Is Circumcision Male Genital Mutilation?
- 2010/02/10 09:00:00
- Read all 1,074 opinions
The fact that many parents elect to have their male children physically mutilated shortly after birth without anesthetic is a perfectly normal and indeed, legal, part of our society. Are we insane?
My own boyfriend casually mentioned one day that if we had a son, he would be circumcised. 'You'll have to go through me first,' I told him, and I was quite serious. Circumcision, even when done in hospitals, involves strapping a baby boy down, slicing his foreskin down the middle and then shearing it off with a clipping device.
At no time is any anesthetic given because it's not safe to drug a newborn, (though it is apparently quite safe to remove parts of his genitalia.) The baby, quite rightly, howls in pain the whole time. I can't imagine, as a mother, allowing someone to do that to my child. In fact, the idea alone fills me with a primal sort of protective rage and I don't even have a baby.
Circumcision is an ancient practice, and in ancient contexts it makes sense. I understand the tradition of circumcision if you're a member of a desert culture with little to no access to water for hygiene purposes. Circumcision at least makes some kind of practical sense in that scenario. But in a modern context? No. If your kid can manage to wipe his ass, he can learn to clean his genitals as well, it's not rocket science.
Then there is the cosmetic aspect of circumcision. Some people think a circumcised penis just looks better. Does it? And if it does, is that justification for performing hack and slash operations on infants who have no say in the matter? Many of us freely mocked Heidi Montag when she transformed her perfectly serviceable face into something resembling a porn-bot, but at least Heidi Montag made the choice of her own free will, and at least she wasn't conscious the entire time the operation was being carried out
The foreskin isn't just a useless floppy bit of skin. It has a purpose both in protecting the penis and in enhancing male pleasure. Scientists state that the foreskin is analogous to the female clitoris in that it contains many sensitive nerve endings which aid in male pleasure. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, if you clipped the clitorises of newborn females, you'd be put in jail, but for some reason if you remove what would one day be an inch or two of pleasure inducing male flesh, people will toast your efforts and celebrate the event.
It's time to live up to all this equality we keep yammering on about between women and men and extend the same protections to male children as we do to females. It's not okay to forcibly remove a part of someone else's genitals, whether or not they happen to be your child. That should be a self evident truth, so why is male circumcision still legal?
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