As many people wanted to know about body mapping- I have written up two variants. The first is when mapping of one's body is used to discuss about pleasure, pain, shame and power associated with body parts, and another is when mapping of one's body is used to discuss about degree of control exercised by oneself over each body part. I use the second method more often than the first. The first method requires a great degree of trust. When used in evaluations changes need to be captured, as well as causality of changes. Comments are most welcome- as these methods are going to feed into a manual!

Body mapping  

Objectives

To map perceptions of women on which parts of their bodies gave them pleasure, pain, shame and power.

To capture nature of changes in perceptions on above during the project/programme period.

Assumption  

Given privacy and trust women will articulate their perceptions on such sensitive issues.  There are likely to be changes in sources of pleasure, pain, shame and power during the project/programme period

Methodology

Body mapping entails drawing map of the selected woman in private and gathering her perceptions  on which parts give them pleasure, pain, shame and power and why.

Method

1.  Choose a participant whose participation in the project/programme is average.

2.  Ask the participant if she has any objection in doing the exercise- explain what the exercise entails. If she has problems, discontinue the exercise.

3.  Ask the participant in which venue there will be some privacy and proceed to that place

4. Take necessary chart papers and stick them.

5. Ask the participant to lie down and you draw the outline of her body. Then ask her to draw different  parts of the body

6. Ask the participant which part of the body gives her pain and why. Ask her to use a particular sketch colour pen to mark that part

7. Ask the participant which part of the body gives her pleasure and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch colour pen to mark that part

8. Ask the participant which part of the body makes her feel ashamed and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch pen to mark that part.

9. Ask the participant which part of the body makes her feel powerful and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch pen to mark that part.

10. Ask the participant if the sense of pleasure, pain, shame and power has changed during the project/programme period. If yes, ask them to use the respective colours and mark + or – on the body part.

11. Explore how the project/programme has contributed to changes in sense of power, pleasure, pain and shame.     

 

Also see:

Care, n.d, Care Gender Tool Kits Body Mapping, Last accessed 3rd March, 2013, http://pqdl.care.org/gendertoolkit/Pages/Body%20mapping.aspx


 

Mapping of control over body

Objectives

To map the extent to which women exercise control over different parts of their bodies, and explore whether the project/programme has expanded women’s control over their bodies 

Assumption

The method is premised on the belief that control over one’s body is best captured through indirect methods, rather than asking “do you exercise control over your body?”  Again this method is done in private wherein neither the partner/children of the participant nor other respondents are around.  

Methodology

Mapping of control over one’s body entails asking selected woman in private to draw a map of their body, and gathering their perceptions on which parts of their body they have control over. 

Method

1.  Choose a participant whose participation in the project/programme is average.

2. Ask the participant if she has any objection in doing the exercise- explain what the exercise entails. If she has problems, discontinue the exercise.

3.  Ask the participant in which venue there will be some privacy and proceed to that place

4.  Take necessary chart papers and stick them so that her body can be drawn.

5. Ask the participant to lie down and you draw the outline of her body. Then ask her to draw different body parts

6.  Ask the participant to begin with the head and ask whether she feels she has control over her thoughts? Why? Ask her to rate using a scale of  ‘*’  to ‘***’, the greater the number of starts the higher the rating.

7.  Next move to eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, breasts, stomach, uterus, vagina and legs, and repeat the same exercise.

8.  Ask if she took the whole body, did she feel she exercised control over the same. Again ask her to rate using a scale of ‘*’ to ‘***’. 

9. If the woman does not want to answer control over sexual organs do not force her. 

10. Explore how the project/programme has contributed to changes in degree of control over body.

 

 

    

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Ranjani,

will try to explore this methodology with our work at ANANDI, Gujarat.

warm wishes,

Jahnvi

Ranjani K.Murthy said:

Dear Jahnvi

Thanks for your comments.

On consolidation tabulate, and say 'this many participants out of a total of __ said this...."

I have used body mapping in evaluations that talk about women's empowerment, after all women's empowerment means gaining control over one's bodies

with warm regards

Ranjani 

Dear Ranjani,

 

Thank your very interesting post and for sharing about this method.

I am working in the field of non-formal education with groups of adolescents from Europe and Eastern Europe and I would like to try using body mapping with them to work on identity and body image (how they feel about their bodies, self-esteem and confidence). Also pleasure and shame would be a part of the activity.

Do you have any suggestion on how long such an activity should last? And are there introductory activities that you usually lead before the body mapping, or after?

Do you have any tips about books or other websites that talk about body mapping from a feminist perspective and how to use it in workshops?

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Best Regards,

 

Cate

Dear Cate

Thanks for your email. 

Normally I begin with 'road map of change' wherein the person draws or chooses between ascending, descending, curved, straight road maps or draws their own road map, and explains reasons for changes over the last few years if any.  This takes around 15 minutes. 

I then move into body mapping- beginning with easier bits e.g mobility, confidence and then move to issues of sexuality. More than 30 minutes would be taxing for the adolescents

http://www.catie.ca/en/bodymaps/bodymaps-gallery  This link may be useful. 

Do share your experience

Regards

Ranjani

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