OK, here's what I was talking about earlier
. I am strongly, viscerally opposed to male genital mutilation, and it's a source of contention with me that it's legal in nearly all western cultures and the norm in the USA.
Yes, I'm aware that calling it that and not 'circumcision' is a loaded term, but you know what? It's accurate
. I'd rather we stuck to using "foreskinectomy" for the procedure used to correct an immediate medical issue (e.g. non-retractable foreskin, phimosis
, balanoposthitis and paraphimosis
) and followed the spade philosophy when talking about mutilating an infant's genitalia. I've been told before that calling the procedure male genital mutilation, likens it too much to female genital mutilation, despite the fact
that both involve the cutting of genitalia in infants for religious and cultural reasons. Before people in general started believing in female genital integrity, that procedure was called female circumcision.And if people can call IDX a "partial birth abortion" in order to get it banned despite the fact
that it doesn't involve a birth, I'm going to continue to call the muitlation of male genitalia what it is.
Remember when I posted about Michael Medved
? Someone pinged me after that to say
I'll never understand why "but it's slavery!" isn't enough for these people
, and well, it's a bit like that. In fact, it's a lot like that, and I can't understand why "but it's cutting a baby's genitalia!" isn't enough to dissuade people. And yes, I know that a lot of these people disagree with me on this issue - 60% of boys born in America have parents who disagree with me - but personally? I can't get away from the fact that it's cutting a baby's genitals
, which is non-consensual by definition. The argument then often involves AIDS, functionality, sensitivity, sexual preferences, etc etc, but by this point i'm often just staring at people in horror, because they're using these arguments to justify cutting a baby's genitals
I am not here going to link to a whole lot of intactivist claims. They are there, on the internet, and a moment's google search reveals them. All sorts of stuff about performing the 'procedure' without any anaesthetic, the trauma some adult males feel about what happened to them as an infant, various studies about sensitivity, the risk of women catching HIV from circumsised partners etc. I'm not going to go into them, because I don't think intactivists should be quite as far on the defensive, and they're there if you want them.
But I have heard a great many arguments for
MGM, and apart from ringing similar to arguments for FGM, they always seem to miss the point.The WHO say it prevents AIDS
prevent AIDS - or rather reduce the risk of HIV contamination so much that it doesn't matter whether there's a foreskin or not. Condoms are really really
effective at reducing the risk of HIV contamination. And also? They don't involve cutting things off people. Foreskins are prone to infection
That's a case of keeping it clean. And before you start on it's hard to keep clean
, and as I'm never owned a penis I've had to keep clean, I'm just going to ask if it's that much harder than the complicated fold-ridden permenantly excreting, three-exit plumbing nightmare that I learned to keep clean? It's not functionally important
Aside from the contentiousness of this issue- neither is your earlobe. Why don't we cut that off babies? Apart from the fact that it's mutilation
. It increases sensitivity
Also debateable. And has been debated a lot. My experience with talking to men about this is that no one wants to admit that sex could get any better. So casting that aside for more lengthy discussion - there's also debate that genital piercings increase sensitivity/heighten sexual pleasure.But no one's advocating doing that to infants.Straight women/Gay men prefer a cut penis
Well, bully for them. Some straight men prefer a cut clitoris. So FGM is acceptable?It was good enough for me
Some men don't mind/have learned to deal with/suffer no ill effects from being cut as an infant. Lots of people who have been victims of illegal activity learn to deal with it with no long term ill effects. That's no justification.It's part of my religion
Touchy subject, this. But definitely something that makes me cringe even more. Especially these days when people all over the place are saying that religious justification is no justification for various atrocities. I'm all for freedom of religious expression, but I happen to believe very strongly that it ends where another's body begins. See also: should Jehovah's Witnesses be allowed to let their child die for lack of a blood transfusion.It hurts less on infantsBzzzt
. Adults are less likely to remember
pain they suffered as infants. Get it right. But the other major difference between an adult and a baby? Adults are able to give consent.It looks better
And of course, you may disagree with me. You may think it's no big deal, or something preferable, or just more complicated than I make it out to be, but I cannot get away from my opinion that cutting a child's genitalia for no immediate medical reason is wrong. And I can't get my head around why that's not a universal opinion.