PositiveThe Guardian (UK)As consent culture has evolved, it has assumed some of the characteristics of Sheryl Sandberg-style confidence feminism, prizing sassy self-expression and individual empowerment over political transformation. The risk for Angel is that exhorting women to know and express their desires in the language of positive affirmation places the responsibility for preventing sexual violence on women’s conduct, rather than examining why violence occurs in the first place ... Part of what bothers Angel is that formalising such an idiosyncratic, unwieldy thing as desire is practically impossible. Desire doesn’t work like a legal contract: it’s difficult to always know what you want, a sense of intimacy changes in the heat of the moment, and a \'yes\' given at one point may be retracted soon afterwards. The language of consent is asked to stand for so much it begins to strain under the weight of its significance ... she is reaching towards something else: a world where desire does not have to be known and fixed in advance to protect people from violence. That this is an unlikely prospect doesn’t make it any less attractive.