I will return to the classic question of consent, but understood not as a binary between “I agree or I do not agree”, but as a process involving experimentation and the discovery of our sexual identities. The sex itself changes as we encounter different types of people and media. It indicates how consent should be understood as a procession within an encounter.
As we move forward in our sex lives, there has to be constant communication about the limits and possibilities. I think it’s about bringing about a nuanced discussion about the meaning of consent and the possibilities of that consent. There are two ways to think of consent as your right, either in a negative or positive sense.
On the positive side, you have a right to sexual self-expression and sexual knowledge. While on the downside, you have a right not to be upset. I think that when it comes to the discussion around the media, we are mainly bound to a negative sense of rights and there is little discussion about positive rights. And this is especially important for women.
There is a view that women need to be protected and sheltered, but this may also be against their own interests. An example is content media policies that do not allow images of female breasts unless they are related to breastfeeding, cancer or political protests. You have counterarguments from people who say that it is natural and healthy to see nipples, but there is no place in that discussion for women who want to show their breasts because it makes them happy.
I’m not saying there should be no content moderation, but we need to rethink the logic of rights so that we have as many possibilities of exercising our positive rights as we do negatives. Towards this end, Platform Content Policies should include the possibility of opting out both in and out of sexual content, rather than removing such references completely and for all.