Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect And Find It's Not Bad to Be Good

Wendy Shalit, Random House, 2007

This is Wendy Shalit’s second book on the theme of modesty and women reclaiming control in the rapacious sexual environment that pervades much of the contemporary American student and work worlds. Her first book, ‘A return to modesty’ was written when she was interested in, but not committed to Jewish observance; this one post-dates her Teshuvah. She explores the issues of commitment-free relationships, casual sex, the claim in some segments of society that pornography empowers women, and, most significantly, the pressures placed on women to behave ‘badly’ to satisfy contemporary expectations. She claims that many women would prefer not to be promiscuous, but are unable to resist expectations, with the resulting damage to their ability to form happy relationships and self-esteem. She also suggests that aggression and rudeness have become desirable traits in much of society, with calamitous consequences. The book is thorough to the point of being tedious, but offers some interesting and thought-provoking observations.

Girls Gone Mild