The labor of consent: affect, agency and whiteness in the age of #metoo


Using the New Yorker story Cat Person, and the babe.net story I went on a date with Aziz Ansari, it turned into the worst night of my life, we explore the possibilities of consent in a context of gender inequality and white supremacy, where women’s physical safety is in danger when in the presence of men, where men have significantly more cultural capital and privilege than women, where white women most easily access narratives about agency and violability, and where the emotional labor in heterosexual relationships falls on women. The article argues for the importance of seeing consent as part of an affective economy, rather than a simple matter of choice and agency, and insists on a contextualizing of consent in the #metoo movement that is attentive to the cultural logics of patriarchy and whiteness.

Publication Title

Critical Studies in Media Communication