[Day 3] The use of the speculum on a practical way - Transfeminist Hard Lab



The use of the speculum on a practical way - Transfeminist Hard Lab

The main hardware is the body.

The proposal of the sessions was to discuss transfeminism, to discuss these intersection with OSH. Also, there were two workshops proposed by Paulq Pin: Vinagourt and The vinegar test for HPV. The first wasn’t realized because of the time, but it consist in make yougourt with vaginal bacterias. The second will be explained later. The sessions was separeted in two parts: discussion and practice.


Paula told us about many projects related to the workshop that followed:

  • Calafou is post-industrial community in Spain that, between many others things, develop open hardware and biohaking.
  • Gyne punk
  • Mobile labs is project that aims to produce many research equipament labs in a DIY/hacker philosofy and fit them all in a case. Some of the equipaments are: microscope, incubator, centrifug, PCR, transilluminator.

A picture of the documantatin of the Mobile Lab.


  • “Hard” from hardware + “glam” as in spell, or magic

  • Documentation: hacketeria

  • Zines and education: some zines about andrology, transgender, health and anti-patriarcal resistence.

The zine “Anarcha Glam, Lucy y Betsey” tell us the patrical and racist story of gyconoly. It demand that the name of female glands are not called by the name of the (men) scientists that discovered them through torture of women (black) bodies, but by the name of these women: Anarcha, Lucy and Betsy. The zine also teaches more about the female glands, vulva and pleasure, more than the scientific books dare to teach.

Paula reinforced that they aren’t performing doctor, but sharing tools so different people can share their skills. There is a big net of people interested on the subject because science taught at school is not enought to makes us safe, nor able to undersantd our own bodies, neithere complete, mainly because exclude the information of not binary bodies and genderes. Also, not well represented minority communities are not safe at hospitals, neither the results of exams ar not shared with the pacients. Therefore we need information to emancipate or to feel more safe at hospitals (and with our bodies).

Tha vinegar test

The vinegar test allow the identification of anomalies cells on the cervix.The material needed are: speculum, swab , vinegar, flashlight, gloves. If the test is performed solo, it will be needed a mirror or a webcam connected do a computer, if performed with others people, this material is not dispensed since the person tested should also see her resultus.

The test consist in sweeping vinegar into the cervix. To have acess to the cervix, the speculum is used. The cells that don’t grow well get white with the vinager, what can be checked optically with the help of the flashlight, mirror or/and webcam.

Paula show us the vaginal channel, and point where are each part of it. On the second photo she show us how to use de speculum.


Part of the group went to a more private, safe and confortable room to take make the test.


The group gathered on Practice committed to keep the discussion and sharing via e-mail.