Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Open Borders

Here's a little thing about the death of English writer Alan Bennett's longtime female lover (via Light Reading). To me the revelation that Bennett had a long-standing relationship with a woman along with men falls squarely in the category of "Gee that's good for him but not my business." Which is how kind of how I feel about the long New Yorker piece about the South African runner Caster Semenya, which is a story as much about exploitation as it is the confounding multiplicity of gender in the natural world. It's naive and disingenuous of me to whine about Semenya's gender and Bennett's sexual desire as private subjects in a world where people like their fences firmly in place when it comes to marriage or desire or bodies. It's also foolish for me to claim that crossed boundaries need not cause shame or expulsion, when obviously and painfully and heartbreakingly they still do. But, still, there are things about the body that the body politic would do well to leave all alone; these stories demonstrate why.

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