Aishah Shahidah Simmons in Signs - Journal of Women in Culture and Society

Photo by Daniel Goudrouffe

Photo by Daniel Goudrouffe

Signs - Journal of Women in Culture and Society invited Jaclyn Friedman, Kelly Oliver, Claire Potter, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, and Lisa Wade, PhD to respond to Laura Kipnis's controversial (at best) new book 'Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus' for their "Short Takes- Provocations on Public Feminism." Additionally Kipnis responds to our responses. All of which is freely available on Signs' website.

An excerpt from Aishah's response: "The Personal Is Political and Academic":

[...]I share a part of my (rape survivor) story because for many people who don’t have any understanding of what rape is, they would not define what happened to me in March 1989 as rape. Frankly, after reading Kipnis’s deeply troubling Unwanted Advances, I’m not sure she would define what happened to me as rape.

While reading Kipnis’s book, I found myself asking, why this book now? I’m assuming she wrote the manuscript before the (alleged) sexual predator in chief was elected to govern the United States. Perhaps she and her mainstream publisher thought it would be a very provocative and insightful read during a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential administration. It might have been. However, in the current political climate, where conditions and interventions that can follow a sexual assault are at risk of becoming defined as preexisting conditions under the proposed American Health Care Act, which recently passed in the House of Representatives, her book is a very frightening and I believe dangerous read.[...]


Read all of the responses in their entirety here.