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In October 2014, while we were at the Anarchafeminist Conference in London, we visited Feminist Fightback during one of there meetings at the Common House. A lot of interesting things take place there. In the same building, you can e.g. find London’s Plan C. So we took one of their bamn magazines, in which Tanya Serisier’s article ‘Is Consent Sexy?’ was published, with us.
German (queer)feminism often combines the fight against sexual violence with the ideal of ‘consensual’ sex. We even have a banner that says ‘We love consent’ 😉 Apparently, this is the case in English-speaking contexts, as well and those debates also have an impact on ours. Serisier criticises ‘the’ concept of ‘consent’ from a feminist point of view.
Reading her article, our wish to ‘import’ such debates (this also applies to articles about safer spaces,…) grew. Perhaps this can help to stop German debates from going round in circles or getting stuck in the same discussions over and over again – which is why we translated Serisier’s article.
Translating texts is, however, quite a lot of work and often one of the first things to be left undone, when there’s a lot going on (just have a look at the things that have been going on in Dresden over the last months…). This article took us half a year. If you speak German and English (or any other languages) and are keen on helping us with translations, let us know. Anyway, here‘s the German translation and this is the English original:
Is Consent Sexy? (Tanya Serisier)
‘Consent is sexy. Sex without consent is rape.’ This slogan comes from a US-based campaign (consentissexy.org) targeted at university students and aimed at promoting a ‘culture of consent’ on university campuses. But the slogan could easily come from any number of campaigns aimed at reducing sexual violence and changing sexual behaviour. The political logic of this campaign is so commonplace in countries such as the US and the UK that it is essentially a form of ‘common sense knowledge’ or even a hegemonic truth, broadly shared across the political spectrum. This logic is, mainly speaking, that rape – defined as sexual activities that one of the parties does not consent to -is a terrible thing and should not occur. Therefore, what we need to do is promote, socially and culturally, sex that is the opposite of this illegal, harmful and unethical sex. Following from legal definitions of non-consent, consent becomes the primary criterion for judging good, ethical and even ‘sexy’ sex.
As the URA (Undogmatische Radikale Antifa Dresden – undogmatic radical antifa) already did, we want to call on everyone to support the petition of “Frauen für Frauen e.V. Leipzig” (women for women Leipzig)! We’re asking all of you to contribute to an amendment of the current rape legislation in Germany, so that the “Istanbul Convention” can be implemented and so that people are liable to prosecution for sexual activities to which the others involved didn’t consent.
Petition (in German)