Laura Kipnis on Lockdowns, #MeToo, and Sexual Paranoia on Campus

The essayist and cultural critic talked about her new book Love in the Time of Contagion, at a live event in New York City.


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During the heyday of the sexual revolution "it was the right that was ranting against licentiousness," notes Laura Kipnis. "Now it's the right that are the swingers. They're out there with their pool boys and their threesomes, and it's the left [who practice] H.R. sexuality under the auspices of human resources departments."

Kipnis is a professor emerita of film and journalism at Northwestern University and the author of the new book Love in the Time of Contagion: A Diagnosis, which explores the effects of COVID-19 on intimate relationships and the ever-changing battlefields in culture wars over sex, gender, and desire.

Nick Gillespie interviewed Kipnis for Reason at a live event held on Monday, March 7, 2022, at New York's Caveat theater. They discussed how lockdowns supercharged the #MeToo movement and intensified existing generational resentments among boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers. They also talked about the ridiculous disciplinary hearing Kipnis went through after graduate students at Northwestern filed a Title IX complaint charging they felt unsafe after she published an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education about "sexual paranoia" on campuses (an experience she wrote about in 2017's Unwanted Advances).

Edited by Adam Czarnecki.