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OU community discusses the importance of consent

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A crowd of Ohio University students and faculty gathered in Baker Ballroom Tuesday night for a casual, interactive presentation regarding the seriousness of consent during sexual activity and how to approach it enthusiastically.

The presentation, “Beyond Consent: How Reclaiming Sexuality Combats Sexual Violence,” was sponsored by Ohio University’s Women’s Center and Ohio University Student Housing and led by speaker Jaclyn Friedman, co-editor of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.”

Friedman began the lecture by recognizing Ohio University’s dedication to the issues of sexual consent and violence.

“I don’t normally see a room this big filled, and with presidents in the front row,” Friedman said, signaling to President Roderick McDavis, Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and Interim Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones.

Aside from being co-editor of “Yes Means Yes,” which was one of Publishers’ Weekly’s Top 100 Books of 2009, and No. 11 on the Ms. Magazine Top 100 Feminist Nonfiction of All Time list, Friedman is an educator, activist and writer of “What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety,” which was published in November 2011 and was a finalist for ForeWord’s Book of the Year Award in Women’s Issues. Friedman is also the founder and executive director of Women, Action & the Media.

Friedman confronted the commodity model of sexuality that surrounds most people through media, religion and learned behavior. In this model, Friedman said sex is a commodity that women are expected to protect and men are expected to get. Men are taught to get sex for a little as possible, whereas women are expected to guard sex treating it as a commodity of the highest value, she said.

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