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Book Review: Prude

I’ve made little headway into Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!), and I already hate it. 

Which is tragic. I’d had high hopes for this one, what with its provocative (to me, at least) title. You see, in many circles I’d be considered a “prude.” My mother would agree, as evidenced by our somewhat overdue birds and bees sex talk when I was 18 in which she advised that I “loosen up a bit.”

My hope was that this book would be the smart feminist critique I’d been craving of drunk sorority girls, UGG boots with mini skirts, and Lindsay Lohan. I had hoped it would expand Ariel Levy’s progressive (and interestingly borderline conservative) argument in Female Chauvinist Pigs. I don’t know whether to blame the author or the publisher who I’m sure anticipate big bucks from the Christians, but there is no excuse this waste of paper. 

Prude spends the first few chapters citing example after example after example of scandalous behavior among juveniles. WE GET IT. Young girls are giving blowjobs at heretofore unforeseen levels. Yes, how terrible.

Liebau never manages to draw a more compelling conclusion beyond “girls who are sexually active too soon are proven to have higher rates of depression and suicide.” While I would hesitate to argue with such rock-solid evidence (how exactly does one quantify “too soon”?), this is BORING. The more important point here, which Liebau completely misses, is that this sort of behavior might interfere with feminist goals. Which begs the question of why young girls are flouting the feminist triumphs of previous generations. Which would lead to an interesting book. Which Prude is not.



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rebecca, dear,

i'm late posting to your "new" blog, but oh well. here i am at last. i surely do wish that asia sf were closer. while i'm trapped in a small town in georgia (fly into atlanta, then take a time machine back 100 years) you, on the other hand, have NY in which to play. sigh.

love you,

Better late than never! It's great to hear from you, Massey. I do indeed have NY in which to play, though I'm currently playing in Buenos Aires for a week (deja vu, right?). I miss you dearly and hope to see you again.

xoxo R

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