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Mixed Messages at Home

MAKERS Moment

Mixed Messages at Home

More From Amy

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Richards describes the confusion that arises when moms preach one thing about female empowerment but practice another at home.

Amy 's Biography

Rebel with a Doll:  As a girl, she rebelled against her feminist mother by buying a Barbie doll.
Early Ambitions:  When she was very young: “The first female President of the United States.” In later years she has said, “A lawyer.  I still want to be a lawyer.”
Inspiring Role Model:  Katie Couric, "both because of her professional success but I also love how she includes her kids into her story and doesn’t let it de-politicize her or de-professionalize her.”
Mother’s Anthem:  As a child, she proudly sang Helen Reddy's "I am Woman" when her teachers asked her to sing the national anthem. Her mother had previously convinced her this was the anthem for the United States.

Richards is best known for creating the Third Wave Foundation as well as for her writings on contemporary feminism. Besides her books, Manifesta, Grassroots and Opting In, Richard’s writings and opinions can be found in numerous anthologies and media outlets, including NPR, The New York Times, Bitch, The Chicago Tribune, and Feminist.com, where she’s hosted her Ask Amy advice column since 1995. She is the president of Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out, the creators of Feminist Summer Camp and the foremost feminist lecture agency.
Richards came of age as the women’s movement was navigating the shoals of backlash in late 1980s and early 1990s.  Galvanized by renewed attacks on reproductive freedom, the Anita Hill hearings, the Rodney King trial, and the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, Richards was among a small cohort of self-described “Third Wave” feminists who sought to make the next push for feminism, broadening the movement’s concerns to more completely include issues of gender, sexuality and class. In her mid-twenties, Richards co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists between the ages of 15 and 30.  
Amy’s leadership and visionary work launched her as a primary spokesperson and leading voice for young feminist issues for the past twenty years. Richards lectures frequently about the state of feminism and has traveled the world representing feminism in America.  Her television appearances have taken her from Oprah to The O’Reilly Factor. She has won numerous awards for her activism, including “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” from both Women’s eNews and Ms. magazine.  Amy graduated from Barnard College in 1992 with a BA in Art History and has lived in New York City ever since.

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