Friday, October 30, 2009

Rape and Mythology

Rape and Mythology

The recent rape of the young lady at Richmond High School reveals the urgency of my monograph The Mythology of Pussy. Yes, the title may be abhorrent and offensive to many, but the content is essential manhood and womanhood training that speaks directly to how youth can become socialized beyond the patriarchal mythology that is totally dysfunctional in the global village—a socialization that breeds animal and savage behavior in men and often women who are taught values of domination, ownership,violence, emotional and verbal abuse.

Rape is the ultimate expression of the patriarchal or male dominated society wherein the female has no value other than as a sexual animal that must serve men at every turn, willingly or unwillingly. So how can we be shocked when we know this society was founded upon rape, kidnapping, murder—the total exploitation of human beings. America is the place where women had their bellies cut open and lynched along with men during our enslavement.

Even as we speak, America is raping, torturing, murdering and exploiting poor people around the world, from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. She is endorsing such behavior throughout the Americas, in Mexico, Guatemala, and Columbia. All for the profit motive, for the glories of capitalism.

Yet, little Johnny is supposed to behave peacefully in the hood—he is supposed to act civilized in spite of his poverty, ignorance and disease. His ghetto life is the culture of violence—and it is merely a reflection of the larger society of violence—violence in the news, movies, books, sports, and yes, sex. America cannot tell little Johnny not to rape when she goes around the world raping!

But we cannot only blame America because such animal behavior is worldwide—even as I write, women, men and children are being raped in the Congo, Sudan and South Africa.
They were raped in the Balkans, Iraq and all wars throughout history. Women are called “the spoils of war” or “booty.” Every soldier knows women are the prize they get for killing “the enemy.”

The youth in Richmond were acting out the same behavior we did as teenagers when I grew up in Fresno. As teenagers, my friends used to gang rape every Sunday at the show—every Sunday girls were taken behind the movie screen while we sat eating popcorn and watched the white man kill Indians—and in our ignorance, some of us cheered the slaughter of the Native Americans, even while many of us had Native American blood in our veins. And if the girls were not gang raped behind the screen, they were raped on the train yard as we crossed the tracks going home to the projects. We called gang rape “pulling a train” on the girl. The boys lined up to wait their turn—just as in the Richmond case, nobody said stop, this is wrong, this is criminal, this is somebody’s sister. This was our culture, thus normal behavior. If you didn’t engage in this behavior you were considered a “punk.”

Gang rape was thus part of expressing manhood—it was the only mythology we knew. Violence was not only toward women, but toward other men as well. We went to the show to fight Mexicans because few whites came to our theatre—we wanted to fight the whites but the Mexicans were a reasonable facsimile. We went to the dance and concerts to fight Mexicans and brothers from “the country,” since we considered ourselves “city nigguhs.” Yes, we were city nigguhs who picked cotton, cut grapes and pitched watermelons almost as much as the so-called country nigguhs.

Violence against woman and men will not end until we deconstruct the mythology of the patriarchal or male dominated culture globally—rape is happening worldwide—it is an epidemic in South Africa. Even before the Richmond incident, a brother told me how the young women are raped in hotel rooms downtown Oakland. He pointed out to me the girls walking pass my outdoor classroom at 14th and Broadway—he said all of them have been given drugs in drinks and then raped.

As long as the mythology of world culture (including the religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, African traditional religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, et al) promotes the domination of women, rape shall the ultimate expression. As long as men are taught women are chattel or personal property, rape will persist, along with domestic and partner violence, verbal and emotional violence.

We must understand rape has nothing to do with sex—rape is an act of violence! It is an expression of power, control, authority, domination. Religion perpetuates such violence by promoting male authority and ownership. The religious community must be prepared to make radical and revolutionary changes in its theology, mythology and ritual. It must rid its theology of women as chattel or personal property of men. We are descendants of slaves, yet our relationships are the embodiment of slavery with the resulting partner violence, verbal and emotional abuse.

The sad truth is that the religious community or leadership cannot advocate changing traditional values because to do so would decrease the power of leadership, a leadership that is often guilty of the same said violence, rape, domination and exploitation of females—and often males!

The only solution is radical and revolutionary manhood and womanhood rites of passage, wherein young men and women evolve to see themselves as spiritual beings in human form. I will end with a quote from a poem by Phavia Kujichagulia, “If you think I am just a physical thing, wait til you see the spiritual power I bring.”

I encourage the reader to obtain a copy of my Mythology of Pussy: A Manual for Manhood and Womanhood Rites of Passage. Go to
I just returned from a national tour promoting this monograph—I dropped seeds in Texas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Newark, NJ, and Harlem, NY. It is indeed sad to return home to the Bay Area and learn of the incident in Richmond. We must stand up from animal to divine—from bestiality to spirituality—there is no other way! –Marvin X

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