Against non-consensual circumcision


Turtle Head
Originally uploaded by joaobambu.

This issue always gets me mad as hell. People who defend the circumcision of infant boys (as so many do in the comments of this post on Motherhood Uncensored). I’m uncompromising on this issue. It shouldn’t happen. I don’t care if you think it might “look gross” or “they might get teased” or worry that “he should look like his dad.” I don’t care if I’m making you (whoever you are) feel bad by disrespecting those reasons. Fine, they were your reasons, and you believed them, and you can’t undo your action; that doesn’t make the action right, and it doesn’t make the practice defensible.

I especially don’t care about your religious traditions. That is no excuse. Let your kid decide for himself when he becomes an adult, to do it for religious reasons. If a religion conflicts with a fundamental human rights issue (like not having a body part chopped off) I’ll take the human rights, thanks.

What really gets me is the flippant cutesy tone that people talk about this in. Think how they’d react to the same discussion about female genital mutilation. Jokes and all. People cut off their baby girls’ labia every day because they think it’s healthier, and not gross looking, and easier to keep clean, and they’ll look normal to their peers, and because it’s a religious tradition. It’s wrong. Period. And so is mutilating and amputating the genitals of baby boys.

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18 Responses to Against non-consensual circumcision

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people (including my parents) asked why I was not circumcising. It's a pretty easy tag: "I wouldn't do it to a girl, I won't do it to a boy."Now I am a tiny bit worried about this decision, since Baz has phimosis, and possible adhesion, but I have another year or two for it to sort itself out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree! Infant circumcision is wrong and it is not medically necesarry.I'm a nurse & I've witnessed circumcision too many times. I wish people would learn the truth and stop mutilating their children. Here's a good link to an infacnt circumcision for any people who think a circ is just a little snip and it doesn't hurt. It's graphic, but maybe you can share it with people to show them the truth.http://intact.ca/vidintro.htm – the video is at the bottomThanks!

  3. Acksiom says:

    Anonymous 6:08. . .are you sure it's real phimosis, and not the usual detachment process just proceeding more slowly than the average?Because even though people may say "by three years old" or "by fve years old" or even "by ten years old", there really isn't a 'set year' at which the pre-adult male prepuce should be fully retractable. One shouldn't start to be concerned about it until the mid-teens, in fact.There's a great pro-intact forum at MDC that I recommend highly, with lots of extremely well-informed and supportive moms, and an site administration definitively opposed to the practice:http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=44

  4. Iris says:

    In England it is normal to be UNcircumcised .. unless things have changed in the last few years. I was completely amazed to see an episode of Sex in the City where she was totally shocked and put off to find that her boyfriend was .. and the 'happy ending' plot line was him going off and having the operation so that he could be acceptable. Why should Americans think this way?

  5. meno says:

    I have never understood why any one would do this to an infant. And all the times i've heard the specious arguments for it have failed to convince me otherwise.I also wonder who the hell thought this was a good idea in the first place. "I know, i'll take this sharp object and cut off a piece of skin at the tip of my penis."

  6. Susanne says:

    I have to vote in for not circumcising as well. Here in Germany most aren't. I won't have my son operated for other than necessary health reasons.

  7. radioactive girl says:

    I love this post! I did not think it as ok to do to either of my boys, and almost every family member had not very nice thougths about how I was "harming" them by not doing it. My reply was always that when they are adults, they can choose to do it if they feel necessary, but I was not going to choose to change their body in a permanent way while they were infants and couldn't tell me their opinion on the subject.

  8. Jill Nagle says:

    I chose not to circumcise my son because I couldn't think of a single benefit to him from it. I also chose not to circumcise my son because a)I did not want to cause him pain, and b), I did not want to permanently alter his body without his consent, and c) I did not want to make an unalterable choice that might interfere with his sexual pleasure.I choose not to use the word "wrong" because a) "wrong" doesn't tell me enough about the situation, and b) "right" and "wrong" get used so often by those with more power against those with less, to mean "does not conform to my beliefs about how things should be." I want to talk about the feelings and needs beneath those beliefs. Oh yeah, and thanks for blogging!

  9. Sean says:

    CIRCUMCISION IS VERY BENEFICIAL, its cleaner and several research bodies have concluded that circumcised men have less risk of contracting STD's such as AIDS-HIV or herpes.Uncircumcised penises are difficult to keep clean, and more prone to infections and penile cancer, studies have shown.A circumcised penis is naturally clean and virtually free from urinary infection. You will not have to worry again with careful washing of your penis.Is it NOT true that the AAP (American Academy of Paediatrics) does not recommend circumcision. They simply say they leave the decision to parents. But recently, and specially after the New Zealand study, the AAP has been discussing if it may be necessary to change their policy and recommend circumcision to all newborns as they used to do, so in the future we may see that the AAP advocates again circumcision.Have a look at: <a href="http://www.baby-health.net/articles/381.htmlhttp://www.baby-health.net/articles/381.html<br />About STD's: As I said, several studies carried out by prestigious research bodies have concluded that uncircumcised penises are more prone to infections and contraction of STD's, including AIDS-HIV. Circumcised men have been proved to be up to seven times less likely to be infected than those who are uncircumcised. Have a look at this site: <a href="http://icuxbridge.icnetwork.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=14095142&method=full&siteid=53340&headline=-circumcision-protects-against-aids–name_page.htmlhttp://icuxbridge.icnetwork.co.uk/news/tm_objecti… />As for women, studies also show that circumcision also protects female partners from AIDS-HIV and other STD's. Browse this article: <a href="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/02_08_06.htmlhttp://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/200… />About sensitivity of a circumcised penis:No medical or physiological study has proved that circumcision reduces sensitivity, opposed to common belief. It is completely FALSE that circumcision reduces penis sensitivity. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) confirms this on their web site; have a look at: <a href="http://www.aap.org/pubed/zzzjzmemh4c.htmhttp://www.aap.org/pubed/zzzjzmemh4c.htm<br />Circumcision is an easy and nowadays *painless* procedure, which has many benefits, and virtually no risks. Circumcision is NOT an amputation. Circumcision is NOT comparable at all to female circumcision, which is something completely different.Circumcision rates are INCREASING nowadays, both in the United States and overseas. Many African and South American countries with little circumcision tradition are starting to promote the procedure to help to reduce the AIDS-HIV infection rates.Finally, this site has a lot of useful and *unbiased* information. Make sure you have a good look: http://www.circlist.com

  10. Liz says:

    "You will not have to worry again with careful washing of your penis."Straight ladies, and for that matter, gay men, I think we unfortunately how wrong *that* one is… If only everyone, cut or uncut, would worry just a bit more…

  11. Liz says:

    This debate continues, very long and heated, at BlogHer. Give it a read!

  12. Madeleine Albright says:

    "When people are mutilated, it is criminal, not cultural"

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'm a guy. Very tightly and completely circumcised. No moveable skin, clean and things are so great. I love it so much! I wasn't always so lucky, you see someone forgot to circumcise me when I was born. Had to wait for a while to get it done. Like 18 years a while too late, :). Been circumcised and happy now for over 14 years. You people don't understand, you really can't penetrate the vagina as an uncut, feel her as she feels you, and you get tears and pain, you get her dirt as she gets your dirt, ya know HPV, Tyson's Cells, all that rot. I'm a guy who had that stupid foreskin which inhibits good sex. You people are ignorant, circumcision when done correctly, normalizes the penis. I'm not Muslim or Jewish either, just a sensible guy. All males worldwide should be circumcised routinely without any consent to the parents, since they wouldn't know any better, unless they ALL said YES to Circumcision. If all were circumcised, we wouldn't be having this stupid debate. And a lot of women would be getting great sex, as well the guys, without any diseases and cervical cancer. HPV causes Cervical Cancer, it comes from foreskin. And don't delete my post, honesty goes a lot farther, than two people posting as 90 different people against something they don't understand. I'm an ex-foreskin, who is very happily nice and cut. And will make sure any son of mine gets circumcised too, and any other newborn who is male too. Because no male deserves to suffer from having a foreskin. Even in ignorant nations (usually Socialist Nations), where taking care of your problems are forbidden. Lot of things are painful, but if you're kind to your son, you'll have him circumcised. Circumcision is great for the medical benefits, the hygiene benefits, the sexual benefits and also the appearance all rolled into one. Always say YES to Circumcision. Thank You.

  14. Anonymous says:

    i have look at the commit before writing this and i AM PRO circumcision and why?1 i am circumcised and pround of the fact most of my friends are to 2 my wife is a nurse yet she said yes when our 1st son came along to having him circumcised at 2 days old since then we have had a 2nd boy and he to was circumcised

  15. Anonymous says:

    i am english and i was circumcised when i was 5 days old my parents had no problem about having me cut i am now 49 my brother was also circumcised at birth in 1960 5 years ago i got married and my wife and i had twin boys we had them both circumcised like me my wife has no problems about it

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am 49 and circumsied as was my brother when we were 7 days old (Twins) in 1958 both of us are pround of the fact the 10years ago i got married and my wife was morethan happy for our son to be cicumcsied at 7 days old both of us are pro circumcision and some of our frenieds who marred at the same time also has they on circumcised
    NOTE our son was born in private hosptal and circumcised a week later

  17. Anonymous says:

    I come from a long line of intact men and there is no history of any medical issues of any kind as a result. Statisics given for the procircumcision agenda are tainted and misleading. Who exactly did these "studies" and what kind of sample group are we talking about? Most studies are funded by someone expecting certain results and the results tend to sway that way. In european countries where prenatal circumcision is the minority, penile cancer and stds are less common than here where it is the norm. Certainly we could reduce the likelyhood of any sort of cancer or illness by amputating the body part in question, but that is not good preventative medicine. I've heard the argument that uncut males are more likely to pass yeast infections, hpv, and various stds on to their partner, but it's ignored that these conditions often originate in a famale to begin with. How often does a non sexually active male get a yeast infection? A foreskin may provide a large surface area of moist tissue that can be a good environment for bacteria and fungus,but nothing compared to that of a vagina, which is much harder to clean internally. The "harder to clean" argument is ridiculous to anyone who ever lived with there foreskin intact. It takes less than a second to roll the skin back and is no harder to wash. Hygene is the issue, cut or intact. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Leave the babies alone. Don't mutulate someone who can't speak up for themselves. If men weren't meant to have a foreskin, they'd be born without one, just like a woman's labia. In fact, the foreskin comes from the same genetic tissue as the hood on the clitoris.

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