Meet Josy Jablons
Originally Published: February 5, 2016
Revised: February 5, 2016
Josy Jablons is a 20-year-old college student at New York University’s (NYU) Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she studies the role of the arts in public policy. At NYU, she serves as the treasurer of the Feminist Society, the Vice President of the Gallatin Student Council and the founder and president of Students for Sexual Respect, a student-run group that promotes communication about sexual respect and abuse on campus. Josy is the recipient of the NYU President’s Service Award for her work, was named the NYU Up-and-Coming Student of 2015 and has even interned at the National Organization for Women’s New York City office.
Josy began to receive national attention after her sexuality education campaign, #BetterSexTalk, became popular online. #BetterSexTalk is a photo series that highlights gaps in sex education by having people photographed next to their quotes about something they would tell a younger sibling about sex, sexuality or sexual health. Through her work, Josy hopes to change the way sex is discussed in our society, and this ambition is why I wanted to interview her for Faces of Change.
With the proper funding to initiate this kind of organization, I truly believe we could change the face of sex ed.
“Women’s rights and gender-based violence.”
“Virginia Woolf. I am a longstanding admirer of Virginia Woolf, both of her life and her writing. I fell in love with her work the moment I read A Room of One’s Own, which I have now read over four times. This extended feminist essay explores the specific freedoms that women need in order to defeat a patriarchal society. Woolf writes about women’s access to education, the fictional character of Shakespeare’s sister, lesbianism in the 1920s and more. She was a bold, independent woman with staunch beliefs, and I strive to emulate those qualities.”
Burns Her Up
“I have hostile feelings toward a close friend I had in high school. Whenever we spent time together — either to study or just for fun — he requested that I wear a sweater with a high neckline so that he wouldn’t be ‘distracted.’ At the time, I brushed this off in a joking manner, even though something about his insistence made me uncomfortable, ashamed and frustrated. I didn’t realize how anti-feminist his demand truly was until I entered college, and I am still angry about it.”
“A myth I was taught and often heard within my communities was that sex between two women is impossible, invalid and/or nonexistent. Unfortunately, I internalized this concept, and it required many years of personal fear and confusion to finally overcome these false ideas.”
“I love my university! I used to struggle in academic settings because I felt stifled by the lack of flexibility and freedom in my own education. Upon arriving at a department that enables me to craft and design my own major, school has become one of my favorite things. This unorthodox approach to learning has allowed me to accomplish so much outside of the classroom, such as #BetterSexTalk!”
Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr?
“Facebook! The diverse array of Facebook users enables awareness around an issue to spread rapidly. This also applies to Twitter, and I think the two work best hand in hand. Still, given the nature of #BetterSexTalk, Facebook is much more conducive to photographs and media. It also allows for long-form prose, and my thoughts always seem to exceed 140 characters.”
Show Her the Money
“If I had $1 million to change the face of sex ed, I would pursue my dream of establishing a nonprofit that provides comprehensive sexuality education to both middle and high school students across the country. Even if legislation is passed to require the teaching of consent and healthy relationships—such as the Teach Safe Relationships Act that is currently in the House of Representatives—such a law will be incredibly difficult to enforce. I would like to see legislation that mandates external organizations of certified sexuality educators to conduct continuous health lessons at both public and private schools, at no cost to the school itself. A coalition such as this would be a great start toward implementing comprehensive sexuality education and eventually help create a widespread culture of consent. With the proper funding to initiate this kind of organization, I truly believe we could change the face of sex ed.”
Visit the Sexetc.org Action Center and learn how you can improve sex ed in your school.
Please login to comment on this story
My first experience with sex education was in the fifth grade. I spent much of the course trying not to cringe as my classmates struggled to utter the words “penis” and “vagina” from a handout we had to read aloud. […]
Read Story »
I first learned about sex from Seinfeld, a sitcom about a dysfunctional group of friends living in New York City. Many episodes mentioned sex in a matter-of-fact, humorous way. “The Sponge” episode involved birth control and “make-up sex.”…
Read Story »
Elisabeth Dee, a 22-year-old student, activist, writer and feminist, has a long history of being a sexual health advocate. Raised in Utah with what she calls an “abysmal public-school sex education,” Elisabeth had no idea how her body worked, and…
Read Story »