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 girls [whom the Times reporter] interviewed cited wholesome-seeming celebrities as their favorites. . . Is it possible that today’s teens 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