Castration: acceptable or maniacal
Castration has been around for centuries and is no stranger to cultures nationwide. Castration is known as neutering the male genitals. In the text, Sima Qian is punished for publically expressing his opinions in contrast to the emperor. His punishment was both humiliating and excruciating. Sima Qian was castrated and in china undergoing that sort of punishment was unacceptable. Men would have rather taken their lives then risk having their honor blemished. To endure such a penalty warranted disgrace and embarrassment and in a society that prided honor and virtue this was considered suicide within its own realm. Sima Qian did not choose to end his life as he proclaimed to a friend that his work would go unfinished if he had done so. While Sima Qian may not have had much of a choice, others would willingly subject themselves to castration. It was not uncommon for young boys to undergo castration to pursue a career as a eunuch. Elites would enlist eunuchs as personal servants and were given exclusive privileges. It was considered a great honor to even be in the same room as the elite let alone cater to their needs. It is said that the justification of the employment of eunuchs as high-ranking civil servants was that, since they were incapable of having children, they would not be tempted to seize power and start a dynasty. In many cases, eunuchs were considered more reliable than the scholar officials and the scholar was considered the highest achievable rank in the Chinese social hierarchy. Other cultures had different perspectives of castration and how it was to be utilized. Women were not permitted participate in choir back then yet the church found a way for boys to achieve the same pitch as a woman. Young boys were castrated to give them a particularly high voice and were given the title castrati. This practice has long been banned and discouraged in several countries where it is rumored that this ritual is still upheld. It was even used as a method of birth control in some countries. Slave traders found the method useful for increasing the commercial value of slaves during auction bids. The history of castration has been traced to brutal proceedings involving torture and punishment. Castration sometimes used in warfare to demoralize the enemy or extract information once threatened with the prospect. It was also used to obliterate warring male lineages which in turn allowed the victor to claim the defeated man??™s woman. Ancient Greek writings report Persian forces castrating defeated foes. Tamerlane was recorded to have castrated Armenian prisoners of war who had fought as allies of the Ottoman Sultan while others were buried alive. Gibbons famous work, ???Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire??? reports castration of defeated foes at the hands of the Normans. The Vietcong have also been accused of castrating American war prisoners, Vietnamese village elders, and others who opposed their policies. Castration has also been used in modern conflicts such as the Janjaweed militiamen whom are currently attacking citizens of the Darfur region in Sudan. They castrate villagers and leave them to bleed to death as part of a campaign of terror. The Czech Republic continues its practice of castrating sex offenders to this day with supposed success. Parts of Indonesia incorporate castration into their religious ceremonies and for some it is a rite of passage into manhood that if not participated effectively exiles the individual from society. So what does this all come down to. In the end, castration is a despicable instrument of malice that serves no greater purpose than to inflict pain and brew confusion. It may have been acceptable back then but I??™d like to think that at this day and age we??™ve somewhat matured and have disbanded old rituals that justify it. I abhor these kind of rituals and their existence is baffling to me. Castration from a general standpoint is wrong and should never be practiced no matter the circumstance. The consequences of doing so are enormous. Dementia, atrophy, and psychological disorders can arise as a result. We have the information and common knowledge today to know that castration is both vile and unnecessary. Though some perceive to be a gateway into achieving enlightenment, I on the other hand am not so naive. Regardless of its popular use in cultures in ancient times, modern times dictate a new order of stability and acceptance; a community that doesn??™t require bodily sacrifice for a coveted position. However, not all castration is wicked and ridiculous. Patients with prostate cancer undergo some form of chemical castration. This procedure significantly stems the growth of cancer and even save the patient??™s life. Animals go through a similar procedure where their reproductive organs are neutered to discourage over population and reduce the risk of getting a disease. Eunuchs in ancient cultures had an overwhelming sense of belonging. It was the biological need to belong and fit in that coerced youth to voluntarily castrate themselves to be seated amongst powerful officials. Egypt displayed the same mannerisms. It was a test of loyalty and a safety measure to the nobles who occupied those sacred temples. The pharaohs took great painstaking lengths to ensure these young initiates had no means of reproduction within royal quarters. All for the sake of preserving moral integrity did cultures around the word exact these kinds of safeguards. I??™m thankful that I have been born in a time where we can do without the masochistic display. The family jewels are not something you want to auction off anytime soon.