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Profile: Madi Anderson

Madi is a current junior at Sonoma State and currently studying Psychology and Women and Gender studies.  Her future looks bright as she plans to attend graduate school to get her Master’s in public health. Her goal is to work within sexual education and possibly a sex health clinic.

Her interests derived from being raised with a lack of sexual taboo from her parents. Even with such an open childhood she realized she never had a formal sex education, if she had, then it may have influenced her decision making in a different way. Her Campus sat down with Madi and took the time to understand how she is making a difference in our community.

Her Campus:  What made you interested in this?

Madi Anderson: Growing up I was really interested in anything sexual, my parent didn’t really make it taboo, we would talk about sex which I thought was a normal thing. I realize now that I never had a formal sex education and I think I would have made a lot safer choices and felt more comfortable with myself and my body if I knew what I was capable of and what my rights were.  

I’m now 21 years old and have been having sex for years, but I’m just starting to learn what’s legal and what’s not legal, and what someone has the right to do with my body and what they don’t. I think teaching young girls that it is okay to have sex, as it is a beautiful thing, can be empowering but they need to know that they have a right over their own body. It sounds like a simple concept but it takes a long time to learn.

HC: If you can change one thing about sex education what would you change?

MA: There is not enough focus on women (or young girls) to feel okay to be sexual. It only teaches you how to use contraception and how to prevent pregnancy, but there is nothing about masturbation, nothing about how incredible it is to find the right partner to help you explore your body. It is only telling you different ways to prevent pregnancy, which does not help since you are already using contraception and you still don’t know much about your own sex life.

HC: Can you tell us about the Vagina Monologues?

MA: This year we had the largest cast (54 girls) that was doubled from last year. It was incredible because we took a different take on rehearsals. We prosed topics and shared stories to become closer with each other and it opened the floor to get really personal and let other girls get to know who they are. It made a much more comfortable setting before they had to step on stage. They did not step on the stage as cast members but as sisters, we took that very seriously.

I was the director, which is also the president of the club and I was in charge of finances, marketing, and ticket sales. Also directing the cast in this international performance, which started from a woman named Eve Ensler, where she interviewed women form around the world about their vaginas. She was noticing the themes of sexual assault being so prevalent in all of her interviews and she used the Vagina Monologues as a theatrical more playful voice to accentuate the horrible acts of violence against women without being so “in your face”. Each community adapts a pre-written script that she sends you, and I then have the agency to put my own spin on it. We are representing the women who have been interviewed and we’re telling their story for them.

HC: What was the Title IX panel and how will it help Sonoma State?

MA: The panel was to raise awareness about what resources are in our community. It was called “If It Happens to You” and we had multiple people from the community to discuss what is available if sexual assault happens to you. We explained what is a rape kit, how to get one, what title IX is, police explained certain cases, and we explained the legal process. I spoke about my position as a student and as an intern of title IX and spoke about the current training within the Greek community. There are just so many questions that people do not even realize they have about this subject. Once we open the door to talk about what is and isn’t consent, many people realize they don’t even know.

As a student, people see me around campus and I want them to make the connection that I am their peer but I am also for help or a resource if they need me. It can be intimidating to go to a higher -level resource and it can be easier to go through a student first. 

HC: Where do you see yourself in five years?

MA: I want to be within a community (wherever that may be) working with people who have experienced trauma around sexuality. Not only sexual assault but their sexual identity, or sexual experience which can be either young teens or sex workers. I just want to work slowly to remove the stigma around sex.

Cassandra is a current Senior at Sonoma State majoring in Communications and Liberal Studies. She plans to excel in her career in either hospitality or journalism, as she currently works at a resort in Calistoga. Loves fine dining and hopes to travel the world and someday get paid for it. 
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