(Ep. 2.34) Surviving Sexual Harm and Fostering Female Sexual Empowerment with Jackie Rotman

May 22, 2018

This episode involves a frank conversation about sexuality and sexual harm. While we feel it’s an amazing, and incredibly important conversation, listener discretion is advised.


Jackie Rotman is the Founder of Everybody Dance Now!; a national youth development organization. At age 14, she began using hip hop dancing culture as a tool for self-empowerment for young people. Jackie also served as the Executive Director of Spark; a philanthropic network of millennials focused on gender equality. She frequently speaks about social entrepreneurship, women's rights, and how to effectively engage millennials in philanthropy and social impact. Currently, Jackie is a concurrent MBA student at Stanford and an NPA student at Harvard Kennedy School.

After a traumatic event, Jackie shifted her focus to helping survivors of sexual harm and advocating for sexual empowerment for women. It’s those topics we’ll be discussing in detail today.


What you'll hear in this episode:

  • The two recent projects Jackie’s been working on related to sexual empowerment for women and surviving sexual harm
  • What is restorative justice?
  • How Jackie is working to close the orgasm gap and help women feel empowered in their sexuality
  • The correlation between rape culture and female sexual empowerment
  • The events that led Jackie to eventually begin her work around sexual harm, female sexual empowerment
  • Jackie’s belief that we can’t rely on external factors to help us heal from sexual harm
  • What sexual empowerment means to Jackie and how it’s been a part of her personal journey
  • Jackie’s thoughts on the #MeToo Movement
  • Why we need to destigmatize sex

At the time of this recording, Jackie was co-leading a young advocacy network called SAJE, working to transform systems and options for responding to sexual assault response and preventing repeat offenses. Since the time of this recording, Jackie met the founder of another campaign that had just been started at the time, called In My Words. Jackie decided to join forces with that campaign instead of doing this work under the name of SAJE.

#InMyWords is a youth-led campaign that advocates to create more options for responding to sexual harm - demanding institutional responses that prioritize both justice and healing, not one at the expense of the other.


Links and Resources:

Everybody Dance Now!
Peggy Orenstein
Jessica Hadari