Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future
Feminism’s ultimate breakthrough remains elusive. America again will not elect a woman as president in 2020, despite the initial promise in a crowded field of Democratic candidates, underscoring the questions and challenges facing the feminist cause.
Still, the movement lives. In a discussion of their groundbreaking book Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards assess today’s landscape – both the advances made and the progress not yet realized. #MeToo legitimized women’s voices and experiences, but for how long? And to what end? The rates of sexual assault and domestic violence, for example, have changed little.
“A true Third Wave would be actually enacting this in our lives, and I’m not sure we’re there yet,” Richards recently told Ms. magazine, alluding the surge in feminism that began in the 1990s. “I still think we live differently politically than we do personally.”
Manifesta, recently re-released in commemoration of its 20th anniversary, combines a historical look at the movement for women’s equality with a fervent call to action. “It’s meant to inspire you to turn around and look in your community and find the ways you personally can enact feminism,” Richards said. “That’s true when we wrote it, and that remains true today.”
Both Richards and Baumgardner are former editors at Ms. and were co-founders of the feminist speakers bureau Soapbox. Richards also is co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation and the voice behind "Ask Amy," an online advice column she launched at feminist.com.
Manifesta is available for purchase at Rainy Day Books, which is co-presenting the Library event.