Thursday, June 25, 2009
Was Vesuvius female?
Every year in Komaki, Japan, the Hounensai festival is celebrated for fertility and renewal by parading with a large wooden phallus while onlookers eat penis shaped sausages and girls such on penile fruit pops. My friend sent me this information and I told her it reminded me of Pompeii. I went there a couple of years ago and I was astounded at all the phallic, well... everything. Of course, there were brothel indicators and the diagram of sexual positions for the randy illiterate. And homes had mosaics with naked bodies in the scenes. But penis shapes were used for everything from pillar capitals to directional markers carved at crosswalks . (Granted, they were for the local whore house, but I digress.) I was blown away by how phallic that society was and couldn't imagine how women could feel their mental worth around so much emphasis on male girth. When I got home, I watched our media sources a bit more critically and realized that though frontal nudity for men is tightly kept under wraps (because it's so sacred?) the idea of the penis as being ridiculously important was present everywhere. Keep an eye out for it and suddenly you'll wonder how you didn't see it before. I'm thinking Vesuvius was female.