I’m listening to Helen Keller in Love, an audiobook I downloaded on impulse, and got curious about whether it was completely fictional or based on reality. Some googling turned up that Keller did indeed fall in love with her secretary Peter Fagan, but their intended marriage was thwarted by Keller’s mother. I found this interesting comment by the author:
After writing the book, Sultan said that perhaps Keller’s real untold story is how “her triumph over multiple disabilities and her enormous celebrity had trapped her within a constricting saintliness and an image of purity. Though she could speak up about equality, the rights of others – even, occasionally, sexuality – she was not granted the rights she sought for others.”
Apparently some things never change. I also turned up a fascinating thread in Yahoo Answers, titled “Did Helen Keller Get Laid.” which ends with the comment — which three people have bothered to rate as “good” — “That’s not even a place I can take my mind about such a courageous person! ”
What the hell does that even mean? I suppose astronauts shouldn’t get to have sex, then. Or police officers. Or Navy Seals. That’s going to be a tremendous shock to any number of fellow romance fans I know.
For “courageous,” read saintly. Inspirational. Untouchable. Anything but a human being with normal feelings and desires.