Hey! People! Leave the kids alone!
Okay, so who the hell came up with this bizarre notion of cutting and mutilating children’s genitals.
Answer in brief: Always men; usually the old wise (sic) ones leading the way.
They’ve been at it for thousands of years. The cultural and religious justifications demand cutting the flesh, marking the body — but what they’re really after is the brain/soul of the child. The medical justifications, which came into fashion since the rise of modern surgery in the 19th century, are even more pernicious as they falsely claim to be doing this for the health of the child (health translating into issues such as not masturbating.) The more one looks at the history of circumcision the more obvious it is that something psychologically unhealthy is going on in the old men’s minds.
Some old men had gods — whose representational personas were strikingly, unsurprisingly, like those of old men—gods that demanded that the laceration be done to baby boys. (Girls’ naughty bits were irrelevant to this particular higher scheme of spiritual things.)
Other old men, who were not quite comfortable with women’s sexuality, came up with their own wide range of nasty ways of doing unspeakable things to little girls’ genitalia.
In both cases women went along with the rituals, sometimes quite enthusiastically.
[There is an ongoing discussion about the differences and similarities of female and male genital mutilation. Brian Earp, an Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings programme in ethics and health policy at Yale University, provided a clear detailed examination of the moral equivalency of male and female circumcision on Aeon.]
Moving along, in the 19th century, a newer batch of old men has issues with boys and girls masturbating and wanted something more serious than a cold shower—I dare ya to go check out Mr. Kellogg’s solutions over your next bowl of cornflakes!
And most recently the old men of the medical establishment in the United States of America have proposed some shiney new antiseptic reasons for this procedure — all of which still demand that Reason go and sit facing the corner, in silence.
It seems you just can’t stop the ol’ guys from coming up new reasons to bring out their knives whenever there are infant genitals around. And of course — since fitting-in and going-along are frighteningly powerful human needs — in very little time younger men are indoctrinated in their elder’s views.
And let’s be fair, balanced, and honest here and give the full range of credit where credit is due. As is true with other “great human accomplishments” (war comes to mind), women also join in and lend their own creepy supportive voices to these choirs. Hearing the hateful opinions of women on social media, who have not encountered the pleasures of foreskins, one can just imagine the outrage if labia reduction surgeries were suggested for little girls for whatever made-up hygienic or medical excuses.
My primary purpose here is to loudly add one more voice to opposing the unforgivable insanity of natal prophylactic male genital cutting. Referring to it as circumcision simply abstracts the reality of what is being done — it masks the true horror of this outdated, barbaric practice.
Full disclosure — I missed out on what they so charmingly call “the snip”.
The doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York city was kind enough to ask my mother if she wanted my penis altered. Having arrived from Europe two years earlier she was confused by the question — we weren’t Jewish, which was to her knowledge the only reason one would do such a thing.
Thanks doctor, thanks mom!
If there is anything that has to be cut — or somehow finally cut through — is the bullshit surrounding this noxious and completely unnecessary surgery.
Let’s get the lies and denial out of the way first.
The Matching Penis Theory.
This theory states that we have to do this flesh-cutting to the kid because we did it to his dad.
The scenarios for the imagined situations that might occur if he’s not cut would be too insulting and idiotic even for TV sitcom mentality.
The big lie here is that it’s all about protecting the kid’s future when he might see that his father’s penis is different. Because explaining things to kids is, of course, not something we could do.
But what’s really at issue here is the father’s discomfort in having to deal on a sometimes-daily basis with the fact that he had part of his own penis cut off before he had any say in the matter and for extremely questionable reasons. Dad doesn’t want to be confronted with that every time he changes his son’s diapers. Not really ever thinking about the procedure is one reason it can just go on and on.
Preventive against UTIs and HIV.
This is where the pro-circumcision excuse-makers really manipulate the data to present strikingly unscientific conclusions which are so patently ridiculous that any application of critical thinking undoes their entire string of nonsense.
UTIs. Research: Fact: circumcised men have a lower risk of urinary infections.
Reality: In no other area of medical practice do we allow radical surgery to be done on an individual incapable of consent to address a merely potential and very minor medical issue, one that most men would never experience regardless.
A woman has a 12% chance of having breast cancer. Breast bud removal at birth would prevent this. Would anyone advocate doing this to the baby?! UTIs are very rare and easily curable with antibiotics. Women are very far more likely to have them than men. Put the fucking knife away.
HIV prevention: The unfortunate trend to push for adult circumcision in Africa establishes a dangerous and false premise. Cutting the foreskin off does not significantly in and of itself decrease the levels of HIV infection.
Anyone would have to succumb to a serious case of confirmation bias to accept this extreme Foreskin Solution.
One excellent overview of the poor science in the pro-circumcision drive was published in Practical Ethics (University of Oxford).
Reality: condoms, and now in some situations PrEP, are the only ways to really reduce HIV infection.
Worse, too many newly circumcised men in developing countries now believe that they are immune to the virus with predictable results: more infections, not less. Women can get and pass on HIV to circumcised males so the condom requirement should remain in place anyway.
To strike down this shaky premise simply remember that during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the USA, around 85% of the men were circumcised.
Science (sic) sez: Removal of a body part helps it clean. America—your Puritanical roots are showing.
Answer: Washing your penis is not rocket science (pun intended). Somehow the majority — 2/3 of all the men on the planet!! — manage to learn to wash this part of their body, just as easily as women learn to wash their equally complex naughty bits. What’s up USofA?
Digression — a note about Foreskin Harvesting.
It began with South Korean baby foreskins, but now with the Gates Foundation funding millions of circumcisions in Africa, soon YOU too will be able to pop down to Sephora and join the 1% ladies —Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale et al—with a youth restoring foreskin facial! Not fake news.
The 53-year-old Sandra Bullock joked: “I think when you see how good it is to your face you to will run to your local facialist, and say ‘give me the penis!’” Funny, huh?
Mutilation (Lets call it what it is!)
Saying that supposedly-preemptive surgery on infants is not genital mutilation is playing word games to maintain a cultural bias and complacency around the issue.
The cutting of babies and children’s healthy genitals is a practice before which any justification at all becomes ethically abhorrent.
When you read the pro-circumcision medical literature you can hear, lurking just barely beneath the scientific justifications, the ghosts of tradition, the shadows of repression, and of course Mammon.
And yes, Beelzebub, is likewise well served by the ancient tribal/religious justifications.
Well old men, it’s time to find somewhere else to direct your psychological quirks to attain higher spiritual (sic) goals. Children’s genitals are off limits!
Iceland, San Francisco, and other communities have had proposals to compleyely outlaw circumcision. The debate always stops at the doorsteps of religion, where tradition’s kinks must be upheld no matter how primitive or barbaric. (Some Jewish families are choosing an alternative ritual called Brit shalom. So we as humans can find meaningful ways to move beyond the ancient brutal protocols.)
Regarding circumcision, The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the “health benefits outweigh the risks”.
This statement dodges the seldom-addressed pleasure benefits of an intact penis — or the numerous losses, real and potential due to circumcision — to both its owner and those he chooses to share it with.
But then again sex as pleasure is something we don’t talk about. In the cultural dialog (through magazines, TV, movies, etc) sex is mostly relegated to selling pop songs, fashion and other products.
But sex-positive conversation does surface sometimes —and the truth is out !— the foreskin is not only a very vital part of male anatomy — it is as much fun as all the other parts of both sexes’ naughty bits.
I am a bisexual male who has done decades of thorough personal research on the play and interplay of male and female genitalia. But rather than extrapolate from my own research —which does not qualify as randomized controlled trials —I would like to quote this from a study by O’Hara and Bensley 2001, which rather succinctly explains the benefits of the intact male organ in the sexual pleasures of men and women.
“The function of the foreskin for women in intercourse is to seal the natural lubrication inside the vagina and provide a gentle internal massaging action. The intact penis moves in and out of its foreskin, which provides a frictionless, rolling, gliding sensation. Intact men tend to make shorter strokes that keep their bodies in contact with the clitoris more, thus aiding female orgasm. On the other hand, the circumcised penis functions like a piston during intercourse — the head of the penis actually scrapes the lubrication out of the vagina with each stroke. As the man thrusts, his skin rubs against the vaginal entrance, causing discomfort, and sometimes pain. Far from making sex better for women, circumcision decreases female satisfaction.”
The foreskin is a part of a healthy sexual organ and in circumcision a large amount of perfectly healthy, very sensitive and functional, tissue is being removed. Most of the world understands the absurdity of this and leaves it alone.
As with many other social/cultural issues we have to keep going around and around until we get it right. It appears that we’re at the two steps forward and only one step back point — still having to remain vigilant for the latest alibi for this bad decision.
The internet, especially through the work of men who understand what was done to them and who are standing up against it, is helping get the truth out there.
Still ahead — Once we face and admit what a barbarism circumcision is, and science-based ethics confirm the stand, how then will the legal systems which exist to protect children respond to the requests for exceptions from religions who demand it. This is a human rights issue.
From personal experience: I truly believe that if circumcised men could experience what was stolen from them —for no good reason— there wouldn’t be enough lawyers to handle the lawsuits. Parents would be pleading with their sons, reciting Jesus’ line about forgiving them for they knew not what they did.
Oft repeated truth: the more you know about the realities of circumcision the more you will be opposed to this savage practice.
To paraphrase Pink Floyd — Hey! People! Leave the kids alone!
© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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