Women Use Sexuality Because That’s The Power They’re Afforded

Happy Tuesday and welcome to another episode of Unscrewed, with your brave, brilliant, and ever-bawdy host, Jaclyn Friedman.

Every week I’m excited — forgive my incessant hyperbole! — but this week marks the launch of Jessica Valenti’s new book, Sex Object: A Memoir and damn, you should just go ahead and pre-order yourself a copy because you’re a good, smart person and every one of us needs more good, smart fodder for our brains. (And provocative commentary at dinner parties never hurt, either.)

Together, Jaclyn and Jessica — who incidentally are old friends and comrades, having edited the anthology Yes Means Yes! together in 2008 — discuss Jessica’s indictment of our society that turns women into play-things, vessels for desire, and . . . sex objects. Dehumanized, over-sexualized, and demonized.

Jessica Valenti

Jessica’s series of essays trace everything from her childhood in Queens, to sexual violence in college, to the raising of her daughter. Sex Object is, in part, an existential cross-examination of her own life, a sharp departure from her former writing. It’s unflinching and undeniably personal, but it also serves as a kind of road map, a guiding narrative and sounding board for other young women who are confused — and angry — about the constant assaults on their bodies, literally and metaphysically.

So get thee to this podcast — it’s a testament to feminism, friendship, and the potent power of words to serve as a poultice and a platform for change.



Full new episodes of Unscrewed go live every other Tuesday, with quickiesodes boasting outtakes, advice for listeners who send in their sex/uality questions, and other delectable tidbits airing in between.

Have burning quandaries of your own? Tweet @jaclynf (use #Unscrewed) or drop her a line at unscrewed@jaclynfriedman.com. And yes! You can even use your handy-dandy smartphone, personal computer, or laptop and record yourself asking your question; she may just include it in the next episode.


Lead image: flickr/infrogmation

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