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Saturday, December 16, 2006

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Is Santa Claus A Phallic Symbol?

Well last year, a lot of people got in a huff because I suggested Santa Claus was a vampire. (Good thing I've never explained how Dr Frankenstein created the Easter Bunny - Has to do with brain transfers.) So just to show I'm not THAT bad, I'm presenting what this fellow thinks of Santa Claus... - OlderMusicGeek

Is Santa Claus A Phallic Symbol?
by Nick Yee

Coming from a Hong Kong school system which emphasized rote memory, stressful testing situations, and very rigorous quantitative skills, while de-emphasizing creativity, individual growth, and self-exploration, my American boarding school experience was like a whole new world. And not too unexpectedly, I resisted attempts in English classes to read too deep into the text and into "hidden symbolisms". Not that they don't exist, but that it seemed to be much in the eye of the beholder.

During those last two years of English literature, I always wanted to articulate why there was something very dangerous in reading too deeply, and I think I found it in Santa Claus. Why?

Because Santa Claus is very obviously a phallic symbol of fertility. Let us start with his appearance. He is dressed in red, and characterized as chubby if not outright engorged. His otherwise rosy face is covered with a thick mat of white hair. How much more can the penis be represented in a mythical character? During Christmastime, he climbs down chimneys to deliver presents. Chimneys are long and dark orifices to the home, which is a symbol of nurturance and also femininity. Chimneys are also connected to fireplaces and thus there is also an implication of smoldering warmth that is connected with this long and dark passage that is obviously a representation of the female vagina.

Santa Claus, a phallic symbol, now has to slip through the chimney, a symbolic representation of the vagina, to enter the house, a place saturated with femininity. Once inside, he has to deliver small gifts that he has created to place under the Christmas tree. The presents are obviously representing the male sperm. And the Christmas tree, in its classical triangular shape, is a female symbol that is ornamented with metallic jewellery and decorated with colorful swirls. Santa Claus then places his presents under the skirts of the Christmas tree, accomplishing the symbolic sexual intercourse.

And so, the next time you tell young children about Santa Claus, realize what you're really telling them is about pure and uninhibited sex.

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