Freemage wrote:A straight guy, who cheats on his wife, is quite capable of either A: getting the physical interaction he desires at home, or B: talking through the difficulties of an open relationship with (for instance) a wife whose libido has fallen, or C: Getting a divorce and seeking out a better match.
Isuel isn't capable of any of that, not psychologically. Theo can NOT satisfy her as a sexual partner, no matter how much he wants to, or how much she wishes he could (and yes, I'm still going with the "Isuel is a lesbian, and not bi" interpretation; while we may never get a flat-out declaration on that subject, it fits her behavior and the artistic cues better).
I dunno, this line of reasoning provides a (weak, but it still is there) implication that straight man+straight woman=automatic sexytimes. A person can be straight and still utterly un-attracted to a person of the opposite sex. Heck, doesn't much (most?) of cheating in general stem from not being fulfilled sexually? Why is it any less understandable when the person one is cheating on belongs to a category of people who technically the cheater "can be" attracted to?
Yes, some people can rise above their cultural indoctrination and do what is right; these people are generally heroes. The thing about heroism is that if it were something everyone could accomplish, we wouldn't need the word for anything but a sandwich.
I don't buy the idea that people able to overcome what's been put into their heads by culture are heroes. I consider humans to be capable of making their own decisions. Culture is important and some people can't cope with it. But pretty much everyone can act against what their culture told them to without being somehow superhuman. Heck, Iseul did when defying her family and culture. And one could make an argument that the way she rebelled or even WANTED to rebel was a result of her being indoctrinated by her culture... but if we go that route, we reach the conclusion that anyone can just shrug and say "I can't just toss my culture away". All the time.
Honestly, is it so difficult to imagine a person struggling and succeeding in overcoming their inborn or cultural limitations? I see successful acts of this kind around me, every day.
Incidentally - I don't see Iseul as lesbian, if only due to the fact that her past indicates she may have been attracted to Theo. To the point of defying her family etc. While I assume it's possible for a woman to be hetero/biromantic while being completely homosexual, my experience indicates that romantic and sexual attraction usually tend to overlap at the very least. Without an indication otherwise I sort of assume Iseul really did see something in Theo AND that she is not wired for sex the opposite way from how she is wired for romance. While possible, it'd be unusual enough to seem a bit contrived to me, compared to the possibility that Iseul has strong urges regarding homosexual relationships that she lets go BOOM! because she otherwise suppresses them.