Ouch. A dodgy pun and a nautical double entendre. That’s gotta hurt.
It’s easier to condemn clitorectomies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_cutting). No reason not to add circumcision to the list of bad religious practices. Good one, Mo.
May I, as a female, make a somewhat crass comment? Don’t they all become society’s “smallest members” after the snip?
Ah, the Rabbi is here. It won’t be long now. Thanks Author for jumping tackling this issue. The cognitive dissonance one encounters arguing against circumcision is just amazing. We’re asking mothers to admit they did something bad to their babies. Asking doctors to admit they had no medical reason for surgery. It’s an uphill battle, but one we should engage. The West is so smug about our human rights, and we still allow the mutilation of male infant genitalia without a shudder. You’re looked on as a nutcase if you suggest it pisses you off that somebody messed with your dick before you had anything to say about it. And that is one thing that really pisses me off. If I could get my hands on that asshole doctor, he’d lose more than his foreskin. Unfortunately he’s almost certainly dead by now. Small comfort.
Did Jesus’ foreskin rise on the third day?
My boy isn’t circumsized. I tell people I wanted to break the covenant between Evil God and my tribe.
I was going to become a moyel. It’s a great job, 50 skins a week and a chance to get ahead.
Whose the fool who wants to make laws? In reality I thought Freedom was the goal. to tell you the truth, it’s just a little flesh, and it don’t even weigh a pound.
If you want a pound of my flesh, you’ll have to come and get it. If you’d vote for the libertarian candidate, then you’d see more freedom.
Mind you, many of you fools wouldn’t know what to do, but in reality that don’t matter.
It’s fine for society to protect it’s members, but you don’t need no stinkin’ government!
I HOPE you know they aren’t the same thing, and you can’t CHANGE the truth.
And why would I want to consume what you sell, when I can see the light on the screen for free? What you’re selling is using resources, and may be causing global warming.
Therefore only buy what you really need, and you’ll see things turn around.
Assuming you think there’s something wrong, but in reality it’s all working out. . .
exactly as ALLAH planned it.
Hey, I enjoyed the cartoon anyway – in reality it was harmless!
Hey, I just read your note for commenting, and it made me laugh out loud. You say it’s okay to ridicule those who believe, but then you make some exceptions. Why would it matter to you who I offend, unless you’ve got some sort of agenda.
You my friend are a hipocrite, but in reality most of humanity is. If you’d try to think it through for a moment, you may discover I’m telling the truth!
And remember, after each completed operation you receive a tip!
Me? I proudly tell women that I’m “Circus sized”.
The more I read, the more I laugh, and now this is a trinity of posts. I was circumcised, and don’t remember it happening – therefore it caused no pain.
If all you do is remember what hurts, you are the fool my friend.
Life is too short to worry about that sort of shit.
What’s the difference if a parent has their son circumcised,
or decides to do nothing.
The circumcision will not kill the kid,
but if they ignore him it just might.
For those who believe Might makes Right,
you are part of the problem.
You use the Might of the State,
to get whatever you want.
But what if i don’t want the same damn thing?
whose rights are being trampled on?
Jesus 2.3, you logic is stunningly flawed. You don’t remember it, therefore it is O.K.? I guess that god chopping killing all the newborns in Egypt was O.K. too, they don’t remember it, right? A newborn is female instead of male? KILL IT, it won’t remember. You are a sick puppy.
I very nearly missed the “slack” double entendre, and would have been the poorer for it, too. Now, even “Mo”, of “Jesus and Mo” seems a double entendre, Mohammed and/or Moses. It could even be a triple, if you add in “Moi.”
By the way, for the record: I prefer my “hotdogs” kosher or at least kosher style. It’s a very nice thing. Cleaner, too. And probably is lower risk for cancer, as once reported. Might as well do it when a child is too young to remember. Clitorectomy, on the other hand, has no rational function.
Hey Jesus 2.3 I need a kidney. You have two of them, it’s just a little thing, so why don’t I just knock you over the head and take it? O.K.?
Mo asking for slack?
JR Dobbs be praised. Can it be that has he seen the light?
I chose not to have my son circumcised and now, in his 20′s, he blames me for it and wishes he were like everyone else. Anyone know of any website which would provide information in support of not cutting? Thanks much. I love J & M!
“smallest members” – I see what you did there.
Julia, point him right here http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/ and order the book if you can. This is a great site that points out how much more pleasure an uncut man can give a woman. There are even instructive videos. If he reads this it will make him PROUD of his non-mutilated penis, not ashamed. Good luck.
As I understood circumcisions began as a cleanliness issue, besides that not much reason. As for it affecting the size and sensitivity it is simply not a scientific truth. How can you possibly say that an uncut penis who’s glands are only exposed during erection feels any better than a cut one? As far a lenght is concerned hell watch some porn it seems as though there are plenty of large one’s from both groups. I have pulled enogh navel lint out of my belly button to conclude that I do not need another area to check for cleanliness….
I gotta say Moses is usually the rational one in this strip. I’m surprised that Jesus is the one making such a rational and logical argument here. As an atheist this strip today has me ironically thinking for the first time since my childhood indoctrination… I love Jesus.
My mother offers no apologies for her decision to mutilate my genitals as an infant as she’s severely rooted in the archaic belief that mutilated male genitals are healthier and more aesthetically pleasing. She thinks my own son is going hate me for leaving his genitals untouched because she claims no woman will have sex with an uncut man. Really what is aesthetically pleasing about a dick that is 2 different colors due to a huge fucking circumcision scar?
I knew that I would NEVER allow this to be done to my own children. In fact I refuse to even have unprotected sex with a woman who disagrees with me on the issue. But ironically my son was born with a hypospadia and could not be circumcised at birth but they generally circumcise when the correct the problem because the foreskin is usually used in the repair. However, I told the surgeon performing the surgery that I wanted as much of his foreskin left intact as possible and she actually did an incredible job. With the exception of a thin surgical scar on the underside of his penis it looks like a normal unmutilated penis.
The surgeon who performed the surgery was actually a 2nd opinion. My mother set up an appointment with urologist that serves the hospital near her and when I told the quack I wanted my son’s foreskin left intact the guy tried to persuade me to change my mind. He didn’t make me feel at all comfortable with letting him get anywhere near my son with a fucking scalpel. I couldn’t get out of his office fast enough. Then my son’s pediatrician (who shared my opinion on circumcision) recommended us to a pediatric urologist and she was entirely different and totally understood my feelings on the issue and didn’t even try to push me towards circumcision at all.
Oh I forgot to mention… My mother was upset with me because I went elsewhere to have the surgery performed. She wanted to go to the hospital to offer support but wouldn’t drive that far away. She claimed the doctor we went to that would have done the surgery locally would have honored my wishes even tho he disagreed with me, but I told her quite simply that I did not trust him to do the surgery. What if he had circumcised him and and then came out of surgery telling me that it was necessary to do it? How could I prove otherwise? That was not a risk I was willing to take with him. I needed a surgeon who understood my position and made me feel comfortable entrusting them with my son’s health and well-being.
Susan Smith, Jesus 2.3, Unruly Simian, and anyone else arguing that male infant genital cutting is somehow beneficial, unharmful, or any different than female genital cutting… congrats, you are all now official members of CIRCUMCISION STUPIDITY!
@ Julia. Your son blames you for NOT circumcising him? Now that’s a kid for you. Parents can’t do anything right. Tell him to go see any doctor and you’ll pay for the operation. If he wants “to be like everybody else”, that’s easy. But if it had been done to him as an infant, it’s not quite such a quick fix.
@ C Stupidity – I in no way condone the practice, and seeings how I thought it prudent of myself not to procreate to prevent all the stupidity this world has to offer. I was simply making a statement that you cannot prove that the procedure stunts growth or makes the organ in questions less sensitive. The idea here is to share different points of belief not to call each other cotton headed ninny heads -
@ Circumcision Stupidity – Unruly Simian is right. Your comment nearly didn’t make it through. Please keep it civil.
@Susan Smith I hate to tell you this, but you and everybody else who supports circumcision of infants, especially Unruly Simian who has no idea what he lost, are ignorant of the anatomy involved, as are most doctors. You’ve probably never even heard of the frenulum. Google it and check the Wikipedia entry. I’m told it’s the most sensitive part of the male anatomy, but I’ll never know. I don’t have one, thanks to an asshole doctor and culture of repression trying to prevent masturbation. So now tell me that clitorectomies are bad but circumcision is okay. Sheesh. I’m glad you prefer your “hotdogs trimmed”, but I don’t think women should have a vote on this issue. Not unless they’ve got a clue what they are talking about.
“Surveyed women preferred sex with a natural penis by a margin of 9 to 1 — not 2 to 1, or 3 to 1, but 9 to 1.”
-From the website “Sex as nature intended it”
I can also share my personal experience from feedback from satisfied women . They are more likely to achieve orgasm from a natural penis, it’s that ole “slip and slide” as nature intended.
Hi everyone, sorry for being uncivil. This time I’ll try to be informative. Circumcision removes the five most sensitive part of a man’s penis, including 20,000+ nerve endings. How you can try to say this doesn’t affect a man’s sexual sensitivity is beyond me. Study in the British Journal of Urology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x/full
Not to mention the gliding action provided by the slack skin and the protection for the head of the penis and inner foreskin so that it can remain a shiny, oily, mucous membrane instead of a dried out, chafed remnant of a penis.
(Sry, messed the link up in my first post of this msg — thx)
I just don’t understand the argument that a circumcised penis is cleaner. It’s a matter of seconds to clean under the foreskin. If you’re too lazy to do that regularly, you deserve to be cut.
@Darwin Harmless, “I’m told it’s the most sensitive part of the male anatomy” – sadly from your point of view, I have to confirm that this is the case, if handled correctly. ;-P
Just for the record, my genitals were cut against my will when I was a baby. So I’m not saying these things “just to be a dick,” so to speak.
I started restoring my penis through skin expansion and have just been shocked, I mean utterly shocked, at the increased sensitivity in the protected front parts, and at the usefulness of the gliding action. I was cut extremely tight so I previously had no gliding action whatsoever.
It is both devastating and eye-opening once you find out the truth about what has been lost.
People.. you can not cut off tens of THOUSANDS of pressure and temperature sensitive nerve endings and not loose sensation!
Just use your brains for one minute!
As all English men now in their 70s know they were routinely done. When my son was born in 1964 my husband asked our GP whether it was still common practice. The answer was no, but it could be done, which we declined. The GP also told us this little nugget: when the boys at his son’s school are in the showers after playing Rugby they compare notes; those who were done are the Roundheads, the others the Cavaliers.
There is a credible body of evidence that circumcision provides a significant degree of protection against HIV infection. For example:
Not that this has a lot to do with why the Jews still do it. Just thought I’d pour my oil on these troubled fires…
And you could prevent breast cancer by performing mastectomies on all women. Without their consent, of course.
Daoloth, those studies were perpetrated by long-time circumcision fetishists. The studies were fatally flawed — “researchers” counseled the men who were being circumcised on condom use while they were in the office, and on top of that did not adjust for the time spent while the circumcised men were recovering from the procedure and could not have sex.
In the real world, this doesn’t work at all. In a 2009 study, USAID found that condom use, NOT circumcision, was correlated with lower HIV incidence (shocker!). In fact, in 10 of 18 countries with data available, circumcised men were MORE likely to have HIV. Source: USAID http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf
See Intact America’s takedown of the circumcision/HIV farce here:
USAID (despite their study linked above!) & the CDC have started a huge propaganda campaign to push circumcision as “50-60% reduction in HIV risk” both in Africa and back home in the U.S., including setting up circumcision camps all over Africa, sponsoring propaganda videos slandering the intact male genitalia, and fund youth sports leagues that will not accept children who are not circumcised. http://youtu.be/adiiK9sPx_Y
They are working hand in hand with a group called “Operation Abraham” from Israel that is travelling the world to promote circumcision, including training African clinics in mass circumcision techniques. http://www.aidsnews.org.il This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Our taxpayer dollars hard at work, mutilating the genitals of Africans, Americans, and anyone else dumb enough to listen to the CDC, USAID, UNAIDS, WHO, AAP, Gates Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Marie Stopes, et al (all implicated in the Africa mutilation campaigns).
This has got to stop. You can’t always blindly trust the newspaper headlines, folks.
I say that the “credible body of evidence on circumcision and HIV” will be ultimately revealed as the Red Herring that it is.
“In the new study, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at HIV infection rates among nearly 4,900 men in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands who took part in a clinical trial of an HIV vaccine.
They found that circumcised and uncircumcised men showed no difference in the risk of HIV infection over three years.
Moreover, while having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive partner increased a man’s risk of infection, there was no evidence that circumcision altered that risk.”
Thank you! Circumcision is such bullshit! Which reminds me, Penn & Teller: Bullshit! did a great episode on the bullshit swirling around this issue.
omg I can’t wait for the next Moses close up encounter
One camp says “OMG! This is wrong! Sex is better! Even women say so!” the other camp says OMG this is wrong! Sex is good and we’re cleaner!” etc…
What is the problem here? Well, how can you measure a person’s sense of pleasure? How can you say you “enjoy” sex more than I? Maybe a woman who slept with a man could say he was more pleasurable than another, but was it truly the tiny size difference? I always assumed sex was “good” or “blah” because of the PERSON not the exact dimensions of their genitalia.
I cannot believe that some here would even loosely compare the atrocities of FGM to male circumcision. The two are NOT analogous. One is vile uncontrolled ritual mutilation, with no other aim but to enforce misogynistic control. Circumcision is “Mutilation” in the loosest of terms only. If we were to start removing, let’s say the glans, then it could be compared.
Personally, I am a 33 yr old American male. I am circumcised, as are most men my age in this country. Anecdotal evidence from women I’ve been with is that they prefer cut over uncut penises. But I doubt many would say that if I was not circumcised. Most women I’ve been with are rather nice, and with that, usually, comes a set of “good manners”. I always tell them their cooking is good, whether it was or not.
Our need as a species/culture to please others, emotionally and otherwise’ is strong. Whether “God-given” or from a latent instinct from our developmental stages of evolution I don’t know. What I do know? I am happy it was done. I enjoy sex immensely. I am not so insecure as to think my partner is walking around, dreaming of how much better it could be. We have a healthy relationship and I’ve found TALKING about sex is much more useful than a marginal increase in my size or sensitivity ever could be.
Too many of us put a large stake in penis size to secure our ego. Would you cease to be a man if you lost your penis? Would your chromosomes suddenly switch? Would it make you grow breasts? Seriously, a penis is a nice thing to have, but there is much more to life.
With all that I have said in mind, I can tell you that choosing to circumcise my sons, was on the other hand, not such an easy thing. I know most medical “reasons” given are b.s. I know that it is not my body, but theirs, that we are talking about. I know the claims of sexual “superiority” by those few uncut men I’ve talked to. I understand that they ma grow into men and be unhappy that he was circumcised.
I also know that NOT being as homogenous as possible can affect a child socially and, subsequently affect his development. I know that trying to teach a 3 yr old why his penis and mine do not look alike is VERY difficult. I know that the revulsion of lots of a woman who has rarely encountered a natural penis could be catastrophic to his ego. I know that if there is even a small health benefit, that is a good thing.
In the end I chose to have it done. I defend my position to no one. If my child grows to resent it, then I will answer to him (them). As a parent it wasn’t even close to the hardest decision to make.
But here’s the deal, it’s truly “Much Ado About Nothing”. The change is marginal, and the likelihood of some horrible accident when it’s done is very low. I don’t care if you have it done to your kids. I don’t care if you don’t. What I do care about?
It does NOT need a legislative aspect. There needn’t be laws for or against it. Like the piercing of a child’s ear or the removal of an unpleasant birthmark, it is a cosmetic choice usually. Legislating its prohibition is unnecessary. It was no crime. It was a barely change to my penis. Even if I wasn’t happy about it, would I want to criminalize my mother for the choice? No, I think not.
Criminalizing someone (or threatening to) is the easiest way of controlling them. Want to change something? Discuss it. Talk about it. Rally, blog, tweet, paint a friggin sign, hold a fundraiser, or thousands of other things. The last thing we should use is “laws”.
“Laws” are put in place all too often these days, where common sense, intelligent debate, and personal responsibility would have sufficed.
/end rambling tangential sermon-like post
A terrible state, this affair
Where they must remove their underwear
Due to insane behaviour
Can’t tell who’s their saviour
Of cultists like this, do beware.
@HaggisForBrains thanks for the confirmation. I read of some men seeking reduced sensitivity because they want to last longer. It’s not something I would have chosen, had I been given a choice. If you want to last longer, go for seconds. Surgery seems a foolish solution. Anybody who can think that circumcision doesn’t reduce sexual sensitivity hasn’t given the subject much thought. The skin of the glans is supposed to be the same as the skin inside your cheek. Circumcision does not cause a subtle change. Add a condom to the party and I feel nothing at all. Lasting longer becomes the least of the problems.
@Circumcision Stupidity The clip on your site cracked me right up. Thanks. Also, I’d be interested in hearing details on you restoration. Like, how long did it take (no pun intended but puns are hard to avoid with this subject) If you get a minute, please drop in on my site and intruduce yourself.
I don’t just blindly follow authority, and I’m not actually arguing for or against anything, but I do have a hard time believing some guys on the net over large health organizations. Not that I haven’t seen them be wrong before, of course, but it’s still a difficult pill to swallow.
And with regards to that website talking about sex and circumcision, I have to say that it is directly opposed in one instance to everything I have heard on the subject before; that is, that uncut men last longer. I’ve always heard the opposite, precisely because the cut man’s tallywhacker is less sensitive. And as far as the general tone of the site, well, it’s obviously nonsense. The constant highlighting and hyperbole are dead giveaways; seriously, if you believe that site, then the Jews and Christians should all have died out years ago, because sex sucked.
And Darwin, hate to delve too deeply into your anatomy, but if you feel virtually nothing in sex, you have a problem more signifigant than circumcision.
@doaloth Oh, I get it now. My genitals were mutilated so that I won’t catch a disease I’m at zero risk of catching. I should be grateful I guess. Forty years of reduced joy in wanking is a small price to pay.
@BWM. No worries. I have no secrets. But you misread me. I love sex. Enjoy it lots. But add a condom and I feel very little other than the normal full body pleasure. The penis with a condom might as well be made of wood. Sex has never been bad for me, though the few times I’ve worn a condom it has been too much work to be really fun. I’d just like somebody to ask my opinion before taking a knife to my privates. I mean, it wasn’t exactly a life threatening emergency situation, now was it. I was a normal baby with a normal dick, and some asshat decided it needed to be improved.
So wait… is it Moses, or Abraham?
I’ve been waiting o see one of them on here…
@BWM. I also have never heard the claim that intact men last longer. But I have read men asking forums whether getting circumcised would help them last. I think you may have read something backwards here too. If I tell people that I’m pissed about this issue, it always turns into a question of my neuroses and fixations. But it really isn’t about me. It’s a dead issue for me, a done deal. But do people have the right to perform surgery on infants that is not medically justified? That’s the question. I don’t care whether you’re talking circumcision or ear piercing. Does an infant have a right to an intact body? I say they do. You want to sell the idea to an adult, go ahead. But you shouldn’t be allowed to circumcise without consent.
I’m basically a libertarian, or a classical liberal, and I likewise tend to support freedom and not screwing around with people. But I’m also just not really convinced this is big deal, I suppose. It’s like, say, getting your tonsils removed; we know it’s never NECESSARY, but if a kid gets strep throat 6 times in a year, should we do it anyway? I realize that is, at least, a real medical issue, but I still think it’s essentially the same debate, and that when it comes to children, there is really no clear-cut way to decide what is violating their rights and what is not. Circumcision is far easier, and literally cannot be traumatic, when a kid is just born, then on an adult. And it’s not like there’s really a pressing reason NOT to do it. I got one, and I’ve never really cared and it’s never affected anything I’ve ever done in my life. And all reports I see on the subject one way or the other don’t really seem definitive. Just seems like, of all issues in the world, it’s such a small, murky one that I don’t see the point of arguing over it.
I always liken the issue to ear lobes. If a group of people started chopping off the ear lobes of babies without a medical reason, they would be arrested. And yet, what good is an ear lobe compared to a foreskin?
As for preventing AIDS – wouldn’t teaching about and providing condoms prevent a whole lot more disease? Prevent some unwanted pregnancies while they’re at it.
BMW comparing circumcision to having tonsils removed (an operation which is done far less frequently now than in the past, by the way, because it was usually unnecessary) is not really valid. I’m happy for you that you don’t think losing your foreskin and all that went with it is important. I wish I could feel that way. I feel fucking violated. For no reason other than a repressive culture and a medical fad. Your statement that it cannot be traumatic for an infant is just wrong, and Dr. Kellogg’s advice to do it without pain killer so that the child would associate trauma with his penis was a good part of the popularity of the operation. It was popularized as an anti-masturbation measure, because some repressed idiots decided, with no evidence at all, that masturbation caused everything from poor vision to insanity. We now know that masturbation is actually good for you, especially if you have no other sexual outlet. It releases all the good and healthy hormones that good old sex releases. (This from none other than Ann Landers way back in the sixties, bless her heart.) But whether I felt it or not is not the issue. It was not necessary. It was done to me without my consent. It should not be done to any baby. Millions of people in this world live quite happy lives with no medical problems and an intact penis. The medical justifications are just bullshit. Anybody who calls themselves a libertarian should recognize the liberty they are taking away from children, and call for it to stop. There is no such thing as trivial surgery on an infant. If it isn’t medically necessary, it should be against the law. If there is a difference between male and female circumcision, it is only a matter of degree.
Whew. Nice to get that off my chest.
@Mary2 Nice to hear from you. So often I hear women justifying the decision to snip with the most fragile logic. I’ve never met one of them who understood the anatomy of an intact penis, the function of the foreskin, or had ever heard the word “frenulum”. So thanks for checking in here.
Did you hear about the blind circumcisionist?
He got the sack.
@ All. Tee hee! Flame away.
Dearie dearie me!
Unfortunately here, as elsewhere, if the science doesn’t match up with what you “know in your heart to be true” then what are you going to do? Have a read of:
To get you started.
Now just to remind you so-called scientifically literate types calling for my summary execution (you know who you are you angry righteous naughty bunnies)- these are randomised, behaviourally-controlled, clinical trials that show a statistically significant lowered risk of HIV in circumcised males in these populations.
Now these studies could be flawed–but it is up to YOU to explain the flaws. You can’t just wish them away. Any more that theists can wish away physics and biology. Shouting “bullshit” loudly while wearing a shiny suit won’t cut it (excuse the pun) either–sorry Penn.
Oh, and this doesn’t mean I am calling for circumcision to happen to kiddies- for one thing you might reasonably just wait until the age of majority–explain the science to a man, and offer them it as an adult.
Read the papers- they advocate this.
“there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” seems an apt quote here. Some talk of being “mutilated” whereas others, such as myself, couldn’t care less – while I can accept the argument about personal choice, nevertheless I enjoy a good sex life and can see no reason for thinking my life would have been any better if I still had a foreskin.
Sorry, I must add this: I see people complaining about the fact that this was a decision taken by their parents. Well, of course it was – along with a thousand others – that’s what parents do! They decide what rekigion (if any) you are going to be indoctrinated with, what type of school to send you to etc etc – your whole life is framed and built around the decisions they make on your behalf – get used to it, and learn to live with it, and know that you too are doing exactly the same to your children.
@doaloth. So people seem to say that I have no right to be angry. I’m now “protected” statistically from a disease I’m in no danger of catching. Okay. I can accept that. Have you ever heard of Jerico School in Vanvouver? It was a school for the deaf and blind. I think it’s closed now because it isn’t needed. But it was opened in response to a medical mistake. Doctors decided, on no evidence, that it would be a good idea to give newborns a shot of pure oxygen. They didn’t know that there would be no immediate effect, but that later those childreen would go deaf and blind. Oh well. Best of intentions and all that. I see the circumcision debate the same way. Forget, dismiss, or trivialize my feelings. Look at the origins of the practice. Nutbar religious beliefs and medical arrogance. Shouild we continue? The Pope is telling Africans not to wear condoms. Various true believers are pushing circumcision, telling those same young men they will be safer. This seems dangerous to me, because the evidence is not very strong and condoms are obvioously the better answer. I’ve always found your posts to be thoughtful and interesting. Please take a look at this issue without clouding it with ridicule.
@xxxFred. I too have had an acceptable sex life. I’m happy for you, being so accepting of decisions your parents made. I wish I felt the same way. I learned I’d been circumcised when I was about seven. It pissed me off then, and ever since. It would be nice to “just get over it”. My parents were children of their times. Good people. My mother has said that if she had it to do over again, she wouldn’t do it. I don’t think any parent who knows the facts would do it. But they need to be told the facts. I didn’t talk about this for about fifty years, because of reaction such as yours. It’s been kind of nice to find out I’m not alone in being pissed about this. So go ahead and say it isn’t important. It isn’t. Unless you think it’s wrong. Then it becomes important. Thanks for your thoughts.
@daoloth. I should add that, my personal issues aside, we are on the same page here. Sell circumcision to adults if you think it makes sense. Informed consent is fine by me. But we should be protecting infants from questionable surgical procedures, nut bar religious beliefs, and statistical probabilities that don’t necessarily apply to them. If it makes sense, go for it. But don’t coerce children, or take away their right to choose.
@DH. I am not in the business of selling circumcision to anyone, nor justifying early mutilation on health grounds– this is not why the Jews did it anyway–at least not because of HIV, presumably!
I was surprised as anyone to hear of these findings. Frankly, I didn’t believe them until I went to a conference (International Academy of Sex Research 2010) where various learned types referred me to the relevant studies.
None of us have a clear idea why it should be that circumcision has this effect– but we used anaesthetics for years without knowing that either. It’s an explandum–but, hey–thats how science works. As Wolpert elegantly pointed out–all science is profoundly unnatural. And the people toughest to deal with? Scientists who think that their expertise in one field extends universally.– because they get lazy and think that their intuitions are always scientifc ones. They ain’t.
@moosey Don’t know how I missed your contribution. You make interesting points. The only thing I can say is that if my two boys ever complain about not being circumcised, I can hand them a couple of hundred bucks and send them to a doctor. What can you do?
I agree that legislation is not the answer. The practice seems to be dying out on it’s own with conversation and education. But I rather resent it when my feelings on the issue are trivialized by those who are more accepting and complacent. For me it isn’t a matter of size. Far from it. If I were any bigger I’d be restricted to cattle. (okay, just joking here). It’s a question of rights and choice. I don’t see it as quite as trivial you you do, and I think the comparison to FGM is perfectly valid, if generally unrecognized. Anyway, I hope your boys are forever happy with the choice you made for them, because if they aren’t, a couple of hundred bucks won’t change anything.
Well, there actually DO seem to be hygienic issues (“God writes straight with crooked lines”?) — but a Brazilian years ago (G. W. Bush allusion), there was a network news report about circumcision that compared the crying of unhappy babies who wanted attention to babies who had just been circumcised — you could hear the difference in PAIN quite clearly!
@Daoloth I already DID explain the flaws! Did you read my post. They brought the men in who were being circumcised and counseled them on CONDOM use, you see? And the scientific standard is a double-blind controlled study, impossible for circumcision. How can a man NOT know that he was just circumcised? Did you miss the post where I linked to USAID research showing “In 10 of the 18 countries were data is available, circumcised men were MORE likely to have HIV.”
If surgically mutilating boys’ genitals works so great for stopping STD, why hasn’t that played out in the real world? And lastly, if it’s so great, why not start studying the circumcision of girls as well?
You need to dig a little deeper, buddy. Those HIV “studies” were conducted by long-time circumcision fetishists: Wawer, Gray, Auvert, Bailey. They did the studies in Africa b/c they never even would have been permitted in the U.S.
@ Moosey, and the legions of others who know NOTHING on the subject who claim it is “vile” to compare male genital mutilation to female genital mutilation. Here is a nice video comparing the two that might help you understand a little better:
This one compares the two technically: http://youtu.be/98f3IavuEgQ
And this one compares their origins: http://youtu.be/lR7ezNhHyA4
You see, male circumcision was popularized so that (1) boys would stop masturbating and (2) so that men would have less sex. I.E. SEXUAL OPPRESSION. Get it?
Here is one classic straight from the medical journals: “To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm… We may not be sure that we have done away with the possibility of masturbation, but we may feel confident that we have limited it to within the danger lines.”
(E.J. Spratling, MD. Medical Record, Masturbation in the Adult, vol. 48, no. 13, September 28, 1895, pp. 442-443.) http://www.cirp.org/pages/whycirc.html
Just do a Google Books search and you will find copious information from the old journals talking about the necessity of circumcising both males & females in the U.S. to stop them from masturbating.
Of course, surely you knew that girls were also being circumcised in the U.S. until it became illegal in 1997? You might want to check out Patricia Robinett’s book “Rape of Innocence.” Patricia was circumcised in Kansas in the 1960′s: http://amzn.com/187841111X
And just to close this one out here, male circumcision removes the FIVE most sensitive parts of the penis. You see, the “ridged band” where the outer foreskin turns into the inner foreskin actually has a lot in common with the female clitoris — it’s loaded with fine-touch nerve endings (“Meissner’s Corpuscles”) that aren’t found in great quantities in other parts of the penis. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x/full
Your wall of denial and cognitive dissonance is impressive here. You were obviously circumcised and just can’t come to grips with what has been done to you. Hey, you’re happy, so it can’t be that bad, right? right? RIGHT?
No more excuses for sexually mutilating infant boys. None. It’s ridiculous. The lies have got to stop.
Lastly, in response to BWM “believing some guys on the net over large health organizations,” no national health organization IN THE WORLD recommends infant circumcision. KNMG, representing >40,000 Dutch doctors, had this to say in their 17-page condemnation of infant circumcision that they published Summer 2010:
“The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications.”
The only reason the KNMG didn’t move to recommend an outright ban was fear of the large Muslim and Jewish communities in the country “going underground” with circumcision. A poor excuse if you ask me.
Ban this atrocity! It is NOT legal to rape and mutilate babies! Holy cow!
Circumcision – Informed Consent? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTB_tlKpPuY
Very basic question, which requires a very basic answer:
Is it okay to cut off part of someone’s healthy genitals without their permission?
Let’s look at different types of organisms, and see how we treat their foreskins:
Animals – it’s illegal to circumcise a non-human animal.
Adults – if you go up to an adult man and remove part of his penis without his consent, you’ll find yourself put in jail. the same if you remove part of an adult woman’s vulva.
Baby girls – in the Western World, you can go to prison for even the tiniest, most harmless ritual nick to the clitoral hood.
Baby boys – you can cut off all the mobile skin of the penis, you can remove sensory cells found nowehere else on the body, you can remove blood vessels, oestrogen receptors, lysozyme glands, the taylor ridged band, and protective mucous membrane, nd then you can throw a party.
Let’s give baby boys the same rights as everyone else – to have their healthy, whole body protected by law. If adults choose to have cosmetic surgery performed on their genitals, well, they’re free to make their own mistakes. But no-body can choose to permamently change the genitals of another human being.
Those trials show a statistically-significant lowered risk of female-to-male HIV transmission in high-risk populations with low circumcision rates. That’s different than the blanket statement sold in most media outlets that you stated, since it describes only Africa, not Western nations like the U.S. where most adult males today were circumcised as infants and where the risk of sexual HIV transmission is largely from male-to-male. Circumcision has shown no risk reduction with that. That matters, scientifically and ethically.
Even though I suspect some exist that we’ll figure out in time, I can accept the studies as 100% accurate without flaws for the sake of my argument. Re: the studies, I say “so what?” It isn’t up to me to explain the flaws. It is up to anyone – not necessarily you – who would advocate imposing genital cutting on a child (i.e. non-consenting individual) to explain why it should be done, or at least accepted without sanction. The burden of proof is not on those who favor leaving children intact, just like the burden of proof for God’s existense isn’t on the non-believer. To such an advocate, the first question they must answer is whether or not some intervention is necessary. As circumcision is most often practiced, it isn’t. Therefore, it’s unethical and a violation of the child’s rights. Legislating against it is valid, just as we legislate against every other violation via physical harm.
Where some intervention is necessary, then ethically, circumcision should be the last resort within proxy consent. That would be harder to legislate against, and education is more likely the proper response.
Who is the guy with the bag over his head? I don’t mean Mo, who has his beard showing under the ‘bag’, but the one with the grey bag which obscures his (?) mouth? Is that supposed to be god? Or just some guy with a bag over his head? Or is it, goodnes forbid, a woman?
Honestly, I’d like to know and the drawing isn’t good enough to figure it out…
@SueDemin great way to put it. Thanks. And Author, thanks again for opening this subject. Good to get the word out. When you cut away the rationalizations and cultural arguments, the question gets very simple – is it okay to cut off part of an infants genitalia with no medial justification? The answer seems obvious to me.
@Doodle Bean – That’s Moses. If you have only recently discovered this site, go back to the very first cartoon and work your way through. Not only will you get to meet and love all the characters, but also you’ll get a great laugh.
Health warning: You may find that several days of your life have inexplicably vanished in the process, particularly if you get drawn in to the comments. On the plus side you may meet many interesting characters, and a few infuriating ones, and you will discover other fascinating blogs. Travel in peace, and may the farce (sic) be with you.
@ Author – I just checked and found that many of the early comments have vanished, or is it just my memory playing tricks? Please leave the comments in, if possible. I don’t have another week to spare to check all the way through, but they seem to pick up again around August 2006, so still well worth checking, Doodle Bean.
I think, I at least, have learned one thing of interest from the preceeding debate. That is to ahve a tad more tolerance when an atheist like me gets into a conversation with a theist who wants to reject (some element of) science on a priori moral grounds! It turns out that this is not just a feature of theists–but of humans in general. Who knew?
Many thanks for airing this author. It’s been an education.
@daoloth. I find nothing in any of these comments to suggest that anybody is rejecting (some aspect) of science on a priori moral grounds. Surely you don’t see questioning conclusions from studies that very well may have been biased by a priori assumptions or cultural bias and may have used flawed methodology as rejecting some aspect of science. I thought that’s what science is all about. Or are you asking us to rely on authority?
The 2011 NOCIRC Annual Newsletter has been posted at http://www.nocirc.org/publish. Just scroll down to it. On page 9, you’ll find lots of resources to find more information on the subject, if you’re interested.
Julia, tell your son this story about a young intact male who, when asked if he felt different in the locker room said, “Yes! Gloriously different.” Tell him to read our Touch-test sensitivity test by clicking on the link to it on the home page at http://www.nocirc.org. Also, show your son the 20-minute NOCIRC educational DVD, featuring Dr. Dean Edell. It has educated parents and their sons and saved untold numbers of males from circumcision. Remind your son that every one of his friends looked like he did after birth and now they no longer have the 20,000-100,000 specialized erogenous nerve endings encircling the opening of their foreskin, letting them know what their penis is feeling, and allowing them to ride the wave to orgasm. They have a penis that is diminished in size and sensitivity, with a scar instead of a foreskin. As CJ Fallier wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1970, “…the fundamental biological sexual act becomes, for the circumcised male, simply the satisfaction of an urge and not the refined sensory experience it was meant to be.” Circumcised males are left suffering from premature ejaculation early in life and sexual dysfunction as the glans (head of the penis) becomes dried, calloused, and more and more desensitized with age.
Circumcision is a primal wound that interferes with the maternal/infant bond, disrupts breastfeeding and normal sleep patterns, and undermines a male’s first development task of establishing trust. Even if a male doesn’t remember it consciously (remember, it happens in the primal period), the pain and trauma are remembered in the body. Taddio, et al., showed that circumcised males respond much more dramatically to the pain of 4- and 6-month vaccinations than intact boys and girls. The response is consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, something we should not be inflicting on our precious babies. Circumcision is not a medical issue, it is a human rights issue.
Circumcision violates a male’s right to his own body and to self-determination about what parts of his own body he wants to keep.
@daoloth I read the links your provided. I agree they seem persuasive. But I also find this persuasive, and given the history of medical support for circumcision, I’m rather inclined to give this more credence. I hope you don’t see this as me abandoning science. http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/HIVStatement.html
And as somebody on these comments already said, the studies you directed us to are totally irrelevant to the issue of circumcising infants.
What a thrilling shitstorm this thread has turned out to be. Perhaps we can agree on two things:
1/ The denial of informed consent makes male infant circumcision a human right issue.
2/ As human rights issues go, this is nowhere faintly near as important as FGM.
Perspective, is all I’m sayin’.
@MrGronk Yes, a delightful shitstorm. I agree with your first conclusion. Strongly disagree with your second. I see it as every bit as important as FGM, for all the same reasons. Aside from certain primitive cultures, it was instituted to reduce sexual satisfaction, prevent masturbation, and promote chastity. According to some people, it achieves one out of three of these goals. So what makes it different from FGM? Here’s a slide show you might find interesting.
I’m happy for all the guys out there who are content with what they have. But of course we can’t judge what we’ve never had. And the best way to deal with what we’ve lost is to say it isn’t important. For some people, sex itself is not important. Who cares about quality?
@Darwin Harmless. Sorry, but I cannot agree with your comment that there is no difference between male circumcision and female genital mutilation. Generally speaking, circumcision of males involves removing the foreskin. Although there are different versions of female ‘circumcision’ practised in different locations, it usually involves removing the entire cliterus, removing the labia and sewing up the vagina, leaving a tiny opening through which the body gets rid of waste.
Yes it is a difference of degree, but reducing sensitivity is not the same as removing all sexual pleasure, often meaning that every single act of sexual intercourse is extremely painful (for the first penetration it is frequently necessary for the husband to use a knife to cut through the scar tissue covering the vagina as the force of pushing against her is not enough) and often leading to a life of infection after infection because the ability to urinate or menstruate normaly is destroyed. Bearing children under such conditions is far more dangerous as, again, it is solid scar tissue that has to be ripped to allow the passage of the baby.
So, while I am against the practise of performing any unnecessary surgery on baby boys without their consent, and do empathise with the circumcised if they indeed do have reduced sensitivity, I do not believe we are talking about the same kind of life changing damage here.
@ Mary 2. I am familiar with the details. Male circumcision is analogous to the removal of the labia, which is frequently what FGM involves. The cases you describe are indeed more horrible than male circumcision, but it is a difference in degree, not in kind. I only react to people who trivialize circumcision in comparison. It’s an abomination, no matter what is done to woman. The comparison is like defening waterboarding because it’s not real torture compared to, say, cutting off fingers.
Man, I hate typos. Defending, of course. Not defening. And @Mary 2, sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that FGM and male circumcision are the same. Only that they are equally important issues for the same reasons. I bristle every time somebody tells me that we can ignore male circumcision because FGM is so much worse. Yes. Sometimes FGM is worse. Much worse. Unbelievably worse. Sometimes it’s not as bad. Some infants and young men die from complications caused by circumcision. Why make a comparison?
By the way, I read this Waris Dirie story in Readers Digest years ago, and if that doesn’t convince anybody of the evils of FGM, nothing will. I would hate to be seen as trivializing that particular horror of humanity. http://home.honolulu.hawaii.edu/~pine/Phil110/waris-dirie.html
Circumcision of males is an irrational US-American obsession, so much that even non-Jews mutilate their baby boys, driven by peer pressure. How is the belief “My son will never get a girlfriend if he is uncut?” different from “We will never be able to marry off our daughter if her clitoris isn’t properly circumcised”??
As much as it may perplex Americans, but here in Europe, no (non-jewish) male is circumcised at birth!
It’s always stagging the excuses the circumcision idiots come up with:
“It’s traditional/required by God.” (I don’t give a damn).
“It’s more hygienic.” (These days we have things called water and soap, look it up!)
“It protects against veneral diseases.” (While the skin on the penis head thickens due to the loss of foreskin, which may statistically translate into a smaller chance of catching something… First of all, if you don’t want veneral diseases, stop sleeping around. Secondly, that’s what condoms are for, use them. Third, it only protects the male… how very nice. Fourth, if you’re male and into anal intercourse that doesn’t help a thing.)
DeafAtheist wrote: “…she’s severely rooted in the archaic belief that mutilated male genitals are healthier and more aesthetically pleasing”
More… aesthetically… pleasing…? I feel ill now.
IMO, @ Moosey says it best.
I’ve never experienced any difference in feeling, and over the years none of the males I’ve known shared a dislike of whether or not they were or were not circumsized – and I’ve had both – and none felt abused. It was obvious, tho, that they all had no trouble wanting sex, having sex, or enjoying sex (and talking about it). On the issue of male physical feeling, however, a woman can not provide any evidence, only opinion or hearsay.
On another tack, it does seem to me that most men can (and do) get extremely obsessed about anything to do with their penises (and go on and on about it – see above – even to making the PC abuse issue out of it , apparently).
Give it a rest, guys.
as a veteran of secular websites for more years than I wish to remember circumcision and gun control are, in my experience, the issues which generate more heat than any others.
Many people don’t want to take on board the fact that they have either damaged their kids, or been damaged by their parents AFAICS.
me, above, summed it up in a nutshell for me.
‘People.. you can not cut off tens of THOUSANDS of pressure and temperature sensitive nerve endings and not loose sensation!
Just use your brains for one minute!’
One wonders why god put a foreskin there in the first place…….
I’m “extremely obsessed” with my rights. Yes, as they pertain to my penis, but then my parents didn’t have any other healthy part of my body surgically altered. But I assure you, if they’d had one of my fingers amputated instead, I’d be as against that procedure as I am against circumcision.
What led you to think this is trivial enough to tell males to “give it a rest”? That circumcised men still enjoy sex? The defensible claim that unnecessary, harmful surgery is abuse? I’m not aware of anyone saying circumcision eliminates pleasure. I don’t even think a case needs to be made that it reduces pleasure, although I think it’s silly to believe it doesn’t. Circumcision changes sexual experience. Given that sexual enjoyment is subjective, any unnecessary changes must be left to the individual himself.
Or, to look at it differently, would you tell a woman who had her genitals cut, yet one who can still feel sexual pleasure and reach orgasm, to “give it a rest”? They exist. Some even advocate for genital cutting on others. Does that justify cutting on other non-consenting individuals? I say “no”, but your position leaves you unintentionally condoning such violations because someone, somewhere doesn’t disapprove. That’s not a valid standard.
given that male circumcision reduces the spread of and risk of contracting AIDS,
there is a compelling reason.
that said, until the foreskin becomes vestigal on it’s own – I don’t agree with cutting any parts of babies
and certainly not anything off of pre-teen girls
teach boys to keep themselves clean and adult men can make their own decision about snipping.
it is interesting that there’s a lot of attention on male circumcision and not much on female – I suspect because that isn’t spreading through cultural groups
and for me, the only reason why the male circumcision in North America has a foolish and whiney tone is because the tactics for that awareness has the feeling that groups who homophobically rant against men molesting male children focuss on that to the exclusion of the far greater number and ratio of girls who are molested.
not that it’s okay to harm children – but the number of actually gay men who molest boys are far fewer than the number of men who molest girls or girls/boys.
it seems to me that the way to tackle a social problem is the deal with the worst/largest component – and the smaller (but not less harmful individually) portions of the problem will also improve along with dealing with the bigger issue
many people simply do not consider male circumcision a big deal – so making them understand that the more horrific female genital mutilation is horrid casts a light that makes one question the reasonalibity of doing a lesser version on male infants
if the folks obsessed with male on male molesting put energy into child molesting as a whole, they’d be more credible in their caring about the children
instead of looking for things to blame on all gay adults
let’s just raise awareness that no adult should sexually interfere with any child – and there should be severe punishment for any offender and expecially if the offender is in a position of trust/authority
@ random ntrygg. Of course I agree with you, but I must question a couple of your statements. I disagree that there are fewer boys who are moested than girls. We simply don’t know, and I can promise you there is a huge problem with under reporting. As a man who was sexually molested as a child, I can tell you that it’s not easy to talk about. Show me the straight man who wants to talk about having sucked a dick. And I don’t think that the men who molest boys are necessarily gay. They are pedophiles, and often otherwise good family men flying under the radar. Also, I don’t know why you would say that male circumcision has been given more attention than FGM. It’s only the awareness of FGM that has given men the courage to speak up. About twenty years ago I came upon a group in Los Angeles protesting circumcision of boys. I couldn’t believe it, and thanked them sincerely, because I thought nobody cared.
Sometimes the way to tackle a social problem is to go for something you can win. FGM is deeply rooted in alien cultures. It’s much harder to address than male circumcision, which, outside of the Jewish culture, has only been promoted in the West by obviously idiotic medical assumptions. Tell people that circumcision cures epilepsy today and you’ll be laughed out of the conference.
I hear nothing of “whiny” in the tone of circumcision protesters, and to characterize them that way reminds me of the slurs against the feminists. So whiny, so strident. I do hear anger, outrage, and frustration at being belittled. Calling us whiny is typical of the dismissive attitude – the “give it a rest”, I’m happy so it can’t be important, it’s trivial compared to FGM so why push it, response to the whole issue. I know you are on our side, but please don’t come off like the male chauvinists who supported the feminist movement while still telling women driver jokes in mixed company, or assuming that the doctor must be a man.
@ random ntrygg. Also, the claim that circumcision helps prevent AIDS is not universally accepted. http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/HIVStatement.html
I’m very suspicious. These were not good studies by unbiased investigators. These are the same people who claimed that circumcision cured epilepsy. I’ve been plagued by NSU all my adult life. If circumcision does anything to prevent it, it’s done a piss poor job.
Selling circumcision, and telling men they are safer circumcised, while the Pope is discouraging condom use seems irresponsible to me. Thailand turned their AIDS epidemic around by encouraging condom use, not circumcision.
What is so difficult about informed consent? If a guy wants to mess around with his foreskin let him make the decision when he’s old enough to make it himself.
I wanted to leave both of my sons intact. I was unfortunately overruled by my ex-husband and former mother-in-law. It’s really sad because I’m sure I’m not alone in having been ganged up on by family members. This all took place 22 years ago before I knew anything about any controversy. It just seemed wrong to me and yet the decision was basically taken out of my hands. I said no. They said yes. They won.
To Mary, McGronk, and everyone else saying male circumcision is different than female circumcision. NONE of you have a CLUE as to what you are talking about. A few key facts:
(1) Male circumcision removes the five *most sensitive* parts of the penis and destroys the gliding action provided by the slack skin. The “ridged band” is THE most sensitive part of the penis, containing thousands of “Meissner’s Corpuscles,” or specialized fine-touch nerve endings, and is located right where the outer foreskin turns into the inner foreskin. Moreover, the glans and whatever inner skin is left on the penis post-circumcision is left to become keratinized (calloused). Male circumcision is closer in severity to cutting out the external part of the clitoris than the labia in females. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x/full
(2) Male circumcision in the bush is just as dangerous as the common types of female circumcision carried out in the bush. Many, many boys die every single year in Africa from their circumcision rituals in the bush. Others are left with completely amputated penises. http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-07-17-eastern-cape-circumcision-death-toll-nears-50 Of course, you don’t have to go to Africa to find boys who are killed and maimed by circumcision. Death and full penile amputations from circumcision happen every year right here in the U.S.: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/10/baby-dies-from-circumcision-surgery.html
(3) The most severe form of female circumcision, which involves sewing up the vagina, accounts for less than 10% of female circumcisions. In fact, most circumcisions involve removing part of the clitoral hood, and these are often carried out in sterile environments, whether it’s in Egypt or in Malaysia. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/prevalence/en/index.html
(4) Both male and female circumcision are ALL about sexual oppression. Male circumcision was popularized by doctors in the U.S. try to get kids to stop masturbating and to stop men from having too much sex. Female circumcision was promoted in medical journals for the same reasons, but never became mainstream. Female circumcision was not illegal in the U.S. until 1997, when the federal anti-FGM bill was passed. This is historical fact. http://www.cirp.org/pages/whycirc.html
(5) The reason male circumcision is the focus in the U.S. among protesters is because female circumcision is ALREADY ILLEGAL. We are protesting that boys are not afforded the same protection from genital mutilation as girls. Hundreds of thousands of boys have their genitals cut into in this country every single year. It is the single most widespread form of child sexual abuse occurring in this country.
Before blabbing on about a subject which you know nothing about, try reading up a bit. This video nicely explains the various types of male and female genital cutting that exist, and the logical fallacy involved in using gender, rather than severity, to determine which ones are permitted by law (note: even the slightest pinprick to a minor girl’s genitals is prohibited in the U.S.): http://youtu.be/98f3IavuEgQ
I believe ALL human beings — males, females, and intersex — deserve protection from genital mutilation. Anything less is unacceptable sexist crap. All of you saying boys don’t deserve protection from genital mutilation, but girls do, are simply in denial about your own culture’s disgusting genital mutilation practice.
@ xxxFred Something you said has been festering with me since I read it, and I’m only now able to respond.
You wrote: ” I see people complaining about the fact that this was a decision taken by their parents. Well, of course it was – along with a thousand others – that’s what parents do! They decide what religion (if any) you are going to be indoctrinated with, what type of school to send you to etc etc – your whole life is framed and built around the decisions they make on your behalf – get used to it, and learn to live with it, and know that you too are doing exactly the same to your children.”
What a load of crap. I can’t think of anything else that parents do that compares to circumcision. A child can grow up to transcend the family culture, seek better education, become a vegetarian, eject the family religion, be gay or bi or even transgendered. None of the other parental choices are irreversible, and while some might be emotionally damaging, none could be called physical damage. I’d be a very different person today if my parents had called the shots on my whole life. We don’t allow parents to surgically alter their kids in any other way than circumcision. If I decided to give my kids a cubist nose, for example, because I’m an art lover, I would go to jail. I think your “get over it” rant is totally ill considered. What a sick view of parenthood. I like to think that I, as a parent, prepared my children to become their own people, with the tools they would need to do that. It wasn’t my job to control their lives and make all their choices. Certainly not by means of surgery.
I recently had to have some surgery to reduce adhesions behind my foreskin, and the urologists went out of their way to deal with it without circumcising me. Their attitude was that they would do their best to keep the foreskin intact unless there was a pressing reason to do otherwise. It seems to me that if that is the level of consideration given to an adult, then there is no excuse for doing anything less for a child.
What I forgot to mention was that I initially went to the urologist asking for a circumcision to deal with the problem. I had done some reading on the internet about penile adhesions, and circumcision was presented as the treatment of choice. Fortunately, I am in the UK where the cult of circumcision is not culturally ingrained.
I’ve heard it’s the only way of owning a wallet that turns into a suitcase when you rub it………..
(I thank you, I’m here all week…..)
Can’t play golf on a weekend either – that’s for full members only……….
(Taxi for Bagpuss……..)
I’m cut myself, and like most of my kind I can’t really summon up any sort of real indignation over my “loss”. I suggest this is one one reason why male cicumcision differs from FGM, because I’m sure millions of female victims must resent what happened to them.
On a personal note, in my single days I would occasionally bowl from the pavilion end. I enjoyed the novelty of uncut penii, but there was definitely an “eeeeeek” factor when I unrolled an unwashed specimen. Apologies if this is too much information.
thank you for correcting some bad value judgements that I made.
I should not have characterized anyone as whiney, just because their issue isn’t mine and only aligned with mine.
I really should have known better:
@ random ntrygg You’re a very rare person. Some might accept a criticism or correction, very few will let you know they accepted it, and fewer still will thank you for it. You give me hope for humanity. So thank YOU, Nina.
DH … makes some decent points, though I tend to disagree with him nonetheless. I can appreciate your PERSONAL rage and frustration at what happened. You were “violated” before you had even the ability to consent or object. When viewed in that light, I can even somewhat empathize; I was circumcised myself, as an infant.
CS … No. Not only are you rude in your approach, and your links and propaganda obviously biased, but you are offensive. Your handle purports a level of intelligence to the abstinence of circumcision and your posts, every one of them, use terms of derision towards those who are circumcised or accept circumcision. (Hint: Count how many times you used iterations of the word “idiot” in your reply.)
Now to a few rambling points…
My children – You are of course correct. If I have made the wrong choice for them, then I may very well be unable to make amends for that. That was inherently my point in my first post. ONLY the recipient of any given circumcision has the right to be upset over the practice.
But that is the point, yeah? It IS entirely subjective. I see mine as trivial and a non-issue, others see theirs as traumatic, and still others are happy with the choice, especially because it was done at such a young age. It was removed and healed before they ever knew it was there.
I think this is why it is somewhat trivialized, in the US. Many men, probably a large majority, are circumcised here. Very few that I know of, have an issue with it. Most of us elect to have our children circumcised. I realize there are exceptions, but that is the point. They are the exceptions. There is little outcry because there is very little “issue”.
This isn’t castration, FGM, or abortion. This isn’t really about rights or even religion. It’s about aesthetics and tradition. Though not necessarily in that order.
Some of us do it because that’s “what is done”. Others do it out of some archaic religious beliefs. Some for medical reasons, which are likely a bunch of hog-wash.
But you see, no matter why it is done, it doesn’t appear to be categorically harmful. There are a few on the fringe who believe something was taken from them, but most of us don’t. They are not throngs of men chanting in the streets. No wailing women on the sidelines lamenting the “horror” of it all. No epidemic of maladjusted male children, unable to function in society. Not terrifying trends towards sadism, or deviance or even abstinence. Sex seems to be happening the way it probably always did. Lots of it, too! Some of it is good, some of it is bad. Some of it straight, some of it gay, some of it just freaky. But babies are being born and the world keeps on moving.
With that said? I will move to my next point.
This comic wasn’t about my personal beliefs or yours concerning circumcision, it was about the legislation of its prohibition.
Think about what that means. The government telling you what you can or can not do.
We have laws. They are necessary and generally they provide for a safer, more productive life. That in fact should be the ONLY reason for laws. To provide a person a certain set of safeguards against the loss of their rights and privileges.
We have laws specifically concerning children and what should be done if they are exposed to or damaged by sex, torture, mutilation, violence, abuse, neglect and even circumcision.
So, the question becomes, “Is circumcision enough of an offense against a child to warrant legislation prohibiting it?
Our gut reaction here is I think, “ANY” offense is enough. But we should think twice here because the implication is great, indeed.
If we were to allow this form of legislation, what else could reasonably even justifiably be affected as well? There are a few that come to mind, and all of them I have personal stakes in. These are all decisions I have made that are, at the VERY least, just as “life-altering” as a circumcision
What about psychotropics? Especially those that are not medically needed. Should I medicate my child for ODD? How about depression? If they refuse to take it, should I desist or should I force them? Should I be criminalized for medicating my child? Or for not doing so?
What about risky medical procedures? If I opt for an elective surgery to attempt to improve m child’s function or increase his longevity, even though there are inherent risks, is that wrong? Should I be criminalized if my child is worsened or killed by the procedure? Should the doctor?
As to “maternal/child” bonds… I am certain that my divorce and subsequent steady procession of “girlfriends” after that were just as damaging if not more than a circumcision. Should I be criticized for that too? Criminalized? Should I be prosecuted for child abuse? One could say I have “emotionally damaged” my child with my action, yes?
What if my child is overweight? It is a proven fact that this is physically damaging to a child. If I fail to keep my child active and within an acceptable calorie/nutrition intake, should I be criminalized? If my child develops diabetes, heart disease, gout, hypertension or other medical condition because I feed them inappropriately, should they be removed from my custody?
Do you see? Legislating the prohibition of something as minor as circumcision, whose merits are admittedly few, but whose flaws and general impact on well-being is rather slight, means that things that are far more impacting on a child, MUST then be addressed.
It is akin to painting a house with broken windows, bad wiring and lead pipes…
Please understand I am not trivializing circumcision. I don’t have to. It trivializes itself, when compared to other commonplace issues in today’s world. (That means you smug Europeans as well. Circumcision my not be commonplace, but sexual abuse, over-medication, obesity and other “issues” sure as hell are. Americans aren’t the only ones who make mistakes.)
As a parent, I have made several difficult choices in the last 15 years. Some I regret, some I don’t. Some have been agonizingly painful. Some have affected my children in ways I never assumed they would. I have had to decide if my children should have surgery and medication and a restricted diet. I have had to decide if my right to bear arms usurps my children’s safety. I have had to choose whether my pursuit of romance is as important as my children’s emotional well being. Whether my education was more important than spending quality time with them. Whether working enough to provide well was in fact depriving them of a paternal presence.
But that is parenting. It is no walk in the park. We do our best and keep going. I respect that if you don’t want your child circumcised, then you are in your rights to choose that for them. Along with ALL the other questionable, dangerous and even foolish things we are allowed to do with/to/for our children in order to pursue what we believe will be the most fulfilling and rewarding childhood we can give them.
I don’t think any rational, reasonable person circumcises their child to “sexually repress” them. I don’t think there are many practicing doctors today that believe it inhibits masturbation or that said inhibition would be good. Not many think it is mandated by God. It is done often times, just because the parent thinks it is the right thing to do.
If you believe that is wrong, then you can do many things. Discuss it, as we have here. Advocate its abandonment, as some of you have done. Even create propaganda and biased literature to mislead, misinform or otherwise manipulate other people’s beliefs, as we have already been exposed to (Thanks CS!)
But please, DO NOT legislate it. Every single time we volunteer to sacrifice our precious few freedoms to achieve a sense of righteousness, we lose. I can spout on and on (as many of you have probably surmised) about WHY this is important, but I won’t.
Just please understand that it is.
/end “even longer and more sermon-like though hopefully semi-coherent and less tangential” post
The most disturbing part of your position is:
“But please, DO NOT legislate it. Every single time we volunteer to sacrifice our precious few freedoms to achieve a sense of righteousness, we lose.”
Freedoms? The freedom to cut off part of a person’s genitals without consent?
How about the freedom to punch that asshole in the next car in the face, or the freedom to take anything I like the look of?
Freedom to circumcise your children rather conflicts with their freedom over their own body. Circumcision is irreversible, the medical justifications (for routine infant circumcision) are shaky at best if taken at face value, don’t indicate a pressing reason to perform the procedure on infants, and, as mentioned by others above, appear to rely on some very shady methodology.
The point of legislation is to ensure that people retain their freedoms, as you mention, and your freedom of choice with regard to your own body (Not someone else’s!) is very near the top of the heap. Kids have rights too.
@ Moosey. I appreciate and fully understand your position and arguments. None the less your “slippery slope” argument holds absolutely no water for me. I’ve already made all my points, and am turning into a comment hog here. So I won’t repeat myself except to point out that we already have laws protecting children. It’s absurd to equate circumcision with consent to a risky medical procedure or medication. In fact, all your comparisons are absurd. Just answer this question: Should it be legal for a parent to cut off a part (any part) of a child’s body with no medical imperative? If you can say yes to that, you deserve any pejorative CS can throw at you.
@ MrGronk Too much information? Hardly. Thanks for the new and unfamiliar euphemism. Please drop in on http://www.darwinharmless.com and scatter some opinions. There’s one post in particular that might interest you.
This is a tricky one, no doubt.
While I personally do not believe one should be allowed to cut off any part of a child’s body without consent – as I posted earlier – think ‘earlobes’ if you want a comparison, I also see the sense in Moosey’s comments about over regulation. In Australia we already have laws proscribing just about everything. I also empathise with Aboriginal people who, until several decades ago, often initiated their teenage children with scarification (usually a cut on the chest that has ash rubbed in it to get a nice big ridge scar). These marks are something the kids grew up very proud of and it does contribute to pride in heritage, community bonding (in often dysfunctional communities) and a sense of hanging on to the culture that has mostly been beaten (literally) out of them by colonisation. Given the recent history of Jewish people, I would feel uncomfortable legislating against what they consider a very important symbol.
Again, on the other hand, I would have no hesitation legislating against FGM so I realise my hypocrisy!
I also agree with @Moosey in his comments about @Circumcision Stupidity. To paraphrase the theists, you are shrill and strident and there is no necessity for it. I know that God has obviously made you 100% right about all things at all times, but the rest of us mere mortals need some time to catch up.
Forgot to add that I am also very empathetic to the circumcised men who feel very angry about it. Whether or not the sex is better or worse than it could have been, I would feel violated in their place.
@ Mary 2 and Moosey I don’t like government regulations any more than anybody else. But those aborigines you speak of would probably agree to hold off until some acceptable age of consent, at which point the ceremony would have real meaning for the young people. Maybe Jews could do the same. To say we are against regulations begs the slippery slope that Moosey is so fond of – which ones should we scrap? Traffic laws? Library fines? Building codes? Food inspection? Environmental protection? Come on, folks. The desire to live unregulated by government as a justification for circumcision is just silly. Surely we can all agree that protecting children until they can decide for themselves should be a necessary part of our necessary legal system. To claim you are losing a right if we prevent you from circumcising your son reminds me of the Christians who claim they are losing a right if they can’t discriminate against gays. Your right to wave your fist ends at my nose . Your right to wave a scalpel ends at an infant’s penis.
There are so many questions around this issue I would love to have answers to. How many men out there actually DO resent having been circumcised, but aren’t ready to talk about it? How many would shut up the minute they got the flack from people that I’ve had? I wasn’t ready to talk about it for fifty years. How many would resent being circumcised if they knew the facts? How many would resent it if there were no cognitive dissonance involved? How many parents would shudder in horror at what they allowed if there were no cognitive dissonance involved? How many intact men would go and get snipped to please daddy and mommy and bond with their culture if they are given the choice as adults? I think Sammy Davis Jr. may have gone for it when he converted to Judaism. Gotta wonder what influenced THAT decision. Being discriminated against as a black wasn’t enough for him?
The medical history of this procedure should be a clue. Sure, nobody today claims circumcision prevents masturbation, or that masturbation destroys your eyesight and causes curvature of the spine. Nobody today claims that circumcision cures crossed eyes or epilepsy. But that was all part of the sales job that made it so ubiquitous in our culture. Once a practice is widely accepted, the cognitive dissonance makes it very hard to change. Doctors have their own cognitive dissonance. The psychiatric profession was very embarrassed when experiments proved that memories of child abuse could be implanted and would be impossible to tell from real memories. Many psychiatrists still reject that evidence of the harm they did to individuals and families. How easy do you think it is for doctors to admit they’ve been doing something wrong?
Anyway, I think it’s time for me to sign off. I’ve stated my case. If you don’t agree with it, there’s not much I can do. This whole discussion has me so depressed. There’s more to my intellectual life than this issue and I’d like to forget my penis for a while, or give it another road test.
Oh yeah, and in the words of this strip, cut CS some slack. He’s hurt and he’s angry and he’s only calling people the names I would call them if I weren’t better trained. It’s just his style.
Darwin you are making me blush.
I don’t know if I am rare, or that it’s a combination of being Canadian and in the middle of a work situation that has deconstructed my world and I am reassembling – so am wide open to change.
But, honesty and acknowledgment are two constants that I cling to.
There will always be someone smarter than me in one or many ways, but I think that the smartest way to be is open minded balanced with critical thinking.
it’s why I love the internet – I am exposed to a lot more ways of thinking that I wouldn’t have been otherwise – and there’s no sense interacting if you’re not willing to listen and learn.
it’s simple, but hard to remember and harder to practice.
it’s ironic that I gave you hope for humankind, when I am losing mine.
DH… Your leading question is pointless, as I have already said that I chose to have my sons circumcised. I’m glad you can stoop to calling me an idiot as well as absurd.
I wasnt warning of a slippery slope, I was stating that circumcision being legally prohibited would automatically beg legislation on many more subjects that are at least as important.
I’m no internet libertarian spouting about “Freedoms” and the like. I believe laws have a useful place and do my best to obey the ones I am subject to.
My point is that whether you agree with circumcision or not, cosidering it’s rather embedded in our culture, prohibiting it via legislation is an enormous undertaking. It would take much time and effort, millions of dollars and a hell of a lot of fighting/arguing/discussing etc…
We are talking “Awareness Capaigns” and rallies. Changes in elected officials. Battles over religious identity and rights (because there IS a small population that does believe this is Mandted by God).
Very likely it will be carried on with all the vitriol and vehemence of the “Pro/Anti Abortion” movements in this country. (I happen to be a resident of Wichita, KS and I have seen firsthand how ugly this can be)
There are MANY worse things going on daily. In my previous posts I stated but a few. I am truly baffled by people that think THIS is a priority.
It’s as if you equate circumcision with me going home and randomly cutting off chunks of my sons for my personal pleasure. I did no such thing. It IS an institution. It IS governed by laws and medical oversight. It is a VERY routine practice and there is little to no evidence that it causes lasting harm of any kind.
I’m truly bothered that you are so bothered by it. I feel sorrow for those who feel violated or victimized. But I just cannot bring myself to view it in the same light as “child abuse”.
Until there are more men that feel the way you do, and not the way I do, about our shared experience, there is little hope of change.
On a personal note, If I have caused you strife, my dear DH, I am sorry for it. I CAN understand having a pain others do not recognize or respect.
I have also carried resentment over things I could not control. Towards those who cannot amend their actions. I can say it was rather poisonous and once I finally let it go, I was better off, wounded and scarred, but better nonetheless.
@ mosey. Thanks for your thoughtful response. I’m afraid this whole discussion has made me seem much more “one issue” than I am, and much more angry and resentful and wounded than I feel. I believe you are a good father and good parent. If we could sit down over a beer and compare notes, I’m sure we would enjoy a great conversant about the pitfalls and perils of parenthood. It sure put me through the wringer more than once. I also agree that legislation is not the answer. But discussions such as this one just might be. The thing is, it wasn’t even discussed a mere thirty or forty years ago. I do see it as a human rights violation, and as mutilation. I do see it as less than trivial. My boys are intact, so that alone is a small changed in the world. I no longer have any more of a personal stake in the issue than I have in FGM. Nothing will change what I am, and my kids are both free to make their own choices. I will continue my own quiet lobby to end the practice, because i think it should end. I think I’m going to make t-shirts to send to people who support it. They will say: “I think it’s okay to cut off part of a baby’s penis”. If you are going to take that position, you should be willing to say it in those words. Words matter. But… It’s nice to get off this subject. Thanks again for your views and opinion. We disagree, but maybe someday, like Dr. Spock, you’ll change your mind. I can hope. I’ve seen huge changes to the world in my lifetime, including a huge change on this issue. From being a matter of course it’s now a matter of discussion. Yes, I can hope.
Mary2- the anatomy of the clitoris is largely internal (and comprises roughly the same area as the penis), & many women report satisfaction with both appearance & function after circumcision. Even if everything was removed, they are still having orgasms, & many quite happy about it & promoting it for their girls. http://www.mummysg.com/forums/f40/have-you-sunat-your-girls-29826/ http://www.youtube.com/user/cleansexy#p/u/6/u3qbuZJA8u8
There is simply no reason to promote one & be shrill (not that I was accusing you of shrillness, but many are) about the other. It’s either wrong to carve up all people’s genitals without consent, or none.
@ Suseyblue. Thanks for that link. Unbefuckinglievable.
@ Mary 2 Please, if you are still paying any attention to this thread, check out those links provided by Susyblue. You took me to task for comparing circumcision with FGM. These links certainly support my contention that there is not much difference between FGM and male circumcision, at least not in the milder forms of FGM. It’s all bad.
So, Moosey, this means you are also against the 1997 federal anti-FGM bill? You are aware that female genital mutilation also took place in the United States to “prevent masturbation” (thought it was never mainstream), and that it was legal until 1997, when it was “legislated” against? Should we also not “legislate” murder, rape, and theft?
“Legislating” male genital mutilation is a PROTECTION of freedom. No parent has the “right” to mutilate their child’s genitals, just like they don’t have the “right” to amputate any other healthy body parts from the child. It is the government’s job to protect your freedoms, like assaults on your body and your property. Go back and read the comic strip again.
Moosey said: “But please, DO NOT legislate it. Every single time we volunteer to sacrifice our precious few freedoms to achieve a sense of righteousness, we lose. I can spout on and on (as many of you have probably surmised) about WHY this is important, but I won’t.”
Abraham: “Let’s me get this straight. You want us to cut the ends of our dicks off?”
Links? Oh, I got links. (Thank you, btw, Darwin.)
Fuambai Ahmadu, PhD says: “We will, however, also insist on the rights of African women to continue their traditions if they so choose and will challenge and protest any unjust laws and policies that unfairly discriminate against them. We will step up to organize and sensitize affected girls and women to the full range of their human rights and not just the ones anti-FGM activists choose to share with them.
How do you condone the routine circumcision of your sons, if this is the case in your own cultures, and react emotively to the idea of the circumcision of girls?
As for those girls too young to give consent, we must accord to their parents the same rights we accord to the parents of boys in neonatal male circumcision and not discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, ethnicity or country of origin.”
Highly educated African women are using the argument that since WE allow circumcision of boys, they ought to have the same rights to keep their cultural customs alive. FGM will not be abolished until the advocates of MGM take away their toehold.
Here’s a clear, calm chart detailing the several types of male & female circumcision that anybody can understand. Some are less damaging than the usual forms of MGM, some are more comparable to the birfurcation & infibulation of the penis in some Noori (Australian indigene) tribes, all are awful.
Lastly, there is a Christian-funded operation in the Phillipines that is sponsering mass circumcisions for boys. I see no differences in the hygiene or faces of agony on those children from girls like Sheehan ; if the genitals are covered, you can’t always tell the sex of the child being mutilated. http://4skinftw.blogspot.com/2010/12/operation-tuli.html
(And here is poor Sheehan & her friends for reference, being told that they are ‘going to a party’):
Before I read those HIV links, I was like, against chopping bits off babies, but now I’m not so sure, maybe HIV is like gods way of letting us know that he thinks it’s a good idea. l mean he is mysterious. I think we should be allowed to get rid of any part of our kids anatomy that might go wrong. Last week I was in with my youngest who had twisted, his ankle AGAIN! Kids eh! I asked if they could get rid of the leg, just to stop this and maybe more serious things like breaking it jumping over angry dog when he gets older. The doc would not do it, he even looked at me funny, until I explained that it was part of my religion. It’s not really cos we’re catholic. Peas out.
@ Suseyblue again, thank you. You are so correct, your links are so informative, and your arguments are so spot on. How can we get on a moral high horse about FGM if we allow MGM at home? Thank you. Thank you.
Julia: the website you want is the Intactivism Pages, http://www.circumstitions.com . One of its target audiences is young intact men who want reassurance that they are “normal” but it’s your go-to place for everything intact-friendly.
What happened to the cartoon?
Re: Unruly Simian : “circumcisions began as a cleanliness issue”. How could this be when there were no antibiotics to fight off infections ? Probably more died from infection afterwards than dirty d*cks.
I’d be interested to learn if there are any differences in sexual function between whole and cut men from age 50+.
@ Shadeburst I’ve read claims that circumcision does cause problems in later life, from erectile dysfunction to difficulty reaching ejaculation. But the source of these claims is the intactivist lobby, and I’m not sure what research backs them up. I don’t think there’s any doubt that circumciision reduces sensitivity, and it only makes sense that this would become more of an issue after fifty. But everybody’s sex life peters out (so to speak) in later years and, again, I don’t know what direct comparisons have been made.
I’m thinking about wearing a condoms with the end cuts off for a month or two as an artificial foreskin, just to see if the skin on my glans gains any sensitivity. As I mentioned in an earlier post, right now if I wear a condom during intercourse I feel very little, if anything.
If anybody knows of any credible research in this area, I’d be interested in hearing about it.
I think your argument fails to answer this question : why would circumcising a baby be allowed, and not tatooing/piercing him?
“I was stating that circumcision being legally prohibited” …
Cutting off any part of a healthy baby IS prohibited, EXCEPT if it’s the foreskin ; so I wouldn’t say circumcision should be “outlawed”, I would say it should merely stop being an exception.
Let’s put things into perspective
Just to put things into perspective and to reveal western society’s double standard and hypocrisy towards “circumcision”.
What is the difference between the child rapist and the child circumciser.
The child rapist manipulates the genitals of a little boy, fumbling and fiddling around with his penis.
The child circumciser manipulates the genitals of little boy, fumbling and fiddling around with his penis but he doesn’t stop at that…. he continues his “work”, he takes a steel knife, incises his foreskin, pushes a steel cone between the foreskin and the glens, then continues to rip the two structures apart, crushes the foreskin for hemostatsis, and cut around the crush line, finally -depending on the surgical technique employed- stitches the remnant foreskin to the glands leaving him with a raw bleeding glens, a circular incision line and a suture, which during the next several times while the surgical would heals will cause him constant agony that is rendered even more excruciating every time he urinates.
The former is held by society to be a vile monster deserving of punishment of the most severest and harshest kind.
The latter by contrast is a highly respected member of society who is paid by society or even the parents of the victim for the commitment of his deeds.
The former leaves his victim eternally scarred emotionally
The latter leaves his victim eternally scarred emotionally and physically.
There are some in this forum who took offence of a perceived stridence or asperity of “Circumcision Stupidity”. I have no doubt as to the sincerity of their perception but they are nevertheless a monument to what extent cultural norms and prejudice can blind us to the most obvious cruelty even to the extent as to overcome one of man’s most powerful urges-the protective instincts of parents towards their children. To quote George Bernard Shaw “Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity”.
To get a sense of our how society has blinded our moral judgment on this issue just replace the appellation “circumcision” for a more legal term like “aggravated rape” or “mutilatory rape ” and the appeals for parental choice and pleas against governmental interference and over-legislation may reveal themselves to you as the manifestations of moral relativism and ethical hollowness that they really are.
In your country just as in every western nation all forms of female genital cutting even those who are less invasive and severe than male circumcision are punishable by law.
For what reason are all forms of female genital cutting including the pin-pricking, incision, and excision of female prepuce [which is nowhere near as large and sensitive as the male prepuce] deemed a punishably offence while the excision of the male prepuce of male minors is absolutely fine?
Is there any explanation for this legal and moral double standard other than cultural prejudice and pure sexism?
If the answer is yes, what is the explanation?
If touching a boys penis is a grave crime, if scrubbing a boys penis is grave crime, if fumbling manipulating is a grave crime.
Why is it that touching, scrubbing, fumbling fiddling manipulating a boys penis AND crushing and cutting of a part of penis – the most densely innervated, most sensitive part of the penis- is socially tolerated?
@GermanMuslim Whew. Well put. Thank you for that. San Francisco has an initiative in the works to make male circumcision of infants a crime. The Jewish community is up in arms. I just don’t get it. Wouldn’t it be a more sincere demonstration of commitment to their God if they allow a person to have a choice on the matter?
Goddamnit, your glans are meant to be sensitive from moisture, not dry and shriveled up, and the skin is meant to stretch and accomodate good penile growth over the course of your entire life. So don’t say there is no scientific basis for loss of sensitivity.
The foreskin keeps the penis cleaner from things like lint, the opposite is true of cut cocks. Chafing and shit stuck on your glans like lint and your trying to grab it with your fingertips but it hurts as the glans is not meant to be touched really by external skin.
Just read the whole thread from top to bottom. Phew!
The balance seems to be in favour of not cutting bits off infant bodies, unless medically imperative. But nobody noted an imperative that could be a tipping factor – the $300 fee charged. Money talks, they say – and the hippocratic oath can be cognitively dissonated away, medics being human and all.
Well, the same argument applies to abortion, why should we let crazy parents kill their unborn babies? Should we not protect them? Trying to be overly smart in a funny way sometimes backfires if your logic is flawed…
@J I do not see a logical problem here. If the same argument applies to abortion, then the “right to lifers” who seem only concerned about the unborn, and not about the unwanted or marginalized actual people, whom they are perfectly willing to execute or send off to die in wars, are free to use it.
Firstly, circumcision CANNOT be seen as a form of protection against HIV/AIDS or against any form of STD’s, that sort of thinking increases the likelihood of your infection rate. Secondly, my husband was circumcised at age 17 due to medical issues, and he has told me that his sensitivity has decreased (as far as he is concerned) and that he has almost built up a sort of resistance to the outside world around the head of his penis due to it. Thirdly, the practise of circumcision is a barbaric and archaic act which should only be performed upon consent of the male concerned or if medical terms call for it. Circumcision IS painful, ask anyone who can remember it. Additionally, it is a dangerous act, a baby boy in my country recently had to have 80% of his penis removed due to a circumcision that went wrong. Of course, it may not happen to your baby boy, but who is to say that it won’t? Are you willing to take that responsibility upon yourself? Your son may not like you for circumcising him, or he may not like you for not (as one mother posted on the site) but if more than half his penis is removed because of a malfunction or infection from the operation, I can promise you that your child will not forgive you for that act of cruelty. We don’t live in a world where we bath once a year anymore, circumcision was perhaps necessary in the biblical ages for cleanliness, but I highly doubt that the men of the modern world do not bath. There is no reason for circumcision, so it should be the choice of the male concerned, not the choice of the parent.
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