Some 30 years ago I stumbled upon a book by Desmond Morris.
I read it overnight because next day It had to be returned to its owner. Books published in their original languages were hard to come by in communist Romania…
Little did I know at that time that my interests will slowly shift from Mechanical Engineering to Sociology and then on to decision making… Anyway…
In that book Morris tries to convince us that women have so many periods because in this way they are a lot readier to receive their mates, thus ensuring a tighter bond inside the couple. In turn this is beneficial in an evolutionary sense because a tightly knit couple is better suited for raising the kind of slow growing children that is characteristic for the human species.
In short Morris proposes that monogamy is a step forward in human evolution.
I tend to agree with him and I even have a further argument. Imagine what would happen if a small number of alpha males would ‘corral’ – one way or another – most of the available nubile women, as it’s the case with the chimps or the gorillas. Do you think the rest of the males would be able to cooperate in any way towards the survival of the community they belong to or they’d be constantly obsessing about how to get laid?
Which brings me to my subject.
Emile Durkheim used suicide as a pretext to introduce us to his theory about social solidarity and the social function played by what we consider to be a crime.
Durkheim’s research had led him to see suicide as an individual decision but one which is heavily influenced by the cultural medium to which the decision maker belongs. More over, the same line of thinking produced his conclusion that a society must keep a fine balance between ‘solidarity/intolerance’ and ‘laisez-faire’. One that is too intolerant drastically reduces its own ability to adapt to changes that occur in its ‘environment’ while those that do not care about the fate of their members will eventually auto-dissolve.
What if incidence of rape was to be studied in the same light?
Bill Cosby – a man who, let’s face it, could have had legions of willing women – is accused to have drugged and raped some 40 women in more than 30 years before anything came to public notice.
Jimmy Savile, a British “larger-than-life character”, used “his celebrity status and fund-raising activity to gain uncontrolled access to vulnerable people across six decades” and to unabashedly rape them.
Rape not only occurs randomly in war time but has also been used as a weapon:
“Sexual violence is also used to destabilize communities and sow terror”.
Meanwhile France – Durkheim’s own Motherland – has become the stage for some 7000 ‘tournantes’ every year. The English term for ‘tournant’ being gang rape.
As Durkheim said more than a hundred years ago suicide is indeed an individual act/decision but it’s incidence is heavily influenced by what happens around that person.
Same thing is valid for rape. A rape appears at the intersection between the history/experience/upbringing of the rapist, the social/cultural milieu in which he lives and his ‘on the spot’ decision.
“It’s been said that as human beings, we have a lizard or reptilian brain that responds to certain primal urges. Food is one. Sex and reproduction is definitely another. This underlying, pre-programmed disposition to respond to sexual imagery is so strong, it has been used for over 100 years in advertising. And the industry, while abusing it more and more, would be foolish to ignore the draw of sexual and erotic messaging.”
How far are we willing to go in order to make a sale? As far as Dolce and Gabbana went when they published the picture above?
Morris said that our first step towards humanity was to change our very physiology in order to promote (at least an apparent) monogamy. It seems that we are now altering our culture in order to sell more…
Gang Rape taken to the next level… Manipulation went wild…