Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

#11 Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

I met the authors of this when they came to UCSB during TBTN week. I wasn't too impressed, frankly. We, Students Stopping Rape, were talking about organizing around sexual assault with them and some of their suggestions were absurd, for instance having a Guess the Rapist panel with real rapists. Whee! I need to keep in mind though that not everyone has the same background as I and that not everyone is hip to my lingo (i.e. survivors, not rapees, yikes). As a side note, when I met Eve Ensler, she was as awesome as I expected her to be and more! Their talk wasn't too inspiring either and at their question and answer session a male individual took over by asking really offensive stupid questions (i.e. women who buy underwear at Victoria's Secret can't be feminists because they like pretty underpants! It's true though, I turned in my Feminist Club card the next day because I decided that matching lingerie is more important than social revolution. Blah), which made me super angry and if I were in charge I probably would have mentioned something about male privilege and how he was using it at a talk about feminism! Grr. Onto the book, though.

I like the history they gave of feminism in the eighties and nineties. I've never been able to make my way through Backlash (yet another reason to turn in my Feminist Club card), so I felt like this was a mini-primer on that, but much more readable, thank goodness. The authors included personal stories too and I was excited to recognize Sabrina Alcantara-Tan, as if I was some kind of insider to Third Wave feminism (not anymore, no card, remember?), who, by the way, I was also not impressed with. What's with the negativity Meredith? Jeez. The parts about older feminists and younger feminists clashing makes me sad. I didn't know that this was a problem. I haven't experienced it so far but I can see how it could happen. Also the bit at the end with a day in life of a world where feminism succeeded is heart-warming in a cheese-ball, holy shit, I forgot how unfeminist the world really is and that really sucks-kind of way.

All in all, I liked it, I think. At least enough to be interested in purchasing, at full price, their new book about grassroots organizing 'cause Lord knows I need help with that. I also know that this post is... crazy and a bit inarticulate. Questions, comments and suggestions are all welcome, unless you tell me that I can't be a feminist because I like pretty underthings, then you can piss off.


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