Title IX Campus Witch Hunts, According to Laura Kipnis

A spectre is haunting the American campus, and it’s called Title IX. Originally, you might remember, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 was the law that required colleges to have women’s as well as men’s sports teams. It still does that, but since 2011 it does a lot more: Title IX, overseen by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, now covers not just gender discrimination but all forms of sexual misconduct—a generously interpreted term that, if you’re a professor, now seems to include your body language, the books you assign to your class, the jokes you make, and maybe even the articles you publish. If you’re a student, watch out: Sexual misconduct, including rape, now means having sex with someone who was “incapable of consent” due to the influence of alcohol or drugs, and lack of consent can now be declared retroactively, even years later. As Laura Kipnis writes in her gripping new book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, “Please note that this makes anyone who’s ever had sex a potential rapist.”

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