May 15, 2009
The Gaze, Reconsidered
In western cultures almost every mother at some point forbids it. Still, virtually all sons and daughters indulge in it, even as adults. They stare.
Their eyes may be riveted to someone beautiful, or drawn to someone with a disfigurement by that combination of fascination and repulsion that has long brought crowds to fairground "freak shows."
Even as people with unusual physical features are increasingly out and about, few adults or children who see them can resist