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Is circumcision male genital mutilation?

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23 Feb 2013 20:13 #766256 by Diable Rouge
The campaign against the practice of FGM is thankfully gaining traction worldwide as education against the barbarity of culturally-motivated superstition, but are double standards being shown in the failure to also condemn circumcision? Like FGM, the male practice largely results from religious and cultural dogma with little basis in scientific fact, and while various studies have been conducted into potential health benefits, the results are best inconclusive, and at worst contradictory. At the very least, the practice of conducting the operation shortly after birth eliminates any element of choice from the patient, but if they chose to undergo the practice in adulthood, it would at least be a personal decision.
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23 Feb 2013 20:18 #766260 by jason voorhees
Yes.

It is mutilation.
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23 Feb 2013 21:12 #766273 by G-Man
Male circumcision has absolutely nothing to do with female circumcision. The latter is a tool of oppression, while the former can have many reasons but none of them intend to compromise the personal integrity of the male.

Since studies showed that circumcised males are less likely to contract HIV the South African government (and, I believe, other African countries) have rolled out a circumcision campaign. In SA that campaign is really aimed at Zulus, the only indigenous group that does not practise circumcision (in other groups usually done as a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood, at ages 17-19).

Culturally I'd say circumcision qualifies as mutilation, in a sense. It is an unnecessary procedure. But I also believe tattoos are a form of mutilation, so the term itself is not necessarily burdened with entirely negative connotations.

AIDS-prevention aside (and I'm not persuaded that mass circumcisions will help much as long as women are not empowered), I see little use for the health and hygiene argument where the facilities for regular cleaning exist. But where they don't and infections are a real risk, I suppose there are benefits to circumcision. In such cases one could not speak of mutilation.
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23 Feb 2013 21:21 #766274 by alyxandr
It should be the infant's choice, the same with tattoos.
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23 Feb 2013 21:48 #766281 by MsD
There's this thread ..where calling circumcision "mutilation" is described as "histrionic" and I was called an idiot for stating more or less exactly what G-Man wrote above.

www.wsc.co.uk/forum-index/28-world/28558...cking-in-the-streets
  • Bordeaux Education
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23 Feb 2013 22:00 #766285 by Bordeaux Education
We have done this many times, some of which don't need resurrecting if a sensible discussion is really what is being aimed for, but I am not sure that we have had the views of someone who is circumcised.

Actually, I suppose we probably have but they haven't made it explicit.
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23 Feb 2013 22:14 #766289 by Wyatt Earp

Bored of Education wrote: We have done this many times, some of which don't need resurrecting if a sensible discussion is really what is being aimed for, but I am not sure that we have had the views of someone who is circumcised.

Actually, I suppose we probably have but they haven't made it explicit.


I dunno, you might as well say we haven't had the views of someone who is (explicitly) uncircumcised. Surely most of our male North American posters will have been done, as well as male Jews and Muslims (though I think we only have one or two of the latter) from elsewhere.
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23 Feb 2013 22:23 #766291 by Bordeaux Education

you might as well say we haven't had the views of someone who is (explicitly) uncircumcised.


Well, apart from, as someone who is explicitly uncircumcised, I, for one, am interested to hear from someone who has gone through it, even if they can't remember. I mean, I can have views on sexism, racism or homophobia but, as a explicitly white straight male, I am interested to know the views and experiences of those that are more directly affected.

I apologise if that wasn't clear. The last thing I would want to so is derail a potentially worthwhile thread with controversy
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23 Feb 2013 22:30 #766292 by TonTon
Circumcising kids is completely unacceptable.
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23 Feb 2013 22:31 #766293 by MsD
Something else I learnt at the repro rights charity, is that it is or was "a class thing" in the UK. At a meeting, the chaps (all poshoes, including a baronet) all cheerfully said they'd been done, and the straight gals all said that their chaps had been done.

I just sat there eyeing up the crisps.
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23 Feb 2013 22:42 #766295 by alyxandr
Well, that's better than just throwing them away, i suppose.
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23 Feb 2013 22:44 - 23 Feb 2013 22:45 #766296 by Flynnie
I'm chopped.

Never wanted a foreskin, never needed one, never felt bitter over not having one.

Wife likes it too.
Last Edit: 23 Feb 2013 22:45 by Flynnie.
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23 Feb 2013 22:45 - 23 Feb 2013 22:45 #766297 by Amor de Cosmos
I believe in the 40s & 50s Britain (maybe more recently?) it was pretty much routine for hospital births of male babies. Home deliveries probably involved more of a discussion between mother and mid-wife.
Last Edit: 23 Feb 2013 22:45 by Amor de Cosmos.
  • Wyatt Earp
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23 Feb 2013 23:15 #766306 by Wyatt Earp
It doesn't seem to have been routine at Charing Cross in 1963.
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23 Feb 2013 23:28 - 23 Feb 2013 23:28 #766309 by Amor de Cosmos
Yeah, I was mistaken and extrapolating too far forward. Apparently the NHS stopped covering it in 1949. I was born in 1948 and, based strictly on observation, most of the kids I shared changing rooms and showers with at school were circumcised. A year or so later and it wouldn't have been the case I guess.
Last Edit: 23 Feb 2013 23:28 by Amor de Cosmos.
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24 Feb 2013 00:11 #766323 by The Purple Cow
Chopping off bits of a person's body without their consent is a crime against humanity. Pure and simple.
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24 Feb 2013 00:17 #766325 by Banana Banana
I probably should have had one as my foreskin can't retract fully. But at 46 and 4 kids later it hasn't done a lot of harm (except condoms not being particularly effective). mmm might be a connection there.

Maybe you didn't want to know that. Maybe I didn't want to tell you that. If it gets me a disabled parking permit I'd be well chuffed.
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24 Feb 2013 00:37 - 24 Feb 2013 00:37 #766334 by The Fox in the Snow
I'm foreskin-less. Apparently it was on the wrong way round, or something. When I peed it would fill up until it could fill up no more and I shot piss everywhere, so mum and dad can be forgiven. I remember none of this so they might be lying. Seems like a hell of a lie to concoct though.

I don't think it's a good thing to be doing for anything other than medical reasons. Although my parents used to tell me that being circumcised was 'cleaner'. I've no idea what they meant by that or whether it's true because I've never cared enough to look it up. They probably just said it to stop me being self-conscious about it.
Last Edit: 24 Feb 2013 00:37 by The Fox in the Snow.
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24 Feb 2013 01:04 #766349 by Flynnie

The Purple Cow wrote: Chopping off bits of a person's body without their consent is a crime against humanity. Pure and simple.


Were your hands shaking when you typed that?
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24 Feb 2013 01:29 #766358 by Sam

Wyatt Earp wrote: It doesn't seem to have been routine at Charing Cross in 1963.


He said births at hospitals, Wyatt. Not train stations.

The Fox in the Snow wrote: I'm foreskin-less. Apparently it was on the wrong way round, or something. When I peed it would fill up until it could fill up no more and I shot piss everywhere, so mum and dad can be forgiven. I remember none of this so they might be lying. Seems like a hell of a lie to concoct though.


I have to confess I laughed my arse off at that. But what does it mean, the wrong way round? Actually, I'm not sure I really want a description on second thoughts....

Both my girlfriend and my landlord are Jewish, so without asking, I know at least three men (landlord, girlfriend's dad and brother) who've been circumcised. It doesn't seem to have done any of them any harm, and I doubt my girlfriend's grandfather's perennial grumpiness can be put down to it, either.
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