The Sense of Consent
El sentido de consentir
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Is the concept of consent as clear and irrefutable as it seems? This book explores its nuances and contradictions.
Consent has become a key concept in sexual relationships. From the start, it seems to be clear and with perfectly drawn perimeters. But is it truly that way? This text reflects on the nuances, fissures, and paradoxes that accompany it. Can desire be verbalized with absolute clarity, without a shred of ambiguity? The author explores the path between “no means no” and “only yes means yes” from the philosophical, historical, and political perspectives, and—contrary to the dominant discourse—she defends the idea of not setting the former to the side to benefit the latter.
"This is a short but intense book that will leave you thinking, pulling at your hair in discomfort. More than offering answers to the questions that we have been asking in recent years (the myriad of questions that explode when we take the mother of all questions seriously: how and what is consensual sex?), it dismantles some of the easier answers and raises more questions. I'd say that this is its greatest virtue, along with that of intellectual honesty." —Berta García Faet, Babelia, El País
"Is the concept of consent so clear and irrefutable? This book explores its matrices and contradictions. Consent has become a key concept in sexual relationships. It appears to be clear and well-delineated. But is it really that way?" —Última Hora
"Philosopher Clara Serra sheds light on the changing paradigm that assumes ‘only yes means yes’ and abandons ‘no means no’…and invites us to a more measured reflection of a topic that, until now, has been hijacked by harsh political debate. —Olga Merino, El Periódico
"Serra draws uncomfortable places, corrects apparent consents, and questions the path forged by the assumption that only yes is yes to the detriment of no means no. She goes over questions as volatile as the limits of consent, the uncertainty surrounding desire, and the agency of women as subjects with a voice that are, however, not always listened to." Sabela Rodríguez, InfoLibre
Clara Serra (Madrid, 1982) is a researcher, feminist activist, and former deputy of the Madrid Assembly. She is currently a researcher in the University of Barcelona’s Center for Theoretical, Gender, and Sexuality Research (ADHUC). She led the Equality sector of Podemos from its inception through 2017. She is the author of the book Leonas y zorras. Estrategias políticas feministas and coordinator of the collective text Alianzas rebeldes. Un feminismo más allá de la identidad.