'Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes To Campus' Was The Most Prescient Book of 2017 (And It's Equally Relevant Today)
Before #MeToo. Before DeVos and the Education Department formally rescinded Obama-era guidance on how colleges handle sexual assaults. Before trump's oddly hypocritical tweet about due process...
There was Laura Kipnis and her amazing 2017 book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus.
"That Christmas dress -- my lord!" someone said recently when I posted this photo on my Instagram. It simultaneously felt nice to get a compliment... and slightly uncomfortable, because for some reason, our culture drills into us that it's bad to accept a compliment.
It was simple, really.
A short story in The New Yorker went viral this weekend!
A short story! Fiction! Went viral! This is very new and exciting.
But equally exciting is the number of conversations this story has sparked, and the lessons women (and men) can learn from it.
Cyber bullies are mean -- especially to women, but also to men. Which is why so many public figures, from Lindy West to Ed Sheeran, have "quit social media" and "left Twitter."
But bullies can also be a blogger's greatest ally! My email list basically doubled this week because a few damaged people decided to call me names on our high school alumni page.
That's the silly thing that bullies don't realize. By "hating" on me... they're kind of giving me exactly what I want. (Kind of like how protestors of conservative speakers take what would have been a one-time audience of 50-100 students, and turn it into an international sensation
With the exception of one small (err, actually kind of major) thing (see also: Phillips Exeter Faculty Lie to Sexual Assault Victim, Tell Her She Wasn't Assaulted), I totally love my high school. I mean, come on! Our classes took place around a Harkness table -- we constantly debated, discussed, and learned from each other. It was a totally epic learning experience.
But that didn't stop one of the most ridiculous Facebook conversations ever from happening on the alumni page this week.
As the young folks like to say, "YASSSSS!"
As a college counselor and life coach for gifted teenagers, a social scientist who values the scientific method and the quest for truth, and simply a concerned citizen, I have watched with growing alarm as American universities have spiraled out of control.
After Berkeley announced it had literally installed escape hatches so administrators could stay safe during violent student protests and Evergreen State College was shut down when police could no longer assure public safety, I knew that something would have to change.
My "thing" is adult playfulness, happiness and leisure skill development. But I also love language. Which is why I notice spelling and grammar mistakes. It's why I wrote Not to Nitpick, But Try Takes The Infinitive (Or a Gerund), NOT a Conjunction. It's why I wrote It's Not "Rediculous" -- It's RIDICULOUS. Here's Why.
And it's why I'm writing today to share this important public service announcement: it's not "prejudice." It's prejudiced. Here's why:
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
The "tolerant left" has done it again! I wrote a blog post they don't like (not because of my ideas, but because I'm white), and, unable to come up with a coherent and well-reasoned argument...
They've resorted to calling me ugly.
They weren't the first anonymous internet trolls to try to hurt my feelings, and I'm sure they won't be the last.
But here's the thing about their little poison pen comments:
On a scale of 1-10, it bothers me zero -- except insofar as it makes me feel sorry for them. Here's why.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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