Deborah Siegel, the author of Sisterhood Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild, has an excellent review of Wendy Shalit's new book, Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad to Be Good up at The American Prospect today. She touches on some very good points that moralizing can be a difficult topic to broach:
To me, ethics and morality apply to the way we craft our arguments. More moral dichotomizing is hardly what women, what girls, what any of us need now.
I agree. It's hard enough to be a young woman these days, with all kinds of social pressure about what grades we're supposed to get (good ones), how many sexual partners we're supposed to have (not many), the way we're supposed to look (sexy), and how much we're supposed to weigh (the less, the better). Piled on top of that, Siegel says that Schalit adopts a lot of the language the Christian right has been using for the last 15 years to push young women to adopt the virgin model.
What women need is to realize that they can break outside of stereotypes and forge their own thoughts, styles, and moralities. Young women need a more supportive environment rather than another pile of lectures.
Cross-posted at Campus Progress.