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Sexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies

113 F I V E Seeking Sameness Unlike the transgender people I interviewed, most of us will never perceive bodies through the mental fi lters cre- ated by the experiences of transition or intersexuality, which challenge presumptions about how much of the body is truly sex dimorphic. In the same vein, sighted people can never fully escape the rapid, automatic visual sorting process that reduces the complexity of bodies and experience the relatively slow, diachronic process of non- visual sex attribution. Given the current cultural context, in fact, it is

87 F O U R Blind to Sameness It is a useful exercise to imagine how a human body might look if we were blind to all the details that indicate sex differences, and what we noticed instead—what “stood out” to us perceptually—were sex similarities. We would register people’s foreheads, eyes, elbows, and ears, for in- stance, but ignore their hair, breasts, and makeup. When I try to imagine how a person would appear to me through such a fi lter, what comes to mind is a series of line draw- ings in which noses, elbows, ears, eyes, and foreheads are rendered in

Quixote is a contingent book; the Quixote is unnecessary. I can premeditate writing A Different Sameness: Borges and Deleuze on Repetition10 C H A P T E R T E N 90 it, I can write it, without falling into a tautology.”2 In other words, the task is not to copy, imitate, or reproduce the work but to reaffi rm the contingent moment of the work’s inception and the spontaneity that accompanies it, which returns as an essential moment of the recurrence of the same. To “be Miguel de Cervantes,” as Menard describes it, is to inhabit and reanimate this spontaneity and

53 T H R E E Inside “Animal” and Outside “Culture”: The Limits to “Sameness” and Rhetorics of Salvation in von Hagens’s Animal Inside Out Body Worlds Exhibition Riding up the very steep escalator from the entryway in the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago in August 2013, I pass a large banner advertising the special exhibit Animal Inside Out, which is having its US pre- miere here. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed this expen- sive exhibit (an additional $12 beyond the normal $18 entrance fee) “an eye-popping spectacle from start to fi n- ish

An Irreplaceable Treasure
Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes
From Out of Philosophy, Music, Dance, and Literature

40 Errand Watchfulness in unexpected fits like photic sneeze reflex, this morning the big tree’s blown a horny cauliflower crown, white petals that come off wetly, in fistfuls, all down the sidewalk mid-May’s incessant blooming, shedding, how each eyed thing refuses sameness, is this praise then?