Even 'Faint' Skepticism of Campus Rape Accusations Is Too Much Objectivity for the New Republic

A partially negative review of Blurred Lines reveals much.


Blurred Lines
Reason TV

I've just obtained my copy of Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus, Vanessa Grigoriadis's new book about sex and sexual assault on university campuses.

The New York Times's Michelle Goldberg gave it a mixed review, but that review came under heavy criticism for misrepresenting Grigoriadis's work. It's difficult, then, to take Goldberg's complaints about the book very seriously.

But Goldberg's review isn't the only that deserves scrutiny. Let me turn your attention to the New Republic's Josephine Livingstone, a culture writer and enemy of appropriation, who writes that sections of the book caused her to "stop trusting" Grigoriadis. Here's a notable passage from Livingstone's review:

Blurred Lines is a meticulously researched book. Ultimately, she treats her subjects who have experienced sexual assault with the respect that real journalistic standards confer: the stories come in their own words. Blurred Lines is probably intended as a book for worried parents and others—like administrative professionals—who are worried by the changing stakes of in loco parentis caretaking of young people today. For this purpose, the book is certainly fit. But for Grigoriadis seems faintly suspicious of anti-rape efforts throughout Blurred Lines—suspicious of the young radicals at Wesleyan, suspicious of some of the cases brought against campus abusers. For this reason, I remained faintly suspicious of her throughout.

Again, I've not yet read the book, so I don't know whether "faintly suspicious of anti-rape efforts" is a fair characterization of Grigoriadis. But let's assume that it is. This is a reason to distrust Grigoriadis? That she was even slightly inclined to question some aspects of the victims' narratives? That basic fairness and journalistic integrity caused her to discover there are two sides to every campus rape accusation?

It's remarkable such a perspective—concerned about student sex norms, convinced campus rape is a true and disturbing phenomenon, but "faintly" suspicious of some of the more outlandish claims—would engender the New Republic's distrust. Does Livingstone deny the existence of false or blurry accusations entirely?

There's much else with which to disagree. Livingstone accused Grigoriadis of scolding young people when the author describes millennial culture as "pornified," but it seems hardly disputable that young people are more inundated with sexually suggestive imagery than previous generations. Whether this is good or bad or a mix of both is another matter, but it's definitely happening.

In any case, if TNR can only give a full-throated endorsement to a book that confirms every single one of its biases relating to the modern left-feminist perspective on sexual assault, I'm hoping Blurred Lines is not such a tome.

I'll have more detailed thoughts after I finish Blurred Lines. In the meantime, watch Nick Gillespie's recent interview with Grigoriadis for Reason TV:


NEXT: Brickbat: Move Along

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  1. Hasn’t read the book. Writes article.
    I am suspicious.

    1. He just spent too much time around the HnR crowd. Not only is it common to avoid reading the article before commenting, we often don’t bother to read the comment before replying. It’s kinda our thing.

      1. Sometimes, people don’t even bother reading a comment before replying.

        1. Any second now some idiot is gonna come along and make a terrible joke about not reading the comments.

    2. It wouldn’t count as a hot take if he had.

    3. Describes every book report I did in High School.

  2. This is a review of a review by someone who hasn’t read the book. I think the Internet is full.

  3. it’s Soave, what more do you expect?

    1. Suicide? Oh you said expect, not hope for.

  4. Funny that the NYT issued a correction:
    Correction: September 17, 2017
    A review on Page 11 this weekend about “Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus,” by Vanessa Grigoriadis, refers incorrectly to her reporting on the issues. She does in fact write about Department of Justice statistics that say college-age women are less likely than nonstudent women of the same age to be victims of sexual assault; it is not the case that Grigoriadis was unaware of the department’s findings. In addition, the review describes incorrectly Grigoriadis’s presentation of statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. She showed that there is disagreement over whether the data are sound; it is not the case that she gave the reader “no reason to believe” the statistics are wrong.

    1. If it weren’t for the corrections page, the NYT would be completely unreliable as opposed to mostly unreliable.

      1. But what is reliable news reporting to you? Go on, list the sources you trust. Or will you be too ashamed for some reason like everyone else I ask this question here?

        1. One would do well to trust, but verify, authors over publications.

  5. That actually makes me want to read the book more. Not that I was going to.

    Maybe he’s doing some sort of reverse psychology. How dare this book maintain a sense of objectivity and balance? If you read this, you might get both sides of the story! Stay away!

  6. “full-throated endorsement”


  7. Again, I’ve not yet read the book, so I don’t know whether “faintly suspicious of anti-rape efforts” is a fair characterization of Grigoriadis. But let’s assume that it is.

    Even Robby doesn’t read the article before commenting. Truly, he is one of our own.

  8. Grigoriadis was interviewed here by the Atlantic

    Her “solution” to the shitty, ‘stripping defendants of any due process rights’ of Title IX inquisitions was the following:

    we have to stop thinking about this in terms of who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. I would say in [murky cases], I would lower the punishment. That’s how you fix it. ? The punishment for the boys in cases has not matched what the actual behavior has been, and we so quickly jump to he was a sexual predator, he needs to be expelled.

    [If we] expel the guy, he’ll join the alt-right chorus on the internet and talk about how women lie about rape and women ruin men’s lives. ? That’s exactly where they go every single time. I mean really, in my reporting?no question, they immediately get on the [MRA] trip and they immediately get into those chat rooms. … When it is a situation like the ones that have been described, you need to look at re-education.

    re-read that a few times. The worst thing about destroying falsely-accused men’s lives is that “they might join the “”alt-right”” (read: this notion of alt-right)

    so, clearly what we need is…. not to provide anyone any presumption of innocence! No: we need to mete out milder punishments, and also impose more leftist brainwashing.

    1. Yeah, I think it was established yesterday or the day before that she was essentially full of shit when it came to her being ‘objective’ about the subject. She might be one of the more reasonable voices asking for men to be considered guilty and they must prove their innocence, but that doesn’t make her actually reasonable.

      1. “” one of the more reasonable voices asking for men to be considered guilty””

        to be sure.

  9. She’s impressively annoying starting at around 12:00, which she sustains, and then reaches a temporary climax at 16:00+ with preacher lady intonation. – As a particular thing, what’s with calling them “boys”, and using first names? That’s a remarkable mismatch witht the subject matter. She is a strange person.

    1. 21:41: Paraphrased: “Despite everything I said (women highly sexualized, sex positive, confident, …), they carry a lot of shame and have a problem “expressing themselves sexually, *this is just simply a fact*”.

    2. From her Slate interview: “Oh, yeah. I mean, I’m 100 percent on the side that 1 out of 5 is not a bogus number. Even if you want to go down the road of looking at the surveys and picking out the words that make you think that a girl could say she was raped when she wasn’t, there’s no question that we’re having an upsurge in our culture of women saying, “I feel violated by the way that I had sex in college.””

      “Are those different groups of students? Or do you think that there is a certain contradiction there between people who at one level want to protest all these forms of discrimination, but also are going along with this college culture that has these really negative consequences?

      I think generally, those are two different groups of people even though there are a lot of sorority girls who are going to give lip service to progressive ideals.”

      That’s some excellent chaos. But at least women barely wear anything. Well, it may be confusing that they do that more during the fertile phase of their cycles, when they compete over fewer men, and when there’s a recession (not kidding). One may get the idea that dressing has something to do with sexually influencing men, and even with intentionally doing so.

    3. “”OK. Well, we know that hair pulling has increased. Slapping has increased,” and you’ve got a low-level meanness in porn that women are portrayed as liking or not really reacting to, I think that’s got to … I mean, we’re all obviously influenced by the images that we see around us, particularly young people who are learning about how to have sex from porn.”

      Well, we also have women searching for porn with violence directed against women more than men search for it. We also have 50 Shades, romance novels, rape fantasies, and research that confirms the presence of “token resistance” (“no doesn’t mean no”).

    4. “We’re talking about kids who are 19 or 20 and may have never had sex before, probably have only had sex once or twice, and they’re going into situations where they feel uncomfortable vocalizing what they want, and they’re coming out of it feeling like, “That was not a boost to my self-esteem. That actually made me feel kind of shitty.” We’re never going to stop guys from having an orgasm and then rolling over and going to sleep. It’s not like we’re going to mandate cuddling or something. (…)

      the survey numbers indicate that too many people are saying?too many women specifically?and you know there are men as well, of course, saying that their early sexual experiences are really negative ones. We can’t just say this is all a learning experience. How can I have friends that are 40-years old that are telling me about things that happened to them in college that they still remember vividly like it happened yesterday? They still feel really shitty about that.”

      Rather than thinking about this (sex differences), she goes on to advocate affirmative consent. That’ll totally fix the cuddling (romance) problem. Well, at least it allows the supposedly sexually empowered women to keep being empowered (the entirety of which is apparently wearing shirt skirts), while having sex they regret but have affirmatively agreed to.

    5. “Where do I say that? I don’t think I say that feminism is making guys … I mean, I throw that out as an idea, but no, I don’t really believe that.”

      [Interviewer] You write, “Guys might be asserting themselves in the bedroom because they can’t in other places.”

      [She] Yeah, I know. I know. I said that. [Laughs.] It was a weird idea. Look, I don’t know. We’re talking about these young millennials. If young girls are getting better grades than guys, if they’re playing sports really well, if they’re way more represented at prestigious universities than guys are, if they’re potentially going to be more employable than guys are, then why is it that so many of them are being violated, or at least feel violated, in the bedroom? That honestly isn’t a conversation that has gone on, and a lot of that is because America is a fucked up place and people don’t get sex ed. They don’t have any way to talk about this with their parents, because their parents are really deeply conflicted about sex and don’t want to bring it up with their kids and all that shit. That’s part of what it is. But it is true that it seems like sexual equality is kind of lagging behind this other gender equality for 20-year-olds, despite what they show on social media, that they’re all sexy all the time and feel so comfortable with it and “I tell guys what I want.””

      1. It’s because “America” got feminist sex ed. And feminists “sex positivity” largely to get away with their own sexual submissiveness (see, eg Robin West). Which, by the way, has been a thing for decades, if not eternity (sex-positive caveminists). “Parity feminism” can not grasp any of tthis,

        Slate Worth reading in full.

  10. Even ‘Faint’ Skepticism of Campus Rape Accusations Is Too Much Objectivity for the New Republic – Hit & Run : Reason.comis the best post by imo for pc Please visit imo app imo app snaptube for pc snaptube app

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