thank you, library booksale, for making my summer full of good cheap reads.
My favorite (so far) from M. Gigi Durham’s The Lolita Effect:
On the one hand, hotness is culturally emphasized as an important - perhaps even the most important - characteristic of girlhood; on the other, simultaneously, the specter of the slut or the “ho” still haunts young women. Girls are sometimes celebrated for their sexual exploits and for projecting sexual availability, but they are also isolated, tormented, and stigmatized for perceived promiscuity… walking the line between acceptable hotness and unacceptable sluttiness is the almost impossible challenge presented to today’s girls.
When you stop to think about it, it becomes clear that it is not girls’ sexuality in and of itself that is a problem; the problem is that the expression of girls’ sexuality seems to be possible only within an extremely restrictive framework. Girls’ sexuality, it seems, has to comply with the markers of sexuality that we recognize, and it cannot be manifested, recognized, or mobilized in other, potentially more empowering and supportive, ways.