Sex Ed with DB
Happy Feminist Wednesday! This week we chatted with Danielle Bezalel aka DB about her new podcast, what's empowering about sex education, and why feminism fires her up every day.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Can you introduce yourself for our Betty's?
My name is Danielle Bezalel; I'm a singer, performer, educator, traveler, chocolate lover, movie enthusiast, as well as the Creator, Producer, and Host of the Sex Ed with DB Podcast.
Sex Ed with DB is an intersectional, feminist, Bay Area podcast for folks who want to hear real stories from underrepresented voices as we try to revolutionize the way we talk about sex.
We are currently in production for Season 2 which features an array of people from unique backgrounds and experiences, and we're focusing on the following topics: abortion, culturally responsive sex ed, body image, sex workers' experiences, porn's impact on young people, sex and disability, not assuming motherhood, and more!
How did you start the podcast?
I always knew I wanted to go into some sort of health education -- in fact, I'm starting my Masters in Public Health with a focus on sex, sexuality, and reproductive health at Columbia University this Fall, which I'm super excited about. But, the idea for this podcast came from one specific moment. I can remember it like it was yesterday -- how I felt, who was in the room, and how fired up I was.
I was in Jerusalem with my teaching cohort, a few months into my year teaching abroad in Israel after I graduated from UC Berkeley. We were being given a tour of a very religious community (the Community of the Belz) by the main rabbi there. We settled into a room and he started talking to us about his family and their traditions.
He said that when his five daughters eventually all turned 17 (respectively) they would be married off by a matchmaker and hopefully get pregnant on their wedding night (without ever learning about sex). I was furious. My hand shot up, almost like a reflex, and I immediately started asking all these questions. "Don't you think you should teach your daughters about sex before they're expected to have it?" "What if they don't want to be mothers?" "What about consent?"
The room was silent and after a few long seconds, the rabbi looked at me and said "This is how it goes." That answer wasn't good enough for me then and it certainly isn't good enough for me now. Ever since that moment, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to sex education -- and this podcast is just the beginning.
I love that. Can you tell us why feminism is important to you and how it influences your work?
To me, the word "feminist" means equality and equity between all people -- politically, economically, socially, and however else there is to measure equality and equity. I think intersectional feminism is really what I strive for in my podcast.
I want to spotlight not only cis-gendered, white, straight people (like myself), but people of color, trans people, queer people, differently abled people, people who look and sound different than me and different than who our society reflects and caters to.
I want to ensure that I give marginalized folks a platform to stand on to share their stories, ideas, and beliefs when it comes to sex ed -- which is what they've deserved all along.
What do you do to avoid feminist burnout? Whats your favorite self care practice?
Great question! I think we can be oversaturated and exhausted by all the content and weight on our shoulders with all of these issues. For me, singing and performing always does the trick in making me feel super connected to my body. I love laughing and cuddling with my partner. Lots and lots of Netflix (The Office is my guilty pleasure). Thinking about other passions of mine like planning my next trip with my best friends and working out are also incredibly huge parts of my life.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
If being a sex educator makes you feel happy and fulfilled -- DO. IT. (!!!) The people who say "you're not gonna make enough money in sex ed" or "that isn't a career" or "do tech instead" should truly go fuck themselves.
Do what makes you feel like you have a purpose.
Do the thing that's going to make an impact.
Do the thing that gets you excited to wake up every day. If that's sex ed -- then dope! Give it your all cuz there's no way you're going to do something you love and look back in 20 years and regret it. Life's too short; do you, boo boo!
How can we support you?
Sex Ed with DB Website: www.sexedwithdb.com
Listen to Season 1 of the Podcast: https://itunes.apple.
Fund us if you believe in our cause!: http://gofundme.com/
Email DB: firstname.lastname@example.org