The Good Girl Revolution

"Brilliant"--writes Marybeth Hicks, mother of four, about "The Good Girl Revolution"

"Author Wendy Shalit's new book, The Good Girl Revolution: Young Rebels with Self-Esteem and High Standards (Random House), brilliantly explores the cultural conundrum my daughter is experiencing.

This is a book - and a movement - whose time has come.

'I wanted to showcase a new generation of role models beyond Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, to get people thinking about - and talking about - girls who represent something deeper. There are so many amazing young women out there, but all you usually see in the media is the exhibitionists,' Ms. Shalit says.

Of course, celebrity role models of the 'bad girl' variety are only part of the problem. Ms. Shalit explains a host of reasons why today's hypersexuality and bold attitudes have permeated girl world, from the pathetically trashy Bratz dolls to parents and teachers who pressure girls to vamp it up just to fit in.

As the mother of three daughters, I'm grateful that Ms. Shalit has recast 'good girls' as powerful and self-possessed. Rather than feel sheepishly awkward about admitting they don't date, I want my girls to feel proud that their authentic self-esteem and high standards are worth honoring.

Of course, it's hard to ignore the irony here: In our culture, it's hopelessly uncool to be good, while being a 'bad girl' is both normal and expected."

Read Marybeth Hicks's entire column, including reflections on her own daughters here. Or learn more about Marybeth Hicks's great book, Bringing Up Geeks, here


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Notable and Quotable

"Wendy Shalit’s first book, A Return to Modesty. . . created a storm when it was published nine years ago but whose influence can be detected in today’s campus chastity clubs, including here at Harvard. As a veteran of pro-sex feminism who still endorses pornography and prostitution, I say more power to all these chaste young women who are defending their individuality and defying groupthink and social convention. That is true feminism!"

— Camille Paglia, Harvard Feminism Conference Keynote, April 10 2008