Jaclyn Friedman

Feminist author of Yes Mean Yes is leading the conversation on enthusiastic consent.

Jaclyn Friedman is an educator, activist, and the force behind four hit books: Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape (one of Publishers’ Weekly’s Top 100 Books of 2009), What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex & SafetyUnscrewed: Women, Sex, Power & How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us Alland the anthology Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World. Her podcast, also called Unscrewed, is paving new paths to sexual liberation, and was named one of the best sex podcasts by both Marie Claire and Esquire.

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Feminist author of Yes Mean Yes is leading the conversation on enthusiastic consent.

As an undergraduate, Jaclyn thought she was too smart to become a victim of sexual assault – until another student proved her wrong. That experience eventually led her to become a student and instructor of IMPACT safety training. At IMPACT, she helped bring safety skills to the communities which most need them, including gang-involved high school students and women transitioning out of abusive relationships.

Friedman’s work has popularized the “yes means yes” standard of sexual consent that is quickly becoming law on many US campuses. In her book, Unscrewed, she calls on the movement for women’s sexual liberation to move past individualistic “empowerment” messages (for which she coined the term “fauxpowerment”) to focus on collectively transforming the systems and institutions invested in keeping women sexually servile. Kirkus called it “a potent, convincing manifesto,” and Kate Tuttle, president of the National Book Critics Circle, called it “the book we need right now.”

Friedman is a popular speaker on campuses and at conferences across the US and beyond. She has been a guest on the Today ShowNightlinePBS News Hour, Call Your Girlfriend, and numerous other audio and TV shows, and her commentary has appeared in outlets including The New York TimesVoxRefinery 29The Washington PostGlamour, and The Guardian. Friedman is a founder and the former executive director of Women, Action & the Media, where she led the successful #FBrape campaign to apply Facebook’s hate-speech ban to content that promotes gender-based violence. More recently, she has been active in the Jews Against ICE movement, with whom she was arrested at a protest this summer.

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Our speakers get attention.

  • Writer/activist Jaclyn Friedman
    Writer and activist Jaclyn Friedman talks about the early days of OkCupid, dating as a feminist, how she met her partner, and her newest book, Believe Me: How Trusting Women…
  • Believe Me: Why trusting women is essential for collective well-being with Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti
    Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti about Why trusting women is essential for collective well-being
  • “Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World.”
    Jaclyn Friedman How Trusting Women Can Change the World.
  • The Best Winter 2019 Book Releases to Curl Up With on Your Couch
    You and I both know that as much as we love getting that picture playing in the snow for the 'gram, we'd much rather be mistaken for a wrapped burrito…
  • January 2020 Reads for the Rest of Us
    Edited by Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman, the collection includes contributions from Julia Serano, Samantha Irby, Soraya Chemaly, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Sassafras Lowrey, Sarah Deer, Monica Ramirez and more.
  • Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World
    In this urgent essay collection, feminist activists Valenti and Friedman (Yes Means Yes!) bring together a diverse range of contributors to address the backlash to the #MeToo movement and make…
PRAISE

We so enjoyed Jaclyn’s visit! She’s a dynamic and engaging speaker and her message resonated with many of the students that attended her talk.

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PRAISE

Her opening keynote was powerful…(Jaclyn) elevated a conversation in Nebraska that hasn’t been done before.

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