New review: Beyond the Circle

// 29 September 2010

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Jane Fae Ozimek’s book takes a refreshing and inspiring look at questions of taboo, sex and the law – but does not quite have the answers, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith

Jane Fae Ozimek’s Beyond the Circle is slim, powerful book about consent, justice and freedom. Its most basic argument is stated openly and plainly in the preface:

“If we are adults, what we get up to in the privacy of our own bedrooms with other consenting adults should have nothing whatsoever to do with the government; the very idea that it does is both arrogant and outrageous.”

This represents the belief of the Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN), for whom Ozimek is writing, and as such it’s a deliciously straightforward and honest declaration, with which it’s very hard to disagree. And I wouldn’t disagree at all, if this were all that Beyond the Circle was to argue. But it isn’t. Beyond the Circle a far more complex, nuanced work than it may at first appear – both for better and for worse.

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