We’ll admit it: Jennifer Baumgardner is a bit of a longtime feminist crush of ours. The Manifesta co-author (with Amy Richards) and Third Wave activist offers up a collection of essays on current feminist topics, from motherhood to Lady Gaga, in her new book, F ‘em. We chatted with her about the changing state of the movement, the feminist merits of Eminem and Louis CK, and abstinence worship.
How has feminism changed since you wrote Manifesta?
I guess the obvious things are the things that we didn’t anticipate at all like the Internet and social media and the ways that feminists have popularized the idea that gender might be on a continuum as opposed to just sexuality. That means there’s a lot more room for men.
How have your own feelings about feminism changed since then?
I used to be a little bit more bumper-sticker-slogan. And in some ways I’m more radical. Before I didn’t really trust that I had to figure out these things for myself. At 41 I’m a little bit better at figuring it out. For example, my assumptions about what abortion was like that were based on talking to people who were in the business of lobbying. I’ve realized that those political institutions didn’t have to be my focus.