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A powerful indictment from within of the current state of feminism, and a passionate call to arms From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA--everywhere you look, girl culture is clearly ascendant. Young women live by feminism's goals, yet feminism itself is undeniably at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists appear to be obsessed with personal empowerment at t A powerful indictment from within of the current state of feminism, and a passionate call to arms From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA--everywhere you look, girl culture is clearly ascendant. Young women live by feminism's goals, yet feminism itself is undeniably at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists appear to be obsessed with personal empowerment at the expense of politics while political institutions such as Ms. and NOW are so battle weary they've lost their ability to speak to a new generation. In Manifesta, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards show the snags in each feminist hub--from the dissolution of riot grrrls into the likes of the Spice Girls, to older women's hawking of young girls' imperiled self-esteem, to the hyped hatred of feminist thorns like Katie Roiphe and Naomi Wolf--and prove that these snags have not, in fact, torn feminism asunder. In an intelligent and incendiary argument, Baumgardner and Richards address issues instead of feelings and the political as well as the personal. They describe the seven deadly sins the media commits against feminism, provide keys to accessible and urgent activism, discuss why the ERA is still a relevant and crucial political goal, and spell out what a world with equality would look like. They apply Third Wave confidence to Second Wave consciousness, all the while maintaining that the answer to feminism's problems is still feminism.


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A powerful indictment from within of the current state of feminism, and a passionate call to arms From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA--everywhere you look, girl culture is clearly ascendant. Young women live by feminism's goals, yet feminism itself is undeniably at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists appear to be obsessed with personal empowerment at t A powerful indictment from within of the current state of feminism, and a passionate call to arms From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA--everywhere you look, girl culture is clearly ascendant. Young women live by feminism's goals, yet feminism itself is undeniably at a crossroads; "girl power" feminists appear to be obsessed with personal empowerment at the expense of politics while political institutions such as Ms. and NOW are so battle weary they've lost their ability to speak to a new generation. In Manifesta, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards show the snags in each feminist hub--from the dissolution of riot grrrls into the likes of the Spice Girls, to older women's hawking of young girls' imperiled self-esteem, to the hyped hatred of feminist thorns like Katie Roiphe and Naomi Wolf--and prove that these snags have not, in fact, torn feminism asunder. In an intelligent and incendiary argument, Baumgardner and Richards address issues instead of feelings and the political as well as the personal. They describe the seven deadly sins the media commits against feminism, provide keys to accessible and urgent activism, discuss why the ERA is still a relevant and crucial political goal, and spell out what a world with equality would look like. They apply Third Wave confidence to Second Wave consciousness, all the while maintaining that the answer to feminism's problems is still feminism.

30 review for Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    I didn't feel like this book charted a lot of new territory, though perhaps the original edition did 10 years ago. Despite the authors' claim that they are trying to unite women of various generations, much of the book came off as personal attacks on various women - both self-proclaimed feminists and not. This was the first book I've read that defines and gushes over 'girly' culture, which is probably the aspect of feminism that I can most relate to but never had a name for. The author's are fair I didn't feel like this book charted a lot of new territory, though perhaps the original edition did 10 years ago. Despite the authors' claim that they are trying to unite women of various generations, much of the book came off as personal attacks on various women - both self-proclaimed feminists and not. This was the first book I've read that defines and gushes over 'girly' culture, which is probably the aspect of feminism that I can most relate to but never had a name for. The author's are fairly positive about this particular 'wave' of feminism, while simultaneously backbiting some of the major publishing victories OF girly feminism. Some of the tips for activism do seem helpful, and the appendices and notes are very thorough. But much of the book seems to suffer from being so informally written with too many back-patting anecdotes from the authors, gratuitous name-dropping, and too many personal criticisms of others in the movement. Those continuous flaws throughout the book left an unpleasant taste in my mouth upon finishing it. As others have said, this isn't a bad "Feminism 101 - The Year 2000", but I think there are other books - many of which are mentioned in this one! - that are better examples of some of the Third Wave feminists and their points of view.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    This book is incoherent. The narrative style is poor. The anecdotal style of the authors renders this text confusing. The book contains massive paragraphs of laundry-lists and name-dopping (making it hard to tell the difference between referenced theorists, activists and professionals from the authors' oft-mentioned group of friends), with some inspiring messages nestled so far inside the sprawling, useless prose that it is difficult to make them out. Jagged. Bothersome. Annoying. I have abandon This book is incoherent. The narrative style is poor. The anecdotal style of the authors renders this text confusing. The book contains massive paragraphs of laundry-lists and name-dopping (making it hard to tell the difference between referenced theorists, activists and professionals from the authors' oft-mentioned group of friends), with some inspiring messages nestled so far inside the sprawling, useless prose that it is difficult to make them out. Jagged. Bothersome. Annoying. I have abandoned it. And if this is considered the "bible" of third-wave feminists, then we should all be scared. :-P

  3. 4 out of 5

    SaЯRah Muhammad

    This book is incredible. It does a wonderful job thoroughly reviewing feminism from it's birth to the modern age. Most importantly, this book manages to broaden the American feminist scope to consider women's issues on a racial, cultural and socioeconomic level. Highly recommended to anyone (especially "young feminists") with an interest in the modern implications of the international women's movement.

  4. 5 out of 5

    lady✨{christine}

    actual rating: 3.5 / 5 stars When I went back to my hometown over Thanksgiving, I found my copy of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future in a box of my old books in my parents’ attic. A smile crept onto my face as I vaguely recalled adding this book to my collection of feminist materials around the time I decided to double major in Women’s Studies. I never got around to reading it. Lately I’ve been trying to connect my life, my ideologies, and current events (read: the election results actual rating: 3.5 / 5 stars When I went back to my hometown over Thanksgiving, I found my copy of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future in a box of my old books in my parents’ attic. A smile crept onto my face as I vaguely recalled adding this book to my collection of feminist materials around the time I decided to double major in Women’s Studies. I never got around to reading it. Lately I’ve been trying to connect my life, my ideologies, and current events (read: the election results) to the ideologies of the women who came before me. It’s easy to have a disconnect of Now vs. Then, but I think it’s so important to understand how others have affected change, what issues previous generations were struggling to overcome, and why. What I’ve found is that we really aren’t so different, when it comes down to it. Back in 2000, young women often called themselves “not a feminist but…” while the media declared that feminism was dead and that young people in general were politically apathetic. In Manifesta, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards unpack this, from the public’s misunderstanding of what feminism is about, to the media’s proposal that the movement is dead in the water. In reality, young women are feminist, even when they don’t claim the label; young feminists are out there, but the media doesn’t show them. Manifesta didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t know, but it did give me a solid perspective on aspects of early-2000s feminism, a time when I, personally, was still grappling with whether or not I would ever grow noticeable breasts. The best part of this book, for me, was the chapter titled “Thou Shalt Not Become Thy Mother,” wherein the authors grapple with the generational strife between Second and Third Wave Feminism. They tie together personal stories of mother-daughter relationships with the bigger picture. They talk about the concept of Martyr Moms, those moms who are everywhere, doing everything, sacrificing their time both in the workplace and in the home, and often become bitter at the lack of recognition. This really clicked with me, as my mother is the most naturally sacrificing person I know; no matter how much I reject her way of doing things, deep down we’re not that different. Baumgardner and Richards argue the importance of repairing that mother-daughter relationship, both on a personal level and on a larger scale within the feminist movement: “the biggest conflict between the generations is a lack of communication, mutual ignorance of each other’s accomplishments, and sometimes suspicion about each other’s motivations.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained more respect for my mother’s natural talents, her sacrificial nature, but I’ve also recognized that, in her own way, my mom is a feminist. While my grandmother was concerned that my mom would end up dropping out of college to support my dad, instead they supported each other through school. At a time when the idea of an egalitarian marriage was a relatively new thing, my parents crafted a partnership that’s still in existence today. By far the most valuable part of Manifesta is the chapter on activism. As the authors point out, it’s a loosely defined idea that means different things to different people. “Activism is everyday acts of defiance,” they argue. “Activism starts with the acknowledgement of injustice, but it doesn’t stop with the rant, a declaration that something is rotten in the state of the patriarchy, or even with the manifesta.” They encourage young women to get creative, to own their own ideas and take rational, effective action, providing many examples as well as ideas about what could be done better in the future. I’m honestly glad I read Manifesta in 2017 rather than 2010. To be honest, I’m glad I read Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism as my first so-called Third Wave text. While Baumgardner and Richards offer some great advice on how to get out there and do activism, as well as a unique perspective on Girlie Feminism, the Girls Movement, and generational strife, Manifesta isn’t the all-encompassing “intro to feminism” book I imagined it would be. Nevertheless, a worthwhile read for anyone interested in feminism’s recent history, as well as someone wanting to boost their feminist activism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Blah. I had high hopes for this book and I was disappointed. The authors took about 280 pages to "get to the point" and start writing their manifesta. They spent most of the book talking about feminist magazines and feminist authors, etc. I kept thinking, why are they talking about media soooo much? Aren't there bigger issues than Ms. magazine's continued lack of commercial success? About 15-20 pages of the book were real content of what to do, how to do it, and why. The other thing that really g Blah. I had high hopes for this book and I was disappointed. The authors took about 280 pages to "get to the point" and start writing their manifesta. They spent most of the book talking about feminist magazines and feminist authors, etc. I kept thinking, why are they talking about media soooo much? Aren't there bigger issues than Ms. magazine's continued lack of commercial success? About 15-20 pages of the book were real content of what to do, how to do it, and why. The other thing that really grinds me up about this book is the continuous waffling. Oh, group a is feminist, and so is group b, and so is group c! We're all feminists! I'm not saying that feminists shouldn't be an inclusive group, but constantly going back and forth to qualify every statement for every possible person/group was tiring to read and weakened the point. Rather than focusing on all the differences between feminist groups, shouldn't we point out how we all want the same basic things? Overall, disappointing, boring, tedious. I wouldn't even call it feminism 101, I would call it feminist magazines and media 101. There are much better books out there.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I made it about half way through this book- after two tries. The authors did a presentation at Hope, and I was impressed and interested. But it turns out that they toned themselves down quite a bit for their presentation at a (relatively) conservative college. I found the book pretty alienating. It was a while before I could call myself a "feminist" again. I want to be a feminist if that means that I believe that women should have all the same opportunities that men have. If that means that I get I made it about half way through this book- after two tries. The authors did a presentation at Hope, and I was impressed and interested. But it turns out that they toned themselves down quite a bit for their presentation at a (relatively) conservative college. I found the book pretty alienating. It was a while before I could call myself a "feminist" again. I want to be a feminist if that means that I believe that women should have all the same opportunities that men have. If that means that I get to be an equal partner with my husband. If that means that you have to treat me with respect. If it means that I get to decide for myself whether I'm going to stay home with babies all day. If it means that I question the images and ideas that society sends me. But the trouble is, Baumgardner and Richards make it about more than that. It's about abortion, promiscuity, STDs, leaving your religion. And that's not me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

    Ick. As a young feminist, I had been wanting to read this book for awhile. When I finally picked it up, I got to "the red roots of white feminism" and wanted to throw up. I had a hard time finishing it, but I trudged through. Is it all bad? No. There is some valuable information for a young, white, and otherwise privileged woman who needs Feminism Lite 101. This book is incredibly white-centric and appeals (I think) to a middle to upper-class crowd. This book basically epitomizes everything I do Ick. As a young feminist, I had been wanting to read this book for awhile. When I finally picked it up, I got to "the red roots of white feminism" and wanted to throw up. I had a hard time finishing it, but I trudged through. Is it all bad? No. There is some valuable information for a young, white, and otherwise privileged woman who needs Feminism Lite 101. This book is incredibly white-centric and appeals (I think) to a middle to upper-class crowd. This book basically epitomizes everything I don't want feminism of the future to be.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    This text is a great resource for young women. I think the most important message is that the new, fiesty movers and shakers of this generation have a different face than the women that come before us. We are messy and full of contradiction. That's what being a modern woman is all about. Be thankful and aware of the women who paved the way before us, but do not be conformed to their ideas of liberation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

    I had high expectations for this book. It unfortunately did not age well. This book was peak White Feminism(tm). YMMV.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    As someone who knew very little about feminist history, I had a lot to take from this book... however... This book really drags its feet getting to the point. It could have been so much shorter. This book took me a long time to complete because it was very mentally exhausting, jumping from point to point to point with very little cohesion. It was kind of fun at first, making the vibe of the book relaxed and conversational, but by the end I was ready for it to be over. I think I could recommend thi As someone who knew very little about feminist history, I had a lot to take from this book... however... This book really drags its feet getting to the point. It could have been so much shorter. This book took me a long time to complete because it was very mentally exhausting, jumping from point to point to point with very little cohesion. It was kind of fun at first, making the vibe of the book relaxed and conversational, but by the end I was ready for it to be over. I think I could recommend this book to people, but I might just recommend specific excerpts. There is a lot of fat to be trimmed in this.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I really just read part of the first chapter and skimmed through parts of the rest. The idea behind the book is interesting of course, but I had a problem with the authors' narrative style and some word choice. Maybe it's me, but I find it disconcerting when feminists use the term "abortionist(s)," especially when said with a straight face. In my mind only crazy anti-abortion, pro-forced pregnancy people use that term to describe doctors who, in addition to providing other medical services to wo I really just read part of the first chapter and skimmed through parts of the rest. The idea behind the book is interesting of course, but I had a problem with the authors' narrative style and some word choice. Maybe it's me, but I find it disconcerting when feminists use the term "abortionist(s)," especially when said with a straight face. In my mind only crazy anti-abortion, pro-forced pregnancy people use that term to describe doctors who, in addition to providing other medical services to women, also perform abortions. "Abortionist" has a different, negative connotation. And the writing style itself didn't thrill me. Parts I skimmed over delved into so-called Girlie feminism of the early-mid 90's, seemed more interested in Bust than BITCH, and didn't have a problem with Katie Roiphe's The Morning After (setting it next to books like The Beauty Myth and pop-feminism instead of within backlash feminism). I love reading about the intersection of pop culture and feminism, but this felt, I don't know, a little smug. If you want a great collection of essays on pop culture and feminism, read BITCHfest, a collection of essays from the magazine's past 10 years. I also got caught up by the tone of "we're going to tell you what GenX, Third Wave Feminism is all about, because WE are the coolest members, nay, initiators! of this ultra-cool movement!" (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by much). Yes, I know it's a manifestA and all that, but from what I read it's not MY manifesta. I didn't feel like I was the target audience. It also felt dated to me; I lost interest when the authors spent a few too many pages going on about feminists and the (Bill) Clinton scandals. I remember the time period, but it's also too far away from me to care. Maybe I'll take a break from pseudo-academia for a while, read some good fiction, then come back to it much later.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    I have to say up front that I found the prologue, epilogue, and the first and last chapters very annoying and their conversational tone a poor cover for heavy-handed, pedantic writing. I'm sorry but the way they used words like righteousness and sister just made me cringe. And I think their use of swear words is conspicuous and awkward. To be fair, the book is 10 years old and I did enjoy much of the book. I enjoyed the middle chapters and their focus on recent feminist history and the role of y I have to say up front that I found the prologue, epilogue, and the first and last chapters very annoying and their conversational tone a poor cover for heavy-handed, pedantic writing. I'm sorry but the way they used words like righteousness and sister just made me cringe. And I think their use of swear words is conspicuous and awkward. To be fair, the book is 10 years old and I did enjoy much of the book. I enjoyed the middle chapters and their focus on recent feminist history and the role of young women in the feminist movement, which I know fairly little about. I liked reading about the development of Sassy, Jane, and Bust magazine. And even thought I've read Rebecca Walker and heard of Elizabeth Wurtzel and Naomi Wolf, Katie Roiphe, Kathleen Hanna and others were new to me. I think the best thing the authors did was explain and champion the complexity and diversity of the feminist movement, as well as to reassert the basic notion that being a feminist is not a radical thing. If you believe in fairness, equality, and the right of women to make their own personal decisions, you are a feminist. Feminism can be applied and used a lens in the same way that civil rights can be applied to all sorts of topics, movements, institutions, and ideas. What I took away from this book is the idea that concepts like feminism, civil rights, and environmentalism are large ideologies that encompass a lot of different people with different ideas, different approaches, and different priorities. They are difficult to define because they are not fixed or simple but complex ideas that shift, evolve, and include a wide array of voices.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    It had it's moments, but nothing special. I knew it was outdated going in, but it showed, mainly through pop culture references - specifically discussions of zines rather than websites - and the glaring lack of any commentary on Hillary Clinton. (She doesn't even make the index, though I could have sworn she was at least mentioned.) The prologue (A Day Without Feminism) was a pointed, exaggerated look at what life was like in 1970, the year both authors were born, and their message is very clear It had it's moments, but nothing special. I knew it was outdated going in, but it showed, mainly through pop culture references - specifically discussions of zines rather than websites - and the glaring lack of any commentary on Hillary Clinton. (She doesn't even make the index, though I could have sworn she was at least mentioned.) The prologue (A Day Without Feminism) was a pointed, exaggerated look at what life was like in 1970, the year both authors were born, and their message is very clear - forget a debate over parental consent for abortions, back then a single woman would have trouble finding a landlord who would rent her an apartment. They certainly highlight all the low points, but they're not making anything up. Unfortunately, the prologue got me all good and fired up and then rest of the book meandered around, petered off, and finally got plain old boring. There's good information here, but there's not much fun in the reading of it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Red

    When I first picked up this book, my initial impressions were pretty positive. The writing style was witty and engaging, the approach was promising, and (frankly) the cover was very cute. As I read further, though, the book failed to take off (at least for me). I’m still in the middle of it, but I don’t think I’ll finish. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have potential, only that its potential lies entirely in its reader. The girl at my job who asked, “What’s a misogynist?” should read this boo When I first picked up this book, my initial impressions were pretty positive. The writing style was witty and engaging, the approach was promising, and (frankly) the cover was very cute. As I read further, though, the book failed to take off (at least for me). I’m still in the middle of it, but I don’t think I’ll finish. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have potential, only that its potential lies entirely in its reader. The girl at my job who asked, “What’s a misogynist?” should read this book. I don’t know that it was meant to be an introduction to feminism, but that’s the role it fills (at least thus far). Books that introduce common ideas can be wonderful, but rarely hold much for more advanced readers. If you’re looking for ‘Feminist History 101’ or ‘Introduction to Feminist Theory’, this is a good book. If you’re ‘heard it all before’, it will just seem like more of the same.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    More like "Manifesta: Our experiences as young women, thoughts on the publishing world, and some other things too". If you are looking for the actual ideas of what they thing feminism are, read the last chapter. I found it to be a little too self reflective and found their refusal to allow for variations in what feminism mean to be alienating and frustrating. Good intentions, but got caught up in their own stories too often. I read this book after hearing Amy talk as part of a CBC program about More like "Manifesta: Our experiences as young women, thoughts on the publishing world, and some other things too". If you are looking for the actual ideas of what they thing feminism are, read the last chapter. I found it to be a little too self reflective and found their refusal to allow for variations in what feminism mean to be alienating and frustrating. Good intentions, but got caught up in their own stories too often. I read this book after hearing Amy talk as part of a CBC program about Feminism for International Woman's Day, and then discussed it with some friends. It provided a few good jumping off points for realizing if we fall into the feminist camp, but often felt more like a textbook than an inspiring and encouraging book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Well written and well thought book about feminism and what extactly feminisn is. The authors take a good look at the various issues surronding the term. This edition inculdes updates from when the book was published in 2000. In some cases, the only complaint I have about the book is that in some cases the authors are somewhat hesitent in using the term femninist to describe some women Most intersting fact, however, is that Wolf and Pagilia, actually agree on something.

  17. 5 out of 5

    anique

    Aside from the appendices, I found this book utterly unhelpful and poorly written. Perhaps I'd recommend it to very young women (not dudes--I'd give them another book) who are riding the fence on feminism. But really, I don't even know if I'd do that. There's just too many other instructive, critical, and engaging texts out there to be wasting your time on this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy P.

    I don't like this book because I think it's weak as a feminist theoretical text. They try to address the problems of Second Wave feminism, yet seem to overlook their own class and racial privilege. If this is the future of feminism, you can count me out!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    i am lost in a wave of pop culture, liberal politics, and self-promotion. Somebody else can maybe tell me what this is all about, what it is in response to, and why this book should matter at all. Glib and unappreciative of the struggle that came before them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Reads like a collection of essays from a Feminist 101 course. As much as it harps on how unwilling/dry/close-minded the likes of Ms. magazine is in regards to using 'fresh' and 'current' slang and language, it sure reads exactly like something from the dinosaur it's so carefully flogging.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Too superficial and general - I was looking for more critique and more bite.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    Not perfect, but a good primer and a fun read for young women who are new to the concept of feminism.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naima

    Nah.... Nah. I had to read this book as a textbook for one of my Women and Gender Studies' courses. I'm really glad I didn't have to read the whole thing, to be honest. Somehow in its Tenth Anniversary Edition, and yet very glaring and blatant misogynistic and racist blunders still haven't been edited out. Jennifer negating younger feminists to being "Jell-O-shots versions of feminism" being a very ironic statement, considering the numbers of this movement wholly rest on the younger generation (l Nah.... Nah. I had to read this book as a textbook for one of my Women and Gender Studies' courses. I'm really glad I didn't have to read the whole thing, to be honest. Somehow in its Tenth Anniversary Edition, and yet very glaring and blatant misogynistic and racist blunders still haven't been edited out. Jennifer negating younger feminists to being "Jell-O-shots versions of feminism" being a very ironic statement, considering the numbers of this movement wholly rest on the younger generation (lets not even go into the devaluing of women's work because of their age!). Their 'dinner party' is a complete goddamn travesty, in my opinion, as I feel like either their words are exaggerated/twisted to fit the narrative, or these are shitty feminists. I mean, really, using the r-slur in the same sentence you're talking about dating women just because it'd be more convenient for you...? ("Sometimes I think about dating women because the men I've met are so emotionally r*t*rd*d.") Talking about cheating as if it's just something that happens....? ("I fell much more comfortable flirting now that I'm married, as long as it's very clear that I am married...") Just flat-out shitty biphobia that completely ignores the fact that bisexuals don't stop being bisexuals when they're not in same-sex relationships, and the fact that bisexuals are attracted to people who don't subscribe to the gender binary. ("I think if you're bisexual, there just has to come a day when you choose one or the other- and, face it, it's easier to be straight..."). I mean, really, this book is riddled with biphobia (and this is just from the ~100 pages I've read of it)! "Many bisexual women eventually choose to identify as either gay or straight." What, like bisexuals are Schrodinger's Sexuality, and can only be bisexual when they don't have any partner...? Yeah, if a bisexual settles down, they're gonna be with someone of some gender (or no gender).... That doesn't erase the fact that they're still bisexual- the gender of their partner has nothing to do with their sexuality. It's not choosing sides- stop acting like it is. Also, passive lesbophobia... Since Jennifer is bisexual, I'm honestly surprised as how much anti-Sapphic shit is in this book. "Findlen also points out the odd way that some straight women reconcile themselves with this threat: by arguing that feminists aren't all dykes. (Which implies, among other ignorant assumptions, that all gay women are inherently feminist.)" ??? No, definitely not the immediate implication- that being a lesbian or a woman that loves other women is something Awful and something Not to Be Associated With. No one's going to think that all gay women are inherently feminist- that makes 0 sense. They call Native Americans "American Indians", and (even though they're quoting a Native American woman, they still definitely shouldn't have said this) use "the 'red roots of white feminism'". On the same page, they refer to black people as "blacks" ("Acknowledging that the forces working against both women and blacks were white men [...]"). Oh, they also blame all black people of the time for creating the Black Power, because it wasn't the previous "more egalitarian and racially integrated civil-rights movement, which meant not only that whites were kicked out but that, generally speaking, black women were demoted from being organizers to simply being 'nation-builders' (mothers)". First off, the fact that they're mad at black people for starting to spearhead a movement intended for them. Secondly... What rights do they have to say that black women became breeders- if they'd done any of their research, they'd know how heavily steeped in white-supremacy and how racist that sentiment is. There's also the discussion of "Girlie" culture, which I have honestly never heard of, but it really just sounds like a bunch of women enjoying traditionally feminine things, but are being infantilized for it. "Girlies have reclaimed girl culture, which is made up of such formerly disparaged girl things as knitting, the color pink, nail polish, and fun." Yeah... just normal things women can do as hobbies, though. Oh, remember how I brought up them devaluing women's work? What really pissed me off is how they champion the idea that we need to Get Out There and Make A Difference, they denounce women with liberal arts degrees, and essentially say it's their fault that there are male-dominated fields. ("While our own liberal-arts educations appear to have furthered us in our own professions and were even the sites of our feminist awakenings, we think that women should be pioneering the tech world along with men, not simply going after those liberal-arts degrees.") Cute sentiment, but as a girl in the STEM field, I can say that there are way more factors contributing to the lack of women in these fields (how about the fact that I'm put to a higher standard because I'm a woman, and, when I fail, I somehow represent my whole gender?). Again, haven't read the whole thing (I feel like I got a pretty good taste of it, though!) but, to sum it up: two white women act as if they're the lynchpin to the entire Third Wave Feminist movement, all while degrading women of color and queer people.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hock

    This was kind of my own personal Feminism 101 textbook. It wasn't earth-shattering for me - the earth had already been shattered - but it gave me a path. It's very third wave, if I recall. If I were to recommend it to a young woman today I'd also make sure she has reading material by women of color.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    I have a feeling I read this again, I’d find it pretty problematic. But as a baby feminist in college? This changed my life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    HAIL TRUMP

  27. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Derisse

    PEAK WHITE FEMINISM. This books lacks novelty, insightfulness and relevance. The days of bra-burning, Riot Grl feminism are over. Get with it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Casey Ferneyhough

    I'm pretty disappointed with this book. I was reading it and it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed some aspects and some different opinions on issues that I hadn't thought about. But near the beginning the authors wrote "Many bisexual women eventually choose to identify as gay or straight" in the chapter "The Dinner Party". I myself identify as bisexual and have come under a lot of fire from the LGBT community as well as the straight community. It's very hard to have people take bisexual people seriously I'm pretty disappointed with this book. I was reading it and it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed some aspects and some different opinions on issues that I hadn't thought about. But near the beginning the authors wrote "Many bisexual women eventually choose to identify as gay or straight" in the chapter "The Dinner Party". I myself identify as bisexual and have come under a lot of fire from the LGBT community as well as the straight community. It's very hard to have people take bisexual people seriously because everyone assumes you're stuck in the middle of sexuality and trying to pick a side. It's not like that at all, and the fact that this book had to go and talk about the sexuality like that, like there really is a sexual binary was pretty disappointing. As the book went on I enjoyed aspects, but that comment really annoyed me. In more context; they were talking about A Woman Needs a Man phrase and how some women turn to bisexuality when they no longer want to deal with men. I'm really disheartened to pick up a book on feminism, and continue to see my sexuality being under fire because people don't understand it. I will not be reading anything else by these writers because I'm disappointed that they could feel this way. If you have no problem with that then by all means read the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    From my Cannonball Read V review ... As I close in on the full Cannonball, I'm trying to wrap up a lot of books that I've put down over the course of the year. There's a science book, one of the Song of Ice and Fire series, another etiquette book, and one on goddesses (seriously). And then there’s this one, which I started way back in January. Why the ten month break between starting and finishing it? Well … I just did not like it. Manifesta is on a lot of 'must read' feminism book lists, but I f From my Cannonball Read V review ... As I close in on the full Cannonball, I'm trying to wrap up a lot of books that I've put down over the course of the year. There's a science book, one of the Song of Ice and Fire series, another etiquette book, and one on goddesses (seriously). And then there’s this one, which I started way back in January. Why the ten month break between starting and finishing it? Well … I just did not like it. Manifesta is on a lot of 'must read' feminism book lists, but I found it to be mediocre. The writing isn't bad - it's not like Cinderella's Lost Diary or whatever that unfortunate book was that Cannonballers were offered for free earlier this year. My problem is that it’s not actually what it claims to be - a feminism manifesto. It's more like a thrown-together anthology of white feminism, with some 'picture this' writing thrown in. The chapters feel disjointed, and I'm not entirely clear what the authors sought to do with this book. Were they trying to say what the 'third wave' feminists are contributing to feminism as a whole? Were they trying to explore what previous feminists did (and how that was and was not successful)? Trying to outline what we should be doing going forward? I think a book could be successful in doing all three, but that’s not this book. In addition to the book feeling disjointed and unfocused, there were so many areas where they missed opportunities to really explore feminism - warts and all. There was even one point where I wanted to just throw the book out the window, but was nearly 200 pages in so I just stuck it out. That moment was during a discussion of toys for young girls, and the issues with Barbie, and the attempts to push Mattel to sell Barbies that look more like all girls – so not just blond, white Barbies. The authors passed that off as “PC,” and they meant that as an insult. Any book that uses the concept of "Politically Correct" as though it is derogatory just isn't a good book in my opinion. Saying something is 'politically correct' means that it's showing some empathy to people, and recognizing that straight, white, cis people aren't all who matter. That very specific issue is one example of the larger problem with this book - it's so, very, very white. Yes, the authors mention contributions from women of color (usually in passing), but they don't acknowledge any of the larger issues with mainstream white feminism. They buy into the "women fought to join the workforce and stay there after the war" story, for example, but don't acknowledge that many women of color had already been working for decades. They don't recognize the complexity of race, gender and sexuality - it's a lot of Gloria Steinem and one reference to bell hooks. Going forward, I'll be avoiding these generic overviews of feminism, whether targeting and young women or not. I'm more interested in learning about the full history of feminism, and womanism, and reading books that look at the bigger issues of intersectionality that mainstream feminism keeps ignoring.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This was a long read with some dry parts here and there, but it is definitely a feminist text that is very much for the younger generation. This could even be seen as THE feminist text for Third Wave women, but I certainly cannot be the judge of that. I've read a lot of feminist literature, one of my favorites being Steinam's "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions". It spoke about not only women's issues but issues of race and sexuality as well. But it still had a dated and slightly stodgy feel This was a long read with some dry parts here and there, but it is definitely a feminist text that is very much for the younger generation. This could even be seen as THE feminist text for Third Wave women, but I certainly cannot be the judge of that. I've read a lot of feminist literature, one of my favorites being Steinam's "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions". It spoke about not only women's issues but issues of race and sexuality as well. But it still had a dated and slightly stodgy feel to it at times, and I knew I was reading true words that rang much louder at the time they were actually written. "Manifesta" is more radical, edgier, harsher, bolder, and truer than other texts I have read. I lot of ideas I felt so isolated in were examined in this book, such as "girlie" culture and the need for little girls to express their femininity rather than mask it in masculinity. I also loved the section of the book that covered the differences between older feminists and newer feminists (second and third wavers) while bridging those awkward and tense gaps. The only problem is that this book is already dated! Argh! I'm sure Baumgarder and Richards are wishing they could write a "Manifesta pt. 2" that tracks the rise of internet activism and the "fourth wave" of online feminists. This was a great book, but I still felt about ten years too young to understand so much of it. We need to have a feminist text that covers the internet boom. The beginning of the book may be off-putting to some, especially the "dinner party" section, which did not read as women getting together and chatting while bonding over food. It actually came off as a catty group of women trying to out-do each others outrageous stories. That isn't my brand of feminism- to be a feminist, you don't need to be sexual/a virgin/a slut/a prude/a wild child/ a home body/a lesbian/a mother/a wife, and some of the writing in the beginning came of as judgmental. The end actually brought tears to my eyes. That was a helluva epilogue. The saddest part is, we are so, so far away from that utopia. Twelve years later and we have made so little progress. (Also a special book because it is the first I borrowed from my college's Women's Center- so many great books waiting to be read here!)

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