The Right to Sex
I think there is a very strong cultural will, not to think of sex as political. And by insisting on the politically of sex I’m not doing something new, I’m trying to return us to an older feminist tradition…that saw sex within the political critique.
Hear Amia Srinivasan in conversation with UNSW’s Emma A Jane as part of the Sydney Opera House’s 2022 All About Women festival.
Amia Srinivasan, one of the most exciting feminist thinkers today, examines the political and cultural implications of sex. Combining philosophical arguments, popular culture, and political theory, her book The Right to Sex explores male sexual entitlement, the tension between sex positivity and porn’s hold on the imagination, and the inadequate way we talk about consent.
What are the political forces that instruct the types of bodies we find attractive? And can we change who we desire to liberate sex from the distortions of oppression?
Hosted by UNSW Associate Professor Emma A Jane, this conversation was an unflinching exploration of the way our sexual lives reflect the political context of the wider world - and how to challenge these inequalities and blind spots, within ourselves and society.
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.
Emma A Jane
Emma A Jane is an Associate Professor in the School of the Arts & Media at UNSW Sydney. Emma’s research focuses on the social and ethical implications of emerging technologies, and was recognised in 2021 as being in the top 2% of researchers in her field globally (based on 2020 citations) in Stanford University's researcher rankings. Prior to joining academia, Emma spent 25 years working in the print, broadcast, and electronic media, winning multiple awards for her writing and investigative reporting. Her interdisciplinary research program combines scholarship and methods from gender studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and science and technology studies. Emma’s publications and talks focus on the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTLE) causes and effects of emerging technology, and span diverse topics, including social media, cybercrime, public policy, feminism, LGBTQI+ issues, neuroscience, genetics, psychology, and children’s media. Her memoir Diagnosis Normal was released in March 2022.