An Amazing Career on the Feminist Frontlines

How Jill Filipovic ended up as the Senior Political Writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.


In 2001, Lauren Bruce founded Feministe, a blog exploring feminist practice and theory; one of the first of its kind. The blog took off, becoming a powerhouse of feminist ideology and a place where minds could melt and grow. In 2005, Bruce asked Filipovic to join this trailblazing staff.

“I approached Jill because I was thinking of asking someone to share the writing and administrative duties at Feministe“, Bruce explains. “I actually knew very little about her as a person. What I did know was that she was a very strong writer and very insightful on legal issues on her personal blog.”

Nothing could stop Filipovic’s love of writing and desire to make a difference in a broken world. This fervor and skill is what drew Bruce to her, and helped springboard her name as a journalist. “I had no idea she was a journalism student that was just starting at a very prestigious law school. It was kismet.”

An Amazing Career on the Feminist Frontlines

Filipovic with an article she wrote that on the front page of the Washington Post’s Outlook section

After two years of hustling through the freelance life, Filipovic heard that a woman she had gone to school with and worked on the student newspaper with, Amy Odell, had been brought in as Editor in Chief for Cosmopolitan online. So she did one of the bravest things you can do sometimes: just sending an email. Filipovic pitched Odell an idea for a weekly column, for which Odell responded with asking Filipovic to be the full time women’s rights editor that Cosmo was on the hunt for. Not wanting to sacrifice writing, Filipovic said no, having been an editor before and not finding it for her. Instead of moving on to the next opportunity, she asked if she could have a political writer title, being a staff writer as opposed to a high position editor. After interviewing again with Odell and speaking with Joanna Coles, the head Cosmopolitan Editor in Chief, the job was hers.

The echoing halls of Hearst begin to settle, dozens of pairs of leather shoes hurrying off to the elevators.  Thirty seven floors skyward, the staff that works to create the print issues of Cosmo flit around the office, trying to create a balance between articles that make a difference to women, and ones that are for sheer laughs. Under their Jimmy Choo heels, Filipovic recounts some of her favorite and most poignant memories so far from her time at the largest women’s magazine in the nation.

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Hi internet friends! I've had a passion for writing before I could walk and am so excited to be sharing that with you all. My goal is to not only entertain and bring humor into the magazine world, but to also empower women and raise awareness of the social and cultural issues we face. I'm an astronomy lover and a cheese enthusiast, as well as constantly hooked up to an IV of caffeine. Don't be a stranger!

Reader Discussion: 12 Comments

  1. Max Borghard

    What a great article and Jill is such an inspiring writer! My favorite part was getting women out to vote and how she provided all the information on the candidates to make women a more informed voter!!!! Cristiana and Jill thank you for all that you write!!!!

  2. This is a very inspirational interview and she is so amazing!

  3. Jessica Carlson

    There has always been a bad connotation on the word “feminist”. Most people think that it’s too much of a leftist terminology that has spawned radical movements. Thus, not a lot of people, even those who advocate for gender equality and women empowerment, identify themselves as “feminist”. But they actually are.

    Feminism is the very thought or act of fighting for the voice of the women who are marginalized, because of our paternalistic society, to be heard. It is the act of ensuring that women can vote, can go to school, have equal opportunity at work. It is when we ensure that the laws of the land gives both sides of the sexes an equal footing and the same treatment.

    So regardless of our sex, gender, orientation, classes, or social status, for as long as we are one those who ensure that none of our mothers, sisters, aunts, girlfriends, female teachers and just about every female in the face of the earth are maligned, abused, discriminated and marginalized, then we are feminists. As Malala Yousafzai had recently stated in an interview with her by another young feminist Emma Watson, feminism is equality. There is nothing about the term nor its meaning that says otherwise.

  4. Grace Stirling

    wow! that is one long interview 😀 .I didn’t get tired of reading her story. Her story is so inspiring and i love her because she also value equality. she’s beautiful, smart and any girl who’ll read this will surely get motivated. two thumbs up for her and i hope she’ll still inspire a lot of women.

  5. Ashley Moore

    Her experiences in life are very inspirational and i am happy that she have found what she wants in life and she’s proud of it.She’s right, take a risk and try what you are afraid of because that is also the time when you’ll realized what direction what you are interested in taking your life .One must not be afraid of being spontaneous and let it happen.You are the only one who will know what you really want your life to be and there is no reason you would not follow your heart and to not regret in not doing it. To go out, get outside and do something with other people, move, explore and see the world.

  6. Arabella Clarington

    I agree with Jill when she said that the general public would hardly (or not at all) take you as a professional writer when you work or write for Cosmo. There’s really a need to eliminate double standards on women’s magazine.

    I commend the success of “Cosmo Votes.” The society needs “more Jill.”

  7. Courtney Watson

    Her story is motivating! Indeed, she is independent, fearless and victorious woman! I really hope more women to be like her 🙂

  8. This article about Jill Filipovic is really encouraging! She is a living evidence that it is “possible” to recognize the equality and full humanity of men and women!

  9. I have this view on feminism: “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength. — G.D. Anderson”

    Jill is a proof that women are strong and that we stand to what we believe is right!

  10. She is amazing! Her story is really motivating and uplifting my spirit 🙂

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