The Good Girl Revolution

Commentary Magazine calls Girls Gone Mild "charming, moving, sometimes heartbreaking"

Sam Schulman writes in the October issue of Commentary magazine:

Shalit’s villains—like the figure of Satan in Paradise Lost, they are, in truth, among the more fascinating characters in her drama—are almost always figures of authority, people who have a claim to superiority by virtue of their age, their role as parents, or their professional status. They include the male professor who suggests that a female student “dress more provocatively,” the upper-middle-class do-gooders at NOW who refuse to condemn Girls Gone Wild, the middle-school teacher who encourages her girls to prepare simulated lap-dances for student recitals, “mothers defend[ing] see-through shirts, fathers rally[ing] for cleavage during the school day, and Catholic schoolteachers advocat[ing] for miniskirts.”

In Shalit’s re-creation, the vulgar sexualization against which her heroines struggle is thus in most cases something imposed on them not so much by their peers as by adults, in an act of imperialism de haut en bas. It is the authorities who have gone wild, and the young who suffer. . .

And the good news? Shalit’s evangel is that, spontaneously, many girls are beginning to resist—rediscovering the virtues of self-assertion by rejecting the expectations of others to be “people-pleasing bad girls."


Sign-up for Email Updates

Sign-up For Email Updates

Please fill in your details if you would like to receive email updates.

Your Privacy

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