Laura Kipnis is a Professor in the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at Northwestern. Her books include Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation and Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus. (June 2018)

Follow Laura Kipnis on Twitter: @laurakipnis.


You Old Dog!

Sigrid Nunez, 2011

The Friend

by Sigrid Nunez
Sigrid Nunez’s unnamed narrator in The Friend is one of those over whom a small cloud of unreliability hovers: she’s slightly self-estranged, bookish, emotionally unfamiliar with herself. Despite so much time spent in her own company she seems on formal terms with her desires; a bit libidinally muted. There are places she doesn’t wish to press herself too hard about, such as the porousness between friendship, unrequited love, and buried hostility. Instead she moves through the world with a cauldron of unexpressed rage simmering beneath the surface.

Letting Their Hair Down

Cairo, 2005; photograph by Martin Parr

Sex and Secularism

by Joan Wallach Scott

Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics

by R. Marie Griffith
If ever a couple of books were locked in an epistemic cage match it would be the two under review here, written by warring brands of historians on the subject of sex, religion, and secularism. I am, by default, in the secularite corner: I come from such religiously indifferent people …

Kill All the Editors

Lynne Tillman, New York City, October 1990

Men and Apparitions

by Lynne Tillman

The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories

by Lynne Tillman
Lynne Tillman is widely revered by other writers—the galley of her new novel, Men and Apparitions, boasted a page of quotes from literary luminaries branded “TILLMAN SUPERFANS” who shovel on the praise with a backhoe—though not by me. I suspect that revering writers does them no favors, but don’t worry, …

Kick Against the Pricks

Donald Trump with Allie LaForce (Miss Teen USA), Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe), and Chelsea Cooley (Miss USA) at a launch party for Cara Birnbaum’s book Universal Beauty: The Miss Universe Guide to Beauty, Trump Tower, New York City, April 2006

Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back

by Gretchen Carlson
At first it was a lot of enormous media potentates crashing to earth, followed by a bunch of lesser despots and lords, many employed in the media industries too, and it soon expanded to include half the men in Hollywood and ancillary trades like politics.


The Fatal Ensnaring of Dan DePew

Daniel DePew, photographed by a friend soon after his release from prison, August 2018

Sexual panic permeated the 1980s, dictating who was criminalized and who got locked up, and for what behaviors. Poking around in newspaper databases in those pre-Google days, I came across the headline “Two Men Charged in Kidnapping Plot” from 1989, a cryptic story buried in the back pages of The New York Times about two undercover cops who had offered to provide two other men with a child to star in a homemade snuff film. One of those other two men was Daniel DePew. It might be said that entrapment cases are a Rorschach test of a society’s obsessions and fears at any given time. Who and what are we most afraid of? How can we lock them up for life and convince ourselves they deserve it? Let the DePew case offer some answers.