When Jessica Valenti was in her junior year of high school, there was one class she cut for weeks.
Her teacher told her that to pass, she just had to "give him a hug." A few days after she graduated, a thirty-something teacher, who'd known Valenti since she was 13, called her house to ask her out.
The teenager—who would grow up to found Feministing.com; write a column for the —learned early on that being a woman meant being treated like an object sometimes.
Like many young women, she also had to figure out the best way to cope with that.
It was more that, as I was writing about these issues, it just seemed not honest to leave them out. I have absolutely participated in the whole laughing-it-off thing.
It can be a political tool because it captures people's attention.
As the adult Valenti notes in her new memoir, We spoke to the "professional feminist" about being "a mess," the sense of urgency about feminism that comes with being a mother, and how she still thinks sex is one the best things about being a human being. Becoming a parent added a big sense of urgency to my feminism.
And I write about this in the book—it took me a really long time to get back to myself.
I love being a mom, but it's important to me that she grows up seeing me as a person, not just a mom.
I don't think that we often do that with mothers, and I want to do that for myself.
And now, when I look back at videos and photos of me with my daughter, I think, I think that sex is one of the greatest things about being a human being.
I think that one of the greatest things that feminism has given folks is a way to think about sex as something that is not external from themselves.