Friday, September 7, 2007

The usual double standards

Newspapers everywhere have been full of sadness and lament over the death of Luciano Pavarotti. The world-famous tenor, who died at 72 of cancer, is survived by his three grownup daughters from the first marriage and his 4-year old daughter from the second marriage. A twin brother of the latter died in childbirth.
I am of course sorry for any loss, and the fact that I cannot tell the difference between a good and a bad singer doesn't prevent me to realize that he had exceptional gifts; he was also, as far as one can tell from the outside, a generous person who tried to raise money for the less fortunate.
But I can't help noticing that nobody is interviewing philosophers or priests as to the morality of having a child when you're 68, just as nobody started discussing whether the death of the twin was related to receiving a 68-year old's faulty gametes.
I wish I could say that he gets special treatment because he was such a great artist. But I am concerned that he only gets it because he's a man. The same newspapers and magazines were full of contempt for a woman who had twins in her sixties not long ago.
Addendum: In fact, despit the catholic doctrine not admitting divorce (and therefore not recognizing second marriages), Pavarotti is going to have a church funeral.

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