Bad Girls Go Everywhere
By Jennifer Scanlon
288 pages; Oxford
Kicking up her stiletto heels and touting a cavalier sexiness-for-fun-and-profit approach to love and work (not to mention love at work), Helen Gurley Brown wrote the 1962 best-seller Sex and the Single Girl, later editing Cosmopolitan magazine and alarming generations of feminists with her lusty embrace of the status quo. But as Jennifer Scanlon, a professor of gender and women's studies, argues in Bad Girls Go Everywhere, Brown's "lipstick feminism" was always a liberating proposition. Scanlon's shrewd biography reveals a woman of contradictions (e.g., Brown is happily monogamous), a strategically racy cultural pioneer.
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014