Sunday, July 12, 2015

Is This In The Natural Order Of Things?

...Well, the LATEST NUMBERS ARE IN, and there are now more than 25 women accusing Bill Cosby of rape.  Cosby's believers and defenders are HEADING FOR THE HILLS.  Why?  Well, setting aside the fact that there are more credible accusers than you can shake a stick at, it seems Cosby himself admitted under oath that at some point he was trying to get hold of sedatives to use on women he wanted to get sex from. 

And those believers and defenders are reeling from what seems like the HUGE CONTRADICTION that a guy this child-friendly, fatherly, harmless-seeming and funny could also be a serial sex offender.

IS IT A CONTRADICTION AT ALL?  Throughout most of human history, men with power have put together stables of women. The more they can afford, the more women they collect.  Those who can't collect women in an aboveboard manner -- for whatever reason -- get them by other means.  All kinds of other means.

Item:   Read the Book of Genesis, which has more than a few plural marriages, and I don't mean women with a lot of husbands.  One of the matchmaking methods you can read about in there involves wiping out an entire village, killing the men, married women and children, and keeping the unmarried girls as unwilling wives or just sex slaves.  I once listened in astonishment as a Born-Again explained to me that it was perfectly all right for the desert tribes to do this because the victims of the genocide "were not of Yahweh."  'Kay, it must be true if you say so, asshole.

Item:  We are all descended from the family of Great Apes.  With the exception of the Gibbons, who are more distant relatives and a pair-bonding species (meaning they mate with one partner for life), all of us -- Gorillas, Chimps, Bonobos, and Homo sap. -- are hardwired to practice polygamy.  The Greek word polygamy means "many wives."  The silverback, the one with the most status, gets almost all the females for himself in a typical Gorilla village.  The other male Gorillas -- who want status as much as anyone else there -- are constantly scheming and competing with the silverback, and with each other, to get some for themselves.  Plus ├ža change, eh?

Item: Did you know the real reason the Catholic Church instituted the rule about priests and nuns having to be celibate after 1139?  And why they upheld it on review in 1563?  (George Carlin called it the "no-nooky clause.")  They linked it to the fact that the Bible never specifically mentioned any wives or children hanging around Jesus or his apostles in the New Testament, but the plain fact is that the Vatican wasn't raking in enough money from their global monopoly on Christianity to support all the wives, mistresses, and children of their clergy.  Most of the clergy in those days were Italian, and it's a well-known Italian custom even today for men with clout to have at least one mistress on the side.  (Many of them were nuns, in fact.)  And in the 1100s, priests had almost as much clout as kings.  (I really wonder what became of all these families when the no-nooky clause came into play.  I assume they were grandfathered and only the new recruits were forbidden to have sex.)

Item:  One group that has never needed to stop having something on the side is royalty.  In England, right now as I type this, you automatically get to be in the government if you're a documented living descendant of the illicit union of the king and the upstairs maid from 10 generations back, and she bore him one of what Will Cuppy called "the royal bastards."  The living descendants get to be in the House of Lords.  I don't see anyone objecting to it.

Item: Osama bin Laden is a fairly well-known example of how a lot of people still build families in the Middle East.  He has 52 siblings, 5 wives and 25 children.  The kids -- Osama's sibs and his children after him -- share fathers, but have more than a few mothers between them.  In Saudi Arabia this is perfectly kosher and legal -- you should pardon the expression.  It says you can do it in the Q'ran, I hear.

Item: Moving from the Middle East to the Middle West, you'll find that the old tradition has not died out.  From deadbeat dads who have girlfriends and kids all over the place and support none of them, to wealthy serial monogamists who send their kids to exclusive prep schools while dating the au pair on the side, there are guys like this all over the USA.  Only a few of the creepier ones, like polygamist diaper-grabber Warren Jeffs, make the news.  And yet we react with surprise and outrage when a college fraternity makes a ritual out of getting sorority girls liquored up and gang-raping them.

...Which brings us back to Cosby.  Maybe he really doesn't see anything wrong with drugging a woman and raping her if he can't get her any other way.  Thousands of guys don't think it's wrong.  And some of those guys are positively brilliant, churchgoers, in very responsible jobs, running the government, and so on.  Bill Cosby himself has done some fine things for this country over the years -- chipping away at the racial divide and showing everyone that even -- gasp! -- an African-American man can be decent and upstanding.  This is exactly why everyone is acting so betrayed.  I just want to point out that one thing Cosby, a member of the species Homo sapiens and thus hardwired to want as many wives as he can get, can't legally have his own harem in the USA -- regardless of all his money, his huge fanbase and the respect he gets.  And drugging and raping women creates a harem not even the women involved are aware of, so as long as he gets away with it, everything's cool, right?

All I'm saying is that we need to get off the fence on this issue.  Is it OK or not OK for men to collect sexual conquests as part of their climb to positions of power and status?  Is it foolish to try to deny that we are polygamous by nature?  Are we -- should we be -- moving towards becoming a pair-bonding species?  We either need to reward all harem owners, reward only certain forms of harem-keeping (NOT the Cosby method, please), or seriously work to put a stop to it.  As it stands we are doing all three at once.

And where does Cosby really stand on what he's done?  You don't hide something if you think it's right, do you?  Maybe you just don't hide it if you think the neighbors will disapprove, huh?  See, that's the place we really need to drill if we want to strike oil.  The one solid form of social control afforded us by our Great Ape genes is this: we are all so, so worried about whether we look OK in other people's eyes. 

Item:  The only really severe method the Amish use for social control is called shunning.  If you break the rules badly enough, nobody in the Amish community will have anything to do with you.  Why is that all they do?  It's all they need to do.  There is some Order in what seems like the Chaos of daily American life.  This is one example of that.  While you have to sort of make friends with Chaos in order to get by, there are certain kinds of Chaos you do not need to be spreading around if you don't want Order to come by and kick your tail.  Bill Cosby is finding that out the hard way as I type this.  Whose side are you on, anyway?


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