Thrilling, sharp, and deeply humane, the philosopher Amia Srinivasan's The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century upends the way we discuss--or avoid discussing--the problems and politics of sex.
How should we think 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.
How should we talk about sex? 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 do not know the future of sex--but perhaps we could imagine it. Amia Srinivasan's stunning debut helps us do just that. She traces the meaning of sex in our world, animated by the hope for a different world. She reaches back into an older feminist tradition that was unafraid to think of sex as a political phenomenon. She discusses a range of fraught relationships--between discrimination and preference, pornography and freedom, rape and racial injustice, punishment and accountability, students and teachers, pleasure and power, capitalism and liberation.
The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century is a provocation and a promise, transforming many of our most urgent political debates and asking what it might mean to be free.
"Laser-cut writing and a stunning intellect. If only every writer made this much beautiful sense." --Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women
"Amia Srinivasan is an unparalleled and extraordinary writer--no one X-rays an argument, a desire, a contradiction, a defense mechanism quite like her. In stripping the new politics of sex and power down to its fundamental and sometimes clashing principles, The Right to Sex is a bracing revivification of a crucial lineage in feminist writing: Srinivasan is daring, compassionate, and in relentless search of a new frame." --Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self Delusion