Having produced several videos about natural family planning (NFP) and fertility awareness methods (FAM), I know how challenging it can be to come up with original angles, fresh dialogues, authentic couple conversations and disagreements, and narratives that can captivate the target audience. That’s exactly what Miscontraceptions, Cassie Moriarty’s first documentary, accomplishes.
Miscontraceptions is bringing fertility awareness education to the millennial generation (which is who needs it right?). It is fresh, personal, engaging and fun. It tackles misconceptions head-on, brings in various perspectives in an eloquent and charming way, keeps the suspense going, and all the while educates and convinces.
Here are four of the things we especially liked about it:
It starts with the depiction of a real and likely situation: Cassie is complaining about the Pill’s side effects. Her boyfriend, Kyle, is trying to help and starts telling her about Natural Family Planning. She thinks that it’s the ineffective and passé rhythm method and they argue, in a hilarious sequence.
It also shows the two being vulnerable, tackling a difficult conversation, living through a conflict and resolving it. They’re adorable as a couple, especially because they show something profound happening to them: the courage of a conflictual discussion about birth control and the humility to resolve it.
It is very funny: kudos for demonstrating dialogue about a common sexual challenge honestly, in a humorous way and without vulgarity. The dialogues are authentic and fun, and the use of special effects and graphics is highly creative and eye-grabbing.
It brings in different perspectives: Kyle tells the guy’s side of the story. Interestingly he is the one pushing charting on his girlfriend. We also hear the perspective of a seasoned sex educator and that of a FAM teacher. Cassie takes risks and give a voice to people who are not the traditional promoters of FAM or NFP, a successful attempt to bring everybody together on something as fundamental yet controversial as FAM and NFP.
This brilliant short film stirs us up and gets us wanting to jump in on the dialogue on this topic. One argument we’d like to throw in the ring is that instead of advocating the use of a condom at the time of fertility, we’d encourage abstinence during the fertile times. The effectiveness rate of birth control methods is only as good as the worst method you use. Taking a chance on a notoriously faulty (not to mention pleasure-killing) option such as the condom right when you’re fertile is taking a pretty big chance. Fertility awareness methods used correctly, with abstinence during fertile times, are your best option to avoid pregnancy. However, we can admit that the graphic in the movie is visually effective, and that it may help open the discussion to a larger audience.
Another point we want to throw our two cents in on is when Cassie says at the end that “it’s not for everybody.” We agree that many women will think that it’s not for them, for various reasons, but we think it is for everybody. Let me say that differently: we believe that every woman should learn to chart. Period. After that, whether they take it into their relationship is another question, because there is a highly personal discussion that needs to happen with her partner/spouse, just as Kyle and Cassie did. Yet, in general, we believe that all couples could benefit from using it.
We love the Miscontraceptions film and the innovative, rational, entertaining and eye-opening way it starts up the conversation about one of the biggest women’s health topic of our day: fertility awareness and the misconceptions surrounding it.
Gerard Migeon is the editor of Natural Womanhood, where this article was first published.