I think one of the things that we far too often overlook in this country is that fact that genital mutilation of newborn boys is common practice, if not standard. Why isn't there more of a cry against this? Do the benefits of circumcision (if any, and I don't see any valid argument that there are any) outweigh the cost and mutilation of a boy?

Of course circumcision isn't the only genital mutilation in the world, but it's the only type in practice in the United States. Female genital mutilation is just as barbaric, if not more so. Americans, and Europeans in general, ban female genital mutilation of babies, but why the hypocrisy in not doing the same for males?

Tags: Christianity, God, Judaism, circumcision, clitoral, covenant, genital, mutilation

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Hahaha fair enough. I don't claim to be an expert. I looked this stuff up, and anyone else can do that. But if people just keep not caring to, they're going to keep being under the delusion that it's just a flap of skin, that it doesn't really hurt the baby, that it doesn't have much function, etc.
Also I should say that no one should accept one source without checking it against other sources. I posted these sources to show that I have some foundation with experts, but other experts will confirm them.
As I said before, I'm divided. I do not appreciate that it is a tradition born out of religion but on the other hand it is part of who I am and not a part that I am ashamed of or feel harmed by. I have not yet heard a compelling reason either way to come to a conclusion on the subject of male circumcision. I think the practice of female circumcision is more obviously a bad thing.
It would be like saying you were ashamed of your broken arm, shame should not enter the picture.

You can choose to be happy with what you've got, or you can aim for some degree of improvement. Either way, there's never a reason to be ashamed of one's own body, unless you've been a very very naughty boy. :)

However, some criticism is forthcoming to parents who perpetuate this practice.
"my penis has more than enough nerves as it is."
Circumcised men often say that, but I don't think I've ever heard an intact man say it. Odd, isn't it, that men with ~20,000 specialised nerves removed, think they have (almost) too many, but men who still have them, don't?

I don't think the problem is too many, but too many of the wrong kind, the dull nerves of the glans, pressed into a service they weren't designed/evolved for, compared to those of the right kind, the frenulum remnant, all that is left - if he's lucky - of Taylor's ridged band which once ran right round the inside of the foreskin.

That's the only way to understand the anecdotes of circumcised men masturbating by rubbing against a pillow or (owwwwch!) towel. A foreskin has been described as conferring "a symphony of sensation" and being circumcised in adulthood to going colourblind - not a difference in the quantity of sensation, but the quality.
Tom, the difference would be that male circumcision involves the REMOVAL of functional living tissue, whereas piercings (even of the genitalia) only have a low chance of lowering sensitivity (and there are certainly advocates who claim it increases pleasure instead). Comparing your foreskin to your earlobe is a bit simplistic also, but I understand the parallel you're drawing with regards to semi-surgical procedures being performed on infants.. Don't those people know you can get stick-on earrings?? :P

This might sound silly (I hope I can speak frankly here - most Nexus members seem pretty mature after all), but I don't actually know if I'm circumcised or not o.O On one occasion I checked out wikipedia and a couple of other sites that show comparisons but I'm kinda in-betweeny.. I remember separation from the glans (over the course of a few weeks, with almost no discomfort) during a lot of Gliktch's Happy Time™ sometime during Grade 6 or 7, but here in Australia people are still culturally a bit too gymnophobic (opposed to nudity) for me to have had many opportunities even in childhood to 'compare'...

As to your original comment though, I feel compelled to ask: Why do you think it acceptable to allow a parent to have cosmetic surgery of any kind done on their children, whatever their reasoning (aesthetics in the case of ears, cultural conformity or cosmic blackmail in the case of circumcision)? Anyone who puts "keeping up with the Jones'" or hokus-pokus ahead of the welfare (and bodily integrity) of their children shouldn't be trusted with that responsibility.
Hey Gliktch,

Re not knowing exactly whether you are circumcised I think you just need to find yourself a really slutty girlfriend. A girl with enough experience should be able to give you an educated assessment. :-)

Welcome to the Nexus!

Limber
Well Limber...

Got anyone in mind? :P j/k

I do feel very welcome, thanks :) Now it's just a matter of finding enough hours in the day with which to stay involved! I do feel very at-home here; so many fellow smarty-pantses (Hmm.. 'smarties-pants'? Like 'mothers-in-law' pluralisation?) ;)

I already have something like 840 emails from the AN site, I should really change my settings O.O It's a little daunting to have found this place and it being so active, when just a few short months ago I didn't know of anything that was at all comparable to this :o

Back on topic however... I guess the obvious thing is to ask my parents, I just haven't exactly found the right moment to bring it up - I only visit them a couple of times a month, so we're not usually short of other conversation topics :P

I'll reply to the other posts separately, for clarity.

Cya Limber :)
- Gliktch
Didn't I read right here that there are varying degrees of circumcision?

About nudity, we need a whole lot more of casual nudity. You are right, if the only nude images we see are in the movies, and with our significant other, we are not only uneducated but miseducated. The movies do not depict a true range of the human body.
I'm bored with this discussion to be perfectly honest. Since you address me though I'll respond.

I cannot possibly relate to an uncircumcised person, never having been one. If you say it's great all I can do is take your word for it. I have never, for even a moment, felt that my sexual pleasure was less than it should be or that my sexual activities were hindered. I've heard many people express the opinion that "cut" is more attractive. Aesthetically it comes down to personal preference as far as I can tell.

Is circumcision "mutilation"? Sure, by my definition I guess it is. So are piercings and tattoos in my opinion. You say those are not comparable because there is no removal of tissue but that's absurd in my opinion. Would it not be mutilation if I slashed your face with my knife without removing tissue? Then it comes down to the fact that the procedure is carried out on a non-consenting person.

I have news for you. I was subjected to infinitely worse emotional and psychological trauma as a child, without my consent. Circumcision is such a dubious ethical question in my mind when I compare it to religious indoctrination. Take up a cross for all the circumcised babies if that is your priority. I personally have bigger ethical fish to fry.
"I cannot possibly relate to an uncircumcised person, never having been one. If you say it's great all I can do is take your word for it. I have never, for even a moment, felt that my sexual pleasure was less than it should be or that my sexual activities were hindered." - Tom Thompson

I apologise if you found my post offensive at all, that was not my intention. The mental place I was in at the time of writing, my imaginary focus or audience was that of a parent contemplating the idea of hacking away at their own infant's functioning genitals.

"I've heard many people express the opinion that "cut" is more attractive. Aesthetically it comes down to personal preference as far as I can tell."

If there was a common, religiously-based practice of scalding the buttocks of babies with hot oil to produce scar tissue, there would be people claiming they prefer 'textured' to 'smooth' asses in adults, as well. There would be dubious studies touting the health benefits of such 'abstergiation', and, like you, abstergiated persons would object to being called 'mutilated' or 'disfigured' or 'scarred'. Despite the obvious problems with such a practice, despite the fact that hundreds or thousands of babies each year would suffer unnecessary (and in some cases, life-threatening) complications from this barbaric mutilation of perfectly good bodily tissue, it would be defended and normalised in the interest of religious 'tolerance'. There may even be small sects of orthodox adherents who still engage in the practice of chewing off the damaged flesh (with the mouth) by the 'qualified' religious practicioner - and when there are fears of sexually-transmitted and blood-borne disease transfer from this practice, the focus will grotesquely be on making sure the practicioners don't catch any diseases from the babies, of course.

No, you shouldn't feel 'inferior' or 'less than', any more than a rape victim should, or an abused child. Circumcision isn't a part of who you are, it's something that happened to you. The only saving grace in this situation (it's not much of a one) is that you were likely too young to remember it happening - and never experienced the alternative, so you don't feel deprived.

"Is circumcision "mutilation"? Sure, by my definition I guess it is."

I guess my next question would have to be - so, you would not consider mutilating your own child's genitals, would you? This is a very different question to whether or not you feel 'complete' in your own body.

"You say those are not comparable because there is no removal of tissue but that's absurd in my opinion"

Sorry if my original sentence structure was unclear, the emphasis should have been on the removal of _functionality_, not necessarily the tissue itself. Umm, were you trying to say that they *are* comparable? Something tells me you're smarter than that, and were just being critical of my ambiguous sentence, yes? ;)

"Then it comes down to the fact that the procedure is carried out on a non-consenting person."

In which case it seems the only acceptable criteria should always be the welfare of the individual themselves. The idea that mythology or cultural conformance even gets considered in the same league as the actual bodily welfare of a child is just obscene to me, and it sounds like you share that perspective, but you seem to be taking my condemnation of these assaults as an attack on yourself personally because you are comfortable with, or at least accepting of, this aspect of your physiology.

"I was subjected to infinitely worse emotional and psychological trauma as a child, without my consent."

Ah. I was fortunately born and raised before Teletubbies started broadcasting, but I can sympathise :/ ... :P

Sorry, back to seriousness: I can deduce that you're referring to something like threats of torture, and fear of a powerful, petty, vengeful, celestial dictator? Just because there may have been other assaults on your mind and your person which eclipse that which we are currently discussing, does nothing to make chopping off bits of babies any more acceptable, or less worthy of condemnation.

The conditioning of muslim women to never leave the house without a man, and - even then - to keep their whorish bodies covered head to toe lest they force a man to rape them, may be seen by some as a 'lesser evil' to that of holding down a muslim girl and slicing off her most sensitive organ with a dirty blade, but both practices are barbaric and in a way aimed at degrading and subjugating the individual for the sake of the culture or religion. Circumcision is intended as a payoff for a cosmic debt, the unmutilated child is considered 'flawed' or 'unclean' or 'in danger' if this bit of flesh is not sacrificed; it is the individual's first step down the path of learning that they do not hold soveriegnty over even their own bodies, but rather they owe their very existence to another, and must be always subservient to the whim of this being's 'messengers' on earth. Prime molestation fodder, anyone?

Well, and then you probably have some parents who forget all that and just think it's a good idea to chop bits off their child's penis so they'll 'fit in', or 'look like daddy'... How any sane person is not wholly disgusted by the entire matter is beyond me.

"Take up a cross for all the circumcised babies if that is your priority. I personally have bigger ethical fish to fry."

Bigger ethical fish to fry? I'm curious, what takes precendence over the yearly, systematic, culturally/legally-sanctioned assault and wounding of hundreds of thousands of helpless infants?

- Gliktch

P.S: "Take up a cross" I loled :P
"I apologise if you found my post offensive at all, that was not my intention."

Not to worry, I don't take much here personally. My ideas aren't sacrosanct and I'm willing to be proven wrong.

"How any sane person is not wholly disgusted by the entire matter is beyond me."

I thought I explained that. I've experienced circumcision and I have never felt that I had diminished sexual pleasure or capacity. You argue that I should since I've lost functional tissue. I can only take your word for it but I can assure you that if I experienced any more sexual pleasure than I currently do that sex would be over before it began. It may be that I am a rare example but I couldn't speculate about that. The 'functional tissue' argument seems, from my perspective, to be a red herring. I have never been given a reason by a sexual partner or otherwise to consider that I may have been slighted or am less of a man until I joined this discussion. I don't plan to start hating myself or my parents more than I already do because of your objections to circumcision. How could that possibly make me happier?

"I was fortunately born and raised before Teletubbies started broadcasting, but I can sympathise :/"

Teletubbies? I haven't had the pleasure. For what it's worth, I didn't have access to tv at all as a child. You can read my blog post on the subject if you dare.

In any case, I consider myself educated on the subject of the pros and cons and I don't have children so you probably don't need to worry about me further. I am convinced that circumcision would not be desirable if I ever do have children. I still can't bring myself to see male circumcision as nearly the same level of threat as religious indoctrination or psychological trauma though.

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