Competition was stiff for this month’s Rebel, but one name kept coming up again and again. She is daring, articulate and brilliant, and she’s only 24 years old.

Yup, you guessed it: Ambra Nykol, one of the truly independent thinkers of our time. Raised in Seattle, Ambra once nearly brought her Wesleyan professor to tears in religion class “just by asking a basic question.” After noticing that “the university allowed people to run around naked in their dorms,” Ambra started to rethink giving four years of her life to what she calls “Sodom University.”

It took only two semesters for Ambra to realize that a private liberal arts college was “$34,000 more dollars a year than I was willing to incur in student loan debt,” especially when, as she puts it, she could probably learn more “at the public library or by watching the History Channel.” The summer before her sophomore year, against the advice of seemingly everyone, Ambra did the unthinkable: she decided she wasn’t going back.

Now, we’re not advocating dropping out of college here, but if anyone can flourish on sheer intellect and personality alone, it’s Ambra.

Check out her amazing blog.

Currently beholden to no one, Ambra recently turned her laser beam on parents who thrust condoms at kids instead of giving them real advice.

We asked Ambra why she thought there were so many female exhibitionists on the Internet. Is it just the nature of the medium? Ambra replied,

I think the bigger question is why are so many female exhibitionists,
period? Why do girls pose so provactively in magazines? Why do women leave the house wearing skirts so short they might as well be belts? So goes life. So goes the Internet. The Internet is merely a closer peek into the problems that already exist in our society.

I believe it ultimately comes down to the need for attention. But not just any type of attention. There is nothing wrong with being desirous of male affirmation and attention, but the problem I see today is that the "need" is rooted in insecurity. Many women find their worth in what other people say about them. Sure, we all want to be noticed, but some women would rather have negative attention than no attention.

Today, many female voices on the Internet are foul-mouthed, lewd and disgusting. Just this year, a Capitol Hill staffer (who shall remain nameless lest she get any publicity from me) won acclaim when she briefly blogged about her gratuitous sex life with various prominent men in her workplace. She was subsequently fired for "misuse of government property" and ultimately landed a handsome book deal as a consolation prize. Nice. So this is what we're teaching our daughters? Be promiscuous and you'll rise to the top? No thanks. I'll stick with purity and integrity.

We live in a perverted society. Not a day goes by when we aren't constantly bombarded by indecency. We live in a culture that blatantly rewards women for exposing themselves. It's now ingrained in our minds that if we behave a certain way, we will get attention.

So, no: I don't think it's just the nature of the medium. I believe it's the nature of the culture and as a consequence of a perverted culture, we get a perverted medium. As long as we continue to allow the standard to be lowered, we will continue to see such displays of exhibitionism. We (the collective) allow it. We watch it. We go to the websites. We tune in weekly. We buy the book written by the girl who chronicled her sex life online. This problem will continue as long as we provide an audience.

So that's why those who know better have a big burden to bear. We must lift up our moral standard.

For taking this responsibility seriously, and raising our standards to heretofore unknown heights, Ambra Nykol is not only our favorite blogger on the Internet, but our November 2005 Rebel of the Month.

Ambra, you are the greatest!

If you’d like to write to Ambra, you can e-mail us at:

If you would like to nominate a Rebel—including yourself—please send a short personal profile and what you are rebelling against to: There is no age limit, but high school and college students will be given priority over grandmas, since grandmas, after all, are supposed to be good.

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