Jessica Valenti writes about the trauma associated with sexism

June 6, 2016 

Jessica Valenti, who with her sister Vanessa founded the website Feministing in 2004 as a place for young feminists to speak out in a space of their own, has written a new book titled Sex Object: A Memoir. In a short excerpt just published in the New York Times, Valenti talks about  “the unexamined cumulative impact of living with sexism” and how simply going about everyday life as a female in a society that objectifies and dehumanizes women “shapes who we are and who we think we can be.”  She goes on to talk about “gender trauma” and “objectification theory” and how the mental health of girls and women is affected by sexual harassment, other subtle and not so subtle manifestations of misogyny, and “the violence we survive or are constantly on guard for.” She asks, “What does it do to us?” As she looks back on the effects of sexism in her own life, her concern is all the deeper now that she is the mother of a five-year-old daughter.

Read Jessica Valenti’s New York Times article, “What does a lifetime of leers do to us?”

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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