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Circumcision.

June 2, 2007

I’ve been reading more than is normal for me. This is a good thing. It has also altered thoughts and desires and morals I may have held as good or at least acceptable….even some that were fairly recent.

For instance, I held maybe not even a whole year ago that there was nothing inherently wrong with male circumcision. I now differ in this idea. I think that any choice about a child’s body that does not benefit the child’s health, both mental and physical, is immoral. For the purpose of this post I will specifically write on circumcision. Circumcision is a purely cosmetic practice rooted in archaic superstition.

If the United States holds that female circumcision is a savage practice, it should hold the same for male circumcision. There is no concrete evidence to support circumcision in male children, and there seems to me to be plenty of natural evidence that foreskins not only don’t impede normal functionality, but to remove them is barbaric. I feel that perhaps there should even be a law to protect newborns from their well-meaning, but uninformed parents. I’m sure there would be religious outcry, but this is unfounded. Religious rights, when they deal with newborn infants, have NO BASIS in particular when the desires of the parents differ from what is in the best interests of the child. No infant ever asked to have its body mutilated needlessly. This sadistic behavior is then rationalized to the infant through a preposterous set-up of divine decree.

Consider animals. Male animals that have similar reproductive organs as male humans, and I’ll specifically focus it on mammals, have foreskins. They don’t seem to be suffering because of them. The mere idea that some big white-bearded buddy in the sky gives a damn about a piece of skin on the human male’s penis is ludicrous. Anyone who defends circumcision yet is an advocate of pro-life rights is walking an odd line to my mind. To think a child must be born only to have his first day of living outside of the womb greeted with a knife to his sexual organs is truly a sad state of humanity. It should come as no surprise to parents that there children should then become adverse to them, after all your first act as parent was to harm their body. This should ashame any parent responsible.

When considering what is morally good, I would hope the education about sexuality, about abortion (see note 1), about contraceptives, and to shed light on the true malevolence in male and female circumcision would be what we would conclude. Whereas, to preach abstinence-only, preach contraceptives as hardly helpful, preach the importance of cutting your child’s body, and to preach that all of these practices are righteous is surely one of the more damaging aspects of our society. It should be obvious to humans that cutting an infant’s body, with no imminent health emergency, is immoral. There is a distinct difference between cutting an umbilical cord and removing an infant’s foreskin. It isn’t necessary to remove a foreskin; it is mutilating something that is unnecessary to remove on the only true innocents of our species. The fact that the practice is not condemned more uniformly in our society is abominable.

I’ll conclude that male circumcision is merely an act of superstition, unfounded and immoral in every way, except those that pose imminent danger to the newborn infant. To my current knowledge, I don’t know of any circumstances where this imminent danger arises. Thus, I think that it comes out only of a desire to differ ourselves from “lesser” beasts. We are animals, this does not belittle our existence.

I refuse to continue it’s practice.

——————————————————–

1. I thought it necessary to point out that education about abortion was not the encouragement of abortion, but to educate on the use of items like a type of “morning after pill”. This is of course a sexist pill, but soon there should be versions of contraceptive treatments for males that have similar effects as the morning after pill, i.e. the prevention of unplanned pregnancy. I think if this was educated uniformly that it should follow, as it seems in other countries, that the rate of partial-birth abortions and abortions in general would decrease.

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8 comments

  1. Technically, male circumcision should already be illegal, since female circumcision is, and we aren’t suppposed to discriminate based on sex, but unfortunately no judge has had the balls to say it, yet. Probably most the male judges in USA are circumcised men who aren’t man enough to admit they are missing the best part of their penises.

    But what can we really do to make a change? I like your last sentence “I refuse to continue it’s practice” which is exactly what I’ve done: had a son, and didn’t cut him. He’s 15 months old and still hasn’t dropped dead from having his whole penis intact.


  2. You are so right that the lack of outrage is abominable.

    Just imagine if no child anywhere had ever been circumcised. Then someone comes up with the idea to strap down your helpless infant, peel the still-fused skin from his glans, slice the top of the skin tube, and then cut all the way around, amputating over half the sensual nerve endings and removing skin that would have grown to about 16 square inches of adult sexual interface.

    In that situation, any parent would strangle the perpetrator with their bare hands.


  3. I think Circumcision is less common over here. It seems in the states you all have it done and most girls havenever seen an uncircumsized Peen in reality. I always thought it was strange to have the foreskin cut off. I mean they say its for hygene reasons but I don’t really thnk that is a good excuse. You just have to wash your Peen.

    I find it strange God has commanded you cut something off the baby when technically he would have created the baby to have it. It all seems a bit paganist to me, a ritual that was adapted into religion.

    Love the post Joel. (:


  4. There are, of course, two camps regarding circumcision. I suppose I’m among those that are in favor of it. I know all of the guys I’ve been with have been glad to be circumcized. They enjoy the cosmetic look of their dick without a flopsy brown foreskin. (I mean really.) Also, I know guys who were not circumcized as a child and chose to have it done in their adult life for aesthetic reasons and hygiene reasons alike. It’s a much more memorably painful procedure as an adult, to be sure.

    I’ve looked up female circumcision to try and figure out what the fuck it is. Apparently, it’s more of a broad spectrum procedure than male circumcision. It’s definitely not cut and dry, no pun intended. There’s clitordectomy (removal of the clitoral hood), excision (removal of the clitoris which I think is without a doubt barbaric and impossible to argue otherwise), and in infibulation – nothing remains of the normal anatomy of the genitalia, except for a wall of flesh from the pubis down the anus with a pencil-size whole to allow urination and menstruation. A forth type involves various cutting and scarring and even inserting herbs into the vagina. Given this information, I think it’s very difficult to draw a similarity between female “circumcision” and male circumcision – clitordectomy is the only thing comparable.

    None of the fellas I know miss their foreskin at all. Hello, http://dickcheese.net/ … However, I’m not sure if I’d opt for circumcision if I were to have a son someday.

    I’m glad that more differing opinions are available and being spoken about it now, though. When I was pregnant five years ago with my daughter, my friend from Sweden was visiting and begged me not to circumsize it if it were a boy. I didn’t understand what she was so “on” about back then, but I get it now.


  5. “Circumcision is a purely cosmetic practice”

    Erm. If it’s purely cosmetic, then it isn’t mutilation. If it’s mutilation, then it’s not cosmetic. You need to figure out what you actually think circumcision is before defending or attacking it.


  6. I think if more people knew what went on during an infant circumcision they would be against it.Link to infant circ video – http://intact.ca/vidphil.htm and http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/plastibell/ (warning – they show skin & blood – OUCH!). It’s painful, medically unnecessary, and done without the consent of the “owner” of the organ. And I don’t understand the whole hygiene issue. All genitals, male & female, cut or uncut, should be washed before sex. At least I think so. Even a circumcised penis will be nasty if it’s not cleaned for a few days.
    I don’t in general dig body modifications at all but at least with piercings and the like, it’s done only to adults who give their consent. Leave the little boys alone!


  7. Excellent post.

    Nikkeh,

    You don’t know me, so I suppose it won’t be the same thing, but I hate being circumcised. I would never have chosen it for myself. I don’t find it more aesthetically pleasing. If I’d been left intact, odds are significantly in favor of circumcision never being medically necessary, which would also negate the concern that it’s more painful as an adult. But adult males who choose to have themselves circumcised can decide whether or not the inevitable pain justifies the cosmetic benefit. Instead, we decide that boys wouldn’t want to go through that, so we force them to go through the pain as an infant that they probably won’t need to endure as an adult. That’s irrational, especially when considering that the majority of intact men never choose to have themselves circumcised.

    In comparing male and female genital cutting, it’s easy to get distracted by the severity of damage. The female version is generally significantly worse. No rational person could deny that. But that doesn’t suddenly make male genital cutting trivial. As you state removing the clitoral hood is comparable. But we would never excuse that and permit parents to force it on their daughters. We know it’s wrong. When we allow the comparable surgery on males because of tradition, we apply separate rules to the two sexes, denying boys the same protection girls have. This is wrong and why it’s important not to get distracted by the severity of the damage done. Any damage, which male genital cutting involves, is unacceptable. The qualitative analysis is the same: medically unnecessary genital cutting on a non-consenting individual is wrong.

    That said, I’m glad you would opt of circumcision if you have a son. It’s his body, he should have the choice.

    Ianthekorean,

    Infant circumcision is a cosmetic change to meet another person’s aesthetic preference that requires mutilation of an infant. The child hasn’t asked for it. It can be both at the same time. The important question is which do we value more. Culturally, Americans decide that they value parental cosmetic preference over anatomical function for the boy.


  8. I like having a foreskin.

    I have nothing else to contribute to this 🙂



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