A Guardian and New Statesman Highlight for 2021
How should we talk about sex? It is a thing we have and also a thing we do; a supposedly private act laden with public meaning; a personal preference shaped by outside forces; a place where pleasure and ethics can pull wildly apart. Since #MeToo many have fixed on consent as the key framework for achieving sexual justice. Yet consent is a blunt tool. To grasp sex in all its complexity – its deep ambivalences, its relationship to gender, class, race and power – we need to move beyond ‘yes and no’, wanted and unwanted. We need to interrogate the fraught relationships between discrimination and preference, pornography and freedom, rape and racial injustice, punishment and accountability, pleasure and power, capitalism and liberation. We need to rethink sex as a political phenomenon. Searching, trenchant and extraordinarily original, The Right to Sex is a landmark examination of the politics and ethics of sex in this world, animated by the hope of a different one.
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