Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti is author of The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women and founder of

Recent Articles

Radicalizing Love

If monogamous love limits women, then perhaps feminism is the adultery of social norms.

Women's and gender studies classes have a familiar canon. Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks. Books about love as a form of capitalist enslavement and adultery as a radical political act -- with pictures of lingerie-clad women on the cover, to boot -- don't often make the cut. But of all the feminist literature I've read, from Judith Butler-style high theory to photocopied 'zines, it is Laura Kipnis' Against Love: A Polemic that most profoundly changed the way I think about politics. Against Love is exactly that: an unabashed critique of romantic love. When I first picked up the book, about a year after completing my graduate degree in women's and gender studies, I was skeptical. I had read polemics before, but an unwavering stance against love ? It unnerved me. As a serial monogamist who tended to put as much time and attention into my relationships as I did my career, education, and...