Author to speak on changing face of feminism

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 | 7:19 p.m. CDT; updated 2:14 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

COLUMBIA — The founder of a popular feminist Web site will speak at MU on Wednesday about how blogging is revitalizing the feminist movement.

Jessica Valenti, founder of and author of the book “Full Frontal Feminism,” will discuss how blogging is shaping the feminist dialogue. She will speak at 7 p.m. in the Mark Twain Ballroom at Memorial Union. She will be joined by fellow blogger and MU graduate Ann Friedman. Friedman is also the deputy editor of the political magazine The American Prospect.

“I plan to talk about not just Feministing, but also feminist blogging and its place in the broader media landscape,” Freidman said.

The plan to bring Valenti and Freidman to campus was spearheaded by Jenny Dills, a master’s student at MU and the program coordinator for the Women’s Center.

“I love, and last summer I read Jessica Valenti’s book and I loved that as well,” Dills said. “When I started this job, my first goal was to get Feministing here.”

Part of Dills’ goal in bringing Valenti and Freidman to MU was to help spread the idea that feminism is not only a theory, but also a relevant topic for everyone in Columbia.

“Young men and women are going to see that as a feminist this is what I can do,” Dills said. “I hope that the event sparks a dialogue and that people will want to ask questions and learn more. I hope it is a jumping off point for Mizzou and the community.”

The lecture may serve as a dialogue for current feminists, but Freidman said she hopes the lecture will introduce more people to feminism.

Valenti founded Feministing as an alternative voice in feminism, Freidman said.

“Now we serve to provide as an introduction to feminism,” she said.

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