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Jaclyn Friedman

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Jaclyn Friedman
Born1971 (age 52–53)
EducationMaster of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Alma materWesleyan University, Emerson College
Occupation(s)Executive Director, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!)
Known forEditing Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape

Jaclyn Friedman (/ˈfrdmən/; born 1971) is an American feminist writer and activist known as the co-editor (with Jessica Valenti) of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape and Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World, the writer of Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide To Sex and Safety, a campus speaker on issues of feminism, sexual freedom and anti-rape activism, and the founder and former executive director of Women, Action & The Media.



Friedman graduated from Wesleyan University, and earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in 2004. She lives in the Boston area.[1] She is bisexual.[2][3]

Women, Action & the Media


Friedman is the founder and former executive director of Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), a North American non-profit focusing on gender justice and media issues.[4] WAM!'s accomplishments included the successful campaigns to pressure Facebook to enforce its terms of service against incitements to violence against women[5] and to pressure Clear Channel to rescind its decision not to run advertisements for South Wind Women's Center, a women's health clinic in Wichita.[6] WAM! also ran chapters in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Ottawa, and Vancouver.[7]

Other activism


Friedman regularly speaks at college campuses on the subjects of sexuality, sexualization, rape culture, and creating a healthy sexual culture around enthusiastic consent. She also hosts a weekly podcast Unscrewed.[8]

In 2010 Friedman was selected as a delegate on the Nobel Women's Initiative's peace delegation to Israel and Palestine.[9] A documentary, Partners for Peace, has been made about the delegation, and Friedman is featured in the film.[10]

In 2019, Friedman was arrested as part of Never Again Action, a group of Jews and allies protesting ICE and the government's treatment of immigrants.[11] In an interview with the Jewish Women's Archive, she identified a Reform Jewish youth group chapter in New Jersey, known as NFTY, as the source of her social justice framework.[12]

Friedman is the 2019-2020 Activist in Residence at Suffolk University.[13]



In December 2010, Friedman debated Naomi Wolf on Democracy Now! concerning rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange,[14][15][16] in which Wolf controversially described allegations of stealthing against Assange as representing “model cases of sexual negotiation.”

In 2012, Friedman came under fire for her piece, Unsolicited Advice For Blue Ivy Carter,[17] which was heavily criticized by African-American women for alleged racist overtones.[18] Friedman subsequently issued a public apology on her blog, and donated the fee she received for the piece to SisterSong, an activist group that primarily deals with women of color.[19]



Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, an anthology co-edited by Friedman and Jessica Valenti, was published in January 2009.[20] It was selected as one of Publishers Weekly Best 100 Books of 2009,[21] and is number 11 on Ms. magazine's list of Most Influential Feminist Books of All Time.[22]

In 2011, inspired by the questions that young women asked her while she was on book tour for Yes Means Yes, Friedman published her second book, What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety.[23] What You Really Really Want was a finalist for Foreword's Book of the Year award in Women's Issues.[24] Salon.com called it "a sex guide for today's girls," and said of Friedman that she "is the sex educator of many parents' nightmares. She’s also just the teacher young women need".[25]

In 2017, Friedman published Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All.[26] Kirkus described Unscrewed as "a potent, convincing manifesto" and the text "lively, emboldening and nonjudgmental".[27]

In 2020, Friedman and co-editor Jessica Valenti published a second anthology, Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World.[28] Believe Me includes essays by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Tatiana Maslany, Samantha Irby, Dahlia Lithwick, Loretta Ross, Jamil Smith, Julia Serano, and more. Publishers Weekly wrote: "Consistently well-written and soundly reasoned, these essays persuasively cast the tendency to doubt women as one of America’s greatest social ills. This illuminating call to action deserves a wide readership."[29]

Friedman's writings have been published widely, including in The New York Times,[30] Glamour[31] The Guardian,[32] The American Prospect,[33]The Washington Post,[34][35] The Nation[36] and Salon.[37]



Friedman has appeared as an expert on many shows, including Nightline,[38] NPR’s 1A,[39] PBS NewsHour,[40] and Democracy Now.[14] She has also appeared on many leading podcasts such as Dear Sugars[41] and Call Your Girlfriend.[3]


  1. ^ Pearlman, Alex (October 24, 2011). "Jaclyn Friedman Releases a 21st Century Guide to Your Sex Life". Boston.com.
  2. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn (October 24, 2013). "A Look Inside the 'Men's Rights' Movement That Helped Fuel California Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  3. ^ a b "Call Your Girlfriend- Adult Sex Ed". July 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Staff & Board". Women, Action & the Media.
  5. ^ "Hate Speech on Facebook". The New York Times. May 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Open Letter to Facebook". Women, Action & the Media.
  7. ^ "WAM! - Women, Action, and the Media". Women, Action & the Media.
  8. ^ "Podcast - Jaclyn Friedman". jaclynfriedman.com.
  9. ^ "2010 Delegation to Israel and Palestine". Nobel Women's Initiative. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  10. ^ "About The Film". Partners for Peace film.
  11. ^ "Why My Judaism Compelled Me To Protest the Abuse of Immigrants". 90.9 WBUR.
  12. ^ June 20; Berkenwald, 2011 Leah. "Meet Jaclyn Friedman: Jewess with attitude". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2020-12-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Signs Magazine". Love the Sinner and the Sinning. 3 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Naomi Wolf vs. Jaclyn Friedman: Feminists Debate the Sexual Allegations Against Julian Assange". Democracy Now!. December 20, 2010.
  15. ^ "Julien Assange, Rape Apologism, and the Media". scarleteen.com. 21 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Naomi Wolf Misrepresents the Facts of the Julian Assange Rape Allegations. Again". studentactivisim.net. December 20, 2010.
  17. ^ "Unsolicited Advice for Blue Ivy Carter: Growing Up as the Girl of Beyonce and Jay-Z". GOOD Magazine. 13 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Dear White Women Who Think You Mean Well, - The Angry Black Woman". theangryblackwoman.com. 13 January 2012.
  19. ^ "An Apology". jaclynfriedman.com. Archived from the original on 2019-10-06. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  20. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn; Valenti, Jessica (3 July 2018). Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape Back. Basic Books. ISBN 9781580058995. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  21. ^ "Best Books of 2009". PublishersWeekly.com.
  22. ^ "Ms. Readers' 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time: The Top 10 and the Complete List!". Ms. 10 October 2011.
  23. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn (27 June 2017). What You Really Really Want. Basic Books. ISBN 9781580053440. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  24. ^ "2011 Finalists in Women's Issues (Adult Nonfiction) — Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards". Foreword Reviews.
  25. ^ Clark-Flory, Tracy (30 October 2011). "A sex guide for today's girls". salon.com.
  26. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn (27 June 2017). Unscrewed:Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All. Basic Books. ISBN 9781580056427. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  27. ^ "A potent, convincing manifesto on how female sexual equality marches onward despite cultural roadblocks". Kirkus Reviews.
  28. ^ Valenti, Jessica; Friedman, Jaclyn (5 February 2019). Believe Me: How Trusting Women and Change the World. Basic Books. ISBN 9781580058780. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  29. ^ "Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World". Publishers Weekly.
  30. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn (19 October 2016). "What We Saw in the Final Debate". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn (15 June 2016). "Your Sexual Rights: You Have the Right to Be Vanilla in Bed". Glamour.
  32. ^ Friedman, Jaclyn. "Jaclyn Friedman". The Guardian.
  33. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman". The American Prospect.
  34. ^ "To combat rape on campus, schools should stop keeping it quiet". washingtonpost.com.
  35. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman -- Tucker Max Has Female Fans. Why?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28.
  36. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman - The Nation". thenation.com. 2 April 2010.
  37. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman". Salon.
  38. ^ "Bride's 'Purity Certificate' Stirs Up Premarital Sex Debate". Nightline.
  39. ^ "Breaking Cultures Of Silence On Sexual Harassment". NPR 1A.
  40. ^ "Will saying yes to affirmative consent curb sexual assault?". PBS.
  41. ^ "'Dear Sugars': Consent Part 1 — With Jaclyn Friedman". The New York Times. March 10, 2018.