There’s something about writing about “bad girls” that excites and interests me. The motivations, the compulsions, the experiences of women who are not examples of the feminine ideal awakens my imagination in a way that writing about “good girls” does not. It probably has something to do with my Catholic girls’ school upbringing where I was constantly restrained, restricted, admonished, and corrected.
And of course, hanging over my head (literally) at every turn was The Blessed Virgin, the ultimate example of female virtue and self-sacrifice.
For some reason, as I got older, I was always drawn to the girls who were in many ways the antithesis of that example: “girls who rode in cars with boys”, who had a little more information about sex than most of us, girls who advocated for breaking rather than adhering to the rules. But in terms of being a bad girl myself, I was always more of a poser than an actual do-er, more of a voyeur than a participant. Even then, I think I was honing my instinct for collecting information about how people live and why they do the things they do; and girls who against all instructions to the contrary broke free of an ideal someone else created for them struck me as worth studying.
In my new release ‘Unsuitable Men’ I write about a different kind of “bad girl”. She’s not a rebel at all and by all outward appearances, she conforms. But she has another side to her that’s self-destructive and inconsistent with the image she portrays. This is a different kind of bad girl – the kind some people call a ‘slut’, a word I think should not exist in any language, not only because it’s derogatory, but because it is an oversimplification of the complex ways in which women own, disown, are in touch with or pathologically out of touch with their ability to control and define their own sexuality. But that’s really heavy stuff and I tend – very intentionally – not to write very heavy books.
Still, I would love it if you would read ‘Unsuitable Men’ and leave me a review. I like to hear what you think about my writing, but also love hearing what you think about the themes. My goal is to tackle heavy themes in a light read. Let me know how I’m doing!