Farewell, Feministing!

Words I never thought I’d write: I’m leaving Feministing.

While I’ll always be a part of the Feministing family – you’ll see me at events and I’ll to continue to work with the site in an advisory capacity – I’ll no longer be blogging or contributing to Feministing’s day-to-day work.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been writing on the site much the last few months. This is largely due to the early arrival of my daughter – my and her health were both tenuous, and I needed to focus on getting us better. This time away from Feministing provided a lot of room to reflect, and – as sad as it makes me – it’s become clear that it’s time to move on.

This decision is partly logistical; I’m working on two new projects that require my full energy and attention. I’m in the process of writing a book on parenthood, Why Have Kids?, for HarperCollins – a fun but daunting undertaking my first year of being a mom! I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be writing a weekly column, Body Politics, at the iPad newspaper The Daily, which is launching today. (My columns will also be available online; I’ll tweet and post the urls as they’re published.) I’m thrilled to have these new opportunities and want to give them my all.

But the main reason I’m leaving – one that I’ve been thinking about for some time – is more complicated.

I started Feministing almost seven years ago (wow) to provide a space for younger feminists who didn’t have a platform. I was a 25 year-old who found it profoundly unfair that an elite few in the feminist movement had their voices listened to, and that the work of so many younger women went misrepresented or ignored altogether.

Today, almost 5,000 posts later, I’m a 32 year-old feminist with a voice that is listened to. Largely because of the work I’ve done with Feministing, I have a successful platform for my work – I’ve published books, written articles, and built a career as a speaker. Because I feel Feministing should remain a place for younger feminists to build their careers and platforms, I think it’s appropriate to our mission that I step back.

I know Feministing will continue the excellent and important work that we started in 2004, and that it will stay true to the mission of providing a space for new and young voices. The team here is top notch and bad-ass, and I’m excited to see where they’ll take the site in the future.

While I hope to contribute a lot more to feminism, I have no doubt that the work I’ve done here will always be what I am most proud of. And that’s a really wonderful feeling to leave with.

So, to my colleagues at Feministing: Thank you for the many lessons you’ve taught me, your tireless passion, patience and brilliance. But most of all, thank you for your friendship. I’m so proud of what we’ve created together – not just our finished product, but the way in which we stayed committed to having our work process reflect our politics and beliefs.

To Feministing’s readers: There’s no real way to express the depth of my gratitude. Whether through your comments, emails or simply your presence on the site, you’ve profoundly changed the way I think and work. You’ve kept me on my toes with your critical feedback and supported me through bizarrely terrible times; you’ve made me think bigger and better and inspired change on the site and in my life. What I’m most grateful for, though, is the way you’ve given your time and thoughts to help build this incredible community of feminists – I feel like we created this site together, so thank you.

Now of course, this isn’t really goodbye. If you want to continue to follow my work, I’m pretty easy to find. In addition to the projects I mentioned, you can read my blog at my personal site or follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. I sincerely hope you’ll come visit me in my various online homes so we can continue the conversations we’ve started here.

So long, folks. And much, much love.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted February 2, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I will be sad to see you go, but I’m excited about what’s in-store for you and hope that you can talk some sense into Rupert Murdoch and influence some people working at News Corp.

  2. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    So proud to be your colleague, collaborator, and friend. Thanks Jess, and massive big ups for all the new projects–baby and all. xoxo

  3. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  4. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Wow. I’m tearing up, seriously. Thank you so much for having started this site. Even old feminists like me can learn a lot from it (as I did as well from reading Full Frontal Feminism).

    Be well, you and your family, and best wishes for success in your new ventures!

  5. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    There goes my hero. Watch her as she goes.

  6. Posted February 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I wish you much fulfillment in your endeavors! I enjoyed reading what you had to say, and I am sure I speak for many when I say you inspired many young feminists.

  7. Posted February 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ll miss you Jessica. YOU got me into Feministing and blogging. You’ve touched us all in ways you’ll never know and we might’ve took for granted. I’ve also introduced a younger friend of mine to your wit and she’s enjoying your book about double standards. Layla is very lucky to have a Mom like you and Andrew is one lucky guy. Here’s a vid that I’ve wanted to share with you, with the vocals of three just-as-awesome-as-you ladies and sweet-assed and truly animated girls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxWyxwFFgYo

  8. Posted February 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s not goodbye, it’s until we meet again. I’m sure your words and your work will continue to reach a wide audience of people who need to hear from you.

    Best of luck to you in your future undertakings, and to the remaining crew of Feministing as they and the site transition to a new era.

  9. Posted February 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    You will be missed, but I completely agree with your decision. In fact, I didn’t even really have to have you announce it formally before I realized just what it was you were doing (and why you chose to do it). You have my deep respect and admiration.

    When so many people are covetous of their own platform, and selfishly cleave to it, you are wise to ensure that Feministing stays a launching pad for new talent and new ideas. But neither do I forget your contributions and the legacy you established, either.

    • Posted February 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      These are my exact thoughts and I couldn’t say them any better, so seconded on all accounts.

      We’ll be happy to see all you do from here, Jessica.

  10. Posted February 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this website and all the work you’ve done (and continue to do) for young women like me everyday. I’ll never forget the three days I spent as a senior in high school zipping through The Purity Myth–I’ll always consider it my generation’s Feminine Mystique. Here was an explanation for that nagging feeling that always seemed to accompany any expression of my sexuality. I knew what I was doing wasn’t wrong, didn’t make me a bad person, but I stopped feeling the need to justify why after The Purity Myth. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for inspiring my real click moment, and good luck in everything you do from here.

  11. Posted February 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for creating this online movement and having me be a part of it. Looking forward to your continued success and new journeys!

  12. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Is it normal to feel like a part of my youth is gone?! So grateful to you Jessica. You were to me, like you were for so many others, the entry to my feminism and a new amazing, brilliant, supportive, open, thoughtful and important community. You have responsibly, respectably and hilariously articulated truths that I have felt for so long, but didn’t have the words to say until I learned from the role models that you introduced me to.

    Best wishes for your future endeavours! I can’t wait to hear more from you!

  13. Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    We’ll miss you. Love your writing and your work. You’ve been an inspiration to me.

  14. Posted February 3, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    I’m so moved, and though we’ve never met I feel for you and have the highest hopes for your future! Thank you for everything; I cannot explain the impact you’ve had on my life, my politics, and my professional endeavors as I grew into my feminist own and searched for educational and supportive resources!

  15. Posted February 4, 2011 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Thank-you. Feministing has been (and no doubt will continue to be) both inspirational and educational. Best of luck.

  16. Posted February 5, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I’m sad to see you go. It was love at first book I read (“The Purity Myth”). You have taught me so much about feminism. I’m glad I follow you on Twitter, so I can keep up with you and your career. Thank you so much for teaching me.

  17. Posted February 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    dear jessica,

    you are my feminist role model.

    as i have seen your feminist work, i also have co-founded a feministing-style blog with my fellow feminist friends in hungary, called http://www.nokert.hu (nőkért – for women, author katica), and we also founded http://www.megeroszakoltak.blog.hu (megerőszakoltak – i have been raped, author selkt-sa), so the hungarian feminists have a safe place to discuss their thoughts on their daily problems with mysogyny without the usual virtual harassment of male-chauvinists.

    i got your books from an american friend of mine, as they are unavailable in hungary, and passed it on to the others after reading. you have inspired us all. i wish you all the best, and keep up with the good work.

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by daveweigel, agolis, Jessica Valenti, Women's eNews, ShelbyKnox and others. ShelbyKnox said: Thanks, Jessica, for creating a beautiful community! RT @JessicaValenti Some bittersweet news: I'm leaving @feministing http://tiny.cc/bxn92 [...]

  2. [...] wanted to write a quick thanks to Jessica Valenti, who announced today that she is leaving Feministing. Her fellow bloggers and people who actually know her have [...]

  3. By Jessica leaves Feministing « The Words on What… on February 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    [...] It’s been a sad little while for the feminist blogosphere. First JJ, of Unrepentant Old Hippie, quit, and now Jessica Valenti has announced that she’s leaving Feministing. [...]

  4. [...] Jessica Valenti has formally ended her time at Feministing.  It’s one of those moments when I get all sentimental, because it’s kind of crazy to think of the journey we’ve all been on.  I don’t know how many of you know the whole history here, but when Feministing was started, I was still blogging at a small Blogger blog called Mouse Words, and there was no such thing as “feminist blogging”.  In fact, political blogging was still sort of a new thing; the word still connoted “web logging”, and had a diary feel to it.  The only two blogs that existed that were explicitly feminist blogs were Feministe, which only had Lauren Bruce at the time, and Feministing.  And I suppose Mouse Words, but then as now, feminism was only part of a whole cloth liberal agenda I have with my writing.  There was also Rox Populi, which is defunct now, and it was, like Mouse Words, straddling feminism and liberalism in general. [...]

  5. By Lovely Links: 2/4/11 on February 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    [...] Valenti, the founder of Feministing.com is stepping down, and Jill’s tribute to her is really [...]

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