The Fragility Chronicles


We  may be as cocky, blatant, loudmouth as you like, but when it comes to penises, men feel suddenly introverted and vulnerable.

Awkwardly popping out of our bodies, optimistically projected towards the external world, soft and harmless most of the time, a penis is like a puppy that wanders aimlessly in the middle of a trafficked highway. That’s why we wrap it up in tight boxers, cover it with both hands in football walls, jump back in terror if someone happens to wave a finger close to it. It stands as the main guarantor for our virility. The idea of damaging it sends shivers down our spine. The idea of losing it forever buries us in deep existential thoughts.

Last week, a Chinese couple sued their Tianjin-area hospital for a brutally botched operation. In November 2011, the 21-year old man had gone to the hospital to get circumcised. He probably thought it would be a good way to approach his wedding day, only two weeks away. But the operation went wrong. After one month of pain and swelling, his entire penis had to be amputated. 

If my male readers are already closing their legs shut in fear that the pain might somehow be transmitted to them by osmosis, then they have appropriately prepared to read this story of another torture suffered by one poor guy in Henan Province, China, as punishment for dating another man's girlfriend. 

All considered, 2012 doesn’t seem like a good year for Chinese men. Maybe this is the Apocalypse. Either way, they are better off staying home, with a pair of asbestos trousers on.


Image: “Penis Day” procession, Komoka, Japan. Courtesy of Baron.