The Good Girl Revolution

Anneli Rufus Finds "Bad Girls" Anthology Supports GIRLS GONE MILD Thesis

Rufus writes in the East Bay Express:

In Girls Gone Mild (Random House, $22.95), Wendy Shalit ponders a new phenomenon: young females who don't service strangers and dress like hos. Crazy, eh? Shalit interviewed hundreds who buck peer pressure, advertisements, the Bratz aesthetic, and Eve Enslerism by wearing less-than-skintight clothes, rapping about abstinence, and refusing to go girl-on-girl to entertain guys. They defy the expectations of a culture in which, Shalit laments, "being publicly sexual has become the only acceptable way for girls to demonstrate maturity. ... Looking 'wild' and acting 'wild' are supposed to be empowering, but more often they lead to misery, especially for young women who quickly learn to put their emotions in a deep freeze in order to do what is expected."

And what's expected, Shalit contends, "is that girls today have to be 'bad' to fit in." As if rushing to prove her right, the Bad Girls (Norton, $24.95) anthology appeared in stores a week after Shalit's book, offering 26 true accounts by established female writers of "acting badly.". . .


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Notable and Quotable

"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, '07