Monday, May 23, 2016

Response to "Welcome to the Monkey"

“Welcome to the Monkey House” by Kurt Vonnegut demonstrate the extreme societal stratification of sexuality and religious cults. A “Nothinghead”, Billy the Poet, refuses to take the drugs given by the religious and conservative government to suppress sexual desire. Billy the Poet kidnaps Nancy, a virgin suicide hostess, and rapes her. Rape becomes a liberating factor in that context, providing Nancy a superior sight on the heights of sexual pleasure.  There have been movements throughout history that have fought for power using violent and sexually violent means.  Many of the revolutionary events started out immoral and unacceptable. Sexual assault and rape is not socially and culturally acceptable, however it continues and proceeds to be accepted and normalized in order under validate the blame on the perpetrator and blame the victim.

Culturally, sex always had ties with religious beliefs. Religious institutions constantly attempt to remove the truth behind sex and sexual desires – on it being a part of human nature. While government meddle with regulation of contraceptive, such as abortion and sex work. Sex work is similar to being a suicide hostess, both are being exploited to meet certain criteria in order to deliver their work properly. There’s a huge conflict of interest between religious institutions and government regarding the reinforcement of sex and sex control. Both institutions Billy the Poet poses a ‘hero’ where he must liberate women in order to expose the truth about the society. However, further analysis of this makes it seem like men are incapable of rationalize thinking and respectful boundaries of consensual sex.  Nancy must have two degrees in psychology and nursing, and must be a virgin in order to qualify as a ‘good’ suicide hostess. Women are must conform to societal standards in order to be accepted as ‘decent’ and ‘modest’

There’s always a gender construct that is enforced by religious institutions and sometimes backed by governmental scientific research on how different ‘God’ or biologically men and women are. Sure, men and women have their own biological make up that makes them both unique and different, but gender or sex is not a binary. Our society tries to normalize binary standards simply because having too many variations is confusing. Much like sexuality, our biological make up are unique from one another, regardless of whether we are born male, female or intersex. The societal parallels that were drawn in Vonnegut’s story and our societal standard explains how as a society were accept it in reality and yet in story, we get rage up by it. 

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