Manon Garcia, The Joy of Consent
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.
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.