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Beyond Slut-Shaming: In Praise of the "Bad Girls" of Young Adult Literature

I was in tenth grade in Mrs. Leinfelder’s English class when I had to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I was the kind of dutiful student who actually read the book—not just the CliffsNotes—and I remember being super annoyed by both the heavy-handed symbolism (let me guess, Roger Chillingworth as in chilling as in evil) as well as the plot. I didn’t want to sit around reading about this poor Hester Prynne lady and her quiet dignity. I wanted her to demand fair treatment and to kick a little ass. READ MORE