Young Women, Feminism And The Future

By Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000

“At last, Gen X takes on feminism and revamps a feminist manifesto for a new era.”
—Naomi Wolf

In the year 2000, girl culture was clearly ascendant. From Lilith Fair to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the WNBA, it seemed that female pride was the order of the day. Yet feminism was also at a crossroads: “girl power” feminists were obsessed with personal empowerment at the expense of politics, while political institutions such as Ms. and NOW had lost their ability to speak to a new generation. In Manifesta Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards brilliantly revealed the snags in each feminist hub, all the while proving that these snags had not imperiled the future of the feminist cause. The book went on to inspire a new generation of female readers and has become a classic of contemporary feminist literature.

In the decade since Manifesta was published, the world has changed in ways both promising and disheartening for the feminist cause. Despite major strides forward, the wage gap remains vast, many feminist publications have died, shame around abortion has lingered, and nineties-style anti-abortion terrorism has reemerged. The original arguments in Manifesta remain urgent, highlighting why it’s still critical for today’s young women to focus on gender. The tenth anniversary edition of Manifesta, complete with an updated bibliography and lists of resources, commentary from the authors, and a provocative new introduction, shows why the issues first raised by Baumgardner and Richards remains as timely as ever.


Praise for Manifesta

“With wit and honesty, Manifesta shows us the building blocks of the future of this longest revolution.”—Gloria Steinem

“Great news from the frontfeminism lives! Bold, independent, generous, and cautionary, Manifesta leaves no doubt that for a new generation of women the F-word is not only speakable but shoutable and singable.”—Alix Kates Shulman

Manifesta is another step toward the empowerment of women. If caring about women matters, this book matters.”—Andrea Dworkin

“Manifesta is an exciting and important contribution to the growing body of Third Wave literature. Richards and Baumgardner speak the language of a new generation of feminists, proving once again that young women are committed to continuing to work passionately for social justice.”

—Rebecca Walker, editor of To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism

“Richards and Baumgardner have spent years as participants in and observers of the feminist movement, and now they have their say, asking new questions and coming up with provocative answers. They do it with wit, confidence, and superior insight. Manifesta will reinvigorate armchair feminists and recharge activists of all ages.”—Barbara Findlen, editor of Listen Up: Voices from the Next Feminist Generation