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.
In catering to a more skeptical audience, Grigoriadis occasionally entertains and perpetuates some harmful stereotypes, such as the idea that young women are prone to exaggerate their experiences of sexual harm, that the way some girls dress is incompatible with their desire to be respected, or that the means by which women share information that concerns their safety should be trivialized as a dangerously overworked ‘gossip mill.’ This tendency, along with her disproportionate criticism of young feminist activists, limits the appeal of the book, but it otherwise offers a thoughtful, nuanced analysis … Despite Grigoriadis’s care and compassion, her sometimes bemused, other times suspicious, and occasionally derogatory treatment of some of her millennial female subjects and their politics is perplexing, and it distracts from her overarching argument in support of the progress wrought by millennial sex equality movements.