Peggy Orenstein Gives Jacobs Residency Lecture February 10

Monday, February 10, 2020
Peggy Orenstein

Author and speaker Peggy Orenstein delivered the Jacobs Residency Lecture February 10 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. The event was part of the 2019-2020 Monday Evening Lecture Series. 

Orenstein is a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Don’t Call Me Princess, Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and Waiting for Daisy as well as Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love and Life in a Half-Changed World, and the classic SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap. Her latest, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent and Navigating the New Masculinity, was released in January 2020. 

“We are so lucky to have Peggy back on campus with the depth of her research, and understanding, especially with her new book just coming out,” said Laurie Mufson, director of arts at Mercersburg.

A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Orenstein has also written for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Elle, Time, Mother Jones, Slate, O: The Oprah Magazine, New York, and The New Yorker and has contributed commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered and the PBS NewsHour. Her articles have been anthologized multiple times, including in The Best American Science Writing. She has been a keynote speaker at numerous colleges and conferences and has been featured on, among other programs, Nightline, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, and NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition. Her TED Talk, “What Young Women Believe About Their Own Sexual Pleasure,” has been viewed more than 2.8 million times.

The Columbia Journalism Review named Orenstein one of its “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.” She has been recognized for her “Outstanding Coverage of Family Diversity” by the Council on Contemporary Families and received Books For A Better Life Awards for both Girls & Sex and Waiting for Daisy. Her work has also been honored by the Commonwealth Club of California, the National Women’s Political Caucus of California, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Additionally, she has been awarded fellowships from the United States-Japan Foundation and the Asian Cultural Council and has been a resident at Mesa Refuge and the UCross Foundation.

While on campus, Orenstein met with students and faculty members, including the Women’s Activist Club, and hosted a Q&A and book signing following the lecture.

Orenstein was last on campus in April 2017 when she spoke at a school meeting. Her acclaimed book, Girls & Sex, was offered as part of Mercersburg’s summer-reading challenge in 2016.

“The last time Peggy visited, she spent significant time in discussion with the girls on campus and was incredibly accessible to them,” said Allison Stephens, a longtime faculty member and adviser to the Women’s Activist Club on campus. “I am really hoping that the boys will be able to access her expertise and knowledge in similar ways.”

The Jacobs Residency Lecture is endowed in memory of John Alfred Morefield, the father of John Morefield ’52 and Fred Morefield ’53, in recognition of Wilmarth I. Jacobs, the school’s former assistant headmaster and director of admission (1915 to 1962), who personified a strong quality of non-elitism.