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

The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century By Amia Srinivasan Cover Image
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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, 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 complexityits deep ambivalences, its relationship to gender, class, race and powerwe 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 of 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.

About the Author


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.

Praise For…


Advance Praise
A SUNDAY TIMES (UK) BESTSELLER

“Srinivasan refuses to resort to straw men; she will lay out even the most specious argument clearly and carefully, demonstrating its emotional power, even if her ultimate intention is to dismantle it . . . For a book by a philosopher that makes a vibrant case for theory, The Right to Sex keeps returning to the reality of lived experience. “
—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

“This new essay collection takes on pornography, power, desire and more, drawing on earlier feminist tradition and connecting questions of freedom to class, race and disability.”
—Joumana Khatib, The New York Times Book Review (Most Anticipated)

“[Srinivasan] shows us how to let philosophical arguments clarify debates within popular culture, and how to read popular culture as a way of wrestling with moral ­dilemmas related to sex, feminism, equality, and freedom . . . Imbued with the breath of fresher air, The Right to Sex demonstrates . . . how the feminist philosopher can emancipate our basic ethical concepts.”
—Judith Butler, New Statesman

"Each individual essay in this collection is complex, requiring an exegesis beyond what the scope of a single book review can handle, but certain moments stand out to me as impossible not to highlight . . . On any given page, Srinivasan will leave you feeling convinced she has found a way out, only to pull the rug out from under you; whenever she says “but,” one wants to duck."
—Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic

“Persuasive and daring . . . Srinivasan does not shy away from the difficult tensions that [her thesis] throws into relief.”
—Becca Rothfeld, Boston Review

The Right to Sex is a truly stunning debut, sure to provoke, unmoor, and inspire many.”
—Audrey Clare Farley, Washington Independent Review of Books

“The emergence of a writer like Srinivasan, who asks feminists to go further, is an enormous gift to the discourse.”
—Jessica Ferri, The Los Angeles Times

“A daring feminist collection considers pornography, desire and the boundaries within student-teacher relationships . . . Compelling . . . The book effectively highlights how sexual desire—who we are and are not attracted to—is political and affected.”
—Rafia Zakaria, The Guardian (UK)

“The philosopher’s debut, The Right to Sex, deftly unpacks the politics of sexual desire, the nuances of the call to ‘believe women’, and fulfills our need for a deeper interrogation of modern feminism . . . [An] urgent call for an intersectional approach to feminism, which is the only way to build an equal society for women . . . Extraordinary.”
—Brit Dawson, Dazed

“To accompany Srinivasan on her thought-work into unpacking, questioning, considering, contextualizing, and deepening contemporary feminist issues is to be stretched into new shapes that the world needs. Srinivasan’s powerful thinking is matched by her powerful language, often striking like an electric revelation at the core of an issue. [The Right to Sex] is required reading.”
—Emily Dziuban, Booklist (starred review)

“This exceptionally well-written collection is among the most insightful works yet about sex in modern culture. It effectively merges academic analysis with lived experience in an accessible read that will interest readers from diverse professional and personal backgrounds.”
—Sarah Schroeder, Library Journal

“Revelatory . . . Srinivasan’s grasp on the arguments and movements of her forebears is spectacular. Her ability to explain complex concepts and issues simply makes the reader’s job both easy and enjoyable . . . Srinivasan is a phenomenal philosopher . . . It’s up to us to start taking the steps. My explicit recommendation, for what it’s worth, is to begin by reading this book.”
—Bri Lee, The Monthly

“Srinivasan’s true subject is the need for nuance and generosity in contemporary discourse on sex . . . [Written with] gliding rigor and sharp edges . . . She takes her opponents at their strongest, she braves ambiguity, and she holds up contradictory evidence to see if her argument still works . . . Srinavasan’s work is too interesting to be perfect. It’s superb.”
—Naoise Dolan, The Irish Times

“[Srinivasan] boldly examines the politics and ethics of sex—past, present and future—in her new work of non-fiction. The Right To Sex is a series of essays in which Srinivasan makes her way through consent, pornography, freedom, teacher and student relationships, male grievance, desire, intersectionality and more . . . Her writing will draw you in and teach you something.”
—Hannah Millington, The Independent (“5 New Books to Read This Week”)

“Amia Srinivasan reveals both the material opportunities and dead-ends of a century-long conscious trajectory towards female empowerment. The Right to Sex reminds us of the foundational complexities to Women's Liberation ideas and why we are still grappling with them. This gathering of evidence invites readers to create new knowledge.”
—Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993

“From its luminous beginning words, Amia Srinivasan’s magnificent first book announces itself as a classic. Already one of our most superlative philosophers and stylish essayists, Srinivasan shows that concern for the plight of the most oppressed is never disconnected from general explorations of and movements for free lives for everyone, and the renovated social order our common future requires.”
—Samuel Moyn, author of Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374248529
ISBN-10: 0374248524
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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