“There are some conversations happening that are about the joy of consent. And that’s the conversation I would like to bring forward; consent is a path to kindness and pleasure in our bodies and in ourselves. We shouldn’t be looking at sexual delight as something that needs to be hidden in these dark recesses of desire. There’s definitely something to mystery, but I think that the more enlightened we become as a culture, the more we’ll see that we can be really honest with ourselves and allow for all the variation that is part of human sexuality and and still have a rockin’ good time. And what it means to be joyful and really saying yes to ourselves, especially as women. Because in order to say ‘yes’ you have to really want sex.”
Video interview on We Thrive TV at motheringanddaughtering.com
Bethany Saltman drafted the nation’s first “affirmative consent” policy at Antioch College in the 90s. That means she’s been having the #metoo conversion and talking about the politics of pleasure for a good long time.
“It can be really hard to say yes,” Ms. Saltman said. “You have to be so brazenly wanting sex to say yes.”
I mean to me it’s so obvious, it’s so not a big deal, it’s like instead of ‘did she say no, did you ask?’
I have always believed that the policy we wrote was semiotically profound, emotionally powerful, and culturally transformative. And yet I have also looked back at that time at Antioch with some personal chagrin, even shame, embarrassed to have been riding my high horse so publicly.
Saltman: Your analogy between organized religion and rape is pretty inflammatory. Is that intentional?
Harris: I can be even more inflammatory than that. If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.
Bethany Saltman: You write, “Happiness is not a concept I tend to dwell on. Chinese parenting does not address happiness.” Don’t you think that the ..
Bethany Saltman: What is your sense of the parenting scene these days? What are some of the issues that parents are really worried about? And how do you understand the way that parents are being talked to by all the millions of experts?