Grigoriadis admires the new generation of activists who are drawing attention to nonconsensual sex and the culture of 'toxic masculinity' that supports it. But she also expresses compassion for a subset of the young men accused by these women, seeing them as a second set of victim ... The book has a discursive quality and seems bloated, in need of a tighter edit. But Grigoriadis does succeed in depicting the ambiguities that exist around changing gender norms, the attempts of colleges to adjudicate them and the ways she'd like to see both evolve ... In such a fluid cultural environment, where today's certainties are tomorrow's taboos, it's difficult to produce a definitive book on the subject of campus sexual assault. But credit Grigoriadis with a fair-minded and informative try.
She analyzes 'millennial culture' according to the way that she sees young people’s clothes, their music, and their language. It was this element of the book that blurred my judgment with respect to the rest of Grigoriadis’s analysis. Or, rather, it didn’t blur my vision so much as it colored it: it made me stop trusting her...there are some descriptions of millennial culture that just felt, well, weird ... 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.
...[a] fascinating but often frustrating new book ... In this confusing climate, a cleareyed elucidation of the murky campus rape phenomenon would be enormously welcome. Blurred Lines aims to be that book, but is too sloppy with the facts to succeed ... [Grigoriadis] is terrific at capturing complicated personalities and subtle social dynamics. Her kaleidoscopic tour through the campus sexual assault controversy, which begins and ends with Sulkowicz, introduces readers to rape victims-turned-activists, faux-worldly sorority sisters, young men who say their lives were destroyed by false accusations and the college administrators struggling to enforce rapidly changing rules and norms ... The mistakes in Blurred Lines offer easy justification to anyone who wants to dismiss it. In some ways this is too bad, because parts of it are powerful...Yet while she’s sympathetic to the antirape movement, she’s also willing to challenge its shibboleths, describing cases in which the line between bad sex and sexual assault is in fact hard to discern.