Sun, 12 April 2020
tl;dr Jaclyn Friedman on believing women, what happens when we disclose our trauma, and why our PERCEPTION of who is a victim impacts how we view all victims. We're talking about her new book with Jessica Valenti, "Believe Me".
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Finally, Patrons who support at $3 and above, this week you get to hear a bonus chat between Jaclyn Friedman and I on Tina Horn's fantastic essay speaking to why pleasure should not be the measure for sex work and porn performers. It's SOOOO good and super important for folks who truly want to support those in the field. Hear it at patreon.com/sgrpodcast.
I love every time I get to be in conversation with Jaclyn, and this was no different.
We explore the difference between what it means to believe women versus what it means to believe ALL women, and why that distinction is important.
We dive into what it means that women, femmes, and feminized folks often have a different set of memories than cis men. The ways survivors are retraumatized by courts, lawyers, and our "justice" system.
So much of "Believe Me" demonstrates the ways we would all move closer to liberation if we centered Black women and trans women, and we explore all the ways so many of us are only trusted if we disclose the gory details of our trauma but in doing so we are also seen as discredited and no longer experts in anything except our trauma.
Jaclyn shares what social researchers have long demonstrated: that collectively we not only hold women to much higher standards, but as a woman's credibility goes up, we like her less for it and actively punish her for that growing credibility.
So what can we do about it? Where do we go?
It's such an important discussion about a very important book, and I hope you'll get yourself a copy.
Be sure to send in your questions! I would love to hear from you. Use the contact form at dawnserra.com.
About Jaclyn Friedman:
Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, educator and activist, and creator of four 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 & Safety, Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All, and her latest, 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.
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 Show, Nightline, PBS News Hour, Call Your Girlfriend, and numerous other audio and TV shows, and her commentary has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, Vox, Refinery 29, The Washington Post, Glamour, 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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Visit dawnserra.com/ep300 for the transcript