In response to requests from many of our readers, we now post Part 2 of "The 'Other' Revisited."
On September 11, we published an article—'The Other' Revisited— summarizing aspects of a confidential study we had obtained. Entitled “Revelations in a Bottle,” the study was authored by Prof. Efelide di Sanitá and a research group at the Center for Ontological and Perceptual Studies, an American affiliate of l’Academia dei Segreti (Academy of Secrets) in Italy, known as the Academia secretorum naturae when it was founded in the 1550s.*
In the paper, the authors propose an audacious and remarkable “theory of interspecies sexual normalcy,” contending that mainstream heterosexuality—despite its widespread popularity and its endorsement by powerful institutions—is very often but a veiled expression of man’s obsessional desire to engage in bestial relations.
“To many male minds, women are a whole different animal, a separate, less evolved species driven by passion over reason, animal desires over rational choice. Because of these dangerous proclivities, the history of heterosexuality has routinely placed breeding women in captivity, restricting their mobility in society and their opportunity to live their lives to the fullest degree of their potential.
“So, at the heart of normalcy, lies a form of erotic desire that is inflamed by the prospect of interspecies pleasures.”
Extending their argument into the linguistic realm, Dr. di Sanitá and his group, have done a survey of English slang terms for “woman.” In Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality, there is a pertinent vignette entitled “The Costermonger’s Tongue and Roget’s Thesaurus.” Drawing on the outlook of Peter Mark Roget, who compiled the first Thesaurus of the English language in 1852, the chapter explores language in general, and slang in particular, as part of a cosmological system of meanings. Words that appear in close proximity to one another offer a collective picture of a particular arena of meaning or, in some cases, of intolerance and bias. Each region in the cosmos offers a combined picture of a way of seeing that is communicated by a constellation of conjoined words. “Revelations in a Bottle,” employs a similar approach to language and demonstrates that the normalcy of interspecies sexuality pervades the synoptic constellation of words that are employed by men to describe their heterosexual objects of desire.
The preponderance of animal metaphors is striking. On the most obvious level, the word “bitch,” is derived from a term connoting a female dog. But the terms extend beyond the comfort of the mammalian realm. A “chick” is a baby chicken, from the phylum Aves.
Other interspecies lexicographical evidence discussed in the study include: beaver, bird, cat, chicken head, dog, filly, fish, fox, grizzly chicken, heifer, hen, hose beast, kitty kat, moo, mustang, oyster (a mollusk!), pony, puck bunny, pussy, pussycat, quail, squirrel, stallion, tiger, trout, tuna, and yak. The discussion of plant metaphors such as “tomato” or "flower" is fairly brief but highly evocative in terms of how broadly the general theory of interspecies sexual normalcy extends.
The collection animal terms for men, it turns out, is much smaller. Stud and wolf both refer to men as sexual practitioners, but neither of these seem to carry the same kind of all-encompassing identity that bitch and chick do when applied to women.
Illustrating this piece, S&S offers a small sampling of visual artifacts that underline many of the linguistic findings reported on in “Revelations in a Bottle.”
* The Academy of Secrets (Academia secretorum naturae, in Latin) was founded in the 1550s by Giambattista Della Porta, the author of Magia Naturalis (Natural Magic, also 1558). The school was silenced by the Inquisition in 1578, but Della Porta’s influence continued well after his death in 1615. While many believe that the Academy of Secrets disappeared in 1578, others maintain that its enterprise continues unto this day, under the most highly guarded circumstances. This cannot be verified, nor can the existence of the Center for Ontological and Perceptual Studies, whose exact location is unknown. We must add that Efelide di Sanitá’s pregnant study came to us through the back door and, while we found it of enormous interest, we cannot vouch for its authenticity.