An article in today’s ‘The Hindu’ spoke of the relationship between rape and controlling mentality. Rape is a heinous crime and there is no justification for it. Some would justify rape saying men can’t control their sexual urges when they see a women. (This is a foolish argument). But the author of the article would say, it is not the lack of control, but it is part of the desire to control women. Rape and desire to have power over the other is very much connected. Even rape of men by women (it also happens, may be much less in number) is also part of the desire of women to control men. Even the marital rape is also a version of this. If that desire for power was not there, it wouldn’t be rape, but sex.
The desire to control (seduction of power) is the reason for many evils and phobias in the society. White wants to control the black; rich wants to control the poor; dalits, minorities are to be controlled; women needs to under the power of men. ‘America first’ of Trump is another expression of this. ‘Aryan supremacy of Nazis’ was the historical model that went to the extreme of killing innumerable Jews and others. When controlling mechanism gives a sadistic pleasure and false supremacy to one section, the pain of the other section is conveniently forgotten.
The ecological hazard is part of the human tendency to control everything, especially the non-human world. The attitude of ‘I know what is the best’ has caused irreparable damage. A wrong understanding of the words of the book of genesis has contributed a lot to it. Pope Francis reinterprets it through his encyclical, Laudato Si. Being shepherds of creation, not domination, is the human responsibility.
It is shameful that many of the so-called Christian countries were in the forefront of environmental destruction. Others are following it up now. We speak of a God who became human to make a friendship with us. All powerful God teaches us humility. Then how could we speak of domination and control over other human beings or even creation. God teaches us co-operation, invites us to be part of his mission. We also should have done the same, co-operating with other human beings and the entire creation. We even think of controlling God today.
Dr. Johnson Puthenpurackal OFM would speak of the difference between play of the children and adults. Children play with one-another; adults play against one another like in modern games to defeat the other. The child-like attitude of playing is the best antidote against many of the evils of the manipulating control. It includes co-operation with all. The powerful positions could be a privileged opportunity to co-operate with the other.