Cover image for Consent : sexual rights and the transformation of American liberalism
Consent : sexual rights and the transformation of American liberalism
Haag, Pamela.

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Publication Information:
Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xx, 232 p. ; 24 cm.


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Book BILKUTUP0265009 HQ32 .H3 1999 Central Campus Library

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Whom, over the past two centuries, has society construed as sexual "victims"? Where and when did the notion of consent?so crucial for law and politics today?emerge? In this brilliantly insightful work, Pamela Susan Haag traces the evolution of public wisdom on some of society's most private and controversial matters. At once an investigation of social history, popular culture, legal doctrine, and political theory, her book shows how in contemporary America the history of sexual rights is inextricably intertwined with that of liberalism.

Haag examines the nineteenth-century obsession with the perils of seduction and twentieth-century disputes over white slavery, arranged marriages, interracial relationships, and rape. The history of heterosexual modernity and identity must, she argues, be viewed as a crucial component of a much larger historical narrative?that of the ways in which individual freedom and citizenship have been continually redefined in American liberal culture. She illuminates the development of liberalism from its "classic" stage that ended after the post-Reconstruction era to a "modern" version that came to fruition with the judicial acceptance of the right to privacy. Finally, she shows how debates over the meaning of heterosexual consent and violence contributed to this transformation.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introduction What Part of """"No"""" Don't You Understand?p. xiii
Part I Feudal to Classic Liberal Precedentsp. 1
1 """"Chastity Is Only Good for the Work It Can Do"""": Seduction, Consent, and the Private Selfp. 3
Part II Classic Liberal to Modern Liberal Precedentsp. 61
3 White Slavery or the Wages of Sin? Privacy and Sexual Violence in the Modern Liberal Contextp. 63
4 Alleged Husbands and Bona Fide Cases: Arranged Marriage, Pure and Simple Consent, and the Modern Social Contractp. 94
Part III Modern Liberal Precedentsp. 119
5 The First Sexual Revolution: Two Viewsp. 121
6 Race Lust in Paradise and """"Sex Trouble"""": Meanings of Sexual Liberty and Violence in the Early 1930sp. 143
Epiloguep. 177
Notesp. 185
Indexp. 227