I found this article (via HealthMad) by way of Jim over at No Circumcision, and sadly I agree with it...
Are women responsible for unnecessary, non-religious circumcision of male infants in America?
I didn’t know how the majority of women in America (mothers, wifes, girlfriends) view the foreskin and male circumcision until I happened to come across a heated discussion about whether infant male circumcision was child abuse in one of the message boards I frequent. It was an eye opener to me because I didn’t know American women think the way they do about the foreskin. I will come to the specific opinions these women had later in this article. First, I’d like to touch upon circumcision of male infants.
Circumcision of male infants happens mostly for religious reasons around the world, but in America, you have parents choosing to have their male child circumcised for non-religious reasons, specifically “hygienic” reasons. Now, the “hygiene” theory is highly suspect and I don’t know of any medical association that says that you need to circumcise male children due to “hygienic” reasons. In fact, routine male circumcision is not recommended by doctors in general. Also, do the propagators of the “hygienic” theory mean to say that most of the men around the world are unhygienic?
Most European men don’t get circumcised and by far the majority of men around the world aren’t – does that make them “dirty?” If an uncircumcised penis was so susceptible to infections, then all these men would be queuing up to get circumcised, but they aren’t. They are living just as normal as anyone else. Also, animals don’t get circumcised and they don’t seem to have any problems with infection.
It does make one wonder as to how the “hygienic” argument came about in the first place. Some believe that Dr. John Kellogg (of the cereal fame) was responsible for propagating this idea of “hygiene.” Apparently, this man advocated circumcising young boys to check/curb masturbation. This is what he said about the subject – to quote him.
“A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.”
Its plausible that Dr. Kellog and his peers propagated this Victorian idea of hygiene to justify routine male circumcision. It probably caught on and came to be viewed as a must-doThere are risks to circumcision that most parents aren’t aware of or choose to dismiss, but they need to be considered. Some of the risks are.
1. Risk of fatal infections/uncontrollable bleeding.
2. Unintended snipping of the glans or part of the glans during the procedure.
3. Risk of burn and scarring during electrocautery.
These are just some of the risk factors circumcision entails.
Most supporters of male circumcision put forward the idea that the foreskin is a useless piece of skin. Well, its far from useless. It has many uses. I’d list some of them here.
1. Protects the delicate glans (soft tip of the penis) from injury and keeps the glans moist and sensitive. Its function is similar to that of an eyelid in its protective nature.
2. The foreskin is as sensitive as the tips of your fingers or the lips of your mouth. It contains over 3 feet of arteries, veins and capillaries and thousands of nerve endings (above 10,000).
3. Facilitates smooth and gentle motion between the mucosal surfaces of partners during sexual intercourse.
4. Prevents the desensitization of the glans due to constant exposure of the glans to clothing and other material.
Most parents in America don’t seem to understand the uses of the foreskin and that men can live normally with the foreskin intact. By circumcising their male children, they are taking away the right to decide on this irreversible procedure. Its also curious that while there is so much outrage towards female circumcision – the same outrage is absent when it comes to male circumcision. The reason given ostensibly is that female circumcision affects the pleasure factor significantly, whereas in men that isn’t the case. Well, chopping away the most sensitive part of the penis with all of its veins, arteries and capillaries and erogenic functions takes away from pleasure for men as well. So – shouldn’t people feel just as outraged? The reason they don’t is because they’ve been conditioned to accept male circumcision as opposed to female circumcision.
Talking about women, I think they are one of the main reasons why infant males continue getting circumcised in modern America. These American women (who are mothers, wives, girlfriends, etc) have drilled it into themselves that the foreskin is “ugly,” “dirty,” “disgusting,” etc. Here are some messages from the message board I mentioned earlier in the article. It was an eye opener to me. I am quoting them verbatim.
“It’s only a teeny weeny piece of skin, for heaven’s sake, get real!”
“An uncircumcised penis reminds me of a dog penis.”
“don’t forget the smegma smell – guess that’s why the French stink.”
“but they look GROSSSSS EWWW – i would never saddle my child with it.”
“the stigma of being an uncircumcized male!!!! I have only been with 1 man that was not and boy howdy does that thing look scary. Needless to say it didn’t last!!!!”
“he may not be so thankful to you once he starts dating…” (in response to a woman who chose not to circumcise her kid)
“My husband was not circumcised and says he was teased b/c of it in gym class and was adamant about our boys being circ’ed.”
“It is a little piece of skin”
“with the foreskin ON, they stink even more”
“men don’t want an ugly uncircumsized penis, so get over it and do your boy a favor. Not to mention all the health reasons. Sheesh!”
These are the enlightened American women who make the decisions for their male infants. For them, its just a “piece of skin” and its no big deal. Well, it is a big deal for some men. They wouldn’t be so matter-of-fact and callous if the topic was female circumcision, but they are just so dismissive of male circumcision. Not a surprise that – is it? I think its high time these women read up on male circumcision and the facts about male circumcision. Instead of treating the foreskin as an “ugly piece of skin” and wanting to do circumcision for cosmetic or hygienic reasons – perhaps they should educate themselves a little better. Isn’t it surprising that most Americans have been brainwashed so thoroughly into believing that the foreskin is “ugly,” “abnormal,” “unnecessary,” etc.