by Carol Warner Christen
(Swans - March 10, 2008) A fully grown man sticks his penis into a tiny three-month-old baby girl's vagina according to today's, yesterday's, and, no doubt, tomorrow's news. I've always wondered how one human being could so dehumanize another, especially an infant. I have also wondered how sexual slavery, trafficking in human women (and boys), rape, sodomy, murder, and war have become so important that it happens, here and there, around the world on a daily basis. The brutality is beyond belief. The river of victims widens to cover the civilized world. The perpetrators often escape ordinary justice although they may live brutish lives and die sooner rather than later. I don't know.
My guess is that it is hierarchy that underlies the inhumanity. Women in ancient societies were equals to men and respected for their nurturing and life-giving natures. However, when groups of men conspire to "lord it over" others by acquiring excessive wealth and territory, the dehumanization sets in and the egotistical idea of being god begins to the horror of the new subjects to the conspiracy or takeover.
Instead of culturally discussing real issues with each other to resolve inequality, the "civilization" begins to promote division, rank, dress codes, right, wrong, prisons, differences in the quality of homes, of basic necessities, and ends up with beggars, maimed humans, and other indecent results, such as the criminal misuse of life itself -- its children. That is civilization.
Civilization is other things, too. It is inventive to the point of using every resource this finite planet has. The hierarchy is fully aware that its days are also numbered. Since many of them are quite elderly, they work to rape the earth as fast as possible before their deaths deprive them of "the good life." They hide behind walls, guards, gated communities, special privileges they've created. They also promote fashion, money, corporations, and lavish lifestyles to entice the rest of us to envy them.
This distraction works. As the middle class shrinks and the ranks of the poor, the sick, and the hungry fill the streets of the cities, those with jobs clog the highways driving here and there to work and to fill needs, many unnecessary, because that is the bait. Simply living is not viewed as sufficient.
My friends and relatives have homes overflowing with stuff to alleviate the agony of being without. The babies' rooms are full of poisonous, too colorful toys. Those toys are so distracting that no human child can deal with the clutter or its meaning, if any. Yet, an article in the paper said that parents do not take kindly to anyone telling them what is safe to buy for their children. Nor do many people dust the clutter that is overwhelming everyone from the homes to the dumps, assuming it gets there. The largest landfill in Oregon is full.
But, let's go back to the horrible disrespect for the female baby and our larger disrespect for female humanity in general in a "civilized" world. The female half of the human race -- there is only one -- is rarely, if ever, armed. Natural hormones give a woman adequate strength and then some; but, she does not usually attain the boost in strength that testosterone delivers to males. The original purpose for male strength was to protect the clan, the tribe, the area from any predator, human or animal. That isn't needed anymore, generally, in civilized societies because the police and the military functions are given over to male specialists governed by rules and laws.
In the heat of battle, a man may forget his special dispensation to protect as he begins to wantonly destroy the innocent, both in, and of, the environment. Today's excessive tasering is a case in point. Deaths are increasing; and, this is by the use of a supposedly benign weapon. One point seems forgotten in the excitement: the orderly, controlled arrest and arraignment of a human being to allow a judge, jury, and witnesses to determine guilt or innocence.
Preempting the law by fear on the street is summary justice, which is not the same as establishing justice per the Constitution. Today, it seems too time consuming in what is now the heat of battle; i.e., local confrontations with anyone at all who appears -- simply appears -- to be a target for immediate correction. This relieves the public of paying for proper trials, which is an unjust and improper way to proceed if law is to be respected by that public.
Our ubiquitous television programs often show gratuitous violence for the sake of the story. Too much show-time and males without true role models will go for the glory and the fight. They may be imitating a father, uncle, or hero, as a model without the true honesty and depth of a decent male. Such violence from a legally armed human should cause the court to uphold the law and also arrest the arrester.
Back to the baby: our dress designers have opted to make younger girls into sex objects with the clothing styles appropriate to seeking a mate rather than a playmate. The sexualizing of tiny children and young girls is obscene, regardless of the reason, such as selling more clothes to mothers who missed out. In my opinion, children spend far too much time in the company of bored adults or in front of electronic inventions. They need to be in the company of other healthy children to explore their world, not ours.
Everyone will yell that this isn't safe anymore. Oh, really? And, how would they know, when they have created the unsafe within the home when adult males become enamored of the young too often with unhealthy results? Less than half of Americans are married today, which may give the impression anyone is fair game. Sexual slavery and the training for it grow all over the world from reports. The younger the child is, the safer to misuse that child for one-sided pleasure, to ignore the other's pain. This is a disaster for the impressionable child.
I was born and raised in a time when we never bothered with adults and their world except to come in for supper, go out and play, and come back in for bed. The idea of playing with adults was a horrible idea to us unless grandma was teaching us to play poker when we visited. Otherwise, we were outside in her trees. At home, we avoided adults; we found fields and forests, biked, swam, and ran with our contemporaries, not our elders.
Perhaps overcrowding has frightened adults to become overcautious because of the obvious exploitation since the eighties. Disrespect for life has crept up on us. The younger the child raped negates any chance of pregnancy. This cold dehumanization is fueling our disrespect for life.
Disrespect for life shows, too, in other ways. One local river, the Clackamas, contains many pesticides, chemicals, and poisonous mixtures that have been increasing as farmers become more desperate to conquer nature's cuts into their profits. This is happening everywhere.
William Engdahl says in his latest book, Seeds of Destruction, that Monsanto is patenting seeds; and, the ordinary, thrifty farmer will be unable to save seeds for next year. That farmer will be paying Monsanto for new modified seeds and new chemicals that will allow the expensive new seeds to germinate. Without the chemical, the seeds are useless. This is almost as obscene as using babies for sex to avoid responsibility for unwanted children. Life is no longer going to be allowed to sow seeds to live without Monsanto's help. This largesse has been given without our consent; we are only to consume, not to think.
Why did we give corporations life and death decisions over foodstuffs? Did we vote for that when you or I weren't looking? Or, is this just one more grab by corporate men to rule the world causing ordinary and decent people to cringe and pay for life itself or die of hunger? It all started somewhere when women were dismissed, devalued, disenfranchised, disliked for opinions not manly and powerful.
Women's opinions are to foster life and that's the rub. Women are not armed because they know both sexes intimately; they bear them and they raise them. Women do not fear them or life. Men fear other men for their wealth, power, arms. Men fear losing. Women have nothing to lose in that sense unless it is to become a slave to men, to a man, or to a culture.
Sexual dominance has been going on as long as we have lived but it is now overt, rather than covert when I was small. Other cultures are honing male rule to a fine point, mainly for religious or power reasons. They all seem to forget that humans are all human and what we do "to the least of these," we do to all.
The ego in modern humanity grows larger by the moment to run lives, rule, cause the unwanted to die or be imprisoned for laws so wordy, only lawyers know what is in them. Congress never reads the laws it passes. How many of us can read 3,000 pages of legalese in a few hours? It took me weeks to read the 2,000 pages of The Curse of Ignorance. (1) Greed is paramount and many fear losing their primacy over goods and services if all of us shared the earth's actual bounty. Can you imagine the comedown?
All ancient, successful societies prevented hierarchies. All modern societies, except the Papuan New Guineans, promote hierarchy with war and weapons against those who never realize that life is a sport for the elites. Now that we have bombed the oldest treasures of humankind in the Tigris-Euphrates valley into rubble and erased our most ancient past, will we be doomed to repeat this idiocy with the few who survive radioactive birth defects after we finish off all and sundry who may just love life as it is?
When I look around the modern world, I see arterial roads clogged with machines resembling viruses, some wrecking others, all spewing poisonous gases into the airspaces to get somewhere. The arteries are cracking, hardening, decaying; the body politic no longer cares about infrastructure. The humans encased in the traveling tonnage mostly speed by alone to work or shopping.
The air is polluted with industrial debris of the finest sort to breathe in and not out; the land and water absorbs the stuff, too. The soils used to feed everyone; now, they don't. They feed banks and the lords of money. The soils are dying with their lack of diverse life as subdivisions bloom and plant inedible grass everywhere, after cutting down the trees whose transpiration gives us rain.
This greed is almost at an end; it all looks so boring now, not fresh, not new, a lackluster life. The world looks like a geriatric ward. The young stare at toys that promise escape; the old are neat, but waiting. The young and old no longer communicate. Some care is given reluctantly, never enough. The earth itself has changed as we changed it. The poles are melting; the weather is strange; global warming is reality but no one believes it. Local life appears to go on and on and on from one sit-com to the next, actual or electronic.
Will great piles of dead and dying, possibly starving, humans cause us to wake up? How do we take back our country from corporations? Why on earth are our rights overwritten without our permission? Why have we given away our technologies and impoverished ourselves? How can we make equality real? When will we, and can we give the babies and children back to the childhood realities deep in our souls? Why don't women arm themselves? Why do men want to fight to the death for nothing worthwhile, such as other men's 935 lies? What is war for except grotesque and expensive ruin?
We all have a lot of explaining to do before we consume one more thing. Our role on this small and beloved planet with its days and nights, its moon, its lovely greenery, its beauty, its nurturance of us for millions of years, its young, its bounty has been sold to the highest bidders for worthless concepts put out by politicians and advertisers and elites. They know the end is close. The Anthropocene age is new. Can the Age of Human Depredation last as long as the Holocene; i.e., 26,000 years? The Hopi Elders have spoken; the Maya say 2012; one more nuclear showdown should do it. That's what the vice president wants. I don't. Do you? Is any of this open for discussion, for change, for hope? Do we have a future? Do we care enough to give our grandchildren life?
1. The Curse of Ignorance - A History of Mankind is a two-volume set with slightly over 2,000 pages. The back cover reads: "Religious prejudice has, moreover, falsified history and represented the Christian era in a much too favorable light." It was written by Arthur Findlay in 1947 and reprinted several times, the last in 1993. The book is actually a 4,000-year history of man. (back)
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