Jessica Valenti

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Jessica Valenti
Jessica Valenti
Jessica Valenti in 2014
Born (1978-11-01) November 1, 1978 (age 37)
New York City, United States
Residence Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts[1]
Education Master's in Women's and Gender Studies
Alma mater Rutgers University
Occupation Writer
Known for Founder of Feministing
Spouse(s) Andrew Golis (m. 2009)[2]
Children 1

Jessica Valenti (born November 1, 1978) is an American blogger and feminist writer, founder of the Feministing blog in 2004. She is the author or co-author of six books on women's issues: Full Frontal Feminism (2007),[a] Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape (2008) with Jaclyn Friedman,[b] He's a Stud, She's a Slut (2008),[c] The Purity Myth (2009),[d] Why Have Kids (2012),[e] and Sex Object: A Memoir (2016).[f]

Her work has appeared in Ms.,[3] The Nation,[i] The Washington Post,[ii][iii] TPMCafe,[iv] Alternet[v] and The Guardian.[vi] In 2011, The Guardian, where Valenti works as a daily columnist, named her as one of their "top 100 women" for her work to bring the feminist movement online.[4]


Jessica Valenti in 2007

Valenti was raised in Long Island City, Queens in an Italian American family. Her father was a Buddhist. Valenti graduated from Stuyvesant High School.[α] She received her master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University.[β] On October 3, 2009, she married Andrew Golis, the deputy publisher of Talking Points Memo.[2]

Writing and blogging[edit]

Valenti founded Feministing in 2004,[γ] while she was working at the National Organization for Women's legal defense fund (now Legal Momentum)[γ] Homa Khaleeli writes in The Guardian's top 100 women that the site shifted the feminist movement online, triggering the creation of blogs and discussion groups, creating a heyday for feminism just as its death was being announced, as Khaleeli puts it. She writes that Valenti "felt the full force of being a pioneer," her involvement with the site attracting online abuse, even threats of rape and death.[4]

University of Wisconsin–Madison law professor Ann Althouse criticized Feministing in 2006 for its sometimes sexualized content. Erin Matson of the National Organization for Women's Young Feminist Task Force told The Huffington Post the controversy was "a rehashing of a very old debate within the feminist community: is public sexuality empowering or harmful to women?"[5][6]

Valenti decided to leave the site in February 2011, saying she wanted it to remain a place for younger feminists.[7] Before this, she had been a contributing author to Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan's books Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists (2010),[g] Melody Berger's We Don't Need Another Wave (2008)[h] and Diane Mapes's Single State of the Union (2007).[i]

In 2008 she co-authored a Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape with Jaclyn Friedman, in 2012 she published Why Have Kids, and in 2016 she published Sex Object: A Memoir.



  1. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2007). Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters. Seal Press. ISBN 978-0-7867-5048-1. 
  2. ^ Valenti, Jessica; Friedman, Jaclyn (December 2, 2008). Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape. Seal Press. ISBN 978-0-7867-2705-6. 
  3. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2008). He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know. Seal Press. ISBN 9781580052450. 
  4. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2009). The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women. Seal Press. ISBN 0-7867-4466-9. 
  5. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2012). Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth about Parenting and Happiness. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-547-89261-6. 
  6. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2016). Sex Object: A Memoir. Dey Street Books. ISBN 978-0062435088. 
  7. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2010). "I Was an Obnoxious Teenage Feminist". In Martin, Courtney E.; Sullivan, J. Courtney. Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists. Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-58005-285-6. 
  8. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2008). "You're a Feminist. Deal.". In Melody, Berger. We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. Seal Press. ISBN 1-58005-182-0. 
  9. ^ Valenti, Jessica (2007). "The Taming of the Threw". In Mapes, Diane. Single State of the Union. Seal Press. ISBN 1-58005-202-9. 


  1. ^ Valenti, Jessica (May 15, 2006). Jessica Valenti, Executive Editor and Founder, Interview with Rachel Kramer Bussel. Gothamist. 
  2. ^ Valenti, Jessica (May 10, 2009). The interview: Jessica Valenti. Interview with Gaby Wood. The Observer. 
  3. ^ a b Valenti, Jessica (April 24, 2007). Tough titties. Interview with Rebecca Traister. 

Contributions to websites[edit]

  1. ^ Valenti, Jessica. "Jessica Valenti". The Nation. 
  2. ^ Valenti, Jessica (February 21, 2010). "For women in America, equality is still an illusion". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Valenti, Jessica (May 30, 2010). "The fake feminism of Sarah Palin". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Valenti, Jessica (November 19, 2008). "Anti-Choicers Switching Up Strategy?". TPM Cafe. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ Valenti, Jessica. "Stories by Jessica Valenti". Alternet. 
  6. ^ Valenti, Jessica (August 21, 2008). "Jessica Valenti". The Guardian. London. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oliveira, Rebeca (September 23, 2011). "Feminist icon moves to JP". Jamaica Plain Gazette. 
  2. ^ a b Lane, Dakota (October 18, 2009). "Jessica Valenti and Andrew Golis". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Jessica Valenti". Women's Media Center. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Khaleeli, Homa (March 8, 2011). "Jessica Valenti". Top 100 women: writing and academia. The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Funk, Liz (October 12, 2006). "Feministing: Feminist? Or Just -Ing?". The Huffington Post. 
  6. ^ Valenti, Jessica (April 6, 2007). "How the web became a sexists' paradise". The Guardian. London. 
  7. ^ Valenti, Jessica (February 2, 2011). "Farewell, Feministing". 

External links[edit]