Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
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272 pages / / 9781788732574

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In Unwanted Advances, longstanding feminist Kipnis finds herself the object of a protest march by student activists at her university for writing an essay about sexual paranoia on campus. In response she starts to question women’s role in national debates over free speech and “safe spaces’. She explores the astonishing netherworld of accused professors and students, campus witch hunts, and rigged investigations, and demonstrates the chilling effect of this new sexual McCarthyism on higher education. Without minimizing the seriousness of campus assault, Kipnis argues for more honesty: a timely critique of feminist paternalism and the covert sexual conservatism of hook-up culture.


“Above all else, though, Unwanted Advances is necessary. Argue with the author, by all means. But few people have taken on the excesses of university culture with the brio that Kipnis has. Her anger gives her argument the energy of a live cable.”

“A bracing book, its message delivered with fierce intelligence and mordant humor.”

“A persuasive and valuable contribution to the continuing debate over how to deal with sexual assault on college campuses.”

“This book is harrowing; this book is hilarious (like Dorothy Parker channeling Franz Kafka); but the main thing it is is BRAVE. On top of which, it is urgently necessary.”

“A revelation: a great work of investigative journalism and a thorough examination of a case that feels like it couldn’t happen in America … Kipnis makes you fear for a whole new set of reasons.”

“Chilling, shocking, meticulously reported, eminently readable, and in places perversely hilarious … most of all it is a crucial piece of a burgeoning conversation about threats to free speech and intellectual freedom on college campuses … Kipnis’s voice is as clarion as her insights are astute.”

“Kipnis is everything the academic bureaucrats she writes about are not: brave, honest, judicious, mature, and self-aware, with a seasoned understanding of both sexual politics and campus politics. She has struck a mighty blow for sanity, equality, and academic freedom.”

“A brave, disturbing, yet scrupulously fair book: a brilliant and pragmatic manifesto for a kind of ‘adult’ feminism that rejects the campus cult of female victimhood.”

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