Jessica Valenti Of Feministing.com At Indiana University

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Feministing.com's Jessica Valenti recently spoke about female sexuality, purity and feminism as part of a Women's History Month event at Indiana University

Last night, I had the opportunity to hear Jessica Valenti, founder of and blogger for Feministing.com, speak about her new book, The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, in honor of Women’s History Month.

Jessica’s talk titled “Purity, Sexism, Feminism, and Power” revolved mostly around her new book and its topic of the US obsession (okay, a worldwide obsession) with female purity and virginity as well as some background on herself and why she started Feministing.com.

Jessica said (in one of my favorite quotes of the night) that Feministing.com is about talking to young women about feminism rather than talking about young women without any of their input.

From the Feministing about section:

Young women are rarely given the opportunity to speak on their own behalf on issues that affect their lives and futures. Feministing provides a platform for us to comment, analyze, influence and connect.

She also spent time talking about why she’s a feminist this month, how we can break the stereotypes about feminism and how (ostensibly by reading her other two books), young women can learn more about feminism and embrace it as a modern ideal of gender equality rather than some antiquated notion of what a feminist is.

I really enjoying reading Feministing myself because I think they are fufilling their mission of meeting people, mainly women, where they’re at in their journey of embracing feminist ideals. They use humor, informality, and community to make changes everyday; from being a media watchdog to fighting against hateful legislation.

I’m excited to read her new book about virginity and female sexuality when it comes out this month. I also thought she did a great job handling the Q&A, which can be challenging at times. She very nicely answered the questions she felt comfortable with and was open about not answering other questions due to a lack of expertise on say, policy analysis.

Check out Feministing.com and join in on the conversation about women and sexuality.

Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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