From a highly regarded feminist cultural critic and professor comes a polemic arguing that the stifling sense of sexual danger sweeping American campuses doesn't empower women, it impedes the fight for gender equality.
Feminism is broken, argues Laura Kipnis, if anyone thinks the sexual hysteria overtaking American campuses is a sign of gender progress.
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 72-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 amuck. Drawing on interviews and internal documents, Unwanted Advances demonstrates the chilling effect of this new sexual McCarthyism on intellectual freedom. Without minimizing the seriousness of campus assault, Kipnis 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 Instead, regulation is replacing education, and women's hard-won right to be treated as consenting adults is being repealed by well-meaning bureaucrats.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 hook-up culture, and the institutionalized backlash of holding men alone responsible for mutually drunken sex. It's not just compulsively listenable; it will change the national conversation.
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Important contribution to Title IX discussion
The argument is well thought out and corroborated by close analysis of several Title IX cases
"Unlearning Liberty" by Greg Lukianoff -- also available as an audiobook. They both confront the issue of free speech as well as government and administrative overreach on America's campuses.
As a work of nonfiction this question isn't relevant
This book offers a refreshing perspective to a troubling issue plaguing American universities. Her methodology is scholarly, providing close readings of several Title IX cases and detailing why we need to be concerned about the way sex is being policed in our universities. The broader implications for society at large are clear. I think this book will have a long shelf life and is a must read for anyone interested in Title IX, regardless of their politics.
- Extra MSG