Sexual Consent in a #MeToo and "Grab 'em by the Pussy" Era
As Americans, we are clearly in a crisis of consent. And times up. We must step up and do things differently when it comes to sex education, communication training, teaching emotional intelligence, and gender role training awareness. And we must do this with compassion.
Dr. Jenn is a sociologist who specializes in bringing critical thinking to sex and gender conversations and controversies. She then integrates a much-needed mindfulness and compassion approach to these difficult topics. This approach provides students and organizations the skills to move away from a culture of coercion, and move towards a culture of consent.
Dr. Jenn's personal story of sexual consent violation
Recent Articles by Dr. Jenn on Consent
Actually, Consent is Complicated
“I’m going to kiss you now,” Tom says as he moves in to embrace the flustered Amber, a fellow first-year student at Princeton University.
This is one of the opening lines in Actually, a two-person play by Anna Ziegler at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Known for producing provocative and culturally thought-provoking pieces, they did not disappoint with Actually. As a sexual health educator and public speaker on sexual consent (including on college campuses), I was excited to see this play about consent and had planned on sharing my reflections on it. I hadn’t planned, however, to be so unsettled by the play that I would struggle to write this blog. The writing and acting were so good that its raw truth jarred me.
Consent is often portrayed as a black and white topic. Yes means yes. No means no. If the woman is drunk, she can’t consent and it is rape. Rapists are bad people…. [Read the entire blog post]
My Ex-Boyfriend Just Apologized Because of Aziz Ansari
Within hours of each other, several male friends privately contacted me. They sent the Babe article of the detailed account by a woman named “Grace” of comedian Aziz Ansari’s sexual behavior on a first date. A few of them were asking for my opinion—was this just a “date gone bad” or was this actually a harmful #metoo experience? I’ll get to that question in a moment. But one of them, an ex-boyfriend from long ago, who I’ve had occasional email contact with over the years, emailed to apologize. Yes—an apology. He wrote: “Everything that has been going on recently has led me to ask: Was I ever too sexually forceful in my past relationships?
Yes. In one, and only one, instance. You.
I definitely forced you to do things that you didn't want to do.” [Read the entire blog post]
What I Want to Hear from You, Brett Kavanaugh
I’ve heard denial and a lot of deflection. I’ve heard anger and sadness. And I’ve heard disrespect. I know you needed to show that you are tough and a strong man. You needed to show who is in charge through your dominance and anger and righteous indignation. You’re a conservative with Trump as your President, after all.
What I haven’t heard from you, Judge Kavanaugh, is anything that I need to hear as a woman to trust you with decisions for my good and our nation. I am quite progressive and do not support the conservative values you espouse. They are in direct contrast to my values of empathy, taking care of each other, and human rights. That being said, I’ve worked to listen and understand you as a man and as a potential Supreme Court Justice.
I know this is a political process, providing plenty of political fodder. Did the Democrats game the system by waiting until the final hour to reveal the sexual assault accusation?… [Read the entire blog post]
San Diego Union Tribune OP-ED on Sexual Consent
A recent story on the website Babe.net featured a detailed account of comedian Aziz Ansari’s behavior on a first date with a woman identified as “Grace,” and the piece had many people talking. She said the date was the worst night of her life. He said he thought the evening’s sexual activity was “completely consensual.”
Many folks seem to believe they have to choose one side or the other, and place this incident in either the “typical bad date” or the “#metoo” category. But this mentality doesn’t move this important conversation forward. In most cases like this, neither side is trying to harm the other. But this will keep happening until we recognize that women and men often experience the same sexual encounter very differently. There’s a big, gray area, where a lot of assumptions are made. Both sides need a voice and language to communicate, in the moment, to ensure harmony of purpose.... [Read the entire op-ed article]
Speaking on Sexual Consent - Colleges and Organizations
Talking about Sexual Consent in an Age of #MeToo.
Sexual interactions in the United States are rife with misunderstandings and miscommunication around consent. This interactive lecture is based around a personal story of a sexual consent violation Dr. Jenn experienced recently. She discusses how and why sexual coercion is built into the fabric of so many sexual interactions, and how even folks who think they understand consent, often have only a superficial knowledge. She guides the audience through the experience of critical thinking, mindfulness, and compassion, and how cultivating these can help us all find our voice, respect for others, and develop new campus or organizational social norms.
Dr. Jenn will speak at your college or for your organization for a 90 minute interactive talk or a 3-hour training.