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

Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery pulls and twists sourdough into shape on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s Rize Up Bakery serving up sourdough with a call to action

Azikiwee Anderson wakes up most mornings just before dawn to start cooking… Continue reading

Although The City has been shut down and largely empty, people have enjoyed gathering in places such as Dolores Park. <ins>(Al Saracevic/The Examiner)</ins>
Come back to San Francisco: The City needs you now

Time to get out of the house, people. The City’s been lonely… Continue reading

A surveillance camera outside Macy’s at Union Square on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Is the tide turning against surveillance cameras in SF?

Crime-fighting camera networks are springing up in commercial areas all around San… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott speaks alongside Mayor London Breed at a news conference about 2019 crime statistics at SFPD headquarters on Jan. 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What the media gets wrong about crime in San Francisco

By Lincoln Mitchell Special to The Examiner Seemingly every day now, you… Continue reading

Vice President Kamala Harris is under fire for her comments in Guatemala earlier this week. (Examiner file photo.)
SF immigration advocates slam Kamala Harris’ ‘betrayal’ to her past

Kamala Harris’ comments earlier this week discouraging Central Americans from traveling to… Continue reading

Most Read