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mpottash's picture

Middlexex

In class, we discussed Cal's apolitical stance.  At one point in the book, he asks, "Is it really my apolitical temperament that makes me keep my distance from the intersexual rights movement?  Couldn't it also be fear?  Of standing up.  Of becoming one of them" (319).  Cal's questions relate both to his notions of himself both as a man, and as an intersexxual.  As the narrator, Cal writes as the man that he has become.  What is his gender identity?  Is it male?  Is it interesxual?  What would it mean for his gender identity if he were to become an active member of the intersexual rights movement?  Perhaps Cal feels that standing up for intersexual rights would make him less of a male, would confuse his already complicated gender identity.

Cal's statement about taking a political stance can also pertain to the feminist movement.  As we have discussed in class, many people have negative associations with the feminist movement.  It is often these negative associations which prevents women from identifying with the movement, or from calling themselves feminists.  What would it mean for feminism if we got rid of these associations?  Could people create their own feminist identities, outside of the feminist movement.

Another element that stands out at me from the book is a kind of in-between quality in the ways in which Cal talks about ideas of gender.  After having sex for the first time, Callie says "for the first time [she] clearly understood that [she] wasn't a girl but something in between"( 375).  Why did Callie feel in between, as opposed to feeling completely male?  Perhaps this speaks to the idea that even though Callie eventually becomes male, all of the experiences that she had as a female give her this in-between status.

 

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