The Island of Menstruating Men

1021 Words Jun 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
The Island of Menstruating Men

The men and women on Wogeo both lead very different lives, this is made clear by the distinct rituals that each sex participates in throughout their life, the roles held in tribal events as well as the strict customs that are adhered to in the daily life. Now, though the men and women have very different customs that they practice, both sexes of Wogeo are noticeably similar on a social scale. The truth is that on the island of Wogeo the tribes are male dominated. Through practiced customs and social norms the women of Wogeo are able to increase their social status to be on par with that of the men.
The people of Wogeo have very specific traditions and rites of passage ceremonies that are held throughout a
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One of these rituals shows just how women hold more power in Wogeo than in other parts of the word, the incising of the penis. All the males of Wogeo practice artificial menstruation to mimic the natural menstruation of women. Artificial menstruation is done because it is believed that the exiting blood takes the toxins with it and artificial menstruation needs to be done every so often to remain healthy and spiritually clean. Many of the men consider women lucky to get there period naturally. Also, in a social aspect, men are seen to be particularly helpless until women came along. This is told by stories of the culture heroes which mostly consisted of women.
The women of Wogeo only undergo one rite of passage which occurs on the first menstruation. Unlike the various rites of passages for men, the purpose for the women’s ceremony is seemingly more oriented toward that of celebration. The males look to have an idea of what goes on but have absolutely no interest in what goes on during the ceremony. It’s rather amusing the displeasure that the ceremony causes them. Hogbin writes
The sound of shrieking, borne on the wind, was clearly audible in the village, and soon the younger men and youths were making known their profound irritation. They objected to the women’s being so blatant in asserting enjoyment. “I’m deafened” said one, grossly exaggerating, as he waved his fist in the air. “They ought to be planting taro

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