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Sex and the Left (Goldsmiths, 10.10.19)

On 10 October, 2019, the Platypus Affiliated Society at Goldsmiths University hosted a panel on 'Sex and the Left'.

Panelists:
- Jeanie Crystal (Artist)
- Peter Tatchell (British Human Rights Campaigner, best known for his work with LGBT movements)
- Rachel Holmes (Historian and author of Eleanor Marx: A Life, published by Bloomsbury Publishing)
- Zack Murrell-Dowson (Researcher into Trans Liberation)

What do we mean by a liberated sexuality? What are the bounds of sexual freedom available to us in capitalism? How do we imagine sexual liberation in socialism? Leftists have variously articulated phenomena such as same-sex marriage, sex work, abortion, gender fluidity and homosexuality as symptoms of economic austerity and/or of class privilege. How does economic life shape our imaginations of sexual freedom?

Why has the state historically intervened in private sexual life under capitalism, and under what circumstances, if any, should the Left support calls for state intervention in sexual life? Both historically and in the present, the Left has sought to lead the struggle for sexual rights within capitalism-- for same-sex marriage, abortion rights, the decriminalization of homosexuality and of sex work, etc.-- in society and/or by legislating via state power. How has the Left failed or succeeded to relate its civil-social and political efforts in the struggle for sexual liberation?

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