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Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus Hardcover – April 4, 2017

4.4 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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"How come reading [Kipnis], however uncomfortable or complex the subject, is always such a tremendous pleasure?" (Geoff Dyer, author of White Sands)

From the Inside Flap

Feminism is broken, argues Laura Kipnis. Anyone who thinks the sexual hysteria overtaking American campuses is a sign of gender progress is deranged.

A committed feminist, Kipnis was surprised to find herself the object of a protest march by student activists at her university for writing an essay about sexual paranoia on campus. Next she was brought up on Title IX complaints for creating a "hostile environment." Defying confidentiality strictures, she wrote a whistle-blowing essay about the ensuing seventy-two-day investigation, which propelled her to the center of national debates over free speech, "safe spaces," and the vast federal overreach of Title IX.

In the process, she uncovered an astonishing netherworld of accused professors and students, campus witch hunts, rigged investigations, and Title IX officers run amok. Then a trove of revealing documents fell into her lap, plunging her behind the scenes in an especially controversial case. Drawing on investigative reporting, cultural analysis, and her own experiences, Kipnis demonstrates the chilling effect of this new sexual McCarthyism on intellectual freedom. Without minimizing the seriousness of campus assault, she argues for more honesty about the sexual realities and ambivalences hidden behind the notion of "rape culture." Instead, regulation is replacing education, and women's right to be treated as consenting adults is being repealed by well-meaning bureaucrats.

Unwanted Advances is a risk-taking, often darkly funny interrogation of feminist paternalism, the covert sexual conservatism of hookup culture, and the institutionalized backlash of holding men alone responsible for mutually drunken sex. It's not just compulsively readable; it will change the national conversation.

--Tablet

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