Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus by Laura Kipnis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The issue of Title IX on college campuses in regards to sexual assault has been on my radar for a while. There have been a lot of issues of due process raised, and no amount of articles written about the issue. This book is largely about one specific experience, but is one of the first books to really cover the issue from start to finish with the sort of precision and detail necessary to do it justice.
The book was an upsetting read for me in many ways if only because of the political climate we’re in right now as well as the issues raised by multiple articles involving due process. Reading this during the significant national conversations concerning Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey only magnified the message of this book and the need to get it right, and how much we’re failing. This book is far from perfect even if it’s necessary. Its focus on one story above many diminishes the problems on campus, and it could have used a more persuasive tone. Still, in terms of what it actually offers as a cautionary tale, it’s an important record of an insane time that’s worth having.
This book offers nothing new to those on a certain side of the discussion, and needs to be read by those who are troubled by the alleged problems of sexual assault on college campuses to give some perspective. My one concern is more that I do not think those who need to know this information will get it, or be open to receiving it.
A necessary, sobering read in any regard.
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