Two years ago, Northwestern University professor, noted feminist and cultural critic Laura Kipnis found herself targeted by student protesters when she wrote an essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education questioning the campus panic about sexual violence. The students went so far as to file a Title IX “hostile environment” complaint against Ms. Kipnis. Ultimately she was cleared of any wrongdoing, but it was a Kafkaesque ordeal at the hands of what she calls, in her new book, the school’s “midwestern Torquemadas.” Thankfully, the experience did not silence her but made her all the more determined to challenge prevailing politically correct mores about sexual politics and free speech.
In “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,” Ms. Kipnis tells the story of her own experience and the incidents that inspired her essay. It’s a disturbing tale of the abuses of Title IX, the federal law intended as a safeguard against sex discrimination. But the book is also a scathing indictment of the state of American feminism.
This story is a key cautionary tale in how revolutions eventually turn to eating their own.