Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape

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Da Capo Press, Dec 2, 2008 - Social Science - 256 pages
6 Reviews
In this groundbreaking new look at rape edited by writer and activist Jaclyn Freidman and Full Frontal Feminism and He’s A Stud, She’s A Slut author Jessica Valenti, the way we view rape in our culture is finally dismantled and replaced with a genuine understanding and respect for female sexual pleasure. Feminist, political, and activist writers alike will present their ideas for a paradigm shift from the “No Means No” model—an approach that while necessary for where we were in 1974, needs an overhaul today.

Yes Means Yes will bring to the table a dazzling variety of perspectives and experiences focused on the theory that educating all people to value female sexuality and pleasure leads to viewing women differently, and ending rape. Yes Means Yes aims to have radical and far-reaching effects: from teaching men to treat women as collaborators and not conquests, encouraging men and women that women can enjoy sex instead of being shamed for it, and ultimately, that our children can inherit a world where rape is rare and swiftly punished. With commentary on public sex education, pornography, mass media, Yes Means Yes is a powerful and revolutionary anthology.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shulera1 - LibraryThing

I enjoyed Yes Means Yes! very much, at first, but the longer I read it, the less engaged I became. The book has a great message and the essays are engaging, but they all boil down to roughly the same ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amongstories - LibraryThing

It’s not an easy thing to fit my thoughts and reactions to Yes Means Yes into a review. This is an incredibly provoking collection of essays that takes an honest look at views of sexuality in America ... Read full review


Foreword 1
Introduction 5
The Conservative Gender Norms That Perpetuate Rape Culture and How Feminists Can Fight Back 13
2 Toward a Performance Model of Sex 29
Consent as Sexual Process 43
4 A Womans Worth 53
5 How Do You Fuck a Fat Woman? 67
6 Queering Black Female Heterosexuality 77
The Lessons Boys Learn and Dont Learn About Sexuality and Why a SexPositive Rape Prevention Paradigm Can Benefit Everyone Involved 193
17 The NotRape Epidemic 209
18 Shame Is the First Betrayer 221
19 Why Nice Guys Finish Last 227
20 Sex Worth Fighting For 241
A Personal Story of Love Violence and Strategies for Survival 251
22 When Pregnancy Is Outlawed Only Outlaws WillBe Pregnant 265
A Conversation with Three Sex Workers on Sexuality Empowerment and the Industry 273

Surviving Incestin Real Life 93
8 A Love Letter from an AntiRape Activist to Her Feminist SexToy Store 107
Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us and Why She Shouldnt 117
10 Invasion of Space by a Female 127
Sexual Violence Against Immigrant Women in the United States 141
Black Female Lasciviousness and the Question of Consent 151
How Date Rape Became Gray Rape and Why It Matters 163
Rape Culture Explicit Verbal Consent and Body Sovereignty 171
15 An Immodest Proposal 179
24 The ProcessOriented Virgin 287
The Myth of Sexual Purity and How It Reinforces Rape Culture 299
26 Real Sex Education 305
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Pleasure and How You Can Too 313
notes 321
contents by theme 333
about the contributors 341

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About the author (2008)

Called "the hardest-working woman in feminism" by Michelle Tea, Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, performer, and activist. Her writing has been featured in Bitch Magazine, AlterNet, Women's eNews,, and PopPolitics. She's also appeared as a guest blogger on Feministe, and in the Lambda Award nominated anthology Pinned Down By Pronouns. Friedman holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has received a 2001 Cambridge Poetry Award, a 2004 Somerville Arts Council Artist Grant, and a recent fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center.

In her work as the Program Director for the Center for New Words, she programs and produces a 50 plus event-per-year series of author discussions, as well as writing workshops, open mics, political discussions, music concerts, book groups, and special events. She is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of WAM!, CNW's conference on Women, Action & the Media. Before coming to CNW, Friedman worked as Program Director of the LiveSafe Foundation, an organization dedicated to teaching self-defense, de-escalation, and safety skills in communities with high rates of violence. In her spare time, Friedman plots world domination through truth and secretly watches reality television. Her favorite lipstick color is Wicked.

Jessica Valenti is the founder and Executive Editor of and the author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminist Matters and He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.

Jessica has a Masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University and has worked with national and international women’s organizations, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She is also a co-founder of the REAL hot 100, a campaign that aims to change the perception of younger women in the media, and a contributing author to We Don’t Need Another Wave and Single State of the Union.

In addition to Feministing, Jessica also blogs for NARAL Pro-Choice America, the UN Foundation, and Guernica Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Ms. magazine, Bitch, Alternet, Salon, and The Guardian (UK). Jessica recently received a 2007 Choice USA Generation award for her commitment to reproductive rights issues and was featured as one of ELLE magazine’s IntELLEgentsia.

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