Male circumcision

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rhubarb
Male circumcision

....

NDPP

I think not. Child abuse.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think that circumcision is on the decline among those populations who at one time might have chosen it just because it was assumed everyone did (the way that declawing cats, or docking dogs' tails used to be just the norm).

I doubt it will die out anytime soon among those who believe that their Deity demands it.

I was circumcised.  My parents had no discernable religious beliefs whatsoever, but when I was born it was kind of a norm, and touted as healthier and more hygienic.

lagatta

That was true among many of the men of my boomer cohort (with regional variations, and never caught on as much in Europe as in North America, except among Jews and Muslims, obviously). Much less among the younger men I know (this is from reports; I haven't checked any out). I think it is medical interference, but it really isn't as mutilating as FGM.

I know that in Québec it is not a medical procedure covered by public health insurance, except in those rare cases where it is medically necessary. Think it will probably die out, except among practising Muslims and Jews.

Unionist

I think it's as bad as stuffing children full of hocus pocus culturally-based medicine, before they're old enough to make up their own minds.

Or the brutal practice of piercing young girls' ears. The practitioners of this savagery should be subject to the most severe punishment.

Then there are parents who send their children - involuntarily - to places where they are indoctrinated in anti-human religious teachings. The damage incurred is far deeper and more lasting than even the horrendous slashing of some skin covering the penis. Yet, these criminals roam free on our streets.

Thank you for opening this thread!

ETA:

rhubarb wrote:
Those who had it done later in life are absolutely clear that sexual pleasure was greatly diminished for them with circumcism.

I know, I know, it's horrible, unthinkable. But full disclosure: My own circumcision, at 8 days of age, made me an extreme sexual hedonist! I can't explain it scientifically, but there ya go.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Not to argue, but in the obvious absence of a control population, how did you establish the causal link? 

How do you know you're not just (to paraphrase my father) some kind of three-peckered billygoat?

lagatta

If you read anything about the horrors of FGM, it is ludicrous to equate the supposed harm done to boys bereft of a foreskin to that of girls not only deprived of their sexual organ of pleasure (equivalent to the front of the penis) and often undergoing mutilation that affects their ability to pee easily, and causes extreme pain and tearing in sexual relations and in delivering babies - along with other complications).

I'm not saying that to defend the practice of circumcising boys, which is on the decline except among religious groups where it is prescribed, but to guard against false equivalencies. FGM is a horrible blight on the lives of girls and women.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Not to argue, but in the obvious absence of a control population, how did you establish the causal link?

You're right. It's just two independent observations - could be mere association, not causation. I never really thought of that.

Quote:
How do you know you're not just (to paraphrase my father) some kind of three-peckered billygoat?

Because I just counted again, just to make sure.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
For some they are unable to have orgasms with women

To clarify, did these links suggest that these men were able to have orgasms with other men?  And if so, did they say what women or foreskins had to do with this?

NDPP
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

 

 My own circumcision, at 8 days of age, made me an extreme sexual hedonist! I can't explain it scientifically, but there ya go.

 

So...for that first week, you loved women for their minds?

lagatta

The kind of stuff NDPP posted really pisses me off. And it certainly is not because I want little boys to be circumcised.

It is creating some kind of equivalence between the (debated) harm caused by that practice, which is on the wane here, at least, and the horror of FGM. I think that is macho shit, and has no place on a progressive, feminist forum.

Is "circumcism" a thing? As in the belief of the need for circumcision? I've never heard the term.

NDPP

I don't disagree with you that FGM is the greater evil circumcision the lesser.  Your characterization of this place as either 'progressive' or 'feminist' is quite another matter.

lagatta

rhubarb, I don't understand what you mean by circumcism. That would mean an ideology supporting circumcision. There are of course religions that prescribe circumcision, but otherwise the ideology favouring circumcision seems to be on the decline.

NDPP, you can read the founding principles of rabble on this site. Of course that doesn't mean that they are always followed.

lagatta

I don't see why they would deliberately misspell circumcision.

"Circumcism" would have to refer to an ideology. I looked that word (if it is a word) up, and all the hits I found gave the normal spelling, circumcision.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

That's circumcision, not circumscism.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I really wish the title of this thread could be changed.

There's a legitimate conversation to be had about circumcision, but using the term "Male Genital Mutilation" creates, at least to start with, a false equivilancy to FGM and ends up trivializing the experience of those women who experienced that barbaric practice.

Male circumcision is usually performed in infancy(most of us who underwent it have no conscious memory of the procedure).  It is performed, even in a religious context, under carefully controlled conditions, with sterilized instruments and by people who are carefully trained to perform the procedure as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Little impairment of sexual feeling and performance occurs if care is taken-if there were significant sexual impairment, the cultures in which circumcision was practiced would obviously become extinct, as reproduction would become difficult or impossible.  There are health consequences that need to be further researched.

By contrast, FGM is usually performed when a girl reaches puberty, with the girl fully conscious and aware of what's being done to her, sometimes with the girl being held down by male relatives or friends of the family as itis performed.  It is more often or not agonizing and traumatic.  As a result of FGM, women are usually left totally incapable of experiencing sexual pleasure(this is the sole reason FGM is performed, in fact).  In some cases infections result.

FGM and male circumcision are not comparable on any level at all.

And the equation of the two has similiarities(unintentional, I truly hope)with the "what about battered men?" canard that some male creeps always bring up whenever domestic violence is discussed.

rhubarb

Circumcision.

Although it is a practice so widely practiced as to be considered normal, does this normality mean it is a practice that should be continued?

lagatta

Thanks, Ken. My feelings entirely. I certainly think we can discuss circumcision - including possible alternatives for people in the religious traditions prescribing it (though obviously eschewing antisemitism or islamophobia) but as someone who has been involved in support to work around horrific practices affecting girls and women, from FGM to sexual violence in armed conflict (yes, that also affects boys and men as well, but girls and women are the main victims) it is very galling and has more than a hint of "masculinist" (men's rights) activism, which is so often deeply reactionary and misogynist, once again not to downplay real problems men face.

As for battered men, the feminist fight against conjugal violence certainly includes supporting battered men, and battered people in same-sex relationships.

NDPP

FGM is I suggest an entirely different topic and has its own thread. We perhaps may agree it is of a different order and requires its own separate discussion. (And urgent action I suggest). But for now let's leave it there so that we may examine this

That being said, to propose that circumcision is not mutilation is mistaken. Of course it is mutilation. Furthermore, the removal of tactile, extremely sensitive tissue so obviously involved in penile function is self-evidently a 'removal' of possibility.

To describe it as 'quick and painless' performed by those 'carefully trained' with 'little impairment of sexual feeling', is to simply restate what we have always been told to justify the practice's continuation.

I suggest that there may be others that will tell us these assumptions were never true. And that cutting up the genitalia of little boys does hurt them and does have effects.

Ken suggests it is insignificant.  But rhubarb raises questions suggestive of other possibilities. Perhaps we should hear of these?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Okay, I will go on the record stating that piercing of the male genitals and the placement of metal studs or rings into the piercings is not just icky, it is wrong.Yell I think most dentists would agree.

onlinediscountanvils

Spelling flames, huh?

I find it hard to understand how anyone can rationalize slicing off a piece of someone else's body without their consent - the right to bodily integrity and all that. Whether or not some people are ultimately happy with the decision their parents made is beside the point. And I use the word 'people' because that "son" might later inform you that they're, in fact, your daughter; and that sensitive piece of skin might prove invaluable if they're ever considering sex reassignment surgery.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

lagatta wrote:

Thanks, Ken. My feelings entirely. I certainly think we can discuss circumcision - including possible alternatives for people in the religious traditions prescribing it (though obviously eschewing antisemitism or islamophobia) but as someone who has been involved in support to work around horrific practices affecting girls and women, from FGM to sexual violence in armed conflict (yes, that also affects boys and men as well, but girls and women are the main victims) it is very galling and has more than a hint of "masculinist" (men's rights) activism, which is so often deeply reactionary and misogynist, once again not to downplay real problems men face.

As for battered men, the feminist fight against conjugal violence certainly includes supporting battered men, and battered people in same-sex relationships.

To clarify what I meant about battered men: obviously, any victim of domestic violence, in any relationship, must be supported.  I was referring to the MRA types who say "what about battered men?" not to out of any real wish to help male victims of domestic violence but to deny that male violence against women is a much more prevalent problem(the men who use the type of rhetoric I'm talking about here usually like to make the false claim that men are battered by women as frequently as women are battered by men)and to call for programs for battered men be funded by cutting funds for programs for battered women.  These men also seem to think that if there was actual parity in the number of battered heterosexual women and battered heterosexual women, that male violence against women is no longer any big deal.

Obviously you knew all of that already, lagatta, but I just wanted to put that stuff out there so that everybody  reading the thread knew where I was coming from.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDPP wrote:

FGM is I suggest an entirely different topic and has its own thread. We perhaps may agree it is of a different order and requires its own separate discussion. (And urgent action I suggest). But for now let's leave it there so that we may examine this

That being said, to propose that circumcision is not mutilation is mistaken. Of course it is mutilation. Furthermore, the removal of tactile, extremely sensitive tissue so obviously involved in penile function is self-evidently a 'removal' of possibility.

To describe it as 'quick and painless' performed by those 'carefully trained' with 'little impairment of sexual feeling', is to simply restate what we have always been told to justify the practice's continuation.

I suggest that there may be others that will tell us these assumptions were never true. And that cutting up the genitalia of little boys does hurt them and does have effects.

Ken suggests it is insignificant.  But rhubarb raises questions suggestive of other possibilities. Perhaps we should hear of these?

No, not insignificant.  Just not comparable to FGM.

Misfit Misfit's picture

What angers me is that when men complain, people take notice and reforms are phased in. Male circumcision is a procedure historically practiced by men on males for hygienic reasons. FGM is a direct attack on women's sexual enjoyment and is a mysogynistic weapon of social control. There is no comparison between the two and efforts to stop the practice of FGM is met with chronic indifference, and with pressures to sweep the problem under the rug. Some men are harmed for life by circumcision, most are not. We live in a society where rape culture is alive and thriving, and men make light of violence against women which impacts their sexual performance and often for life, and women in turn are expected to moddle coddle every man's needs and concerns around penetration, I think not.

Misfit Misfit's picture

And while we are at it, why don't we talk about botched hysterectomies and the permanent scars left with these women, many left unable to have sex ever again? And how many had their husbands leave them for greener pastures? Where is the concern there? I know of three women personally whose lives were ravaged by this. Many hysterectomies are arguably unnecessary, and are far more surgically invasive than male circumcision. We can also discuss the forceful sterilization of women against their will. We can also discuss the hospitals which perform abnormally high rates of radical mastectomies when compared to other hospitals which have success with lumpectomies alone.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I also agree with ODA that these procedures should never be performed on someone else without their consent. I am happy that male circumcision is slowly being phased out. I only wish that people would take the sexual mutilation of women more seriously.

lagatta

I wasn't flaming her about spelling; I thought she had some reason (grounded in "intactivism") to spell the word she was using as she did.

As for FGM, protracted conflict in regions such as the horn of Africa is thwarting efforts by public health and women's organisations to end this mutilating practice. A colleague remembers the queues to use the toilets at a conference on how to work with people to end the practice; many women who had undergone the procedure took forever just to pee. http://www.theguardian.com/end-fgm

Circumcision is now delisted (not covered as a routine medical procedure) everywhere in Canada. (Iit is covered in the event of phimosis or other - rare - conditions). It seems to have become rare in recent years here in Québec, except among Muslim and Jewish families.

Ken, I'm on the same page as you with respect to MRAs claims that experiencing conjugal violence is as high among males as females.

swallow swallow's picture

I agree with others wishing thr thread title could be changed - it implies equivalence between circumcision (which of course we did not do with our son, because there's no good reason to do it and many very good reasons not to) and female genital mutilation. Denying equivalence is not endorsing circumcision, as Misfit and Ken and lagatta have said well. 

Change the title, and I'm betting a useful dicussion could result, without the implied "men have it just as bad as women who are victims of FGM" implication that several of us are taking from the words "male genital mutilation." What do you think, rhubarb? 

Mr.Tea

I can honestly say that, even in my deepest moments of self pity, I have never once lamented the absence of a foreskin. To those who do, I can only envy the staggering amount of free time and absence of real concerns with which to occupy themselves.

NDPP

Psychological Impacts of Male Circumcision

http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/

 

Male circumcision Decreases Penile Sensitivity as Measured in a large Cohort

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23374102

 

Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma and Psychosexual Sequelae

http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&contex...

onlinediscountanvils

Mr.Tea wrote:

I can honestly say that, even in my deepest moments of self pity, I have never once lamented the absence of a foreskin. To those who do, I can only envy the staggering amount of free time and absence of real concerns with which to occupy themselves.

So a trans woman who might wish to have more material from which to construct a vagina and labia has no "real concerns" in her life? WTF, dude?!

Sineed

Conflating male circumcision with female genital mutilation is offensive to women.

First of all, consider the reasons for these actions. Male circumcision has been justified, as people have noted, for reasons of hygiene, religion, and to prevent masturbation. Botched circumcisions aside, circumcised men can still enjoy sex well enough to procreate for reasons that I think are obvious. Don't get me wrong; I think it's silly to remove a healthy body part and would not have arranged for the circumcision of a baby boy had I made one.

But women are mutilated. In the most extreme forms, the entire external genitalia are cut away. Some girls die of infection or bleeding to death at the time of the procedure. If they survive, they face a lifetime of health problems and an inability to enjoy sex. The justification is male subjugation of women for the purpose of eliminating the possibility of infidelity and ensuring their offspring are in fact their own. And it continues because of patriarchy, and because female enjoyment of sex isn't necessary for reproduction.

Facts (from the WHO page on FGM):

Quote:

More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated....

Key facts

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated (1).
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women....

Long-term consequences can include:

  • recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections;
  • cysts;
  • infertility;
  • an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths;
  • the need for later surgeries. For example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3 above) needs to be cut open later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth. Sometimes it is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing and repeated both immediate and long-term risks.

Female genital mutilation is equivalent to cutting off the entire glans, or head of the penis. There is no comparison.

NDPP

There is no argument made that it is equivalent and there is a separate thread for FGM discussion - not particularly active I might add. I hope that all here who seem to need to keep raising the issue will make their contributions there. And perhaps even work to stop its practice upon Canadian children. 

And again suggest we speak here of male circumcision.

Which IS a Mutilation performed on the Genitals of Males. The title is accurate as it stands.

That some disagree is a testament to the societal assumptions based on obvious ignorance that it's ok and causes no problems.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I agree with you NDPP, and I am sorry.

Sineed

NDPP wrote:
There is no argument made that it is equivalent

The title of this thread equivocates female genital mutilation with male circumcision.

NDPP wrote:
Which IS a Mutilation performed on the Genitals of Males.

Just to recap, here are the consequences of female genital mutilation for the majority of women who experience it:

  • severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections;
  • cysts;
  • infertility;
  • an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths;
  • the need for later surgeries

The consequences of circumcision for the vast majority of men (barring those rare instances where they chop off the penis by mistake):

  • decreased sexual pleasure maybe.

I stand by my assertion that equating female genital mutilation with male circumcision is offensive to women.

onlinediscountanvils

I always thought the word "mutilation", in both these cases, referred to the act of cutting off a piece of someone else's body. I didn't realize that it was the severity and number of complications that made one qualify as mutilation, but not the other. Personally, I think I would still refer to female circumcision as mutilation, even if it never led to any of those complications.

[cross-posted with rhubarb]

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

Conflating male circumcision with female genital mutilation is offensive to women.

I'd agree. Neither is a good thing, but I don't think the anti- circumcision camp helps its cause at all by trying to pass it off as the same. And using the same terminology is exactly that.

This is completely stupid, since there is no reason that the campaigns to end these two wrongs should be in opposition. Too bad some fool  thought using over the top hyperbolae was a good idea.

 

 

 

Sineed

rhubarb wrote:
I DO NOT DISPUTE THAT THE DAMAGE DONE TO WOMEN IS GREATER

That's what I'm saying.

Quote:
There is a thread discussing FGM as you are aware, are you saying it is not okay for there to be a discussion about circumcision?  I have already agreed to change the thread title as it offends some, suggestions?

How about "Male circumcision?"

6079_Smith_W wrote:
This is completely stupid, since there is no reason that the campaigns to end these two wrongs should be in opposition. Too bad some fool  thought using over the top hyperbolae was a good idea.

For me, it's a mens' rights activists tactic up there with "Men get raped too!!" Which isn't incorrect, but smacks of privilege and serves to diminish the unequal oppression suffered by women. Sure, there's female on male violence, but it's a tiny fraction of the other way around. Sure, men are circumcised, but it's in no way the same as the genital destruction suffered currently by 125 million women women.

Besides which, this thread was started right after the First Desert Flower Medical Centre thread got bumped to the front page. Coincidence?

 

Sineed

Sineed wrote:

rhubarb wrote:
I DO NOT DISPUTE THAT THE DAMAGE DONE TO WOMEN IS GREATER

That's what I'm saying.

Quote:
There is a thread discussing FGM as you are aware, are you saying it is not okay for there to be a discussion about circumcision?  I have already agreed to change the thread title as it offends some, suggestions?

How about "Male circumcision?"

6079_Smith_W wrote:
This is completely stupid, since there is no reason that the campaigns to end these two wrongs should be in opposition. Too bad some fool  thought using over the top hyperbolae was a good idea.

For me, it's a mens' rights activists tactic up there with "Men get raped too!!" Which isn't incorrect, but smacks of privilege and serves to diminish the unequal oppression suffered by women. Sure, there's female on male violence, but it's a tiny fraction of the other way around. Sure, men are circumcised, but it's in no way the same as the genital destruction suffered currently by 125 million women.

Besides which, this thread was started right after the First Desert Flower Medical Centre thread got bumped to the front page. Coincidence?

 

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

Besides which, this thread was started right after the First Desert Flower Medical Centre thread got bumped to the front page. Coincidence?

I hadn't notice that. Thanks, and  Ick.

 

 

Unionist

rhubarb wrote:

That the circumcised penis is considered normal doesn't mean that it has not been mutilated.  Many men, see the links above, will tell you that they feel mutilated.  Do you deny their experience?

Ok, rhubarb, with all the respect I do sincerely have for you, I'm calling bullshit. I've never met or heard of a man who feels mutilated for loss of a foreskin in infancy. Your links are from a weirdo site which isn't worth refuting.

Quote:
... once I started reading what men have to say about it I understood that I had had only had a most superficial understanding of the issue.

Stop reading. Your understanding is still superficial. Read something else.

Quote:
Is there any way to comprehend that male circumcision is also about oppressing and controlling men?

No. Take up a more real problem. Like parents, media, schools indoctrinating children in religion, or greed, selfishness, racism, homophobia, colonial supremacy, misogyny... The Penis Liberation Brigade bullshit can wait till some of the actual problems of society are addressed.

Please don't take offence. I took offence when I read your disgusting thread title. But I understand now that your attitudes come from reading, not from life experience or profound conviction. So I really can't be upset with you, and I'm not. The bullshit you link to? That's a different story.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

Ok, rhubarb, with all the respect I do sincerely have for you, I'm calling bullshit. I've never met or heard of a man who feels mutilated for loss of a foreskin in infancy. Your links are from a weirdo site which isn't worth refuting.

I know a couple who are really bent out of shape about it, and one who is a vocal campaigner. I'm glad that some states are doing something about it, and I think people can feel whatever they want about their own body, but it doesn't justify trying to pretend that it is on the same scale as the far greater injustice of female genital mutilation.

It is irrelevant really. except when it comes to this attempt at raising awareness which is in REALLY bad taste.

 

swallow swallow's picture

Rhubarb, I think "Male circumcision" would be a suitable thrad title. Since you agree with changing the title, maybe you could message MegB or Catchfire to make the request? 

FGM used to be called "female circumcision" and there's a reason some men's rights wackos are trying to copy the genital mutilation phrase. 

Unionist

While you're asking the mods to change the title, maybe also ask them to close the thread?

Otherwise, I'm starting a thread about ear-piercing. Aural mutilation. Gender ghettoization. Control.

 

 

Unionist

Do whatever you want with your spare time, rhubarb, but stop campaigning about male circumcision. Talk about insulting and demeaning. Find a more useful pursuit. Or have a chat with some Muslims and Jews, and ask them what they think about your phoney "studies". Have some respect for cultures that you obviously don't understand.

 

Jacob Two-Two

I kind of agree with Unionist that it's not a huge deal, but at the same time I'm against all unnecessary surgeries on principle. You shouldn't be putting babies under a knife for no good reason.

rhubarb

Request for thread title change to Male Circumcision sent to moderators.

Misfit Misfit's picture

On a macro level, this topic offends me considerably and I have already stated my position. As well, there are different degrees of botching male circumcisions. Some mistakes have resulted in amputation. I believe on a micro level there are very serious cases which warrent a serious examination of why these procedures are still being performed for non religious reasons in North America. I believe rhubarb made it very clear that she is not equating this with FGM, and as long as this is not a MRA talking piece, I think there is room for serious discussion. There is also no need for insulting people here. Rhubarb is also FN, and circumcision is a white foreign imposition on her people. So Unionist, I think religious and cultural respect is a two way street.

Unionist

Misfit wrote:
I believe rhubarb made it very clear that she is not equating this with FGM, ...

Oh yeah, like in her post just before yours:

rhubarb wrote:
As I said, in those countries where FGM is practiced boys and young men experience many more problems than are experienced in Canada.

Really really clear distinction drawn there.

Quote:
Rhubarb is also FN, and circumcision is a white foreign imposition on her people.

Holy crap, where did that come from? She's FN? News to me. And she's posting here about forced circumcision of Aboriginal boys?

This thread should be closed.

Unionist

[url=http://972mag.com/outlawing-circumcision-anti-semitic-and-islamophobic/4... circumcision: Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic[/url]

[url=http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/12595]The bigotry of the anti-circumcision zealots[/url]

[url=http://indianmuslimobserver.com/2014/12/07/islamophobia-anti-semitism-an..., anti-Semitism and Attacks on Circumcision[/url]

[url=http://jewish-voice-from-germany.de/cms/circumcision-a-superfluous-debat... A superfluous debate[/url]

You may want to search for all the stories where the Nazis told men to "drop your pants!" when they didn't acknowledge being Jewish.

This thread should be closed.

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