Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, speaker and activist, and creator of the 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, and #11 on Ms. Magazine’s Top 100 Feminist Nonfiction of All Time list) and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety. Her popular podcast, Unscrewed, is paving new paths to sexual liberation.
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. She has also helped redefine the concept of “healthy sexuality,” starting with two landmark pieces: the interview “F*cking While Feminist” and the highly personal polemic “My Sluthood, Myself,” which together inspired thousands of responses and explorations across the blogosphere and beyond. Her insistence that authentic sexual liberation is a necessary condition to end the systemic sexualization and violation of women led Lyn Mikel Brown (Co-founder of SPARK and Professor of Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Colby College) to call her “this generation’s version of Dr. Ruth.”
Friedman is a popular speaker on campuses and at conferences across the U.S. and beyond. She has been a guest on the Today Show, Nightline, PBS News Hour, the Melissa Harris-Perry Show, and numerous other radio and television shows, and her commentary has appeared in outlets including CNN, Time, The Washington Post, The Nation, Jezebel and The Huffington Post. She is a SheSource expert and a Progressive Women’s Voices alumna, and was named one of 2009’s Top 40 Progressive Leaders Under 40 by the New Leaders Council. 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. Friedman also holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College.