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Fast Girls: Teenage Tribes and the Myth of the Slut

by Emily White

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1998134,302 (3.23)None
"The American high school is a tribal place - and often a cruel one. Divisions are drawn between jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, drama geeks, goths. But there is one person who exists outside of the cliques, who is never welcomed into any group. She is the girl with the reputation, the one boys are drawn to and other girls avoid. Many people remember her from their high school days - some can even recall her name - but few have thought about her significance: Why is she such a universal figure? Has she done the things of which she is accused? How is her reputation created in the first place? She is the high school slut, and Fast Girls explores her experience and her legacy." "In this fusion of reportage, criticism, and memoir, Emily White provides an in-depth look at the girls who were labeled high school sluts and the culture that perpetuates the myth."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)
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Through interviews with women and girls, and citing various published works, the author examines the archetype of the school slut and discusses the settings that lead to kids labeling a girl with that role and torturing her about it. Suburban boredom, fear of loneliness or not being part of a group, and sexual abuse are among the issues discussed as roots of the problem.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Depressing and thought-provoking, and an affirmation of some of my own reasons for disliking the suburbs and high school, in that order ( )
  jonathon.hodge | Feb 28, 2009 |
You know, I've had this book for a LONG time, yea...bad me. I really wanted to read this, but something else always seemed to be coming up that NEEDED to be read, and so it kept getting put off. I also really wanted to like and be moved by this book, but something about it just wasn't very compelling.

I agree with much of what the White says, but I think because as she says herself, she as a fascination with the H.S. Slut (as a person and as a cultural image) but no direct experience with it, this reads more like an uninvolved and very shallow examination of this phenomenon.

At the end, I felt like she has said the same exact thing over and over and never really made any serious examination of the subject beyond shallow voyeurism on her part. It's not badly written and I don't think she's reached inaccurate conclusions...but at the same time I felt like she didn't really take this very far, that she really only gives a surface picture of the subject and never really gets down to the meat of it, never really "gets herself dirty with it" or makes any personal connection with it beyond a mild "fascination" with the subject and I thing that really shines through more than anything else about the book. ( )
  the_hag | Jan 22, 2008 |
This is a research book, not a YA book. Emily White examines the use of the term "slut" throughout the teen years. She gives anecdotes from several girls who were labeled as such. This book was interesting but I was a little disappointed that she didn't delve into the origins of the term. She does give some social reasons as to why girls are labeled as such but I would have liked her to focus more on this. It's an ok look into the behavior of teens but not what I'd hoped to get from the book. ( )
  ShellyPYA | Aug 23, 2007 |
A study of what appears to be a junior high/high school phenomenon, White looks at it from many angles--mythological, psychological, feminist, class-based and racial, to name a few. A terrific overview to start, thought-provoking, there is a bibliography for those who wish to explore the topic (from any angle) further. ( )
  Queenofcups | Mar 19, 2007 |
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"The American high school is a tribal place - and often a cruel one. Divisions are drawn between jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, drama geeks, goths. But there is one person who exists outside of the cliques, who is never welcomed into any group. She is the girl with the reputation, the one boys are drawn to and other girls avoid. Many people remember her from their high school days - some can even recall her name - but few have thought about her significance: Why is she such a universal figure? Has she done the things of which she is accused? How is her reputation created in the first place? She is the high school slut, and Fast Girls explores her experience and her legacy." "In this fusion of reportage, criticism, and memoir, Emily White provides an in-depth look at the girls who were labeled high school sluts and the culture that perpetuates the myth."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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