The Reason Of The Thing

Reading up on interpellation. And love. And ethics. Dreaming of a new ethics grounded in freedom. And then coming down with a thud. I guess that’s the outline of the thing.

I watched Sister My Sister last night, in bits and pieces, on the net—we all know where—my eyes sore with staring at a pixelated image on the screen. It was well worth it. The constant class tension underlying the sexual tension and then the change in the interaction between Christine and Lea as the level of intimacy progresses—I think it was excellently done. Forcing you to feel with, forcing you to think along in that twisted combination of fear, need to protect and jealousy finally leading to the horrendous murder.

Not that I condone murder. For any reason, of anyone. But in my case, the bond between the sisters, evolving into a sexual relationship, made perfect sense and made me feel a bit of an accomplice in the end, because whether or not I condone murder, I could see the whys and wherefores. So where does that leave me?

Well, it leaves me bewildered. I was reading through the comments left behind by people who’d watched it before me, and my eyes quite literally popped out to see someone horrified at the thought of incest. And then my brain caught up with me and I sat myself down and asked: ‘Dear me, everyone takes it for granted that incest is, well, taboo. What’s wrong with you?’ And come to think of it, I don’t have an answer. It makes perfect sense that the bond one shares with one’s siblings is a bond of love, and any bond of love may wind its weary way into sex. And why wouldn’t it?

Yes, we all know what happened to Oedipus and poor Jocasta, but they were, quite literally at the mercy of the gods. And way back then, having to sit and wonder whether to call your children brother/sister or not would have been a big thing, not having, as we do, the benefit of Lacan and Levi Strauss and the whole lot. But what about us? Again, I understand that one worries about recessive genes becoming dominant and leading to children…etc etc etc, but hey, not all sex is procreative, is it? And the good fortune of same-sex sex is that it’s not. So why the disgust?

Me, I don’t understand. Taking advantage of someone’s (temporary) ‘inferior’ position disgusts me. Taking advantage of vulnerability disgusts me. Taking advantage, with no added qualifications, disgusts me. Whether sexual or otherwise. Why incest? And how come loving one’s siblings is ‘allowed’, even expected, but the business of pleasure is banned?


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Sadly, I am (not) what I am: voracious reader, consumer of coffee, chocolate and fine wine (yes, mine is a dry state!), possible writer once in a while and mad Sandman fan. Brilliant at running and hiding every now and again, used to tiptoeing around everyone's silences. Still among naphtha balls at the very bottom of the closet.

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