College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens, and Co-Eds, Then and Now

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Overview

The author of Pink Think takes on a twentieth-century icon: the college girl.

A geek who wears glasses? Or a sex kitten in a teddy? This is the dual vision of the college girl, the unique American archetype born when the age-old conflict over educating women was finally laid to rest. College was a place where women found self-esteem, and yet images in popular culture reflected a lingering distrust of the educated woman. Thus such lofty cultural...

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College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens, and Co-eds, Then and Now

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Overview

The author of Pink Think takes on a twentieth-century icon: the college girl.

A geek who wears glasses? Or a sex kitten in a teddy? This is the dual vision of the college girl, the unique American archetype born when the age-old conflict over educating women was finally laid to rest. College was a place where women found self-esteem, and yet images in popular culture reflected a lingering distrust of the educated woman. Thus such lofty cultural expressions as Sex Kittens Go to College (1960) and a raft of naughty pictorials in men’s magazines.

As in Pink Think, Lynn Peril combines women’s history and popular culture—peppered with delightful examples of femoribilia from the turn of the twentieth century through the 1970s—in an intelligent and witty study of the college girl, the first woman to take that socially controversial step toward educational equity.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Sinful thoughts have been crossing the minds of Americans ever since the first young woman left for college. Lynn Peril's sprightly history shows that 20th-century apprehensive adults frequently associated the female quest for higher education with a titillating slide toward sexual liberation. Her revealing and witty illustrated study suggests that at least some learned observers (and more than a few soft-core pornographers) regarded campus life as a subtle invitation to co-ed seduction, which apparently occurred everywhere, including the college library.
Publishers Weekly
Will her B.A. ruin her chances for an M-r-s.? Will too much study endanger her procreative organs? And if higher education is truly safe for a young woman, what sort of curriculum is appropriate? Greek and Latin? Home economics? According to Peril (Pink Think), in this history of women in colleges, ever since the first young ladies went off to their "dame schools" in early America, people have been debating such questions. Underlying these mentionable fears was one more worrisome: who would protect a girl's virtue when she lived away from home, surrounded by hormonal young men? As Peril makes clear, throughout history "[a]dults inevitably get their granny-sized panties in a bunch when it comes to the sexcapades of the younger generation." True, she's focused on prescriptive material more than the actual experiences of co-eds in various eras, but it's eye-opening to see how consistently advice-givers and advertisers have played on the same few anxieties regarding the female student. The material that Peril has included on student experiences-particularly the stories of women at historically black colleges-helps balance the text. Peril's witty, irreverent style, her generous use of old advertisements and photos and her careful footnotes make this text unusually user-friendly. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393327151
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 724,010
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Peril is a secretary and the author of Pink Think, College Girls, and Swimming in the Steno Pool. She lives in Oakland, California.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Neoasy's dorm

    Hello. NOW GET OUT!!!

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