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Saketopoulou, A. (2011). Consent, Sexuality, and Self-Respect: Commentary on Skerrett's “Beyond ‘Consent’”. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 12(4):245-250.

(2011). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 12(4):245-250

Consent, Sexuality, and Self-Respect: Commentary on Skerrett's “Beyond ‘Consent’”

Avgi Saketopoulou, Psy.D.

In this discussion, I take up Kathleen Roberts Skerrett's (this issue) position that the concept of self-respect offers itself as the better road to addressing issues of power and its abuses when it comes to sexual harassment than does consent, a concept that she shows to be imbricated in the dynamics of gendered inequalities. Drawing on her analysis of David Mamet's Oleanna (1992), I challenge self-respect as the ideologically vacant category Skerrett implies it to be. I argue instead that in its regulatory, prescriptive undertones, self-respect is as porous to gendered value judgments though it may present as natural and self-evident. In disagreement with Skerrett's dismissal of consent as a useful compass to navigate questions of harassment, I propose that consent and its operations need to be further theorized in relation to the unconscious, desire, and temporality before the concept can adequately perform the labor we are asking of it.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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