When an excerpt from this book appeared in The New York Times Magazine
in 1993, it caused a furor out of all proportion to Katie Roiphe's rather commonsense observations: the frequency of "date rape," she claims, has been much exaggerated; portraying any unwanted lewd behavior as "sexual harassment" cheapens more serious instances of harassment; and portraying all women as potential victims and all men as potential predators strikes at the fundamental achievements of feminism. This is an impassioned plea for reason in matters of campus sexuality.
From Publishers Weekly
This stimulating, sometimes scattershot mixture of anecdote and analysis, which has been excerpted in the New York Times Magazine as a cover story, is sure to make waves. As the daughter of Anne Roiphe, author of the feminist novel Up the Sandbox, Katie Roiphe arrived at Harvard in 1986 with a strong feminist sensibility. What she found there was a dogmatic feminism preoccupied with rape, sexual harassment and the image of women as victims. Now a 24-year-old Princeton grad student, Roiphe limits her argument here to a few elite campuses. She emphasizes the feminist value of personal agency when she warns against those who have expanded the term "rape" to encompass any unpleasant sexual encounter. She argues that rules about sexual harassment should be less vague, and that women should be able to handle petty sexual innuendo. She offers tart portraits of classmates who sought status from the contradictory powers of sexuality and feminist militancy, and attacks antipornography activist Catharinesic MacKinnon for her "image of woman as child." Roiphe maintains aptly that feminists know less about rebellion than regulation. "In my late-adolescent idiom . . . it was not about setting loose, as it once was, it was about reining in."
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.