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interview

The Cutting Room Floor: Ms. Magazine/Future of Feminism

As we've done in the past -- like here and here -- today we've got a the whole of a short interview that was excerpted in small part for a piece over at Ms. Magazine yesterday, Future of Feminism: Sex Education As a Human Right.

Given some of the content and certainly some of the comments on another (just a note: a lot of the comments there are really rough, and there is intense transmisogyny afoot) of those pieces, one that I saw right after I'd sent this interview back to the author, I feel like the second half of this interview is particularly important, and I was sorry to see it didn't make the cut.

Q: How would you define feminist sex education?

A: I consider that a work in progress, ever-evolving, but you can see how I do that currently here:

Feminist sex education:
• Emphasizes -- for all sexes and genders, not just one or two -- autonomy, personal responsibility, full and active consent, sexuality in the holistic context of a whole, well-rounded life and healthy, equitable r

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Talking Menstruation with Toni

Toni Weschler used to be my neighbor, a fact that caused me to squee more than a little loudly and scare the bejeezus out of my pets when I first discovered it. Sadly, we didn't connect as often as I wish we had before I moved out of Seattle and to a more remote island outside the city.

A while back, I sent Toni some questions for Scarleteen, and many months later, she apologized for sending them to me so late. Now I owe her an even bigger apology for publishing them far later than that!

If you don't know who Toni is, she's the author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health, which is pretty much THE book for people who want to chart fertility, and the book I used to learn how to do it well in my 20's. She also wrote a great book about menstruation and charting for teen women, called Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body. She's an amazingly dedicated and energetic person

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New Series: Would Love Your Help!

I'd like to start a new series at Scarleteen to address some unique first-person experiences while also looking at generational differences and similarities, divides and bridges. All too often, people with shared experiences but of different ages talk past or over each other; have a hard time connecting and seeing where they connect, where they don't and landing in a place where we can all respect each other's experiences, no matter how different we may be.

Ideally, how I'd like this to go is to get two people of different generations -- one under 25, one over 40 -- for each of the following themes/experiences in the list below. Rather than myself or other staff asking the questions or leading the topic, I'd like each of those two people to write out five questions for the other, then each answer the questions they were asked, adding more if needed during that back-and-forth conversation, and we'll edit it all together into something polished and cohesive.

What's the point? First to

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The Cutting Room Floor: Masculinity, Gender and Orientation

It's often a bit of a bummer to do extended interviews for press pieces, because a lot of the time -- including just because of length constraints put on the reporter at hand, which are often very strict -- I find I feel like the most interesting stuff said, or some important context, winds up on the cutting room floor.

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Karyn

If you've ever come to the Scarleteen message boards in a jam or just happen to like reading up on expert sex ed advice, then chances are you already know Karyn a.k.a. Karybu from her compassionate, knowledgeable, and very personalized responses in Ask Scarleteen or Emergencies and Crises. In fact, since 2004, Karyn has been lending her ear and dolling out advice at Scarleteen. Since then, Karyn has earned her college degree, turned her volunteer work here into an awesome career and moved halfway across the world for love, but she still finds time to return to her beloved online home-away-from-home, Scarleteen.

As caring and compassionate as Karyn is, there's so much more to this multifaceted "child of the universe", as she once so fittingly called her personal thread on the boards. To continue a theme of alliteration, some other choice "c" words that come to mind to describe Karyn include Canadian, coffee-loving, committed, curious, and creative.

A Canadian citizen who currently cal

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Jacob

This Spotlight on Scarleteen interview features the one and only Jacob! Also known as PenguinBoy on the message boards, Jacob is an engineering student living in Leeds, UK. A big influence on his identity, both at the site as well as in person, is his rejection of labels. (You’ll hear more about this soon!) At Scarleteen, Jacob puts his diverse background to use by offering an introspective take on topics such as sexual orientation and relationships, while also being one of the few male volunteers at the site.

Currently taking a break from his studies, Jacob is a Jack(ob)-of-all-trades who manages to fit volunteering into his busy schedule, which includes recently having worked in the neonatal ICU and maternity area of a hospital, regularly creating art work and graphic design commissions, teaching English to asylum seekers and refugees, writing poetry­ and hanging out with his beloved friends. (Of course, this is to be expected from someone who is such an open, welcoming friend hims

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Abbie

This week's Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Abbie a.k.a. JamSessionVT. A self-proclaimed "recycled" hippie, Abbie embodies many of the characteristics commonly associated with her progressive, idyllic home state of Vermont: she’s open-minded, hardworking, supportive, and maple syrup loving. While that last part was stretching it, even she admits that the long, cold winters, as picturesque and perfect for skiing as they may be, sometimes leave her pining for warmer days. That said, Abbie has no plans to leave Vermont or Scarleteen for greener pastures– in fact, just as she considers the Green Mountain State her down-to-earth home, Abbie considers Scarleteen her warm and welcoming virtual home. This is great news for Scarleteen users and volunteers alike; in addition to dishing up great advice on the message boards with an upbeat tone, Abbie's glad to pitch in behind-the-scenes. She's more than willing to lend a hand to a fellow volunteer or fix broken links– the web equ

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Joey

Our first Spotlight on Scarleteen interview will be with Joey, whom you may also know as September from the message boards. Joey is an incredibly multi-faceted and multi-talented individual who has been active at Scarleteen since 2005.

You probably wouldn't notice it based on reading her flawless English, but multilingual Joey's mother tongue is German, although her educational background has been international and multi-faceted. She's not just knowledgeable about sex ed, but has many unique interests and experiences, from modeling to being a huge Buffy fan. At Scarleteen and in person, Joey is not one to shy aware from challenging issues that might intimidate less confident people; in fact, she candidly discusses these things warmly and with grace. I've had the great fortune of meeting her in person, and can say that Joey’s even more awesome in person.

Without further ado, the transcript to our recent interview follows. Please feel free to comment or ask Joey any questions directly

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