I’m reading a book on the history of sexual violence in conflict zones (light reading before law school, ya know). In reading more about historical gender relations (especially in the West) and thinking about how gender relations were (are) linked to property and ownership, I just cannot help but think that at some point in the past some man decided that if his penis touched something, he owned it.

You know, he’s (let’s call him Ralph) standing around listening to his friend Joe whose wife slept with the cobbler. He can’t get her to do anything anymore, but she falls over herself to do the cobbler’s bidding. Ralph is trying to understand what changed. And he realizes! The last penis to touch it is the owner!

“Dude. The penis.”

“Yeah, Ralph, what about it?”

“Your penis makes you the master.” Ralph immediately whips it out, touches Joe’s shirt that he’s always wanted, and says, “Your shirt is mine now.” Joe is sufficiently grossed out (Ralph is a bit diseased) that he decides to eat the cost of a new shirt and hands it over (it was on its last legs anyway since his wife wouldn’t mend it). Ralph now knows he was right.

Ralph of course starts touching his penis to everything: shoes, food, houses, animals (wrong, Ralph), and of course women (unforgivable, Ralph). But the idea catches on, and pretty soon every man is penising everything that he wants. Men leave the house in the morning and touch their penises to their houses to reiterate their ownership of said house. They come home and penis it again. Men are now buried on their lands and their graves marked to keep the penises on the land that they own so that no one can steal it from the family. Penis fights start breaking out over who owns what until finally Law is created, because there are just too many dicks causing chaos. Things are now owned through legal channels and not through penises (except, of course, women).

So things are good for the penises for a bit. Then they realize that though Law has helped them divvy up what they have already touched, there are lands that have not been touched by any member. The penises get together and decide to go touch some foreign stuff, but they don’t want to tip off anyone. They come up with a succession of propaganda plans: gold, spices, and Jesus (Jesus is not happy about this). Over the course of centuries, the penises manage to touch nearly everything and then bestow Law upon the touched.

The women in this story probably thought these men were morons.

“Jane! You are mine and these children are mine because of my penis.”

“And how much ale have we had today?”

“Quiet, woman. The penis is mighty.”

“Whatever you say, Ralph. Now go play with your friends so I can take care of all of the grown-up things.”

Fast forward to today, and while men mostly keep it in their pants, somehow the myth of the powerful penis persists, leaving us with a pestilential prick problem.

Thus concludes a short, fictional history lesson.

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