Last week, Indonesia seemed obsessed with male genitals. First, members of the army were filmed scorching the phallus of a farmer they deemed an insurgent, then came the case of police officers searching for the dismembered missing member of a polygamist.
It seems to be a dangerous time for men, and the symbol and tool of their virility -- at least last week in Indonesia.
Some people may claim that it's all due to the stars and the planets, to how these relate to each other via esoteric conjunctions, triangles or oppositions, while others regard all of it as mere coincidence; with a third group claiming that it's all Darwin's fault who persisted in evolution ending up in the form of societies like the ones we now know.
I won't repeat what previous articles and blogs had to report about the Indonesian army who tortured a farmer by scorching his genitals merely because he resented Indonesian rule of his tribe's land -- in Papua -- considering that this has been covered on DJ as well as in the other articles across the world.
Neither am I usually given to write sensational stories about missing genitals, abductions of rats or cats, nor about weird deaths resulting from an unwilling hand following the commands of this or that god, but a story I've just read in the Jakarta Globe did ring a bell, reminding me of a similar incident recorded thousands of years ago.
There was something about the Indonesian woman who cut up her husband into 14 pieces -- she was one of four wives and proceeded to throw his various remains into a river -- that seemed all too familiar to me.
The story in question is entitled Indonesia Police Searching for Mutilation Victim’s Genitals, and the first three paragraphs read like this:
Police are still searching for the penis of a polygamist who was murdered and hacked into 14 pieces by one of his four wives.
“We are still looking for the victim’s genitals, knees and stomach,” East Jakarta Police chief detective Comr. Nicolas Lilipaly was quoted by Detik.com as saying. “The suspect said she threw them into the river.”
Muryani, the victims’s second wife, has been charged with murdering Karyadi, 53, a security guard at Kramat Jati markets, on Oct. 12, dismembering the body and disposing of the body parts.
It's an everyday occurrence, of course, a jealous wife dismembering her husband, so I knew that this was not what really called my brain to attention -- green lights flashing: there's something interesting here; red lights screaming "Remember Egypt!"
Then it struck me: In Egyptian mythology, the divine husband of the Goddess Isis -- his name was Osiris -- was also cut up into 14 pieces by the evil deity known as Seth. Isis, deeply in love with her husband, went to search until she found all of him; but the oh so important member on which all of the world's fertility depended - at least according to the Egyptian myth. Isis never found it, and instead had a new one fashioned from gold, showing us that the ancients were as good at making bionic body-parts as humanity is at present.
Whether or not the Indonesian police ever finds the missing appendage, the burning questions that arise from a story as such are these:
1) Is loosing one's genitals as common an occurrence as mythology,and reality, has us believe?
2) Could a man loosing his, circumcised or not, find comfort in the knowledge that this kind of thing has been going on since a long time, that what happened to him was not so much personal but merely the expression of a Jungian Archetype?
3) Was the Indonesian woman aware of the ancient Egyptian myth?
5) Does any of that matter if you're the one loosing it?
Last not least, and to supply my answer to the question posed in the title: No.
Surely, Indonesian military and police forces must be equally under-manned, under-paid, under-respected as others in the wide, wild world. Why should there be a need to retrieve these genitals, considering that their previous owner is dead, anyway? After all, the Egyptian myth shows that fish finally found and ate the phallus of Osiris, so we we can rest assured that this will happen in this case as well.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian woman who dismembered her husband has been arrested and the newspaper reports that she said “.. she felt a sense of relief for having expressed her anger.” She is not on record for commenting about the number 14, but a quick look at a numerology website shows that the number was not only important in Egypt, but that it has migrated and deeply penetrated the Bible and Christianity: the sufferings of Christ began 14 days before Passover, there are 14 stations of the Way of the Cross, we have 14 epistles written by saint Paul and the Virgin Mary was 14 years old at the time of Annunciation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com