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Is the Rectum a Grave?

Bersani, a distinguished writer who has done many literary works has a lot of respect regarding the number of issues that he has written about. In the book, ‘Is the Rectum a Grave?’ the author talks about sex and the various implications that come with the act. From the start of the essay, the author is anxious to know about the opinion of the reader on the topic. Leo seeks to know whether the reader likes sex or not. This is a question that many people have asked themselves at one point in life. The main question is, what is sex and what are the results of the act? The main type of sex that the author is talking about in this essay is gay sex. Since the book was written in 1987, a period when the world was being informed about AIDs, the author must have been interested in knowing the implications of the disease on gay sex.

The main issue that Bersani tackles in the essay is whether people like sex or not. He starts by asking whether people like sex or not and still go ahead to prove that they do not like. He states that the truth of the matter is that many people do not like sex. Though without proof, he is quite sure that majority of the people do not always like sex and that in one way or the other, they find themselves in the act. He goes ahead to acknowledge the fact that when he makes the statement that many people do not like sex, he is not talking for everyone. He accepts that he is dividing people into groups of those that either likes sex and those who do not like it. The author view sex and full of secrets and many people are not ready to say. For example, when talking about creating a poll to determine whether many people like sex or not, majority of the people might end up not answering the question they have been asked. Bersani states that it is likely that people will answer a question that talks about how often they have sex when they are asked about whether they like sex or not. It proves the fact that many people have repressed a lot of things about sex that they are not willing to share.

Bersani also looks at sex as a thing that many people fear. Though they fear it, as a result of the diseases it is associated with, they are not willing to say that they fear it. They would rather go ahead to do it against their will. People have a lot of fear for the fact that others will say they have had sex. Bersani says that it is the reason why most of the people would rather engage in homosexuality so that the society does not view them as people who engage in sex. The fear is what leads to the things that Bersani refers to as failures. Homosexuality is one of the failures. A lot of people care about what other people will say about them. Since the society has created sex as a norm that should not be done by people within a certain age group, people develop the fear to do it. They end up engaging in homosexuality secretly so that no one in the society can sense that they are already engaging in sex.

In conclusion, Bersani has talked about the secrets that are associated with sex. He has also gone ahead to look at the effects of fear that people have from a psychoanalysis point of view.

Critical analysis of ‘A new spelling of my name.’

A new spelling of my name is an autobiography of Lorde Zami. The famous poet writes about the lives of many women who find themselves to be different from the others. The differences act as a unifying factor among the lesbians and feminists. They find it difficult to relate to other people but find it so easy to relate well to themselves. Zami believes that the women might be very easy with each other, they might be friends, but still, this makes them very different from the other people. Being a black, female lesbian felt so lonely during this period as it was against the rules of the society. It was never easy to find a friend. The author looks at the situation from a personal point of view. The author states that being a black and gay was made one lonely. The society made them lonely as a result of the rules. No one was willing to associate with them since they were perceived to have gone against the rules set by the society.

The excerpt also shows the struggles that black gays went through. In the book, one can easily follow the life that she had. One can see that she was able to make love, but most of the time she was lonely. Zami remembers how being black and gay felt in the past. She also acknowledges the women who have made a lot of impact in her life. The first person that she interacted with was her mother. She describes her mother as a person who had a deep love that she admired. Apart from the positive things about her mother, there was the separation part. The mother was also among the women who felt lonely and separated by the society. While she was growing up and people would spit on her when they were walking with the mother, the mother would deliberately tell her that the people did not have any intention of spitting on her. They were spitting to the wind. The mother was hiding the fact that people separated them as a result of their skin color. The love that she had for her daughter made her hide the fact that people separated them based on the fact that they were black.

Black gays thought that the fact that they shared a lot in common made them same, but in a real sense, they were still different from the rest. It is the reason why they were treated differently by other members of the society. Zami suffered a lot of segregation in her life, and this might have contributed to the feminist nature she has. The book depicts her as an advocate for the rights of black gays. During her time, no one was willing to talk about this aspect of the society. Everyone felt that it was right to treat blacks the way they were treated. It was a tragedy to be both black and gay as this would count as double separation. Zami lost her friend who killed herself in high school as a result of separation she faced from the society.

The excerpt depicts the real situation in the society during this time. The loneliness they faced and the how they had to fight the problems they faced. The author has shown the nature of the society we live in by using her life as a case study. She is able to show the readers what it feels like to be gay in a society that does not recognize such people as part of them.

Works cited

Leo Bersani. Is the Rectum a Grave? 1st edition. 1987. The University of Chicago. Pg 197-222

Lorde Zami. Sister Outsider. 1st edition. Crossing Press. Pg 1-204



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