Friday, January 29, 2010

Yes Means Yes listed on the 2010 Amelia Bloomer List!

We received some exciting news today! The members of the Amelia Bloomer Project are pleased to announce that Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape is a part of the 2010 Amelia Bloomer List. The members found this work to be an exemplary title.

Congratulations to Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Valenti, and all the contributors!

For more information about the Amelia Bloomer Project, please visit their blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Laura S. Scott, author of Two is Enough, on Today show

Tomorrow morning Laura S. Scott, author of Two is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice, will be on the Today show discussing how, and why couples across the country are choosing not to have children. Thought-provoking and informative, Laura S. Scott tackles the ins and outs of the motivations and reasoning behind a couple's choice to have children in her book Two is Enough. Tune in to NBC to see her talking about this intriguing subject, and check out her blog at The Childless by Choice Project.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our complicated relationships...with food

A few days ago, the New York Times published a piece called Narrowing an Eating Disorder, by author Abby Ellin, of Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs In on Living Large, Losing Weight and How Parents Can (and Can’t) Help (PublicAffairs). The article sheds light on "the nation's most common eating disorder[:]" Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, which has become a type of catch all for eating disordered behavior that doesn't fit neatly into the diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia. Many with EDNOS, as it's known, appear to be a healthy weight, which can cause people/ doctors/ insurance companies to claim that they aren't sick enough for treatment or help. But sadly, "[a] study in the Oct. 15 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry reported that the mortality rate associated with Ednos exceeded that for anorexia nervosa and bulimia."

Nicole Johns, author of Purge: Rehab Diaries, published last spring, is a young woman who braved telling her own story of being diagnosed with EDNOS and subsequently going into an in-patient treatment facility for help. Johns has received a tremendous amount of praise for her memoir and her book continues to do well, perhaps because so many people are able to identify with her story and the diagnosis, which is finally being realized, taken seriously, and discussed in public.

I wanted to bring both the NY Times article and Nicole's memoir to light today, because when checking out two popular MTV shows this past week, I watched two beautiful young women, Snooki on Jersey Shore, then Callie on the Real World DC, describe their struggles with unhealthy body image and their pasts which included and may still include unhealthy/ eating disordered behavior. It's the prevalence of it that is so shocking and the fact that their stories are sadly so similar to so many. Hopefully the dialogue continues.

For more information, resources, and support if you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder, head to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth, on The New Virginity on VH1

Tune into VH1 this Thursday, January 14th at 11pm to see Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth, Full Frontal Feminism, He's a Stud, She's a Slut, founder and editor of, and all around fun fabulous feminist. Valenti will be one of the talking heads on The New Virginity, a show discussing pop culture's current obsession with chastity--from the purity rings of the Jonas Brothers to the chastity balls being held across the country. Jessica Valenti dissects this phenomenon in The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women, which is out now in paperback.

Valenti is also answering questions on Formspring,where anyone can send in a question for consideration. Here's your opportunity to ask Valenti the question you've had on the tip of your tongue since you read her first book, Full Frontal Feminism.

An Apology to a Congo Activist

Recently, Lisa Shannon, author of the upcoming book, A Thousand Sisters: My Journey Into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman, wrote a very personal and moving letter on her blog to her friend "Kelly," who accompanied her on her first trip to the Congo. The letter was inspired by PS: What I Didn't Say, edited by Megan McMorris, which is a beautiful collection of unsent letters to female friends

In this letter, Shannon talks about how she wanted to keep the tension that arose between her and Kelly out of the memoir, but eventually realizes she has to be honest about her experiences. Now, Shannon regrets what she wrote in her upcoming memoir: A Thousand Sisters. Shannon says, "But I do want you to know this: whatever judgment or frustration I express in the book, absolutely none of it trumps my profound respect for the fact that you showed up for Congo."

Shannon captures the difficulties in writing a memoir. She is opening herself up to the world by writing about her experiences in the Congo, but at the same time, she wanted to keep certain things off limits and private and finds it impossible to do in the end. She has to be real, raw, and open about what she went through. What makes A Thousand Sisters so compelling, is that Shannon is willing to share her most difficult times, and the ways in which she felt torn about her experiences in the Congo, and how those experiences made her stronger.

You can read Shannon's letter here, and also take a moment to look at her other blog posts. Shannon also has a facebook fan page for A Thousand Sisters, which will keep you apprised of upcoming events and the current situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A Thousand Sisters is coming out in April 2010 and Shannon will be reading and attending events all over the country. We'll keep you posted!