Jaclyn Friedman

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Jaclyn Friedman
Jaclyn Friedman headshot.jpg
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Education Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Alma mater Wesleyan University, Emerson College
Occupation Executive Director, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!)
Known for Editing Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape
Website jaclynfriedman.com

Jaclyn Friedman is an American feminist writer and activist from Boston, Massachusetts, best known as the co-editor (with Jessica Valenti) of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, the writer of What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide To Sex and Safety, a campus speaker on issues of healthy sexuality and anti-rape activism, and the founder and 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 openly bisexual, and was sexually assaulted while she was an undergraduate in college.[2][3]

Women, action and the media[edit]

Friedman is the founder and Executive Director of Women, Action and the Media (WAM!), a North American non-profit focusing on gender justice and media issues.[4] WAM!’s accomplishments include 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 runs chapters in Boston, New York, Chicago, LA, DC, Ottawa and Vancouver.[7]

Other activism[edit]

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 "Fucking While Feminist."[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 2012, Friedman came under fire for her piece, Unsolicited Advice For Blue Ivy Carter,[11] which was heavily criticized by African-American women for alleged racist overtones.[12] 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.[13]


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.[14] It was selected as one of Publishers Weekly Best 100 Books of 2009,[15] and is number 11 on Ms. magazine's list of Most Influential Feminist Books of All Time.[16]

In 2011, inspired by the questions that young women asked her while she was on book tour for Yes Means Yes,[17] Friedman's published her second book, What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety.[18] What You Really Really Want was a finalist for Foreword's Book of the Year award in Women's Issues.[19] 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.”[20]

Friedman's writings have been published widely, including in The Guardian,[21] The American Prospect,[22] The Washington Post,[23][24] The Nation[25] and Salon.[26]


Friedman has appeared as a guest on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show,[27] as well as the BBC,[28] Q with Jian Ghomeshi,[29] CNN,[30] Huffington Post Live,[31] and Democracy Now.[32]


  1. ^ Pearlman, Alex (October 24, 2011). "Jaclyn Friedman Releases a 21st Century Guide to Your Sex Life". Boston.com. 
  2. ^ "A Look Inside the 'Men's Rights' Movement That Helped Fuel California Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger". Prospect.org. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  3. ^ https://www.kepplerspeakers.com/speakers/jaclyn-friedman
  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. 
  10. ^ "About The Film". Partners for Peace film. 
  11. ^ "Unsolicited Advice for Blue Ivy Carter: Growing Up as the Girl of Beyonce and Jay-Z". GOOD Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Dear White Women Who Think You Mean Well, - The Angry Black Woman". theangryblackwoman.com. 
  13. ^ "An Apology". jaclynfriedman.com. 
  14. ^ "Reality Bites Back". Seal Press. 
  15. ^ "Best Books of 2009". PublishersWeekly.com. 
  16. ^ "Ms. Readers' 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time: The Top 10 and the Complete List!". Ms. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  18. ^ "What You Really Really Want". Seal Press. 
  19. ^ "2011 Finalists in Women's Issues (Adult Nonfiction) — Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards". Foreword Reviews. 
  20. ^ Tracy Clark-Flory. "A sex guide for today's girls". salon.com. 
  21. ^ Jaclyn Friedman. "Jaclyn Friedman". the Guardian. 
  22. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman". The American Prospect. 
  23. ^ "To combat rape on campus, schools should stop keeping it quiet". washingtonpost.com. 
  24. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman -- Tucker Max Has Female Fans. Why?". The Washington Post. 
  25. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman - The Nation". thenation.com. 
  26. ^ "Jaclyn Friedman". Salon. 
  27. ^ "Good Look: Porn, feminism and Foucault". MSNBC. 
  28. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The World Tonight, 14/12/2010". BBC. 
  29. ^ "Q: The Podcast from CBC Radio". castroller.com. 
  30. ^ ""Dirty Girl" Culture Invades Media". CNN. April 23, 2010. 
  31. ^ "HuffPost Live". Huffington Post. 
  32. ^ "Naomi Wolf vs. Jaclyn Friedman: Feminists Debate the Sexual Allegations Against Julian Assange". Democracy Now!. December 20, 2010.