Archives de Tag: Liberté

An asexual person who does not know they are asexual will grow up believing that they must be sexual, feel sexual attraction, and be sexually active. Sexual desire is thought to be as natural and universal as breathing, and a person who does not have it must be abnormal or defective in some way. Asexual people are pressured into being “normal” by the stigma and stereotypes our culture has regarding virgins, celibacy, aromanticism, and several other concepts. An asexual person who does not conform to compulsory sexuality will encounter prejudice, harassment, pathologization and other problems; they are, essentially, being pressured or coerced into acting allosexual.

And much of the time, these messages are so universal, and so unquestioned, that we internalize them: we learn to silence our own objections to sex, and we scold ourselves for being “abnormal.” The discovery of asexuality is a turning point for many of us, and transforms our sexuality from a problem that needs to be fixed into a different yet beautiful thing we can be proud of. To identify as asexual means we no longer apologize for what we are, and that we know we do not need to follow our culture’s expectations about sex. The asexual identity frees us to say “No,” with a confidence that we did not have before.

But what of the asexual people who do not know what they are? What of the asexuals who consent to acts of sex purely because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do? What of the asexual people who have sex because they want to be “normal,” knowing that their friends, family and lovers will reject or look down on them if they are abnormal? They do not have the information about asexuality that they need to make fully informed decisions about their sex lives. They might not have the confidence needed to resist people and social standards that would pressure them into having sex that they do not truly want. They can still consent to sex, and may even enjoy it, but they are not entirely free, and their consent is not freely given.

« Asexuality and Consent Issues »


la liberté de jeu laissée aux agents est la condition de leur contribution à leur propre exploitation. C’est en s’appuyant sur ce principe que le management moderne, tout en veillant à garder le contrôle des instruments de profit, laisse aux travailleurs la liberté d’organiser leur travail, de manière à déplacer leur intérêt du profit externe du travail (le salaire) vers le profit intrinsèque, lié à l’ “enrichissement des tâches” (la grève du zèle, à l’inverse, consiste à reprendre et à refuser tout ce qui n’est pas dans le contrat de travail)

Pierre BOURDIEU, la double vérité du travail


Those debates reveal a convergence in the political agenda of some secular or republican feminists and the current political class in power. At the heart of the discourses legitimizing state intervention in the lives of prostitutes and veiled women lie the issues of “liberté” (freedom) and “dignité” (dignity), in the French republican sense of these terms. Republican discourse considers veiled women to be oppressed by their culture and religion and perceives prostitutes as the victims of patriarchy and capitalism. In both cases, the political class has denied their capacity to be active agents in charge of their own lives. In spite of some attempts at broadening the spectrum of interpretations, their agency is automatically disqualified as “false consciousness” and blindness to their own oppression. The parliamentary report on the practice of full veiling released in January 2010 insists on the “servitude volontaire” (“voluntary enslavement”) of the women adopting such practices. In the same manner, parliamentary debates preceding the vote on the law on “sécurité intérieure” (internal security) of 2002 reaffirmed that prostitutes are to be considered primarily as victims whose activities are incompatible with human dignity.

Billaud, Julie; Castro, Julie, “Whores and Niqabées: The Sexual Boundaries of French Nationalism”, in:  French Politics, Culture & Society, Volume 31, Number 2, Summer 2013, p. 91

Ici encore les débats sur le voile et/ou l’islam et/ou la religion sont stupides et régressifs : la conception du choix qui s’y développe est simpliste, de celles qu’une heure de cours de philosophie ou de sociologie – ou simplement une heure de réflexion – suffit en principe à écarter définitivement. En gros, comme une porte doit être ouverte ou fermée, l’individu serait soit libre, soit soumis. Il ne peut pas être un peu des deux : l’humanité se partage selon cette vision entre les hommes libres (à tous égards et définitivement) et les hommes soumis (tout aussi absolument et définitivement) – elle se partage plus précisément entre les “libres penseurs” d’un côté, miraculeusement libérés de tout déterminisme familial et social, de toute superstition et de tout préjugé depuis l’héroïque geste inaugural qui leur a fait “choisir l’athéisme”, et de l’autre la masse aliénée des religieux, forcément aussi crédules pace aux hommes qu’ils sont croyants face aux dieux, et forcément aussi serviles face aux pouvoirs humains qu’ils sont soumis à l’autorité divine.

Pierre TEVANIAN, La Haine de la religion, La Découverte, 2013, p. 43-44