle=0272

SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCES
RESSOURCES D’AGRESSION SEXUELLE

http://www.agressionssexuelles.gouv.qc.ca/en/resources/victims/montreal.php

WHERE CAN I GET THE MORNING AFTER PILL?
OÙ TROUVER LA PILULE DU LENDEMAIN?

All pharmacies now offer emergency contraceptive without a prescription. Go to the medication counter and the pharmacist will take you to a private area to ask you questions and assess your situation.

Toutes les pharmacies offrent maintenant des contraceptifs d’urgence sans prescription. Rendez-vous au comptoir médical et le pharmacien pourra évaluer votre situation en vous recevant dans un endroit privé de la pharmacie, de manière à respecter la confidentialité.

WHERE CAN I HAVE AN ABORTION?
OÙ PUIS-JE ME FAIRE AVORTER?

Many thanks to Mélanie Mercuri for her translations and help making these resources more accesible!