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About Leora

Leora Tanenbaum coined the term "slut-bashing"—the precursor to the term "slut-shaming"—in 1999. She chronicles her current project, on dress-coding, on Instagram.


Leora's most recent book is I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet. This book offers a fresh perspective on the phenomenon of teenage girls and young women labeling each other "sluts" and "hos." It has been named one of 11 "groundbreaking books about women making history."

I Am Not a Slut is a sequel to Slut! Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation, recognized as a significant contribution to feminist thought. It is a staple in sociology and gender/women's studies courses on college campuses around the United States. Slut! has been called one of the 20 "must-read" books of all time for women, listed alongside The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The book has been mandatory reading for all incoming first-year students at Bryn Mawr College. In 2005, it was featured in Andrea Dorfman's documentary Sluts; in 2015, it was featured in Emily Lindin's documentary Unslut. In 2006, it was banned from the public library in Wichita, Kansas, because it was deemed "inappropriate" according to "community standards." Slut! is quoted in academic papers, blogs and Instagrams, and promotional flyers for feminist events.

Leora is also the author of Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality. It exposes the fact that millions of American Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women love their religion but are deeply troubled over their inferior status as women within their faith.


Leora has also written Catfight: Rivalries Among Women: From Diets to Dating, From the Boardroom to the Delivery Room, about the ways in which women often try to sabotage one another. On a lighter note, Leora had a fun time writing Bad Shoes & The Women Who Love Them, a cheerful wake-up call to women who love shoes to take care of their feet. Her books are available in translation in South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. 

In addition to books, Leora has written for The New York Times, Boston Globe,  Newsday, Seventeen, Ms., and The Nation, among many other publications. She was one of the original bloggers invited to write for The Huffington Post when it first launched. She has been featured in Redbook, The Washington Post, and The Forward, among many publications. She is quoted regularly in newspapers such as The New York Times, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today.

Leora is a member of the Pembroke Center Advisory Council of Brown University and PEN American Center.

Leora lectures widely at venues including the global Women's Forum on the Economy and Society in Deauville, France; the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco; the 92nd Street Y in New York City; the Brooklyn Book Festival; the Stop Slut conference at the New School in New York City; and campuses such as Brown, Columbia, CUNY Graduate Center, Duke, Spelman, Stanford, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also has spoken at Limmud NY and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

Leora regularly discusses girls' and women's lives on TV news and entertainment shows. She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Nightline, Inside Edition, The O’Reilly Factor, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Melissa Harris-Perry, and other programs. She is proud to have been lampooned on CNN's Capital Gang.

Leora is the editorial director of Catalyst. She lives in New York City with her two sons. She enjoys reading in print and writing with a pencil...though you can find her on Twitter @LeoraTanenbaum and on Instagram @BeingDressCoded.