Unsplash/Warren Wong - Picture has been edited by Les 3 sex*

Story • Chronology of a Revolution

5 December 2017

Stories are written by people who don’t necessarily work or study in fields related to sexology. They convey emotions, perceptions, and subjective perspectives. Opinions voiced in the stories are those of their authors, and in no way represent the position of Les 3 sex*.


Ce témoignage est aussi disponible en français [➦]

Translated by Zoe Yarymowich

*** This text does not aim to give an objective portrait of events that took place within the sexology discipline. This is a testimony that aims to express a highly subjective experience. ***

2015. Liberal austerity. A strike is voted for by l’Association facultaire étudiante des sciences humaines (AFESH). The department of sexology entrenched.

In 2012, while completing my bachelor’s degree in history, I remember helping attend AFESH’s general assemblies. We watched the “green squares'' stand up and openly come out and speak about their right to attend their classes. “Clearly sexology students”, we whispered.

At the time, sexology students had a reputation for being particularly conservative. The black sheep of militant circles in the humanitarian sciences.

YEAR 1: The Strike of Winter 2015

After procrastinating between the end of my bachelor’s degree and an attempt at a master’s, I arrive in sexology. From a moderate centrist, criticized for her political neutrality, I became a radical semi-communist militant. Same opinions, new environment.

We voted in favour of the strike. First, by the AFESH, and surprisingly, it is confirmed by l’Association Étudiante Modulaire de Sexologie de l’UQAM (AEMS).

With colleagues in sexology, we are mobilizing. About ten of us do the rounds in classrooms to enforce the closing of classes. Surprise. Classrooms are deserted. Two, three students, sometimes ten.

Not so fast.

Students contact us. They are in their second and third year. They do not succeed in cancelling classes: “We are scared of failing our courses”. The demands are multiplying.

We take our new role as first-aid workers to heart.

Security guards in front of the doors. We persist. We enter classrooms. Classes are packed. Death stares from our academic elders. Sighs, insults. They don’t know us, but they hate us.

Unbalances, tensions.

At the same time, a petition against the representatives of the AFESH is launched. Initiated by a third-year student, it seems. Not surprising. If the AFESH is not legitimate, then neither is the strike. Good strategy, we must admit.

Massive gap.

“The new cohort is really demanding,” the professors would whisper.

YEAR 2: The Grumbling Minorities of Spring 2016

Crisis in the department of sexology at UQAM. An article, published in the AFESH newspaper, and then cited by Judith Lussier in the Métro newspaper, strongly criticized sexology, and above all, how it is taught.

Sexology's duty of neutrality was called into question. This same “neutrality” would explain the abandonment of the baccalaureate for many former students in sexology.

Paternalistic, heterosexist, and especially, noncritical. This is what was said about sexology.

Grumbling minorities do not make happy people.

However, the majority of my cohort, now in their second year, seemed to welcome this critique with relief: “Finally, they put words to our discomfort”, they whispered.

The same story from the new first years. My circle is biased, no doubt. Nevertheless, the wind of change was in the air. Something different that no longer goes unnoticed. Was our minority becoming the majority?

The diversity committee in the department of sexology was created. A victory. The gesture is political for many of us.

Rumours leak out: “I hear the first years are really rough, they question everything the teachers say."

“The new cohort is really demanding,” the professors would whisper.

YEAR 3: The Reform of the Bachelor’s Degree in Winter 2017

Baccalaureate reform: “Diversity will occupy a transversal place in the whole program,” announced UQAM.

As an anti-establishment student (radical and semi-communist – let’s not forget), I myself was part of the baccalaureate reform process. Pushing for a more critical, internationalist vision of sexology, in opposition with a vision that I considered falsely objective and Quebecocentrist of the discipline.

People were listening. Or at least I thought so.

Lucky because it: “Seems that the new cohort is really demanding”.

YEAR 4: The Protests of Fall 2017

A training given by Yvon Dallaire, organized by l’Association des sexologues du Québec, is strongly criticized. He is accused of masculinism, essentialism, and sexism. However, Mr. Dallaire frequently provides training and attends conferences. So why now?

The mal-baisées, a feminist group with a delectable name, was the first to react strongly. “Unacceptable,” they said.

When was the collective created? In 2015.

By which cohort? In your opinion?

If we trust the Facebook page of l’Association des sexologues du Québec, they are not alone. Each comment posted receives more than ten likes and hearts.

From whom? Mainly by students or sexologists from the cohorts of the past four years, but also older sexologists or students. Political orphans of past years?

All this in four years.

I have the vivid impression of living the birth of a new wave in sexology. A current that is gaining strength. Carried by a bunch of young sexologists, and less young, who finally, are no longer isolated.

Is sexology neutral? Not much for us. Is sexology political? Yes. Simply.

I have not yet heard the rumours about the new cohort, but I suspect they will be really demanding.

revolution, sexology, rebellion, call into question, mobilization, politics, questioning, status quo, struggle, fight


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