Yes, no, maybe: Are you working on the concept of consent?Freely selectable conditions

Love, sex, money.

I want, listen, help me.

The narrator for Sigrid Nunez’s National Book Award-winning novel, The Friend, once worked to type records for couple therapy sessions. “The same words come up all the time,” she says. “I typed a word and listened to the couple. I found that the same word meant this for him and for her.”

Few words may be as misleading as the Latin word “consent.”
Consente — Literally, and almost vice versa, “feel together”.

Based on this word, modern sexual ethics are likely to change. “Sex is no longer morally problematic and problematic. Instead, it’s just what you want or don’t want,” Amia Srinivasan wrote in her next study, The Right to Sex. As scholar Joseph Fischel puts it, various critics admit that the term is essential as the “worst standard” of sexual assault law, but it is conceptually so narrow that it is enthusiastic. Not all forms of sex can be assembled as assault, and many people, mostly women, do nothing to deal with the painful and unsatisfactory sex they experience.

Recent novels, philosophical research, young adult fiction and romance fiction, movies, and television shows have joined the powerful literature from the field of feminists and disability studies, and who is excluding the term “agreement” today. What are you asking

They draw ideas, complicate them, raise their credit score and refine it.Novels such as Vanessa Springora’s memoir “Agreement”, Michaela Coel’s HBO series “I May Destroy You”, Kate Reed Petty’s “True Story”, Kate Elizabeth Russell’s “My Dark Vanessa”, Srinivasan, Essay collection by Fischel and Katherine

, Mariam Hippo, Melissa Febos, Maggie Nelson — Consent questions are all over. How, by whom, and what does this word hide? Is there a better standard? What are the conditions we have at our disposal?

This richer and more evolving concept of consent does not try to abandon the term, but wonders about its advantages and assumptions. It is recognized not only as a private transaction between individuals, but as always present in the intertwining with our world, as Milena Popova suggests in the study of the term “sexual consent”. What if? Where is our agreement on the water we drink and the air we breathe?

It is in this changing terrain that these new works are set. “I May Destroy You” is based on Coel’s experience of sexual assault and orbits another story of ambiguous sexual encounters: “theft of consent.” The most exciting moments of the show are unleashed in silence, across the character’s face surrounded by wordless turmoil, what attitude to take, what words to apply to the event or yourself. Look for. Annabel Lion’s award-winning novel “Agreement” follows, in part, a woman who was disturbed when she learned that her sister with intellectual disabilities wanted to get married — she can agree. Is it? In Shatara Mitchell Ford’s movie “Test Patterns,” the issue of consent depends not only on the assault of a woman by a stranger, but also on the subsequent presumed protective behavior of her partner. The acclaimed French writer Annie Ernaux took 60 years to put together her latest memoir, “The Story of a Girl,” about the trauma of her first sexual experience, “because it was so complicated.” “If it was rape, I could have spoken earlier, but I never thought of it that way,” she said. “I gave up because of ignorance, so to speak. I don’t remember saying” no. ” ”

So many writers tell this story — they have lost ownership of their bodies and have been exhausted from childhood by being exposed to, teasing, and bullying men’s aggression. “I’ve been very confused about who my body belongs to for a long time,” Febos wrote in Girls’ Generation. “If someone wanted my body, I tended to give it to them.” Springora, who had a relationship with a notorious older writer as a teenager, said: It states in. .. ”

The rhetoric of the consent culture chipper tells us little about the state of such beings, with its injunction to know your body and speak your mind. Self-awareness is touted as a kind of armor — if you know what you like and what you want, it won’t be abused. In “Tomorrow’s sex will be good again,” Angel associates this belief with what she calls self-confidence feminism, demonstrating its “tilted” spirit and fear of fragility. Below that, she claims, is the old business of holding women accountable for the violence of others.

Reading these books together is a hasty and powerful confluence of ideas. “We have to complicate this conversation about sexual violence.” We need words for the “spectrum” (hippopotamus) of harm. “Intermediate words” (Febos) are required. You need to learn not only the enthusiastic “yes” and “no”, but also how to say and hear “maybe” (angel). After all, sex should not be understood as a “free exchange of capitalism” (Srinivasan), not what we have extracted from anyone else, but “we make and experience together” ( Nelson), should be understood as “conversation” (angel).

These writers meet not only consent, but also the expectations of #MeToo and the kind of knowledge it has created, the rhetoric of violence, the so-called survivors. Many of these works have evoked a wave of discourse and testimony that flooded social media, wondering who such stories helped and what form of true solidarity they created. .. For example, in “I May Destroy You,” Coel character Arabella is quickly disgusted by the hope that she can find comfort by sharing her story online. Narrative vigilance connects many of these explanations. In particular, the vigilance of what Kaba calls “compulsory confession” in her book “We Do This’Til We Free Us” is the responsibility of sharing the traumatic story. The angel writes: “MeToo not only valued women’s speeches, but also risked the obligation to force feminists to show their self-fulfillment and determination to reject shame.”

In Kate Reed Petty’s novel True Story, Alice, a high school student who learns of being drunk and unknowingly assaulted, tries to write about her experience in a college entrance essay. In the draft after afflicting the draft, she was annotated with a teacher’s comment (“Let’s explore your perspective on sexism a little more”), and despite her embarrassment, she was on the page. Witness her strange and painful perception that she is expected to make an understanding of knowledge What happened. Later, she was captured by a friend of a documentary filmmaker who insisted on “sharing” her story.

From frustration with words, we seek more words and better words. Abundant because of doubts about the story. Agree — Feel Together; Probably the route applies. And in these works, there is a debate about how to proceed in the spirit of inquiry and uncertainty.

Imagine a few lines of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s poem quoted by Nelson. They are lines about speech, but they can be about touch. They are bold and full of both wonders asking for permission: “The most beautiful question / in all languages, can you say that?”

Yes, no, maybe: Are you working on the concept of consent?Freely selectable conditions

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