I am reminded of a Woody Allen line, from the movie Zelig, I believe. Something along the lines of having co-invented the idea of penis envy – but “Freud thought it should be restricted to women.” We are hearing once again stories out of Africa about penis theft.
This is not really a new story, as it crops up from time to time, but check out the latest story from Kinshasa – http://www.namibian.com.na/2008/April/national/08FD3B9373.html.
A couple of bits in this story make me laugh – “beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings,” for example. Or “purported vicitms… [claim] that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear.” Now, I’ve known some women who could do that trick. Both ways, now that I come to think of it. But I digress.
Naturally, this story quickly gets serious, with some charlatans reportedly trying to extort money for cures, and lynch mobs beating and sometimes killing suspected sorcerers. All it takes is an accusation in this latest twist on the classic Witch hunt story.
This one seems particularly odd – I mean, most men are pretty familiar with their own genitals. You’d kind of know if they had shrunk significantly. Is it particularly cold in Kinshasa these days? Some men, it seems, merely claim that they’ve been made impotent. Sounds like special pleading to me – “no honey, this never happens. It must have been that sorcerer on the bus yesterday.”
I’ll spare you all the usual analysis of this type of mass delusion, as I’m sure you’ve read and heard it all before, but I’ll leave you with this question: What must it be like to live with a world view that leads you to this kind of conclusion? They say ignorance is bliss, but this doesn’t look like happiness to me.