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“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
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.
Amia Srinivasan is the Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford, where she works on and teaches political philosophy, feminist theory and epistemology. She is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. Her essays and criticism—on animals, incels, death, the university, technology, political anger and other topics—have also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Nation and TANK.
Publication Date: 09/20/2022 - 12:00am
On Sale: 09/20/2022 - 12:00am
Social Science / Human Sexuality
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy