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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 08:32PM

Someone thought it was offensive to compare them. I don't know about *offensive,* but it is scientifically inaccurate -- for anyone who cares about science.

FGM is considered a violation of human rights. There are no benefits for the woman -- only harm -- sometimes grave, sometimes death. That is the opinion of the medical community and the legal community.

Circumcision -- the medical community supports it with caveats -- those mostly have to do with honoring the *parents* beliefs. The child is still without a say -- that is the nature of the decision. When he is an old man in a nursing home with continual UTIs, who knows -- he may curse his parents for not choosing to circumcise. The legal community is not challenging it as a violation of human rights.

Here is the British Medical Journal:

"Male circumcision is although largely unconsented genital surgery that carries potential health risks, female genital mutilation (FGM) has such a long list of acute and long term complications that, as Dr Clarke clearly states, brings FGM to a completely different status where risks and ethical considerations are concerned."

It concludes:

"Male circumcision is not comparable to female genital mutilation, although I agree that consideration should be given to banning male circumcision in childhood, and allowing for adults to make a fully informed decision as to whether they want the procedure or not."

The original letter to BMJ argued that as circumcision is legal, so FMG should be, too.

https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/male-circumcision-not-comparable-female-genital-mutilation

So -- no -- I can't say that objecting to comparing them is somehow provincial or religiously motivated. Doctors don't compare them. Lawyers don't.

There are plenty of sources out there.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/10998633/Dont-compare-male-circumcision-with-FGM.html

https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news/local/verify/verify-female-genital-mutilation-versus-circumcision-whats-the-difference/434263995

"According to Female Genital Mutilation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies, by the Center for Reproductive Laws and Policy, RAINBO -- the male equivalent of a clitoridectomy, one of the types of FGM/C, would be amputation of most of the penis. The male equivalent to narrowing the vaginal opening – which consists of repositioning the labia’s minora and majora, with or without clitoral removal – would be removing the entire penis, its roots of soft tissue and part of the scrotal skin."

That is a *significant* difference.

Also -- someone brought up anesthetic. Okay. They can and do use anesthetics, you know.

http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/circumcision

"Whether or not you have your child circumcised is a deeply personal choice, and deciding if it’s right for your family will require consideration of many factors. In addition to personal, cultural and religious aspects associated with the decision, you may have medical questions as well.

"Circumcision can be done at any age. Traditionally, the most common time to do it is soon after your baby is born, or within the first month of life. Because the process is painful, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area and the surgery is performed while the baby is still awake."

I don't think anger at religions should cloud people's judgement of what is a medical (and personal and ethical) decision -- anymore than I think love of religions should cloud their judgement about, say, abortion.

We CAN turn to science, medicine, common sense, and ye olde golden rule, as well as other sources, for our opinions, you know.

If I had a son, I'd like to talk over the decision with his doctor. And I'd be PISSED if someone who was just angry at religions started yelling at me about the decision we reached -- whatever that decision was.

Pro-choice -- it's not just about abortion anymore, folk.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 08:39PM

> Pro-choice -- it's not just about abortion
> anymore, folk.

Pro-choice. . .

So. . . you want to wait until the child is old enough to make the decision for himself? Because pro-choice is usually associated with the right of the individual to decide what happens to his/her body.

Right?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 08:53PM

My pediatrician told me when my child was born it was 50/50 in our region of parents choosing either or. Medically he said it was actually beneficial for male infants to be circumcised, but doctors left that up to parents to make their informed decisions.

He recommended I circumcise my infant at the time, because he felt it was in the best interest of the child medically speaking. It wasn't a religious decision coming from our doctor. His preference was one based on both medicine and science.

It wasn't a Jewish preference or a Mormon one. My LDS family however favored circumcision, as did most LDS families where we lived in the Morridor. My child wasn't born in the Morridor. I followed our doctor's advice, and my own preference which was to circumcise. It is safer and easier to do when the baby is newborn than when they are adults. The benefits of circumcision according to our doctor outweighed the risks.

It is definitely not considered mutilation in the medical field.

My ex-husband wasn't circumcised. And I found that pretty disgusting. Nothing redeeming about it to tell the truth. Men who are circumcised are just as manly if not moreso, than uncircumcised. And much cleaner and more hygienic because they're that much easier to keep that area clean and sanitary.

For a grown man who needs to be circumcised, their risk is compounded many times over that of a newborn infant who has it done at birth. And by far more painful!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2019 08:54PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:34AM

Amyjo, I was well into adulthood the first time I saw an uncircumcised male. I was profoundly shocked, because I thought it looked - well - abnormal. I did my best to keep my eyes averted and to keep my face carefully blank, and thanks to my profession, I guess I carried it off. He eventually mentioned in casual conversation that he had never been circumcised. I quickly put two and two together and decided that circumcision is certainly easier on the eyes of the beholder, and from what I had read, lower maintenance on the part of the owner-operator.

If I am still alive for the birth of my great-grandsons, I will advise my granddaughters that I was born into a world where most male babies were circumcised while still tiny, won't have any memory of it, and very likely be less remarkable among other guys in the gym if they stop for a workout.

If if for religious reasons, from what I've read, most mohels are already trained MDs so there is little likelihood of damage. So why not? That baby very likely won't have any memory of it at eight days of age. A lot of non-Jewish guys are circumsised at birth and nobody things anything of it .

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 06:52AM

I know my ex-husband had to go to extra lengths keeping it clean when he took care of his hygiene. If I recall he found it annoying, but he was raised in a Communist country where circumcision wasn't practiced. He worried about getting infections there because of it.

My dad used to tell us he knew from other people's accounts if a guy had to have it done as an adult for medical reasons (and there are those,) it is an extremely painful procedure to go through because the foreskin is more fully developed by then than at birth. It is much more complicated and prone to getting infection and adverse problems than were the adult to have had it done in early infancy.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 10:58PM

Exactly my point until,once again, my views were misrepresented. I do not have sons. If I did, I do not know what I would do other than consult a trusted doctor and the child's father and try to make an informed decision. There are benefits. Whether the benefits are enough to justify the surgery is a different question. I have no strong feelings either way except that I think mutilation is too strong a term and think it is insulting to Jews, Muslims, and others who chose t the procedure for their child to call it that. Even if you insist on calling it mutilation and firmly believe that it is, it is also insulting to every woman who has suffered the extreme forms of FMG to compare the two. BTW I do know there are degrees of FMG ranging from a pin prick.which isn't particularly harmful or painful, to removing the.clitoris, labia and sewing the woman up leaving a small opening so she can pee and menstruate Even the most obtuse should.be able to see the difference regardless of whether you would circumcised your sons.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 01:12AM by bona dea.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:01AM

Yes, bona dea, there is no comparison between the two.

One is a commonly and hygienically performed procedure done in the western world for male infants not only as a religious rite in Jewish circles, but as a medical norm for others because of the hygienic standard and preference circumcised males have over non-circumcised. It is elective choice made by parents for their children. It is not condemned by the Human Rights Organization like female circumcision is. That is an entirely separate subject that is done in Third World Countries by shaymen who are not doctors but local tribesmen who perform the ceremonies without any sterilized equipment or training on little girls or infants to remove their clitorises only so that they will never know what it is like to enjoy sex when they grow up. They are stripped of their womanhood before becoming women. It is painful. Often leading to infections, that can lead to death.

That is the huge difference between the two.

They are not even close in comparison. One is mutilation to females.

For males, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is just more hyperbole from the anti-Semites and religion haters on this board to attack any form of religious observance including a Jewish rite. Albeit male circumcision is not only that, it is an accepted custom and medical procedure widely established throughout the western world with established medical benefits is why.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 11:11PM

Well I still think that we need to take into consideration the way that African Tribal people view FGMs. Yes it's true that those of European decent think it's barbaric and dangerous especially since the surgery is done with a sharp stick. But there are reasons African Woman subjugate themselves to this ceremony. They gain recognition and status as strong matriarch warriors and mothers of strong men warrior leaders. They gain procreation rights. Wimpy girls and wimpy boys get shunned by the community. Some evolutionary scientists have speculated that this is the reason why Africans act tough and excel at sports. The strongest warriors get to procreate with multiple women.

if it's a "human rights violation" I would need to ask what European dominant agency is shoving their political agenda across into Africa. Shouldn't Africans decide what they will tolerate?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:01AM

macaRomney Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> if it's a "human rights violation" I would need to
> ask what European dominant agency is shoving their
> political agenda across into Africa.

There is no "European dominant agency" "shoving their political agenda across into Africa" when it comes to human rights violations--a meaningful phrase which you put into quotation marks, because evidently you do not believe that there is such a thing....

....and this is YOUR "political agenda." To others, human rights ARE rights--for everyone, no matter where they live, based totally on the fact that they are human.


> Shouldn't Africans decide what they will tolerate?

You seem to be under the impression that Africans have available alternatives, which is not true for the overwhelming percentage of Africans most everywhere on the continent. Where it IS true, there always seem to be a whole lot of OTHER Africans, even fellow African nationals, who are left out.

Africans need good governments (which only a few African countries have), they need access to good water and good food and some kind of minimal shelter, they need at least minimal scientific medical care, they need access to minimal good educations through at least high school level (regardless of social class, or other caste-type dividers), and they need the minimum money necessary for school fees, school books, school supplies, and uniforms (a pretty much all-Africa requirement).

If you could help with any of these needs, your help would be greatly appreciated by everyone (including me)

Once the education level rises, and parents or other guardians (formal guardians, or informal arrangements) are able to support their families to minimum decent levels, and small business owners are able to establish businesses and then grow, which means governments are then able to depend on a stable tax base of some kind....then things like FGM will naturally begin the cultural process of disappearing from real life.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:10AM

macaRomney,

It is not accepted among the women in African tribes. It is forced on them. They have no say in this. The men and the older women force the removal of the sexual organ (clitoris,) on infants and young girls with the only reason at all is to remove the pleasure of ever knowing an orgasm during their lifetime.

How cruel is that? They will never fully experience their womanhood. It is stripped away from them before they will ever know what that means. It is a cruel procedure, without hygienic means of delivery. Some bleed to death at the time it is done. Some get infections from it and die later.

It is painful and torture. It violates all the norms of international human rights.

There are major differences between FGM and male circumcision.

For FGM it is a form of subjugating the females in their villages to the men for life. They are in bondage to them and will probably never be freed from that bondage. They cannot experience the joy of womanhood because their sexuality has been stripped from them. They've lost a part and essence of their person - consigned to being enslaved to their village masters until death.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 08:49AM

Those are valid points. Especially if the women are forced into it without giving consent. I'll study some more on that. And Tevai has good points that only a few African Countries have good governments, and many are bad. Then maybe we need colonialism again to solve that? I'm thinking of how much progress India made during the British occupation which lasted about 100 years. They still cherish the British parliamentary system, language, customs, traditions, technologies, etc. Colonialism worked wonders.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 09:41AM

I took a course in grad school on Women and Human Rights taught by a Nicarauguan professor that included FGM and the World Human Rights Council that has banned it. There are many multi-pronged efforts being made to educate the people in these villages through Africa and other Third World countries against the practice, but much more still needs to be done. It is forced systemic abuse and mutilation of little girls by the older women and men in their villages.

Some die right there from having the procedure performed because of how they're administered. They cut the clitorises right off from the little girls, and some will bleed profusely from that. Some will go deeper than the clitoris and higher into the vaginal area to remove another part of the vulva again to leave the female without any form of sexual pleasure in life.

It is similar to how eunuchs were made in ancient China to serve Chinese royalty. Men were stripped of their manhood by castration to serve the king.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 09:47AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:46AM

Maybe it's a generational thing, but I find it disturbing to see so many women declaring that it's okay for parents or society to do whatever they want to an infant male's body.

How would it feel if the shoe were on the other foot; if a bunch of men tried to tell women what they could do with their bodies. Women would be fine with that, right?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:05AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe it's a generational thing, but I find it
> disturbing to see so many women declaring that
> it's okay for parents or society to do whatever
> they want to an infant male's body.

It is my lifetime impression that the decision to circumcise is almost always a decision made by BOTH parents (assuming that both parents are alive). It is a joint decision, as would likely be true in any other medical decision made on behalf of a child.


> How would it feel if the shoe were on the other
> foot; if a bunch of men tried to tell women what
> they could do with their bodies. Women would be
> fine with that, right?

"A bunch of men [trying] to tell women what they [can] do with their bodies" has been an established part of American life since colonial times.

(Whenever laws on this side of the pond began to be written, women were almost automatically legally placed in a subordinate position to their husbands, fathers, etc.--which is exemplified today in most of the common law states, which are all of the states which are NOT community property states. This is a general statement, and there may be exceptions with certain states, but this is a fairly accurate general rule.)

This continues to this very moment, as is detailed in most daily newspapers, news magazines, and the news coverage on TV and the Internet, nearly every day.

Women in CERTAIN states do have legal authority over their own bodies, but not in all the states.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 01:08AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:57AM

> It is my lifetime impression that the decision to
> circumcise is almost always a decision made by
> BOTH parents (assuming that both parents are
> alive). It is a joint decision, as would likely
> be true in any other medical decision made on
> behalf of a child.

This is wide of the mark. I am asserting that the child should have control over his body in all non-essential surgeries. That both parents make the decision unnecessarily to alter a baby's body is no less appalling than that a single adult do it. The point is that the BABY should be allowed to make this decision and everyone else should respect his rights, his civil rights, enough to refrain from imposing their own irreversible preferences.



--------------
> "A bunch of men to tell women what they do with
> their bodies" has been an established part of
> American life since colonial times.

Precisely. And it is wrong. Women have a moral right to bodily autonomy. BUT SO DO MEN. I am surprised that that point is not readily apparent.


----------------
> (Whenever laws on this side of the pond began to
> be written, women were almost automatically
> legally placed in a subordinate position to their
> husbands, fathers, etc.--which is exemplified
> today in most of the common law states, which are
> all of the states which are NOT community property
> states. This is a general statement, and there
> may be exceptions with certain states, but this is
> a fairly accurate general rule.)

That may well be true, but we are discussing not property rights but who has control over an individual's body. The parallel to the circumcision issue is not divorce law but abortion law. If women have the right to determine their own physical disposition, the same right pertains to men.


-----------------
> Women in CERTAIN states do have legal authority
> over their own bodies, but not in all the states.

That would be news to the supreme court, whose rulings are uniform across the whole country. Women justifiably resist the erosion of their rights to physical autonomy and yet, in this thread, we see them cavalierly fail to recognize that permanently and unnecessarily altering a boy's body is precisely the same sort of unwarranted intrusion as men sitting in a legislature instructing a woman on what she may or may not do with her uterus.

The failure to acknowledge the double standard at work here is astounding.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:33PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That may well be true, but we are discussing not
> property rights but who has control over an
> individual's body. The parallel to the
> circumcision issue is not divorce law but abortion
> law. If women have the right to determine their
> own physical disposition, the same right pertains
> to men.

My intended point is that in the United States, "property law" as it applies to marriage, CAN (not always true for certain individual states) act as a fairly indicative proxy for that state's general philosophy of individual rights: either tending egalitarian, or tending authoritarian.

Running the states through my head, it seems fairly pronounced that community property states are, overall, more attentive to individual rights of all of their residents....while common law states tend to be comparatively LESS concerned about individual rights (and this lesser concern often "displays" as a de facto categorization of females--or in some cases, residents of color of both genders--as a category of residents/citizens who "should" be, and in practical fact ARE (due to local laws, unequal law enforcement, etc.), kept under rather firmer state-approved control of various kinds than is true in community property states.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:43PM

Do you think that is generally true or does it reflect your experience in single a community property state. I ask because Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho are community property states and I don't think they fit the pattern you describe.

The fact, as I perceive it, is that the form of divorce law (it isn't general to "property law" by any means) may be less important than the political balance in a particular state. In short, California is more liberal and more committed to a woman's right to choose, than are Idaho, Arizona, and Texas.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:00PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do you think that is generally true or does it
> reflect your experience in single a community
> property state. I ask because Louisiana, Texas,
> Arizona, and Idaho are community property states
> and I don't think they fit the pattern you
> describe.

Yes, this is why I included mention of the exceptions. I agree with your choice of Louisiana and Idaho, and I would add Wisconsin to the "exceptions" list, too.

Texas and Arizona are right now both in a process of change on the ground, which in general consists of local centers gradually expanding, and then gradually merging together. Long-term, both of them are likely to drop off of the "exceptions" list.


> The fact, as I perceive it, is that the form of
> divorce law (it isn't general to "property law" by
> any means)....

I come from a real estate family, and I have taken professional courses in real estate law, and although whether a divorcing person lives in a community property state OR a common law state is centrally important in a divorce, the legalities exist from the moment a person takes title to ANY form of property.

Which "kind" of state is involved is critical when either real or personal property (such as an automobile or a refrigerator) is acquired after marriage (with inheritances and gifts being an important exception to this particular rule). Divorce law comes into the picture only as divorce is contemplated, but property law exists regardless.


> may be less important than the
> political balance in a particular state. In
> short, California is more liberal and more
> committed to a woman's right to choose, than are
> Idaho, Arizona, and Texas.

These community property law states are on a spectrum, and after many years of thinking about this, my conclusion is that it is a chicken-and-egg situation: In community property states, the political balance does affect issues such as a woman's right to choose, but the in-state balance is also, simultaneously, in a state of constant (though perhaps slow by the standards of other states--think Louisiana here) change due to currents which are local, regional, state-wide, and nation-wide.

I first started thinking about these things when I was about twelve or so. My Mom's family is [mostly] from Oklahoma/Kansas/Arkansas/Kentucky, and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. When I met my more-or-less "same age," most significant, maternal cousins (who had been born, and were being raised, in northeastern Oklahoma), it was obvious almost immediately that we were two different kinds of human beings--to each of us, the other seemed V-E-R-Y "other." I didn't understand their humor (demeaning, "put down"-centered, to me: MEAN!!), or their [relative to me] lack of knowledge (though they seemed plenty smart enough, which was really puzzling to me), or their priorities, or really anything.

For a few years, after they returned to Oklahoma, I was pen pals with them--but the three of us had NOTHING in common, and our communication with each other was greatly frustrating all around.

They were both very physically attractive, but they had NO interest in understanding, or learning, ANYTHING--and they really didn't think about anything other than superficial things about dresses and shoes and pre-teen parties and stuff.

So, as a twelve-year-old, I set out to discover WHY they (since I, and they, shared half of our biological makeup with each other) were SO fundamentally different from me. I learned about Oklahoma (my Mom eventually got tired of all of my questions), I read everything in our local libraries about Oklahoma that I could find, and I started paying attention to how human groups not only form, but EVOLVE.

Why were MY Mom, and MY aunt (their cousins, I think), who had grown up, twenty years earlier, in the SAME Oklahoma culture as they were a part of, SO DIFFERENT [!!!] from them? The difference seemed to me to be as vast as that between a beginning algebra student, and Einstein working at his peak.

I've been studying this kind of cultural evolution ever since, and it's led me to all kinds of places and peoples (like South Africa, both apartheid and post-apartheid) where this "same" process either had happened, or was underway.

Along the way, I did my family expected duty: I attended Lumbleau Real Estate School and paid great attention, I passed my California state exam, was licensed (and never practiced). A few years later, I repeated the earlier Lumbleau courses and took others besides, because it seemed to me that some of what Lumbleau was teaching, was relevant to learning how cultures evolve. In concert with college courses in American history, world history, etc., I began realizing "what" this kind of change "looks like" as it is underway. (It is easy to see in the rear view mirror, much harder to intelligently observe in the moment it is happening.)

We Americans talk about the divisions in our country, and it is apparent to me that at least some of these divisions are related to our national system of common law states (or) community property states. The cultural bases of these different state legal systems, combined with increasing practical education, and instantaneous communication among people nationwide (as I am doing with this post), are just about "visibly" accelerating cultural change among all Americans. In the Internet Age, this kind of change is unavoidable--even for the troglodytes.

For anyone who lives in any American state, your state's legal system does have an effect on how the residents of your state think, feel, and make their individual choices....which in turn prompts additional future choices, and more refinements of the state's legal systems (plural), and future, more broadly-based, human intellectual and ethical evolution--individually, and then all the way "up" to [gradual] national evolution.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 07:07PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:06PM

I just have difficulty seeing how property law relates to attitudes towards physical autonomy. The Common Property states must definitely do not line up with attitudes towards abortion. Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana are about as far from California as a place could be.

The lack of correlation between property law and the treatment of personal physical autonomy leads me to believe that the commingling of the two just confuses the issue. You would get a much more compelling picture of attitudes towards abortion if you chose a Red/Blue map of the United States than if you use a property law map.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:56PM

>"Women in CERTAIN states do have legal authority over their own bodies, but not in all the states."

So that makes it OK. Got it. Because there are laws in the books that determine what women can do with their bodies or can't, we should leave the topic alone and never change it.

Is that really the argument you're making?

Just because there are bad laws doesn't mean they shouldn't be changed.

Harming another person for medically unnecessary reason is wrong. Why is this so hard?

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:37AM

But you can admit the two procedures are vastly different, right.

You don’t lose if you acknowledge that. Sure, Amy Jo might do a victory dance. If I recall, her great uncle originated Irish group tap dancing. But, you’ll win by acknowledging the obvious when she won’t. In her mind she’ll always be as right as her prominent ancestors, steeped in truth.

Granted, I haven’t followed this conversation so I may not be making sense. I’m mostly extrapolating based on various unrelated threads over time.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:02AM

jay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But you can admit the two procedures are vastly
> different, right.

Of course the two procedures are vastly different.

I don't understand why this isn't self-evident. I have written a number of posts through the years on male circumcision (in the context of males converting to Judaism)....and I have written at least a couple of times (the last time several years ago, as I remember) on what happens to young girls who are assaulted with FGM of various kinds.

Since we are talking about both of the different human genders, each of which has a different genital anatomy, OF COURSE the two procedures are vastly different.

How could it be otherwise?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:41AM

I readily acknowledge they are different. I have said that in another post.

My point is that they differ not in essence but in degree. FGM is a horrific procedure that permanently harms a woman's health and her relationships. Male genital mutilation (it fits the dictionary definition and is the word used by many medical associations) does much less permanent harm to a man and his sexual relationships, but harm it is--and unnecessary it likewise is.

I object to the violation of a baby's physical autonomy because parents, no matter how wise, prefer a certain outcome whose medical merits are unclear at best. Moreover, the notion expressed above that an uncircumcised penis is "pretty disgusting" is per se repugnant and has nothing to do with the issue of personal autonomy. If you don't like it, don't marry it.

So my bottom line is that people should have personal physical autonomy. If a child has a life-threatening problem that requires surgery, so be it. But when the surgery becomes elective, as in the case of circumcision, the same principle that militates in favor of a woman's right to choose indicates that adults should refrain from cutting up baby boys because of their own religious, cultural, or aesthetic preferences.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 06:55AM

What was the original purpose of circumcision, branding? Jewish chicks could just check under the hood to determine who she could date. But the Muslims started doing it too.

Yay, let’s all start chopping off foreskins. We can make a foreskin salad. Who thought this was a good idea and why? Probably a dumb question. If Rusty decreed that adult LDS males have to be circumcised, many would do it. They could add a little floppy hat to the temple ceremony.

Some people don’t take their kids to a doctor for medical treatment due to religious beliefs. Is that okay too?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:38AM

It isn't only a religious observance, babylon. It's a medical custom that is commonly practiced among app 50% of the western world.

My pediatrician recommended it because of the medical benefits associated with it. It is elective, but up to the parents to decide not based on religion. Based on informed choice.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 11:01AM

This post shows the problem precisely.


--------------
> It's a medical custom that is commonly practiced
> among app 50% of the western world.

Being a "custom" is no better excuse for mutilating a baby, based on gender, than the "custom" of patriarchy is for men insisting that women should not have sole power over their own bodies.


---------------
> My pediatrician recommended it because of the
> medical benefits associated with it.

This logic no longer applies.


----------------
> It is
> elective, but up to the parents to decide not
> based on religion.

This is what it comes down to, isn't it. "Religion."

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 11:12AM

I think Joseph's Coat of Many Colors was made of human foreskins?

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:01PM

I'm just amazed the the viewpoints of people in this thread. People that I typically respect, even if I don't agree have horrible opinions here.

First, because it's the title of the thread, there are obvious differences between circumcision and FGM. FGM is absolutely abhorrent and the idea of it should die in a fire and no one should have to undergo it ever again.

Now that that's out of the way, the arguments against male circumcision have nothing to do with religion and have everything to do with a person's right to make decisions about their own body.

I can't help but notice that it seems like the majority of people here who are OK with male circumcision are women. Which, feels very hypocritical. I'm all for women's right to choose what happens with their bodies. I would fully expect to be flamed into a cinder if I were to argue that anyone but a woman should make choices about their body but them. This includes a woman's parents. Because, a woman, any person really, SHOULD have the right to make their own bodily choices. Women here seem to be OK with male circumcision simply because it's done to babies and THEY see it as a minor thing. Why do women get the right to choose what's done with their bodies, but in this case, men don't? It almost feels vengeful.

1. Circumcision is medically unnecessary.
2. It is a permanent change to male anatomy.
3. Babies can't choose.

This should be stopped. It's pretty simple.

For those arguing that by my saying I'm somehow anti-semitic for wanting this practice stopped:

1. I'm not Jewish.
2. My parents are not Jewish.
3. I was not circumcised for religious reasons.
4. The vast majority of males who have been circumcised in the US were also not Jewish nor were circumcised for religious reasons.

Men in this country are circumcised for "history" or cultural reasons. As I stated in the other thread, history is replete with behaviours and practices that are now considered abhorrent. Using history and culture as "reason" is a cope out. It's a non-argument. It puts you on the wrong side of history.

One commenter on my post in the other thread suggested that lots of things happen to babies without their consent. We're not talking about medically necessary decisions that parents have to make. We are talking about permanently altering a body for purely cosmetic purposes.

It all boils down to the question, "Is it medically necessary?" the answer is no. Which means you go to the hippocratic oath, "Do no harm". Performing a medically unnecessary on a non-consenting child is doing harm. You can argue all day long about how it's not much harm, but it's still harm.

As yourself, would you feel the same if this were "Every baby gets a permanently attached nipple ring at birth." They are baby's it doesn't "hurt". Sure a few babies might get an infection, but that's rare. It might impact their sexual life, but only a little, after all they have another nipple. Everyone's doing it so, everyone should have it done. Parents make decisions for babies all the time so a purely cosmetic, life altering change is just something that they decide to do.

Keep in mind that I know plenty of people who get upset that a mother will pierce a toddler's ears, for a wide range of reasons, yet they think nothing of permanently and irreversibly altering the anatomy of their baby boy.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:09PM

I agree with you on this. I never had a boy, so I never faced this decision, but I certainly saw circumcisions done and thought it was barbarism.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:48PM

There are a cluster of us who share your feelings. The double standard and fabricated excuses are surprising to say the least.

Given their history, women should understand the importance of individual physical autonomy.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 12:58PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:58PM

Exactly.

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:20PM

All the circumlocution about circumcision doesn't excuse the lack of circumspection by parents in such circumstances.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 01:23PM by Shummy.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:25PM

Well there you go. Be careful with those C word, Shummy. ;-)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:34PM

I think Shummy's freedom of action should be circumscribed until he learns to regret subjecting us to such annoying alliteration.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:39PM

My father was circumsized as a boy and has always hated it. It was done because it was the done thing at the time. Neither my brother nor I was circumsized and my son wasn't either. Note to some doubters here: it's very easy to wash under a foreskin and it was one of the first personal hygiene routines that my mother and father taught me when I was very little.

My own opinion is that, unless there is a good medical reason, it's simply unnecessary surgery, with all the inherent risks that surgery entails, although I think actual complications are reasonably rare if it's done right.

However, I don't equate it all with female genital mutilation because, even in a religious context, there is no aim to abolish sexual pleasure in order to control, as with FGM. The worst you can say about religiously-motivated male circumcision is that it's done to enhance the feeling of belonging to a 'tribe' different from those not in the religions concerned.

As I've mentioned before here, I work in Paris and have lived there - but I now actually live about 3 miles outside Paris in a town called Montreuil. It's a very welcoming, mixed town in terms of people's origins, something I love - they even welcome Englishmen ;-). The largest non-French but fast-integrating group is made up of Malians from Mali. This brings a lot of colour to a rather drab town with the beautiful fabrics of the women's dresses and the men's suits. It also means that, as a parent of young children in local schools, I have known women who had it done to them and who, along with their husbands, didn't want it done to their daughters (this mainly involved keeping them away from the grandmothers back home in Mali, unfortunately, but that's another debate). What was clear to me from talking to many Malians of both sexes is that the main PURPOSE of 'female circumcision' is to remove the possibility of sexual fulfilment from women so they won't 'stray' or 'cheat', often (but increasingly rarely, happily) in a situation involving polygamy with up to 4 wives, some here in France and others back in Mali. It is a means of control.

That's why I don't equate FGM and male circumcision, in addition to the 'mutilation' part.

There's NO medical reason for FGM. It's just nasty.

Tom in Paris
who'll be in Finland (Helsinki and Turku) for ten days from tomorrow ;-)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 01:43PM by Soft Machine.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:48PM

Thank you for this additional perspective, Tom.

It is valuable.

Have fun in Finland!

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:52PM

I'm REALLY looking forward to it. We have Finnish friends, so it should be great fun, although the weather forecast is very... Scandinavian;-). They invited us several years ago, but it was never the right time. But after so many heatwaves in the last few years, we're actually looking for a cool place to hang around ;-).

Thanks for your kind comment and for your excellent work as an Admin here.

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:52PM

Finland is WONDERFUL at this time of year. Beautiful Helsinki, the building on the plaza, fresh fruit and pottery kiosk in the sunshine, the island just a short boat ride away; sunny walks on the beach at 10:00 or 11:00 PM; forests that would feel oppressive in the winter dark but are colorful and inviting in the summer: you are a cruel man, inspiring so much jealousy!

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:43PM

There does seem to be one point of agreement on this thread:

Circumcision for purely religious reasons is wrong.

Anyone disagree with that?

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:51PM

jay, that was the entire point of the issue being brought up in the first place. Thanks for reiterating that!

I don't think anyone is saying people shouldn't make their own medical decisions. No one is saying FMG is the equivalent. It's about body autonomy and religion's attempt to control it.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:57PM

I agree.

The question was whether circumcision was an appropriate thing for parents to do to an infant. I wouldn't narrow it down to "religion's attempt to control" a baby's body. I would phrase it as "anybody's attempt to control" an infant's bodily autonomy, be that religion, tradition, aesthetic considerations, or anything else.

Absent medical necessity, no one should have his or her body permanently changed without his or her permission.

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:02PM

But I’m trying to narrow it down. So, you’re a yes and then some.

I’m curious if anyone thinks religious reasons alone are sufficient. I want to flush them out.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:32PM

Yes, I think religious reasons alone are inadequate--as they are for refusing to take your ill child to the doctor, refusing to vaccinate your baby, or denying women physical autonomy.

There are other factors--tradition, the bizarre notion that an uncircumcised penis is "disgusting"--that are also inadequate reasons to chop up an infant, but in answer to your question religion alone is certainly, to me, inadequate justification.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:11PM

You are absolutely right.

When I originally brought this up in the thread that shall not be named, it was because it was a required religious hoop.

You are correct to add that religion is not be alone in attempts to dictate body autonomy.

To jay's point, religious reasons alone are very troubling, especially as a symbol of tribal belonging.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 04:23PM

Yes. I believe in religious freedom and think forbidding circumcision is Constitutionally problematic. The boy isn't seriously harmed. If he were it would be different.There are.limits.to religious freedom, of course, but I don't see this issue as serious enough for the courts to intervene.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 04:27PM by bona dea.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 04:50PM

Agree to disagree. See my appendix.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:58PM

The courts will decide, not a bunch of people on the internet. But I do not see a ban on circumcision in this country in the forseeable future nor do I think there should be.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 06:18PM

>"nor do I think there should be"

So, you're totally OK with medically unnecessary, irreversible procedures being done to babies.

Good to know.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:05PM

Yes, I am, thank you very much. It is a personal decision which parents make. The government should stay out of family matters and religious issues unless they are cause real harm. Circumcision is a minor procedure and does not prevent you from having sex or enjoying sex. In my generation, many kids have the blood type tattooed on their underarms. Maybe as adults they would like to raise their arms without their blood type showing. Maybe kids with smallpox scars on their upper arms find that disfiguring and maybe kids whose ears were pierced in childhood wish they hadn't been, but they will survive and so will circumcised men.Parents make.decisions for their kids.all the time. Every man in my family has been cut and no one is whining about it. There are bigger problems and to me the Constitution and religious .freedom is more important.
Bottom line, There are arguments for and against circumcision and everyone gets an opinion . Nothings black and white and there are Constitutional issues involved.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 07:12PM by bona dea.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:24PM

Tattoos can be removed, they are not permanent. Vaccines are arguably medically necessary. Circumcision is not medically necessary and can not be undone.

Some men are fine with it, some are not. Those who are not ok with it didn't have a say.

You seem to think that no one is harmed by this. In the other thread I pointed out that I have a relative who will likely have pain every time he has an erection, let alone when having sex. Some men are harmed by this practice, and you're good with that. That's terribly disappointing.

Am I saying this is the most important issue at the moment? No I'm not, but it is the topic of this thread and many people, mainly women it seems, are totally ok with making a permanent, unnecessary change to a baby simply because that's just what they do.

As for your parents making decisions for their child argument... The government doesn't allow parents to harm their children except in this case. Why? Your argument is just a matter of scale. I would honestly like to know how much permanent damage to a baby you're ok with. My answer would be none. Your answer is at least the tip of a penis. Is any more OK?

I'm arguing for education, for actual science to be followed and for a man to make decisions about their own bodies when medically unnecessary proceeduees are involved.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:30PM

Circumcision can be reversed too. As I.said, I have as much right to my opinion, which is more about the Constitution, parental rights and religious freedom than I am about circumcision per se.You have a.right to your opinion too. I.am all for education on the subject but I am not for the courts ruling that it is illegal to circumcised babies. I am not going to argue with you.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:41PM

Circumcision can be reversed. Hah!

I think parents should be free to give their baby girls breast implants. If the youngsters dislike them later in life, the surgery is reversible.

There are of course considerable risks to the removal of the implants, much like those that characterize the reversal of circumcision. But that's a small price to satisfy the parents' desires.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:48PM

If it's my opinion that its ok to slap babies, and fully intend to follow through with it, am I "entitled to my opinion" the same as someone whose opinion is the opposite? No I don't think so.

Anyone's religious freedom stops when it impacts another person.

You didn't answer my question about how much harm to a baby is ok. I really do want To know.

You also haven't answered the point that it actually does harm some men and you're ok with that. How many men is it ok to permanently harm for a medically unnecessary procedure done just because of history?

The reversal process may exist, but it's very unpleasant, why force men to go through that when the initial proceedure isn't necessary in the first place.

And you are arguing with me.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 07:59PM

No,you initiated the.conversation. Ianswered. You persisted and I said I am letting it go. I have my opinion and you have yours. We aren't going to change each other'minds. I think you are taking it too personally and I don't particularly like your tone. Feel free to.get the.last word. I have said what I think and do not expect you to agree.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 08:14PM

Nice. You don't like my tone because you can't refute my arguments.

I want you to go to a women's pro-choice rally and tell them that you don't like their tone and they are taking things too personally.

Of course it's personal. My body was permanently changed without my consent. On top of that, someone who doesn't have a penis is telling me that it's all good to modify that way. You don't get much more personal than that.

You still haven't answered any of my questions. But you've already shown you're ok with some permanent damage to a baby. I don't care what your reasons are, that should be reprehensible in modern society.

Also, you keep responding. It doesn't matter who initiated the conversation as you continued to respond. So yes, you argued with me. For an educated person you should understand how that works.

Eta: Please feel free to have the "last word", I honestly don't care about such things, since you brought it up it might be important to you. I would really love to see all of the counter arguments to my points and of course the answers to my questions that you continue to avoid.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 08:36PM by Finally Free!.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:01PM

The constitution, at least as presently interpreted, establishes a zone of autonomy around an individual's physical body. Plenty of people oppose abortion on religious grounds, but the supreme court has held that those sentiments do not justify forcing a woman against her will to carry fetuses to term.

The same principle could easily support a ban on an unnecessary and irreversible medical procedure imposed on a human whose wishes cannot now be ascertained but will become clear in a decade or two.

Constitutionally, one person's religion does not trump another person's bodily integrity.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 05:43PM

>"The boy isn't seriously harmed."

That's a matter of opinion isn't it? We're talking about an irreversible, medically unnecessary procedure that where the recipient has no say in the matter.

And men are permanently harmed by this. Some doctors "slip" and cut too much. You may say that doesn't happen very often, but how many cases are too many? I say one is too many.

>"I believe in religious freedom and think forbidding circumcision is Constitutionally problematic."

If you agree that circumcision of a male baby should be allowed then I'm very worried about your version of religious freedom. You're basically saying that based on a person's religion they can invade another person's body autonomy, and you're cool with that.

The baby doesn't have a religion, they can't make an informed choice about a religion. And if you say, the baby's religion is their parent's, first I laugh in your face, then I point out that most of the people on this board changed their religion from the one of their parents. Why force them to have a permanent, physical reminder of what their parents religion did to them.

Religious freedom doesn't currently allow someone to go around and slap people. Why not? The person being slapped "isn't seriously harmed". That actually won't cause a permanent change to another person. The pain can be kept to a minimum and it's only temporary anyway. You'd probably, hopefully, say that to allow religious slapping would be ridiculous. And why? Because using religion to harm another isn't protected by religious freedom, unless you're cutting off the tip of a baby boy's penis. Then it's all good.

The Hippocratic Oath says "Do no harm", It doesn't say, "Do No harm, unless it's a baby boy, then snip away!"

Is it OK solely based on the scale of damage done? How much damage is allowed to a baby before we say, no I'm not comfortable with that. Why is hard to say any medically unnecessary procedure shouldn't be done?

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:45PM

hell. My husband is circumcised, my boyfriend is not. I don't find not being circumcised "icky" like others above have stated. It has never been an issue for me. Nowadays, I can't remember what my husband looked like without clothes. I tend to compartmentalize. I can't believe that anyone said what they did about an uncircumcised male. It blows my mind.



I am definitely against circumcision. I'll never forget that day my little son was circumcised. I really did feel I had damaged him. And he was in pain. I'd never do it again.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 07:13PM by cl2.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 04:17AM

I’m a woman, but in my experience (*cough, *blush) circumcision can make sex/stimulation less pleasurable for the man and more difficult for the woman. I needn’t explain I’m sure.
There is the argument (putting aside the religious /harm argument for a second) that circumcision makes things more hygienic. Those who don’t mind that they were circumcised seem to look at this as a positive thing at least. But then not everyone is happy that they were, so from this perspective doing it is a gamble.
I didn’t know this is often carried out on Christian men without questioning it. But my last boyfriend was catholic and I was surprised to discover this (hopefully I kept a deadpan expression). He talked about it like it was an everyday thing. But then he didn’t question much else either.

What stands out to me the most though is that this procedure just seems Unnecessary. If there were good reasons for doing it other than religious practice I might give it a pass. I haven’t seen any good reason given for it in these threads either, so I remain baffled as to why it’s deemed as okay - even if it were physically and psychologically harmless. I’m equally baffled at the assertion that it can be reversed. I work in healthcare and can’t envisage how that’s possible but maybe I don’t want to know - this actually made me cringe more than the the thought of actually circumcising someone in the first place.
So...
At best: Why bother?
At worst: Yes this is permanently altering a person’s physiology when they can’t consent to it. Religious reasons or not, that isn’t right.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 04:43AM

I'd say that you are getting a good handle on thinking for yourself, versus trying to add additional flying buttresses to an aging, failing wall that's so old, no one really understands why it was built.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 05:02AM

Circumcision is a LOT more common in the US nowadays than it is in Europe. Even European Christians no longer consider it standard.

Thank you also for a ray of light on the healthcare questions. The case in favor of circumcision is dubious at best, which is why many if not most medical associations oppose the practice. And the notion that it is reversible is bizarre. Accounts of the procedure indicate that all sorts of things can go wrong and the results are not that good. As a surgeon friend once told me, other than something like removing implants no surgery is really reversible. The human body simply does not work that way.

The interesting issue, as others have noted, is why some women on this board are so cavalier with regard to the violation of a boy's physical integrity when they--rightfully--would never tolerate society or parents making permanent decisions about a girl's body or, later in life, her control over her reproductive system. People should ask themselves why their principles are not uniform across genders.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 05:11AM

Because ghawd said "let there be religion!"

And there was religion!

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 05:49AM

Yes I don’t understand that either. On the contrary I feel quite protective towards men’s bodies. But admittedly that might be partly a selfish thing (*sorry, not sorry*?)
Ex-BF wasn’t European so I guess that explains that one. It’s not a huge deal tbh but it did make me think.
I think I would normally tend not to comment on religious practices because it falls into the category of ‘we will only end up having to agree to disagree’ category. This can be a pointless and tiring exercise, plus I do prefer to respect others’ beliefs; especially as I once was devotedly religious. But this is also a healthcare concern as well as a consent issue. The counter argument is that babies cant consent to anything done to them, but circumcision is so obviously different. And again, given all this I can’t see why it is necessary.

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