What, in more judgmental times, we used to refer to as “primitive societies” often tend to practice heavy tattooing, ritual scarring, and self-mutilation. Plugs were inserted in the earlobes and gradually enlarged, grossly deforming the ears, or wooden forms in the lips to produce a “duckbill” effect, or plugs inserted in the lower lip to produce a large, permanent opening. Infants’ heads were bound or flattened on cradle boards, deforming the skull. Beginning in early childhood, necks were elongated with metal rings being added, one by one, over a period of years. Binding women’s feet used to be common in China, causing deformation and a lifetime of crippling pain. All manner of cutting, scarring, and burning was used to make otherwise healthy and attractive people conform to an artificial standard. Apparently, God’s design for the human body was all wrong, and these tribesmen (and even the civilized Chinese) had better ideas.
Tattoos were among the most common modifications, and were common worldwide, including in Japan and in Europe in ancient times. The word itself derives from the Polynesian “tatau,” and the Pacific Islanders were among the most heavily tattooed of all peoples. Roman gladiators, slaves, and soldiers were tattooed to make escape or desertion more difficult; they would easily be identified and recaptured. But Rome became Christian, and Christians believe that the body is the temple of the soul and that we cannot improve on God’s design, so the Second Council of Nicea in A.D. 787 banned all tattoos. Thereafter they were rare in Europe, until sailors encountered the Pacific Islanders beginning in the seventeenth century. But until very recent times, tattoos continued to be rare in the West, save among sailors and among criminals; even today, convicts, especially gang members and bikers, tend to be the most heavily tattooed people of all. Even in the 1970s, when I worked as a claims representative and eligibility worker, dealing with SSI and welfare recipients, these people, on the margins of society, were often tattooed, but few middle class people were, and tattooed women were rare.
But times have changed, beginning then, and by 2006 some 25% of Americans 18-50 had tattoos. They have become more and more common, and more and more extensive, so that heavily tattooed women are a fairly common sight today. Not satisfied with this degree of self-mutilation, in the eighties people began piercing, not only their ears, but their noses, lips, nipples, and genitals. Scarring and burning of the skin also became more common.
But even this is not enough for some people. They are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to unscrupulous plastic surgeons to tattoo their eyes, implant jewelry in their eyes, place implants under their skin and even in their scrotums, split their tongues for that cute reptilian effect, have cat-like fangs implanted in their gums, and mutilate their genitals and nipples. There is the case of a fairly elderly woman modified to look vaguely like a cat, a young woman with a third breast, a man trying to look like a tiger, and people fitted with “horns” to look like Satan. I remember when I considered a single tattoo on a woman to be a kind of “mark of the beast,” but, since then, we have progressed — toward a future that looks more and more like the ancient, feudal, pagan past.
And then there is the expanding sexual alphabet, the GLBTs. By now there are probably even more letters on the list; it’s hard to keep up with. There have always been cross dressers, many of them homosexuals and lesbians, but modern medicine has made sex reassignment therapy possible. In the beginning, people took opposite sex hormones, but then castration and breast implants (and breast removal) became more common. There are actual brain differences among people who feel that they are women trapped in male bodies (or vice versa), but, we might argue, the emotional (not to mention financial) costs of sex change procedures, not to mention the health risks, are likely to be greater than what the individual would have endured without attempting the change. Could not slightly effeminate men attempt to become more masculine, and perhaps take male hormones, rather than mutilating themselves? Could not women who feel that they are men trapped in female bodies not embrace their feminine side? I guess that would be too simple, and too natural.
And now, we are seeing healthy people pretending to be crippled or blind, or even undergoing surgery to become truly handicapped.
All of this, it appears, is yet another sign of the increasing coarsening of society in America. But it also is a rebellion against nature itself, for someone born with male genitals and a Y chromosome can never, ever be a woman, but merely a grotesque parody of one. And, with the hard left firmly in control (for the time being), things will only get worse.