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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Penis panic in Congo

The Internet is abuzz about a wave of so-called penis panic in Congo.

From Reuters:

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.

According to the article, the rumors started last week and were quickly spread on talk radio programs.

Call me culturally insensitive, I don't care:  there's something kind of funny about the idea of sorcerers going around shrinking men's penises with their magic. But there's nothing funny about the lynchings and deaths that penis panics have caused in the past.

In one of his older colums, Mark Steyn wrote about the significance of penis panics that occurred in Sudan, back in 2003. In that case, evil foreign magicians were stealing the manhoods of Sudanese men just by shaking their hands.

As Steyn is wont to do, he uses the penis panic as a starting point for a broader analysis of world affairs. From the column:

Tales of the vanishing penises ran rampant round the city, spread by cell phones and text messages. Sudan's Attorney General Salah Abu Zayed declared that all complaints about the missing penises would be brought before a special investigative committee, though doctors had determined that the first plaintiff was "perfectly healthy."

It is, in that sense, the perfect emblematic tale of Islamic victimhood: The foreigners have made us impotent! It doesn't matter that the foreigners didn't do anything except shake hands. It doesn't matter whether you are, in fact, impotent. You feel impotent, just as — so we're told — millions of Muslims from Algerian Islamists to the Bali bombers feel "humiliated" by the Palestinian situation. Whether or not there is a rational basis for their sense of humiliation is irrelevant.

Steyn's column is surprisingly harsh (not unreasonably so.) But the overall thesis of the piece is still worth considering:

A handshake-fearing guy with a cell phone is one thing; what happens when the handshake-fearers have cell phones and a suitcase nuke? It's at the intersection of apparently indestructible ancient ignorance and cheap, widely available western technology that the dark imponderables of the future lie.

Posted by Terrence Watson on April 23, 2008 | Permalink


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Sorry, but this is hilarious. Sorry fer the lynchin's of course, but "special investigative committee" ??

Steyn is right--the Islamic men are a fearful bunch.

Posted by: aunty belle | 2008-04-23 11:34:10 PM

These are African men? Their penis shrinkage may only result in an average north American penis size. Perhaps we should bring them here a cure.

Just kidding I don't care about their penis problems they could do with a few less active dicks in Africa.

Posted by: John V | 2008-04-23 11:57:28 PM

LOL! Mark Steyn is of Belgian origin. Belgians viciously ruled Congo--they murdered and abused COngolese in a manner that was worse than anything ever seen in Africa ever! So that Mark Steyn laughs at Africans huh? Kind of like Germans laughing at the plight of Jews!

Steyn is very concerned about Muslim sex. Funny thing is that Steyn thinks Muslims have more babymaking sex than white folks living in the west! LOL! Steyn fears the Muslim penis is potent! Steyn probably thinks that white western girls will discover the Muslim penis and end any chance he has of keeping things the way he would like! LOL! Poor Steyn, he just can't win! That is what he gets for being a high school drop out!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-24 12:20:01 AM

Wow - first a story about how the 'no fun' police are taking away ornamental balls dumber Albertans like to put on thur trucks and now a 'penis panic' story?

You CONs sure are obsessed with male genitalia, aren't you? Did Larry Craig join the editorial board or what?

Posted by: joe bleau | 2008-04-24 4:16:48 AM

Cell phone western technology? Why? Last time I checked Sony,Toshiba,Mistubishi, Zenith... are not in the West; oh I see, there is still Motorola and Nokia. Still hanged in the past huh! It is Modern technology not western...

Posted by: Tuff | 2008-04-24 6:12:18 AM

Who's laughing?

Humanity would be much better off with a tad more impotence in some of the hell holes of the Globe.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-04-24 6:19:37 AM

I hope all those spammers who stuff my e-mail with penis enlargement offers read this item. Hey, you guys and gals, Congo is your market. Stop pestering me.

Posted by: JMD | 2008-04-24 7:16:34 AM

I think we all know who's stealing those penises.

Roger, that girlfriend of yours is out of control.

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-24 9:00:02 AM

"Steyn probably thinks that white western girls will discover the Muslim penis and end any chance he has of keeping things the way he would like! LOL!"

It's not easy keeping them under wraps. Just look around after an air strike. There'll be plenty of them lying around. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-24 11:34:41 AM

Is the author gay by any chance? Why is he giving so much attention to the penises of black muslim men?


Posted by: Ali | 2008-04-30 1:41:45 PM

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