Manon Garcia - "The Joy of Consent" - Chiara Cordelli and Agnes Callard

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Manon Garcia

Manon Garcia will discuss The Joy of Consent: A Philosophy of Good Sex. She will be joined in conversation by Chiara Cordelli and Agnes Callard. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

This event will be held in person at The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality

Presented in partnership with The Pozen Center for Human Rights and The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality


About the book: A feminist philosopher argues that consent is not only a highly imperfect legal threshold but also an underappreciated complement of good sex. In The Joy of Consent, French philosopher Manon Garcia upends the assumptions that underlie this very American debate, reframing consent as an ally of pleasure rather than a legalistic killjoy. In doing so, she rejects conventional wisdom on all sides. As a legal norm, consent can prove rickety: consent alone doesn’t make sex licit―adults engaged in BDSM are morally and legally suspect even when they consent. And nonconsensual sex is not, as many activists insist, always rape. People often agree to sex because it is easier than the alternative, Garcia argues, challenging the simplistic equation between consent and noncoercion.

Drawing on sources rarely considered together―from Kantian ethics to kink practices―Garcia offers an alternative framework grounded in commitments to autonomy and dignity. While consent, she argues, should not be a definitive legal test, it is essential to realizing intimate desire, free from patriarchal domination. Cultivating consent makes sex sexy. By appreciating consent as the way toward an ethical sexual flourishing rather than a legal litmus test, Garcia adds a fresh voice to the struggle for freedom, equality, and security from sexist violence.

About the author: Manon Garcia is the author of We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women’s Lives. A Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Junior Professor at Freie Universität Berlin, she has taught at the University of Chicago and Yale University. She received the Prix des Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco for the best book of philosophy published in France in 2022.

About the interlocutors: Chiara Cordelli is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College. Cordelli’s main area of scholarly research is contemporary analytical political theory. She is especially interested in the relationship between the distributive and relational dimensions of equality, the moral and institutional division of labor between state and civil society in theories of justice, the public/private distinction in liberal theory, the nature of duties of beneficence, the ethics of philanthropy, and the ethical limits of privatization. She co-edited Philanthropy in Democratic Societies (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Agnes Callard is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Her primary areas of specialization are Ancient Philosophy and Ethics. She is also noted for her popular writings and work on public philosophy.  Callard received the 2020 Lebowitz Prize, awarded by the American Philosophical Association and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019.

Event Location: 
The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
5733 S University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637