Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rites of Passage - Making Boys into Men

Quite often when we think of “Rites of Passage” the image of a primitive society performing some bizarre ritual comes to mind, such as the Vanuatu Land Divers.

"Both a harvest ritual and a rite of passage amongst the tribes of the small pacific island of Vanuatu, land diving is now a tourist phenomenon. The men who live on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu, climb a rickety 98-foot-tall (30-meter) tower, tie vines to their ankles and dive to the ground, falling at speeds around 45 mph (72 kph). When a dive goes correctly, the person gets close enough to touch his shoulders or his head to the earth. However, unlike bungee jumping, these vines aren’t elastic and a miscalculation in vine length could lead to broken legs, cracked skulls, or even death. Boys once they have been circumcised at about age 7 or 8 begin participating, though they usually are permitted to jump from a shorter tower. As a boy makes his first dive, his mother holds an item representing his childhood. When he jumps, she throws the item away. Divers also refrain from sex the day before they jump — legend says it will cause the jump to go badly." -- 10 Bizarre Rites of Passage
I, however, would argue that rites of passage are actually more of a sign of an advanced society. It is patriarchy that builds civilization. Patriarchy is the idea of "putting sex to work," which is based on the ancient contract of marriage. The ancient contract of marriage is an economic contract whereby a woman "sells" her sexual reproductive abilities to a man (ie. the children of marriage are his children, not hers) in return for the superior protection and providing abilities a man can, and will, procure once yoked to children of his own. What does this have to do with rites of passage, you ask? Well, in order for men to be attractive to women, a man must surpass the female so that he has some tangible benefit to offer the female which she either cannot do herself, or is unwilling to do herself, and therefore fulfill Briffault's law:

“The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.” -- Robert Briffault, The Mothers, I, 191

(Read More Here)