cover image The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century

The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century

Amia Srinivasan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-24852-9

Philosopher Srinivasan debuts with a fascinating collection of essays on issues facing the feminist movement today. Calling on feminism to be “relentlessly truth-telling, not least about itself,” Srinivasan discusses consent, intersectionality, misogyny, and gendered violence, among other topics. In “The Conspiracy Against Men,” she points out that false rape accusations are more often made by law enforcement officials (in an attempt to convict the wrong suspect for an actual crime) than by women, and describes the slogan “Believe women” as both a “corrective norm” to a legal system that skews in favor of wealthy white men and a “blunt tool” that obscures how race, class, religion, and other factors affect the handling of sexual assault allegations. In “Talking to My Students About Porn,” Srinivasan revisits the anti-porn/pro-sex debates of the 1980s and early ’90s in light of how digital pornography has become a “built-in feature” of her students’ lives. Throughout, Srinivasan returns to the question of who has power, and how it is wielded to protect the status quo, rather than to remake the world as a fairer and more equitable place. Marked by lucid prose, innovative thinking, and a penchant for resisting easy answers, this is a must-read. Agent: Amelia Atlas, ICM Partners. (Sept.)