Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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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 Instead, regulation is replacing education, and women's right to be treated as consenting adults is being repealed by well-meaning bureaucrats.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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This is an excellent read, written by a feminist who takes on egregious overreach of enhance Title IX ("Dear Colleague,..."). If you are to read a review that suggests Kipnis offers defense or apology for any sort of predatory, grooming, or boorish behavior, I can tell you, no such defense exists in this book.
I hoped that somewhere in the book, perhaps an appendix, Kipnis could have provided summaries of the dozens or hundreds of other victims she had heard from. It really would have driven the point home.
The saddest part of this whole matter is that she never would have written this book had she herself not been a victim of the "left eating its own." The Stalinist measures being employed by universities should have been on full display and exposed by both the media and civil rights groups. Perhaps that's more a statement of how debased and biased our media has become.
No one questions that we need to protect young women (and men) from sexual predators, but Title IX has been turned into an all purpose tool for political vendettas and shutting down legitimate discourse. You've heard of "safe spaces" and this is at its core. Students (and faculty) in higher education only allow to be said that which they are willing to hear. Transgression is punished by months of secret investigation and ruinous legal bills. Gag orders prevent the accused from speaking to anyone with harsh punishments promised to those who break the silence.