Speaking of Feminism

Today's Activists on the Past, Present, and Future of the U.S. Women's Movement

By Rachel F. Seidman

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5308-2
    Published: September 2019
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4975-5
    Published: July 2019
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5307-5
    Published: September 2019
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-5309-9
    Published: July 2019

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit Bookshop.org
From the Women's Marches to the MeToo movement, it is clear that feminist activism is still alive and well in the twenty-first century. But how does a new generation of activists understand the work of the movement today? How are their strategies and goals unfolding? What worries feminist leaders most, and what are their hopes for the future? In Speaking of Feminism, Rachel F. Seidman presents insights from twenty-five feminist activists from around the United States, ranging in age from twenty to fifty. Allowing their voices to take center stage through the use of in-depth oral history interviews, Seidman places their narratives in historical context and argues that they help explain how recent new forms of activism developed and flourished so quickly. These individuals' compelling life stories reveal their hard work to build flexible networks, bridge past and present, and forge global connections. This book offers essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary American women’s movement in all its diversity.

Interviewees include:

Noorjahan Akbar

Soledad Antelada

Elisa Camahort Page

Park Cannon

Soraya Chemaly

Dana Edell

Kate Farrar

Ivanna Gonzalez

Tara Hall

Trisha Harms

Kwajelyn Jackson

Holly Kearl

Emily May

Kenya McKnight

Samhita Mukhopadhyay

Ho Nguyen

Katie Orenstein

Patina Park

Erin Parrish

Andrea Pino

Joanne Smith

Rebecca Traister

Alice Wilder

Kabo Yang

Rye Young

About the Author

Rachel F. Seidman is director of the Southern Oral History Program in the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about Rachel F. Seidman, visit the Author Page.


“What struck this reviewer most was the fact that all the individuals who speak in this book have been able to build career paths through feminist advocacy and, moreover, that their narratives describe work that (while not always well paid) seems to move seamlessly between internet campaigns, nonprofit work, and public advocacy.”--CHOICE

"This panorama of twenty-first-century feminism glows with passion, outrage, sensitivity, and creativity. Oral histories of twenty-five activists from diverse backgrounds and regions illuminate the personal, political, technological, and intellectual currents that shape contemporary feminist initiatives. Seidman demonstrates the vitality and necessity of their individual and collective efforts."--Nancy A. Hewitt, author of Radical Friend: Amy Kirby Post and Her Activist Worlds

"An important assessment of feminism today. This smart, important, timely, and lively book is packed with insights that will resonate with both academic and general readers."--Kathryn L. Nasstrom, author of Everybody's Grandmother and Nobody's Fool: Frances Freeborn Pauley and the Struggle for Social Justice