3-Minute Interview: Mary Pipher

The author of eight books, including 1994’s “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls,” speaks at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco today. Pipher will focus on recent events — from Columbine to Sept. 11 — and their effects on families. Her next book, “Seeking Peace: Reflections of the Worst Buddhist in the World,” is due next spring.

How has our culture affected families? We’re living in a culture of fear. It comes from hyped up media, from advertising and the current political culture. [Technology] is literally changing the way children are, their attention spans, the way they learn, their ability to tolerate frustration.

What else do you see happening? Time is speeding up. We’re setting our internal clocks in very different ways, and once we set those, we set everyone we meet’s clocks. We’re all speeding each other up.

Some critics accuse books such as “Reviving Ophelia” of pathologizing teens. How do you respond to that? I thinkthere’s a certain fairness to that. I’m a therapist and wrote about girls who were in therapy. … But, it isn’t as if what I talked about did not apply to lots of girls.

Do you ever regret picking Ophelia to represent the girls of America? No, never.

When did you realize your book was making a difference? When there started being many more institutions in the culture that protected girls, that gave girls good community connections, gave them skills training and so on.

Describe “Seeking Peace.” It’s a memoir, but not in the traditional sense. You could take the titles from the table of contents and write your own life story.

bwinegarner@examiner.com</p>Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company has agreed to return some $95 million… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

COVID restrictions have prompted a benefit or two, such as empty streets in The City. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Taking the scenic route through a pandemic

Streets of San Francisco are pleasantly free of traffic

Most Read