16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence: Day 12, Jaclyn Friedman

We at WAM! aren’t really the bragging type. But at the same time, there is such a thing as being too modest. On that note we would like to spotlight our founder and executive director, Jaclyn Friedman, for day 12 of 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence.

Since we have a slight bias in her favor, here’s what a few others have to say. According to Washington City Paper:

Jaclyn Friedman is, in short, a feminist rock star. She is the executive director of  WAM!: Women, Action & the Media. She edited the incredible Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, and continues the work of dismantling rape culture in her weekly pro-sex column. She writes as compellingly about taking off her shirt for fun as she does her college sexual assault. And she has been fucking under these conditions for nearly 20 years.

And in the spirit of ending gender violence, here’s what a few critics have to say about Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape:

“Yes Means Yes is a welcome and much needed resource to help all of us both value and respect female sexuality while eradicating a rape culture.”

– Aishah Shahidah Simmons, producer/writer/director, NO! The Rape Documentary

“Utopian novels have grappled with the idea of a world without rape, but what would the path to that world look like? The controversial essays that make up Yes Means Yes light the way along this very rough road and, not surprisingly, offer no easy solutions. It speaks volumes that in the 21st century we still need this anthology to explain whose fault it is when a young woman who agrees to make-out with her boyfriend ends up raped.”

– Ms. magazine

Part of what earns her the “feminist rock star” credibility is her attitude of sex positivity and the radical notion that we should enthusiastically consent to what we enjoy. In a society that pushes shame, blame and fear into our conversations about sexuality, Jaclyn is a loud, clear voice against harmful double standards. For people who aren’t exactly sure what they want to enthusiastically consent to in these confusing times, that is precisely the theme of her new book. In What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety, Jaclyn won’t tell you what it is you want, but she’ll help you figure it out. As Susie Bright puts it:

In a world full of Pussycat Dolls and virginity pledges, What You Really Really Want carves out a path for real women to have real sex on their own terms. The information and exercises in this book have the power to change your sex life for good.

If this sounds like something you might Really Really Want, you can read the book or visit her website. If you support WAM!’s mission of gender justice in the media (as we suspect you do, since you’re reading the WAM! blog) you might also consider donating or becoming a WAM! Member.

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