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The Conspiracy to Circumcise

They're still getting away with it. Medically indefensible surgery that can lead to a stunning array of complications, including death, is being done on baby boys in America, at the rate of one new victim every 26 seconds. Despite the fact that we have a whole arsenal of laws against child abuse, our advanced, civilized, humane society allows a baby boy to be strapped down and have part of his dick cut off. By any definition of child abuse, this institutionalized, normalized, business-as-usual mutilation is abuse of the most outrageous kind.
The damage done is a subject many men are not willing to talk about or seek help for, so nobody will ever know exact figures. But experts say it's likely that 10% of circumcised men wind up with lifelong physical problems as a result. And that's only the physical problems.

We're talking about permanent disfigurement, psychological damage, risk of death, violation of human rights, and the infliction of unnecessary pain (i.e., torture). Circumcision is literally mayhem, in the original meaning of the word before it got corrupted. Mayhem has a stark and unequivocal meaning: it is intentional dismemberment.

Most people think of circumcision as removal of the foreskin, which is incorrect because, in fact, there's no such thing as a foreskin. Instead there is a skin system. What we casually accept as routine circumcision is the partial amputation of a healthy organ. The inaccurately named foreskin is actually the forefold of the skin system, an ingeniously engineered mechanism with at least a dozen known purposes. The so-called foreskin is not a separate anatomical feature, but an integral part of this marvelous structure. If evolution put it there, its specialized design is one of evolution's finest inventions. If God put it there, no God worthy of the name could have done so with the sole intention of demanding that it be lopped off.


There's a point past which no custom can be justified. The antiquity of a tradition doesn't make it right. Churches are obliged to adapt to whatever degree of human rights are recognized in their vicinities. Any faith whose adherents think they can only achieve spiritual perfection by creating hell on earth for their kids, needs to be curbed. Religious persecution is bad, but sexual mutilation of babies and children is worse.

We are urged to condemn "cults" because they are evil: they take your money and make you give up eating meat, or whatever. Maybe so, but then by the same logic, a cult which takes a body part, and incidentally exacts the price of some or all of a person's sexual capacity, must be even more evil. That cult is in serious need of renovation, no matter how old, venerable or widespread it is. The removal of part of a kid's sex organ is a custom that belongs in a Satanist ritual.


For entire article go to;

 http://earthblog.net/eb-articles/hartman5.html

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good blog 13.Feb.2006 16:02

reader 2

thanx for posting

Sexist/bigoted practice at its height 13.Feb.2006 22:59

circumcized

While circumcision of girls is illegal and roundly condemned in this country, circumcision of boys is legal and quietly accepted. The former is practiced by muslim and other religions, while the latter is practiced by Jewish and Christian religions. That's why male circumcision is allowed to continued unabated in the U.S. Also, boys are considered dirty and incapable of cleaning themselves, whereas girls, who require just as much if not more hygienic care of their genitals, are seen as pure and more responsible. In Africa, white women are going around trying to convince black adult males to submit to circumcision in order to reduce the spread of AIDs, never thinking that proper washing on the behalf of both men and women will serve the purpose better.

Against Forced Circumcision, but. . . 14.Feb.2006 00:31

Cemendur

I have to disagree with some comments.

"While circumcision of girls is illegal and roundly condemned in this country, circumcision of boys is legal and quietly accepted. The former is practiced by muslim and other religions, while the latter is practiced by Jewish and Christian religions. That's why male circumcision is allowed to continued unabated in the U.S."

I don't necessarily disagree with these comments. However, Female genital mutilation is a far more serious mutilation than male genital mutilation.

Male genital mutilation is also practiced by many minority religions. However, it is often more intense.

"Also, boys are considered dirty and incapable of cleaning themselves, whereas girls, who require just as much if not more hygienic care of their genitals, are seen as pure and more responsible."

Actually, it is girls who are considered filthy by western society and the Abrahamic religions. Women are seen as impure and are taught from an early age that they are unclean. . . I suggest reading some feminist books starting with Bell Hooks.

Uncircumsized boys are also taught that they are unclean. However, this is far less institutional than the oppression against women; its hardly ever brought up.

"In Africa, white women are going around trying to convince black adult males to submit to circumcision in order to reduce the spread of AIDs, never thinking that proper washing on the behalf of both men and women will serve the purpose better."

Washing is essential for good hygiene. However, I am highly sceptical of the notion that their is a correlation between washing, circumcision and _AIDS_. Contraception and widespread testing are the best methods to prevention. (Whereas the idea that people will practice abstinence is just insane!)

OK, but we're talking here about OUR culture, not THEIR culture 14.Feb.2006 11:05

Drew

"However, Female genital mutilation is a far more serious mutilation than male genital mutilation."

Agreed, that the genital mutilation of females is more varied, more often aimed at removing the nerve endings of the clitoris (on a male this is the glans, the head of the penis) and is often more damaging directly than male circumcision. Male circumcision is damaging, but its radical effects (castration, death, etc) are unintended consequences.

But the practice of female genital mutilation is NOT widespread here in North America, while male circumcision is - or was until recently - the norm in our culture. The height of hypocrisy is the cry (by white middle class people here) that Africa must conform to our ideals of sexual health, while ignoring our own culture's deliberate removal of 40% of the nerve endings of a healthy baby male on a routine basis, leaving his glans to become desensitized by near constant friction. Comparing oppression at this point in the dialogue is essentially a way to minimize the concerns of men. This is not a contest for 'most oppressed class.'

The root of this problem (for all of us) is the hatred of pleasure in sexual expression, and that oppresses people of every gender and preference on the continuum of human sexuality. The major religions and many of the minor ones as well share this trait... and use the supression of sexual expression to channel energy toward all manner of oppression, war, material aquisition, etc.

Let's join together in ending this toxic meme and liberate our brothers from genital mutilation. We'll never get there if we argue about who is worse off.

Bravo Hartman! 14.Feb.2006 20:03

Bad Medicine

Which came 1st, Male Genital Mutilation or Female Genital Mutilation. Why male of course. What's to be gained by cutting the babe from the mother's breast? It is the core of patricarchy, to claim the child. It is the making of armies. It is the mutilation of humanity itself. Sign Ashley Montegu's petition to end ALL genital mutilation on U.N. site. 16th century Britain accused the church of circumsicion conspiracy, and the inquisition began. In 1995 the Europeon medical community wanted to put sanctions on North America for the barbaric practice, because of the violence that ensues. More and more articles about it. Bravo!

and 15.Feb.2006 21:20

ty

bravo Cemendur!

Absolutely awesome article! 17.Feb.2006 04:59

Lactivist Intactivist

Great article! The world needs more incisive writers like Ms. Hartman to speak up and tell the truth about male genital mutilation.

As for the FGM vs. MGM debate: why does someone always want to trivialize male circumcision by claiming that female circumcision is so much worse? The truth is, circumcision takes many forms and is carried out in many settings, from hospitals to the most unsanitary conditions imaginable, on both girls and boys. Many girls die or are permanently sexually damaged - and so are many boys.

The fact is, circumcision is a HUMAN rights violation. No one has the right to cut off ANY part of an unconsenting person's body. That some circumcisions may be worse than others does not excuse any of them. That some women suffer Type IV FGM (Pharonic, or complete circumcision and infibulation) does not make Type I (excision of the prepuce of the clitoris) less of a human rights violation. Similarly, no type of FGM, no matter how extreme, lessens the moral wrong perpetrated on every newborn baby boy strapped down to a Circumstraint to have his penis split and peeled like a banana.

All circumcisions performed on unconsenting children are wrong. All of them. We need to stop debating which ones are "worse" and start fighting for a world where no child is subject to this horrific child abuse.

Yes!!! 25.Feb.2006 23:37

fireweed

Thank you so much, lactivist intactivist. Harm done is harm done, and hurts us all.

Also, what I got is that both men and women (and I'm guessing any other gender identity) really want acknowledgment of their pain on this one. Thank you to all of y'all who did that.