The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘Live Nude Girls’ talk feminism, culture

Lecture emphasizes sexual freedom, choice

Authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Roberts offered a look atfeminism in today’s American society during a lecture titled,”Live Nude Girls: Pornography, Sex Work, and Critiquing aCulture that Hurts Women.”

“As you can see we are actually not nude, nor do we intendto be at any point during our presentation,” Roberts saidduring her opening statement.

With a laugh from the attendees at last week’s lecture inthe Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Baumgardner and Roberts dove intotheir thoughts expressed in their book Manifesta: Young Women,Feminism, and the Future.

In it, they argue that that feminism in the United States hasbecome more progressive in recent years.

“We saw all of our friends living feminist lives,”Roberts recalls, “even if it wasn’t being done in thetraditional ways.”

Using pornography as an example, Baumgardner said that her viewshave changed.

During college, she led an anti-pornography group incollege.

Having a better understanding of who she is now, she believesthat being a feminist does not mean that she is automaticallyagainst pornography.

“In the ‘60s it was all about access,” Robertssaid. “What goes along with that is pornography — anindustry that is struggling to find women, yet it was created byfeminists.”

The history of feminism in the United States dates back to themid-1800s, with the fight for not only women’s right to vote,but for equal rights. 

“Most acutely symbolized by the ability to vote, otherthings came along for the ride,” Baumgardner said.

“Being able to get divorced, being able to inherit moneyand property and the right to keep your wages are all gains by thefirst wave that took 72 years to come about.”

The women conveyed to the audience that they feel strongly abouta woman’s choice, and the beauty of having the right andability to make that choice.

“In the second wave, society told women that they had towear mini skirts,” Roberts said. “Today, society saysthat you don’t have to wear one.  The beauty is that ifyou want to wear a mini skirt, you can.”

Baumgardner and Roberts met and became friends at Ms. Magazineduring conversations on feminism and how there was a shift infeminism as it pertained to their lives.

Many feminist foundations have been organized in the UnitedStates that symbolize that women have not only the ability but theresponsibility to give one another the forum to celebrate life andthe rights they enjoy every day.

After a brief question and answer period, the pair closed withthe final thought: feminism is not about an individual choice, itis about everyone having that choice and making that principle away of life.

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