The Good Girl Revolution

Random House Press Release

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Jennifer Huwer Megan Fishmann
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For Immediate Release

GIRLS GONE MILD: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good
by Wendy Shalit

Media outlets independently agree: something new is happening

“The girls [whom the Times reporter] interviewed cited wholesome-seeming celebrities as their favorites. . . Is it possible that today’s tweens have seen enough to inoculate them against the pressures of their teenage years?” --Stephanie Rosenbloom, "Grade-School Girls, Grown-up Gossip," New York Times, May 27, 2007
“The steamy days of Washington summer may be upon us, but these girls, all from Burke, were definitely not getting skimpy. For a generation bombarded with news of pantyless celebrities, most of the girls we interviewed were surprisingly modest, more Hilary Duff than Lindsay Lohan.” --Ylan Q. Mui, “It's Not Just Parents Saying No to Skimpy Clothes,” Washington Post, June 4, 2007

At twenty-three, Wendy Shalit punctured conventional wisdom with her 1999 book A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue, prompting James P. Pinkerton to write in Newsday that her book was “strong evidence that the backlash against Monica Lewinsky will come, not from her elders, but from her youngers." His prediction, it seems, has come true.

Despite the fact that porn is mainstream, and despite the fact that those who to choose to delay sex are labeled “prudes,” a youth-led rebellion is challenging the status quo. Why?

For the first time, in GIRLS GONE MILD: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good (Random House; On-sale: June 26, 2007), we hear the voices at the frontlines of this emerging new movement, from someone who has been talking to these “rebellious good girls” for almost ten years. Some of them, Shalit reports, are pressured by their own mothers to lose their virginity, and come to resent it; others just don’t think they need to be “bad” to be liberated in the first place.

Drawing on numerous studies and interviews around the nation, Shalit’s findings are at once shocking and encouraging. Nowadays, as even the youngest teenage girls feel the pressure to become cold sex sirens, put their bodies on public display, and suppress their feelings in order to feel accepted and (temporarily) loved, many young women are realizing that “friends with benefits” are often anything but. And as these girls speak for themselves, we see that what is expected of them turns out to be very different from what is in their own hearts.

Written with sincerity and upbeat humor, Girls Gone Mild rescues the good girl from the realm of mythology and dated manners guides to show that today’s version is the real rebel: She is not “people pleasing” or repressed; she is simply reclaiming her individuality. And it’s about time.



Wendy Shalit is the author of A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue (1999). The enthusiastic response to her book from young women round the world prompted her to launch the online community, Modestly Yours. Today she lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario, where she enjoys various modern amenities such as the dishwasher, and has no desire to return to the nineteenth century. Join the conversation at


GIRLS GONE MILD: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good
by Wendy Shalit
Random House * On-Sale Date: June 26, 2007 * $25.95
ISBN 10: 1-4000-6473-1 * ISBN 13: 978-1-4000-6473-1


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Notable and Quotable

Wendy Shalit, on why tweens shouldn't have to look "sexy":  

"There is no longer any mystery or power to sex--it is just expected that everything will be sexual, and so nothing is. There is nothing to wait for, or to look forward to."