#MeFirst: Undemocratic Hedonism
In the conclusion, I propose that thinking with autonomy and access, while thinking against consent, might reframe some of the central ethical and political questions #MeToo raises. For while some have argued that nonconsent is the common denominator of #MeToo’s wrongful sex and others have argued that sex discrimination is the common denominator, I suggest that neither nonconsent nor discrimination identify the core wrong of #MeToo’s wrongful sex. Instead, the pervasive problem underlining so many of the incidents that constellate #MeToo is men’s sense of sexual entitlement, their leveraging positions of power to exact sexual gratification, and the consequent undemocratic, asymmetrical distribution of pleasure. These problems, and not the problem of nonconsent, are the connective tissue across #MeToo stories and scandals. Querying how and why powerful men constrain (indexically) women’s autonomy and access, rather than presuming all such sex nonconsensual, is more politically generative for feminist movement.
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