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Screw ConsentA Better Politics of Sexual Justice$
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Joseph J. Fischel

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780520295407

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520295407.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 June 2020

Horses and Corpses

Horses and Corpses

Notes on the Wrongness of Sex with Children, the Inappositeness of Consent, and the Weirdness of Heterosomething Masculinity

(p.117) Chapter 4 Horses and Corpses
Screw Consent

Joseph J. Fischel

University of California Press

In the state of Washington, in the early 2000s, several men regularly convened together to be penetrated by horses. Around the same time, three men in Michigan tried to exhume a woman’s corpse so one of the men could penetrate it. I consider these strange scenarios to puncture the good liberal’s posture. The good liberal defaults to consent: sex with horses must be wrong because horses cannot consent and sex with human corpses must be wrong because corpses cannot consent. But consent is startlingly inapposite. Horses and corpses are not the kinds of things to which a consent inquiry reasonably applies because consent is a human construct for governing human relations. These meditations lead to unsettling conclusions about child sexual abuse. The modern notion of the “child” presupposes adult superintendence because children are creatures incapable of consent. But then why should it matter that children cannot consent to sex? Sex between adults and young children is wrong, but not primarily because of the lack of consent. The final point of the chapter is about men. I surmise that what these men sought in sex was not gendered dominance but a break from the strictures of gendered dominance.

Keywords:   bestiality, necrophilia, horses, corpses, children, child sexual abuse, masculinity, consent

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