Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What is a youth? Impetuous fire.

I would think that for most people the hormonal biology is the same, irrespective of the continents in which we live.  Language, religion, ethnicity, and any cultural marker has got nothing to do with the growth of male facial hair, pubic hair, hair under the armpits, and--most importantly, the sex hormones.

I was a basket case when the biochemistry started changing inside, leading to visible external changes. Imagination ran wild.  If I were looking for cheap notoriety, well, I have my own horror stories to tell.  But, I am too grown up for a tell-all.

To react to those hormonal changes is normal.  It is human.  It is very much a part of the biological species that we are.  Now, it does not mean that we should then behave like dogs in heat and do it doggy-style.  We don't want to behave like animals, no doubt.  But, suppressing those hormonal desires is another.  It is abnormal.  It is destructive.

Trying to control that is like pressing against an inflated balloon.  Either the balloon gets squished into a different shape, or it simply bursts.  Right?  Ellen Barry writes about this sexual oppression balloon in India:
Intentionally dialing wrong numbers is a labor-intensive way to find a girlfriend. But it is increasingly common in a range of countries — Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and India are examples — where traditional gender segregation has collided head-on with a wave of cheap new technology.
These are not old men trolling around for trophy wives.  Nope.  Young men.  Like Premsagar Tiwari:
Premsagar Tiwari, whose given name in Hindi translates as “Sea of Love.” Mr. Tiwari, 24, turned out to be a high-strung, pencil-necked man who grew up in two small rooms in the corner of the down-at-heel government school where his father worked as a night watchman. Outside his window, young women came and went in their crisp school uniforms. But the night watchman’s son could not approach them.
24 years old.  Let us say that the hormones have been tormenting him since he was 14.  A full decade of hormone craziness.  He sees girls in the real world. He sees girls in movies and television shows.  He sees girls in porn.  But, there he is in a prison that society has built around him, and his cellphone is the only way to reach the other side.
He said he had heard many stories of men and women meeting over social media and going on to marry.
“I may be a failed man,” he said, “but I am very passionate.”
The police were not impressed, and held him in custody for 15 days.
I don't mean to imply that this Tiwari guy is innocent.  He is guilty as hell.  But, we need to pause and think about the hundreds of millions of young men and women in India, in Morocco, in Bangladesh, ... in societies where the youth are forbidden from interacting across the genders.

BTW, plenty of young women look forward to these cellphone encounters:
Ms. Huang, the anthropologist, said the women she met in Bangladesh were often happy to engage in telephone courtships with anonymous strangers, and some maintained five or six at once. Phone contact, they told her, was safer because it presupposed physical distance. Also, it forced the men on the other end of the line to listen to them for long stretches.
“It’s one of those boundary-expanding experiences that allow you to think about opportunities that were not previously available,” she said. Young women, she said, described these relationships with “kind of a fearful excitement.”
We forget that in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet was barely 14, and Romeo was only three years older.  The very ages when teenagers all across the world go cuckoo.  The Tiwaris are 24, even 30.  There is also that other connection to such repressed men and the "blue balls" theory of terrorism; but, that is a post for another day.


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