Vengeful Castration

On Friday, I read about the Bobbitts and Abe Sada. There’s been a wave of such crimes in my country and internationally, recently. My colleagues joked about the Bobbitts which piqued my interest as I’ve never heard of them before. I read up about the case on Wikipedia which led me to Abe Sada’s story.

It really is a sad story. Some portions of it upset me. Abe was raped as a teenager by one of her male friends. When she started acting out, as one would expect, her father sent her away to a brothel to teach her a lesson, as it was customary to do in Japan during that period. She never moved on with her life after that and remained a prostitute for the rest of her life until she murdered her lover out of love and severed his genitals to always have him with her. She carried his genitals in her handbag with her until the moment of her arrest three days later.

Her case, Wikipedia says, is different since it was truly motivated by love while the Bobbitt case and others like it were motivated by jealousy, anger and from enduring emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse. I always wondered why a woman would sever her husband or lovers penis. I now know that they do it because it defined the men they had in their lives. The men worshiped their penises (too put it crudely) and used it to dominate and hurt those who loved them dearly. The women suffered a lot of abuse at the hands of their husbands which drove them over the edge. I have sympathy for women who take such drastic measures. Such men don’t deserve to be married.

But, Abe’s case is different. She lived in a society where promiscuity and adultery was the rule and where the cure for promiscuity was thought to be sex slavery which, in the end, only did more harm than good. I would really like to know what logic feeds such reasoning? Why did the Japanese condone such a course? Granted, she most likely didn’t tell her parents about the rape, but selling your child into prostitution is not the answer? And, yes, our world’s are different and I cannot judge them by today’s standards, but I would still like to know why they thought that course of action would help.

I sympathise with abused women, but my heart breaks for women like Sada Abe.


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