The Good Girl Revolution

Lively Q & A with Wendy on Washington Post's Book World Live

Read the transcript of Wendy's answers on the Washington Post's Book World Live. Here's the first question:

Stamford, Conn: Wendy, as a mother of girls I'm finding myself very intrigued by the discussion about your book but I have to admit, I don't like the use of the words "good" and "bad." Why can't we discuss this without such value-laden language?

Wendy Shalit: I would never call some girls "good" and others "bad." My point is that the "good girl" has become bad--there are all sorts of negative terms we use to refer to more modest girls today: people insult her by calling her a "prude" or "repressed." So the value judgments are already happening. I'm trying to get society to transcend its negative perception of the girls who want to wait for one special person. (There's also the stigma on girls who don't want to present themselves as publicly sexual: "What do you, have hang-ups about your body?") Instead of always rushing to make fun of these girls, let's appreciate that wanting to keep sex private and meaningful is a valid option. (cont'd)



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Notable and Quotable

"Sometimes when daughters have a bad-girl mother, they rebel and become good girls. They are constantly embarrassed by me!"

--Ellen Sussman, 52, editor of Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave, on her two daughters, ages 19 and 21 (MORE magazine July/August 2007)