Lena Chen

is a reluctant sexpert, a feminist and queer advocate, and a walking case study on bad publicity. As a Harvard undergrad, she authored the blog Sex and the Ivy about her college sexcapades and misadventures. Her reputation has never quite recovered. Want to give her a book deal, send her hate mail, or misquote her in an article? Read her daily musings at The Ch!cktionary and check out her full bio.

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Hi folks! This week, I’m in San Francisco, where the Center for Sex and Culture is screening the new documentary by Therese Shechter. I first met Therese back in 2010 when she interviewed me for the film, and it’s been hugely gratifying to see this independent women-led project develop into a multi-platform educational tool for combating outdated gender stereotypes and sexual norms. Saturday’s screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and film subjects. I’ve already seen it once on television and can’t wait to see this project on the big screen :) Here’s the synopsis:
It has launched both purity balls and porn franchises, defines a young woman’s morality–but has no medical definition. Enter the magical world of virginity, where a white wedding dress can restore a woman’s innocence and replacement hymens can be purchased online. Therese Shechter (who previously directed I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST) uses her own path out of virginity to explore why our sex-crazed society cherishes this so-called precious gift. Along the way, we meet sex educators, virginity auctioneers, abstinence advocates, and young men and women who bare their tales of doing it—or not doing it. “How To Lose Your Virginity” uncovers the myths and misogyny surrounding a rite of passage that many obsesses about but few truly understand.
Want more information? Check out the movie website and go beyond the film to the V-Card Diaries, a crowd-sourced collection of sexual debuts and deferrals.
"How to Lose Your Virginity" Sat, April 5, 8pm – 10pm Center for Sex and Culture1349 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Tickets at the door: $8-25 sliding scale. Note: Because of the exhibits at the center, this space is 18+ only.

Hi folks! This week, I’m in San Francisco, where the Center for Sex and Culture is screening the new documentary by Therese Shechter. I first met Therese back in 2010 when she interviewed me for the film, and it’s been hugely gratifying to see this independent women-led project develop into a multi-platform educational tool for combating outdated gender stereotypes and sexual norms. Saturday’s screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and film subjects. I’ve already seen it once on television and can’t wait to see this project on the big screen :) Here’s the synopsis:

It has launched both purity balls and porn franchises, defines a young woman’s morality–but has no medical definition. Enter the magical world of virginity, where a white wedding dress can restore a woman’s innocence and replacement hymens can be purchased online. Therese Shechter (who previously directed I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST) uses her own path out of virginity to explore why our sex-crazed society cherishes this so-called precious gift. Along the way, we meet sex educators, virginity auctioneers, abstinence advocates, and young men and women who bare their tales of doing it—or not doing it. “How To Lose Your Virginity” uncovers the myths and misogyny surrounding a rite of passage that many obsesses about but few truly understand.

Want more information? Check out the movie website and go beyond the film to the V-Card Diaries, a crowd-sourced collection of sexual debuts and deferrals.

"How to Lose Your Virginity"
Sat, April 5, 8pm – 10pm
Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

Tickets at the door: $8-25 sliding scale. Note: Because of the exhibits at the center, this space is 18+ only.

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Feminism is no longer a dirty word - CNN.com

Check out Carol Costello’s story about how perceptions of feminism have shifted among Millenials.

I told her that the types of conversation that excite me the most today are the ones being started by people who don’t see themselves fitting into mainstream feminist narratives. It’s been really heartening to see how the Internet has emboldened and empowered people who have traditionally been marginalized and underserved. Perhaps feminism, like other social justice movements, is moving toward a more collective/democratic approach that emphasizes mass action rather than distinguishing a few exceptional leaders or “heroes”. I’m certain that the most significant action to come will be led by the radicals operating on the fringes, those who are creating communities one hashtag or Tumblr post at a time, those who are speaking to audiences that are not beholden to academic, political, or economic institutions (see Suey Park and #NotYourAsianSidekick, the student-led "I, Too, Am Harvard" multimedia campaign, etc.).

The Internet has helped many activists in my generation to mobilize support and start dialogues around the issues relevant to our communities. Your average teenage feminist has more tools and resources at their disposal and a more nuanced understanding of gender than ever before. I’m excited to see the democratizing effects of social media transform the way we pursue change.

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Feminism/s Presents: Sex in Journalism

As part of their Feminism/s series, the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania is hosting a panel tomorrow night on sex writing. I’ll be speaking at 6pm in the Arts Cafe - come join us! The talk will be followed by a Q&A and reception :)

FEMINISM/S PRESENTS: SEX IN JOURNALISM
Wednesday, February 5th at 6:00pm
Arts Cafe, Kelly Writers House
(
3805 Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus)

What do we talk about when we talk about sex? Join us for a discussion on the role of sex in journalism. Panelists include acclaimed journalist JULIA ALLISON; blogger LENA CHEN; KELSEY McKINNEY, online editor of Foxing Quarterly; and DAN REIMOLD, media scholar and author of “Sex and the University.” Moderated by ARIELLE PARDES. Come join the conversation.

Co-sponsored by The Fund for Feminist Projects and the Povich Journalism Fund.

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Faith and First Times: Sex, Society and Religion

I’m speaking tonight at Pomona College and will be in Los Angeles until Wednesday. If you’re in the Claremont area, come check this out :)

Faith and First Times: Sex, Society and Religion
Thursday, October 4th, 7:00-8:30pm
Rose Hills Theatre, Pomona College

In today’s modern age, female sexuality has become less taboo to discuss. Whether through Cosmopolitan Magazine or Victoria’s Secret, society is beginning to explore a certain brand of female sexuality. Yet many women of faith are faced with the dilemma of embracing their sexuality while still maintaining religious traditions that value virginity and purity, while secular women often feel these cultural representations are not a true expression of their experiences. Come join the Pomona Student Union at Faith and First Times, an event aimed at exploring the influences of religion on virginity and how it effects women in today’s society.

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where is your line? | Lena Chen: Badass Activist Friday!

The Line Campaign chatted with me for their feminist interview series. I talked about my ambivalence toward the “sexpert” label, dating while feminist, and my upcoming web series on gURL.com. Check it out!

where is your line? | Lena Chen: Badass Activist Friday!

The Line Campaign chatted with me for their feminist interview series. I talked about my ambivalence toward the “sexpert” label, dating while feminist, and my upcoming web series on gURL.com. Check it out!

(via lenachen)