Women are in a bind. They are told that in the name of sexual consent and feminist empowerment, they must proclaim their desires clearly and confidently. Sex researchers tell us that women don't know what they want. And men are on hand to persuade women that what they want is, in fact, exactly what men want. In this environment, how can women possibly know what they want-and how can they be expected to?
In this book, Katherine Angel surveys medical and psychoanalytic understandings of female desire, from Freud to Kinsey to present-day science; MeToo-era debates over consent, assault, and feminism; and popular culture, TV, and film to challenge our assumptions about female desire. Why, she asks, do we expect desire to be easily understood? In contrast to the endless exhortation to know what we want, Angel proposes that sex can be a conversation, requiring insight, interaction, and mutual vulnerability.
Angel urges that we remake our thinking about sex, pleasure, and autonomy without any illusions of perfect self-knowledge. Only then will we bring about Michel Foucault's sardonic promise, in 1976, that "tomorrow sex will be good again".
Contains mature themes.
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- Berel Dov Lerner
Good with expected deficiencies.
Well written, well read, it covers a lot of the ideological disputes and scientific research concerning female sexual desire and the role of consent in sexual ethics. As unfortunately expected in feminist writing, I get the feeling she has not really talked much with living breathing men about this stuff - they show up as a kind of theorized category. Ideology keeps her from seriously considering that differences between male and female sexuality might run deeper than the constructs of a patriarchal society. And, of course, discussions of love and (God forbid) enduring monogamous relationships are almost entirely absent.
1 person found this helpful
- Amazon Customer
sound logic around consent
I really love the concepts portrayed by this author. The whole world of consent has been very murky and confusing in this book shed some light on the topic.