Imagine, if you will, Constant Reader, a world in which men randomly, or not so randomly, go around cutting the balls off other men, usually as a demonstration of social dominance. Abusive boyfriends and parents do it, random strangers do it, even acquaintances do it.
Members of the scientific establishment, usually dominant males, publish scholarly papers in high-impact journals chronicling involuntary castration in animal species, and popular media reports translate those findings into saying that castration is a fundamental part of men's essential natures, which serves to shore up centuries of popular belief. Evolutionary psychologists of the less reputable type come up with the usual just-so stories.
A victim gets taken to a Catholic hospital after being castrated and finds out that the medical staff won't treat the wound aside from basic first aid, because any infection or complications that the victim winds up with (including, say, osteoporosis and arthritis) are God's will
and it would be immoral
to interfere with God's plan for the eunuch
. Besides which, eunuchs are Scriptural. When an incident of this type comes to light, a prominent legislator asks what the problem is with an alteration of the standard of care on religious grounds, being as "it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital."
The victim is told to "just deal with it. It isn't so bad... It could be worse...you could be dead." Male friends and relatives of the victim, on finding out, promise to "revenge castrate" the perpetrator, usually as a distancing mechanism. Very few of the threats are ever carried out, mostly due to endemic societal disinterest in identifying and punishing the perpetrators.
Men who try to get cosmetic or functional repairs done surgically often have difficulty in finding a provider who will do the procedures, and most people are quite judgemental about it. A concerted political movement to ban reparative surgery exists, and has gained a lot of political traction in recent years. Laws are passed in a number of jurisdictions allowing store personnel to refuse to sell castrated men testosterone or the needles to administer it, even when the men in question have a valid prescription, on religious-objection grounds. These so-called "conscience laws" also allow store personnel to refuse to sell prosthetic testicles. Many stores do not carry any of these items, but also do not notify their clientele.
The victim goes to the police, and hears things like:
"Oh, honey, you know you shouldn't wear briefs in public. Men really like how those show off your package, after all..."
"Eh, I don't believe anybody really cut your balls off. You're just taped up down there to try to get sympathy."
"You're being hysterical."
"You know there's no point in pressing charges; none of these guys ever get caught anyway."
"What are you, some kind of a whore that you're flashing your balls in public? Get out of here, before I have you investigated for sexual deviance."
In court, the victim rarely fares much better. Conviction rates hover around 10% of reported castrations. Needless to say, only a fraction of castrations are ever reported.
Laws banning cross-examiners from mentioning the victims' sexual and sartorial history only apply in certain jurisdictions and most of the laws have been passed within the last 20 years or so. In at least two high-profile cases, the prosecution presents videotaped evidence of the castrations, and the jury declines to convict.
Most media accounts refer to castration as "cosmetic surgery," and the actual castration as "the alleged incident." Perpetrators are almost always referred to as "the accused" or "the perpetrator," and never as "the castrator." If no conviction is obtained, a lot of people assume the victim is lying in an effort to get sympathy or social benefits.
Castration by a spouse or partner didn't become a felony until 10 or 15 years ago in most jurisdictions, and that only after a long and intense campaign by activists.
Well-meaning NGOs, municipalities, and other groups frequently run PSA campaigns directed at men, informing them how they can avoid becoming victims of castration. The advice almost always includes admonitions against drinking to excess, wearing certain clothes, going to certain places, and being out alone at night. When anti-castration activists point out that these activities amount to a comprehensive schedule of social control, they're often told "What are you complaining about? All of those things are common sense anyway. Everyone should be doing them. What have you got against good advice?" Very few of these campaigns ever focus on reducing the rate of castrations by preventing the perpetrators from committing the crime in the first place, or on ensuring swift, certain punishment for offenders.
Castrations of imprisoned men are disturbingly common, and people often make derrogatory jokes about so-and-so "getting cut" in prison. A Million Eunuch March on Washington, DC, to demand equal treatment for castration victims under the law was treated mostly as a media spectacle and joke fodder. CNN's main male newsanchor spent a lot of time chortling. Castration apologists abound on blog threads devoted to discussing the political, social, and physical implications of castration. People who make castration jokes rarely listen to victims' pleas to stop, saying they're "overreacting," and "being politically correct," and "humourless," and "don't appreciate edgy comedy," and often go out of their way to annoy victims with tasteless jokes...
Anybody out there sitting there reading with their hand over their crotch? Anybody flinch while reading this?
And that is why rape jokes