Re: African female genital infibulation

Thu, 5 May 1994 11:10:44 PST

But most
>accounts indicate that the properly-operated upon penis is still largely
>intact in its pleasure-centers [the only exception I know of is voluntary
>"clean-cut" castration carried out by some heterodox early Christian
>sects, explicitly designed to make its practitioner automatically as chaste
>as Pauline sex-negativity recommended]).
> -- Michael Moffatt, Anthropology, Rutgers

Men participating in the rituals of the mystery cult of Magna Mater
(pre-Christian) at Rome and
elsewhere in the ancient world were said to castrate themselves fairly often
with flint knives; as a
result the priests of the cult were eunuchs. They did this in a sort of
orgiastic frenzy, being taken
over by the god (dess). The ritual stemmed from a myth where Attis (a minor
Anatolian deity)
died and from his genitals grew plants (basically the Persephone story in a male
version). I don't
know that this has much to do with modern female genital modification (I prefer
myself, which carries no value judgment), but I thought I'd let you know.
Karen Eva Carr
History Department
Portland State University
Portland Oregon 97203
(503) 725-5472