The following is a series of questions and answers from my virtual interview with Amanda Gould!
Q: Do you consider yourself a sextivist? Why or why not?
A: I’ve never actually heard the term sextivist. But I’m a feminist, LGBTQIAP activist, and body and sex positivity advocate, so I’d say so.
Q: What sextivist issue does your work address?
A: I’m on the AU Students for Choice Executive Board and the AU Queers and Allies Eboard. I’ve worked at transitional shelters for abused women. I’m a strong anti-rape activist. I’ve done events and campaigns for various women’s rights causes. I’ve done body positivity campaigns, trans awareness campaigns, anti-rape campaigns. I’m working on making the health center more trans inclusive. I write letters and call my congressmen regularly whenever a bill gets introduced in congress that pertains to women or LGBTQIA rights.
Q: How did you become involved with this type of work?
A: “I think it was a few different events. First of all, I had a very close friend who was raped at a party and then attempted suicide a week later and that got me really involved in anti-rape advocacy and through that I got involved the feminist movement . 2. I have an LGBTQIA twin which makes fighting for the queer rights movement personal. 3. I recovered from an eating disorder years ago and from there have been very big on body positivity. 4. My work with global human rights advocacy led me to become involved in international women rights struggles, with a particular focus on sex trafficking.”
Q: Are there any anecdotal success stories that further inspire you to do this work?
A: “Oh man so many. One little one, was one time I was arguing with a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, boy who was trying to argue with me about why calling girls sluts wasn’t ok. I explained how it shames female sexuality, it ties to rape culture, contributes to victim blaming, the whole shabang (I’m sure you’re familiar with this argument). He just wasn’t getting it and the conversation was getting more and more hurtful and finally after an hour I gave up and went into my room and cried and was really upset about how the world was so fucking patriarchal and messed up. A girl came up to me the next day who had overheard the argument and told me that she was a rape survivor and how people using micro-aggressions like slut-shaming really hurt her but she never had the courage to stand up, and she really appreciated me saying what she didn’t have the courage to. I don’t know, little things like that make it worth fighting.”
Q: What forms of everyday activism do you suggest that people incorporate into their lives?
A: Calling people out on their micro-aggressions (i.e rape jokes, slurs, jokes or comments at the expense of an oppressed demographic, privileged comments, use of triggering words). And finding spaces in your community to get more involved.
Q: How do you incorporate sextivism into your life? Do you participate as part of your career? Do you intend to? Do you participate in addition to your other responsibilities?
A: I want a career in global women’s rights work.