As you know, Vanessa Valenti, one of the driving forces behind what has made Feministing so great, left us to fully engage in her robust consulting career and business partnership with Courtney Martin. When people leave Feministing, they generally move on to more kinds of awesome, but Vanessa’s role in shaping this space can’t really even be quantified and we certainly don’t want it to be forgotten.
Vanessa is not only an amazing writer, she’s also a defender of voices less heard, a fierce (and intimidating if you are not nice to us!) advocate for her friends, a dance floor killa’, and truly, one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. We love Vanessa so much, we put together a list of things we’ve learned from working with her over the years.
We learned that…
1. It’s possible to balance humility with self-promotion.
2. Working really fucking hard does, in fact, pay off.
3. You don’t have to be from a community to not suck when you write about said community.
4. Dancing is important!
5. If you really understand the issues, you can usually make your writing more concise and snappy–and it will almost always make it better.
6. White girls from Queens are not to be fucked with, even if they are small.
7. The quietest ones are often the most ferocious intellects.
8. Hard work and commitment, especially when it is not convenient or easy is really important in pushing social change.
9. You can keep it short and sweet and still pack a powerful punch at the same time.
10. No matter what–we gotta have each other’s backs.
We love you Vanessa–come visit us often!