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  • The case against circumcision
    • When you compare apples with apples, tribal with tribal, surgical with surgical, you find that MGC and FGC are not so different.

      Scores of boys die of tribal circumcision in one province of South Africa alone every year (nowhere else seems to keep statistics). They're just as dead as the girls (number unknown) who die of FGC. Many others lose their penises.

      Millions of girls are "circumcised" under surgical conditions in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in the name of Islam, and apparently quite minimally. This loving Malaysian mother writes about her daughter's circumcision so that you'd be hard pressed to tell the child's sex: link to Something similar used to be legal in the USA, using this device - link to (NSFW) - which has a shield to protect the clitoris.

      So what differences are there that differentiate the ethics of the practice/s?

    • The "prevents HIV" claim didn't arise till some time after 1983 (they had only just established that AIDS was caused by a virus - published May 20, 1983). Preventing Urinary Tract Infections was one of the big claims in the 1980s, and it had been claimed in 1954 that circumcision prevented cervical cancer in partners.

      It may have been common in your part of Ireland, or among babies delivered by that doctor, but it has never been common in Ireland. There may have been some of the upper-class English circumcision in Northern Ireland.

      But "bogus" pretty much summarises it all.

    • Well all of that can and should be interpreted to mean a ban on infant circumcision.

      Thanks for pointing out "this right includes freedom to change his religion ,,,, and freedom, ... to manifest his religion ... in ... practice."

      That implies that nobody has a right to mark a religion on someone else for life, because such a mark has to impugn his right to change his religion.

    • "The Finkler Question" is interesting, but it's striking that while its authorial voice claims to have a foreskin, the author obviously has no idea what it's like to have one. link to The great majority of Intactivists, like the great majority of circumcised men, are not Jewish and have no interest in Zionism.

      Under the conditions that it was done, with stone impletements and no asepsis, circumcision would have caused much more harm than it ever prevented. Rabbis earnestly discussed how many brothers could die of circumcision before one might be excused.

      Do not call it "snipping" until you have seen it done. With a a barzel or a Gomco clamp it is sliced, and with a Mogen clamp the glans may be sliced too (in at least three cases, two of which leading to millions in damages that have put the Mogen company out of business); with an Accu-circ it is chopped; with a Plastibell the foreskin is crushed and allowed to die (but generally cut off to spare the parents the sight of that).

      The cervical cancer claim now proves to be false. Jewish women have a genetic tendency to lower risk. More recent studies have shown a weak connection to the common and easily shed Human Papilloma Virus, but no good studies have shown a directl link with cervical cancer.

    • "Circumcision is not a human rights violation just as sending a child to sleep without diner or not allowing them to watch TV is not a human rights violation. "
      I've really got to collect all the silly analogies used to circumcision together - haircutting, tooth-straightening, bedtimes, vaccination, abortion, ear-piercing, the list goes on.

      But just let anyone try to compare cutting male genitals (no matter how severely) with cuttting female genitals (no matter how mildly) - OH NOEZ! You can't do THAT! They're COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

    • Chu left out the outcome: Bloomberg was facing re-election so he capitulated to the hasidic mohels' demand to be allowed to continue the practice, though they now wash their mouths out with Listerine first.

      Metzitzah b'peh was once standard practice and brit milah was not considered complete without it. I don't impure any sinister motive to it, but it just shows how a practice once considered essential can be abolished when the revulsion level grows high enough, and not missed.

      Speed the day when the same happens, not just to brit milah (less than 3% of US circumcision), but to all infant genital cutting.

    • It's a ripoff even if he remembers his knife. Before it can be cut, the foreskin must be separated from the glans, to which it is attached by a membrane called the synechia, like a fingernail to its bed. Doctors generally do it with a blunt probe, but the mohel in these videos - link to - procures an erction by manipulating the penis, then yanks the foreskin forward.

    • Circumcision itself is not without risk:
      aesthetic damage
      - skin-bridges
      - skin-tags
      - scarring
      - unevenness
      - excessive skin removed
      hairy shaft
      meatal stenosis, meatal ulcer
      urethrocutaneous fistula
      - MRSA
      - hepatitis
      - tetanus
      - bladder infections
      - septic Arthritis
      blockage of the Urethra
      buried penis
      penoscrotal webbing
      necrotising fasciitis (galloping gangrene)
      gastric rupture
      oxygen deprivation
      clamp injuries/plastibell ring injuries
      loss of glans
      ablation (removal) of the penis
      death - from
      - haemorrhage
      - infection
      - anaesthesia

      A full cost/benefit analysis does not favour circumcision.

    • "turning yourself over to doctors to “restore”? No thanks, "

      Indeed, and in fact surgical restoration is not recommended - neither the appearance nor the function is much good.

      Instead, many thousands of men are going to considerable time and trouble (but not a great deal of expense) to restore themselves by gentle, intermittent or constant, tension over a long period, which does not stretch but encourages cell growth (the same technique is used to grow skin to cover amputation stumps and the gaps left by conjoined-twin separation).

      The fact that they go to such trouble - and claim great sexual benefit, though the lost nerves can never be replaced - adds to the condemnation of infant circumcision. See for example link to

    • "Please cite me the international law saying it’s a human rights violation."

      The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person [which certainly does include the security from having any other normal, healthy, functional, non-regrowing body part cut off].

      Article 5 No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [Look at recent stories of forced circumcisions of adult men in Kenya and say that's not cruel, inhuman and degrading. Now what's the difference when it's a helpless baby?]

      Article 6 Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [And not just as an extension of their parents.]

      Article 7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. ... [ALL female genital cutting - not just the horrors of tribal Africa - is outlawed in most of the developed world]

      International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

      Article 1, part 1: All peoples have the right to self-determination [which ought to include determination of the fate of their own normal, healthy body parts].

      Article 1, part 2: Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognised in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex,.. birth or other status. [FGC as above]

      Article 24, part 1: Every child shall have, without discrimination as to race, colour, sex, ... the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society, and the State. [FGC as above]

      Article 26: All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.

      The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

      Article 8, part 1: States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity [...and not be surgically altered to look like his father].

      Article 13, part 1: The child shall have the right to freedom of expression... [infant circumcision circumvents the child's freedom to decide for himself what parts of his body to keep, and his freedom of sexual expression by permanently and unnecessarily diminishing his sexual sensations].

      the U.S. Constitution

      Article IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... against unreasonable ... seizures, shall not be violated.

      Article V No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

      Article XIV ... No State shall ... or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [If the foreskin is not property, what is it? (It certainly is property when it is sold.) And if it is not the property of the person it is attached to, whose is it?]

      "you have no human right to not have a circumcision "
      Interesting choice of words. A circumcision is not something someone "has". It's something that is done to him (and then a foreskin is a real thing that he lacks). You certainly have a human right not to have any other normal [etc as above] body part cut off. As an adult, you certainly do have a human right not to "have a circumcision". It's illegal to tattoo a child, to pierce a child's genitals, or to circumcise a domestic pet. Why is the infant male foreskin alone fair game?

      "you certainly have no religious right as a Jew not to have one." That's getting really tangled. Religions don't have rights, people do. How can a religion you did not choose take away your human rights - lifelong?

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