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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Some things are so discusting to me that there are literally no words I can say that'll do its magnitude justice. Male mutilation is definitely up there but I think female mutilation is...ugh. I can't even get into it...
I'm very impressed with this discussion. I wonder how many other places where it could occur. There is disagreement, of course. I would not want to be in the minority opinion here, since so many are so clearly against circumcisions - but even so, it doesn't go as far as many other discussions that I have seen. I think it's a sign of the general maturity and overall good-natured character of those involved.

In defense of the guys who've stated they are cut and happy with the result - no one else lives in their bodies, and no one else can tell them not to be happy with the result. I wouldn't want anyone not to be happy with their bodies, including their willies. Hundreds of millions, possibly billions, of men are cut, and they probably have lives as happy and fulfilled as men who got to keep their turtlenecks.

In defense of women who like guys who are circumcised, well, you have plenty to choose from, and your taste is your taste. There are also lots of men who love bosoms that rival the Hindenberg. If a woman wants those as implants, it's her right as well. As long as no one forces her or, god forbid, starts a child on that path.

I would personally like to see the procedure go the direction of other body mod - if someone chooses it, cool. I would lump it with tattoos, big piercings, split tongues, eyeball tattoos, horn implants, etc - do what you like with your own body, and celebrate that people have the freedom to choose, even if the result is not your own choice.

Saying that, I would love to see elimination, and prohibition, of this procedure for children. It is a violation, a senseless procedure, chances are it does reduce pleasure, chances are it has more risk than benefit, and there is no justification to do this to newborns or children of any age.
I'd like to second everything that was said here. I'm against the procedure when it's done to children, but adults have every right to modify their bodies how they please, and if some or a lot of men aren't bothered by their circumcisions, then I don't see any need for them to feel that way.
I like the comparison you make to other body modification. I think that's a perfectly good analogy. As for happiness with what you have... sure... one must.

Circumcised guys also have the option of opting for foreskin restoration and I think support groups on this topic are becoming easier to find.
Not to mention that you never get your frenulum back, or the ridged band - and that "restoration" doesn't even always result with something that looks like a foreskin.

For those who want it, and are willing to put in the years of stretching for it, it's probably worth it, but restoration is really only partial restoration.
Personally I have objections to using the softened terms 'circumcision' and 'molestation' when referring to cultural and religious violence against children. 'Molesting' someone used to mean simply to annoy them, and 'circumcise' has an inbuilt implication that you are removing something defective or unwanted.

I realise that even I myself fall into the trap of using the soft terms for things when discussing such ugly topics, but I do think the conversation (on either subject) is forced to be clearer when using "child rape" or "child sexual assault" instead of "molestation", and "(male) genital mutilation" or "cutting the sex organs of babies", etc instead of "circumcision".
I've seen the question over and over again of why do parents care so much about what their kid's penis looks like? Answer: They want their child to be successful at finding a mate. In many cultures it's extremely hard to find a mate if you don't follow the cultural practices. This doesn't just apply to small tribal cultures it also applies to something as large as American culture. Circumcision is a cultural practice.

Another thing I've noticed upon reading the responses is that there is weird thing going on with the word mutilation. I feel like something is lacking in the definitions. Yes mutilation is to injure, disfigure, or make 'imperfect' by removing or irreparably damaging parts but the dictionary definition doesn't seem adequate.
- Was the person mutilated with malicious intent?
- Was it accidental mutilation?
- Was it self inflected?
- Is it ritual mutilation?
- Has the mutilation been normalized by a culture?
- Does the person who was mutilated feel like they were mutilated?
- What connotations does the word mutilation carry and how does that change how an individual views mutilation of them selves or others?

I think we ought to be careful about calling all instances of circumcision mutilation. Considering the connotations of the word mutilation I would not want the word applied to me if I were a male that had a typical circumcision. That being said I don't think circumcision is necessary or desirable and I think it should not be legal to do to those who cannot consent.
Most any word in our language can have different interpretations. Think of the word terrorism. The interpretation has been changing as more and more people now see USA intervention in the Middle East as terrorism.

Think of the word traitor, a hero to the losing side, a deathly sin to the winning side.

It is normal for words to have meaning nuances. I think it is a very healthy exercise to explore and adapt the meaning of words as society evolves.
I already know that most any word can have different interpretations. My point is that people are throwing it around without clarification and using it to label others with.
it is simply evolution of the term that something that we USED to call circumcision is now called mutilation. We are today on male circumcision where we were at 20 years ago with female mutilation.

It has been in the working for many years. It is not a sudden change of definitions. I think the term mutilation is totally appropriate.

I think children will have more success at finding a 'mate' if they are raised to be confident and happy. Parents should encourage them to be the individuals they are, to be self-accepting with self-esteem. If someone is truly confident in themselves and happy with who they are then this is attractive. And if a girl still doesn't want to be with you because your penis is intact then you probably wouldn't want to be in a relationship with such a person anyway.

There is a great video on youtube by Jamie Stroud, a young intact American. He describes how, being confident and comfortable with himself, he was able to talk to the kids around him and change the situation from some people making fun of him to guys even telling him that they wished they still had their foreskins. The video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDqIyUbfxw

This is how positive change is made in society - not by conforming to outdated practices and traditions to fit in and be accepted, but by challenging the status quo with courage and good humour. We should be raising our children to do just this, for they are the leaders of tomorrow and the world needs them.

To mutilate the genitals of children so that they can find a mate is EXACTLY what is done to girls in cultures that practice female circumcision. Because everyone in those cultures knows that an uncircumcised woman will never find a husband. This is obviously a very fearful, ignorant and tribal reasoning that perpetuates suffering and bondage. It should not be respected at all.

This is especially true in a country like the USA which is meant to hold individual freedom and personal liberty in high regard. Thankfully the USA is not as primitive and parochial as some African and Middle Eastern villages. It has an amazing variety of people and practices. And thankfully the country is beginning to wake up around this issue and more and more male babies are remaining intact, and with the advent of the internet more and more people are becoming aware that the original penis is a normal and natural penis.

With this education and the increasing intact population the idea that a man must be circumcised to find a mate has less and less weight, just like the idea of an intact boy 'looking different' in the locker room.

And finally on this matter of fitting in to find a mate, if an intact guy finds he has trouble because of his circumcision status, he can always opt to get circumcised. If he meets the girl of his dreams and she is an orthodox Jew or she wants him circumcised, he always has that option. So it is really a non-issue. Let him wait until he is old enough to make the decision for himself.

You really don't want to be 60 years old having to get it done then because its closing up. That is a common problem in older uncircumcised males. On the other hand, as a nurse, I've seen them done and its done without anesthetic, not even a local, which I find objectionable.

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