Peggy Orenstein's books include the New York Times best-selling memoir, Waiting for Daisy; Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love and Life in a Half-Changed World; SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap; and Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture.
Her new book is Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. From her Q & A with Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon:
What I try now to do with my daughters [aged 16 and 12] is say, “You deserve to be with people who think you’re great. Who think you’re awesome. That’s who deserves your company.” And I talk about people and I don’t talk about “boys,” because fewer and fewer teenagers identity as exclusively heterosexual. I say that I want the people you date to respect you, to like you, to see how funny you are and I want you to have fun within that. And if it does’t feel good for you, then there’s something wrong.The Page 69 Test: Waiting for Daisy.
I always say that this conversation that we’re having about consent is so important. But consent is such a low bar for a sexual experience. We’ve got to do better than that. We have put a lot of emphasis on consent, because we should, but the for girls, sometimes they feel, “It ought to feel good because I said yes.” And if it’s not good, that’s confusing and upsetting and hard to understand. We have to say, yes, consent, obviously consent, but consent is the baseline. It’s not the experience. We are weird that as a culture we have become more comfortable talking about girls’ victimization than girls’ pleasure.
I have had a lot of conversations about this over the years with my nieces and my friends’ daughters, and a lot of times I would give anything for the earth to swallow me up so I don’t have to talk to them about...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Cinderella Ate My Daughter.
Writers Read: Peggy Orenstein.