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Is it just me?

aybala50's picture

I am still working to finish up Middlesex and I'm very much enjoying this journey. However, I can't stop thinking about the way in which Cal's gender and his intersex body are presented in this book. The story of his ancestral line including incest, multiple times, and the way in which Desdemona has feared for so long that because of this something will be wrong with each birth makes Cal seem like that "punishment". Is Cal's intersex body being presented as a crime of unmoral or sinful behavior? Am I incorrect in feeling that Cal's body is being framed as a result of incest?


epeck's picture

This is really interesting,

This is really interesting, and I hadn't thought about it at all.  I mean on one hand, Cal's body IS a genetic result of incest and is definitely framed as a sort of cosmic punishment.  On the other hand, the punishment may be more the confusion surrounding Cal's body, rather than the body itself.  But (back to the first hand) there are also clear medical downfalls (or at least societally-viewed downfalls) to being intersex, such as infertility.  I wonder if that has been one of the critiques of this book, that it may be harmful to frame intersexuality as a mistake or punishment.  I would be very interested in exploring this in class.