Jezebel was launched in 2007 by Anna Holmes as part of the Gawker Media Network and was meant to serve as an alternative to traditional women’s publications—publications that, at the time, lacked diversity, avoided politics, pretended the word “feminism” didn’t exist, and photoshopped the shit out of any female body that dared to have a wrinkle or a bump. Jezebel provided readers the news with the humor, anger, and brashness that was considered too hysterical or risqué for anywhere else.
It’s now been 17 years (minus that one awkward month) of Jezebel and, for the most part, the culture has largely caught up. Feminism is no longer considered a bad word, conversations around race, sexuality, gender, and identity are (for the most part) expected and encouraged, and all the biggest media outlets cover reproductive rights, with many employing a full-time abortion reporter. This is great for the culture and a very cool testament to the site’s impact but it’s also left a lot of people asking (particularly when Jezebel took its brief little hiatus): Where exactly does that leave Jezebel now?
Uh, still right here. We continue to live in an era when the rights of so many are constantly being threatened, questioned, or banned. The need for a place like Jezebel has never been more necessary or more urgent. Today, we remain as committed as ever to fostering a space dedicated to championing diverse voices and standard-setting journalism that challenges, exposes, and calls absolute fucking bullshit on the powers that be. As well as all the humor, sex, celebrity hot takes, and annual scary story contests you still won’t find anywhere else.
Paste Media acquired Jezebel after we briefly shuttered in November 2023. We relaunched less than a month later under our seventh Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Tousignant, who doesn’t seem to have fucked it up yet.
In 2023, Holmes wrote of launching Jezebel: “I imagined it as [a site] with a lot of personality, with humor, with edge. I wanted it to combine wit, smarts, and anger, providing women—many of whom had been taught to believe that ‘feminism’ was a bad word or one to be avoided—with a model of critical thinking around gender and race which felt accessible and entertaining.”
As long as our highly engaged, deeply devoted, and very brilliant audience keeps coming back, Jezebel will remain that website with personality, humor, edge, and With Teeth.