Four levels of The Savage Male:
This essay ‘The Savage Male’ is blatantly showing extensity of the male dominance & over women even in this 21st century.
i) Literal Comprehension:
This essay ‘The Savage Male’ was written by a principal ethnographer, Napoleon Chignon of Pennsylvania state university. He has done research on the Yanomamo, a group of about 10,000 American Indian tribesmen who inhabit the Brazil/Venezuela border. A word that can describe them is fierce. They are the most aggressive, warlike and male-oriented societies in the world.
The maturity level of this tribe’s men can be seen on their body in the form of scars gained due to duels and fights and even in the women’s body but here it is the result of bulling a woman is by the males in their life. Their simplest way of bulling a woman is by yanking the earlobes to the extent of pulling it out and this can rise to beat by firewood, swinging an axe, hitting by machete, etc. These kinds of acts had done publicly increase the man’s image.
In this tribe, marriage is a contract between two men who agree to exchange sister so the brothers-in-law have the closest relation where they inhale hallucinogenic powder together sitting in the hammock.
The male supremacy is so high here that only males can take drugs named ‘ebene’ which reliefs from pain and supposedly allows them to talk to invisible demons. They believe their ancestors were formed from the blood of the moon. Their superstitions beliefs don’t end here, they even think menstrual blood is evil, so the women are looked and isolated without any food. Even a female ethnographer, Dr. Shapiro had first-hand experience of this tribe; she translates Yanomamo term for marriage as “dragging something away” and divorce as “throwing something away”. The Yanomamo women are so much normalized with violence that they connect it with the care from their husbands. If he beats you more, then he loves you more.
These people invite another group from dinner and there is no faithfulness among them and any of the groups can attack the other and kill them. Their form of entertainment or fight is chest-pounding, attacker hits in the middle of the opponent’s chest until he falls down on the ground, and then he has taken back the hits as much as he had given. Side slapping involves standing still while your opponent strikes you with his open hand just below the ribs. Club-fight includes hitting your opponent with a long pole on their head and vice-versa, this form of the fight is even common between father and son. The relationship between Yanomamo groups is not secure; it can be broken any time; if you become weak. Then even your ally will attack you without blinking an eye. Their favorite form of attack is raid where the bravest thing to do is to kill a person asleep in a hammock. The ethnographer survived this extreme condition based on his skill and courage.
This essay ‘The Savage Male’ is blatantly showing extensity of the male dominance over women even in this 21st century. The severity of violence among men and towards women in the name of bravery is very high but for them, it seems to be quite normal as even the women expect to be beaten it saying shows how much they care about her. It seems that beating one’s wife is their way of showering them, love. Similarly, even the other relationship didn’t seem to be based on any kinds of emotions but purely on power; here seems to be the supreme power itself, following the theory of survival of the fittest, if you are weak, you have no place, or the place is even lower than that of goods like the women. Besides, violence seems to be the answer to every question which is strongly guided by the male ego to prove their utmost supreme even the smallest of the fight of a son stealing his father’s food ends up with both of them bashing each other’s heads with a pole. Given that, this is the 21st century, the barbaric activities of this tribe takes us back to the time; at the very beginning of the civilization on earth, their cultures and beliefs appear to be really superstitious like talking to invisible demons, believing their ancestors were born from blood of moon and considering menstrual blood evil.
iii) Critical thinking:
This is an amazing research paper called ‘The Savage Male’ that highlights the fierce tribe of this world. But, there are some questions that arise in my mind.
- Is it possible to have that dominated and sexist society?
- It is the 21st century, is it possible that people are still living as if it’s Stone Age? Is it possible to get supernatural powder by taking a hallucinogenic powder?
- Is it possible to beat your own son, wife and even your father without any merely?
- Will there be no emotional attachment with people even after living with them for several years?
- Human welfare organizations and feminists who work for uplifting underprivileged women are everywhere, so why they aren’t where they are needed the most? The events explained in the essay are so inhumane that it is hard to believe for modern readers.
There has always been this picture inside my head, the world is being a better place for women, and they’re raising their voices against wrong, getting the privilege that they deserve. But this essay has burst my happy bubble. I am flabbergasted to know that in this 21st century, there still some parts women are treated as if they’re some kind of property or worse than that. This made me wonder, if absolute power was given to someone over another person, they’ll be able to turn this world into a living hell.
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