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DT: come reap

how can an infant still in the creche hold anything more than a child's desire

Posted on 2005.21.04 at 22:37
How I feel about it all: hopefulhopeful
Soundtrack: The Flash Girls - Riding the Flame/Little Beggarman
OMG, finally someone with some sense.

A Proposed Bill to Ban Male Circumcision

Not that it'll actually go anywhere, but it's a start. *applauds heartily*

Thanks to patchfire for the link.


way2 at 2005-04-22 03:09 (UTC) ()
When I followed the link, the first thing I saw (while the story was still loading) was "MEMBER SERVICES". Heh.

Susan the Neon Nurse
neonnurse at 2005-04-22 05:34 (UTC) ()
If we could just get all insurance companies to quit paying for it, calling it elective non-medically needed cosmetic surgery, that would solve a HUGE amount of the problem right there!
Ceci n'est pas une comic
clio_the_muse at 2005-04-22 07:58 (UTC) ()
I'm just sort of curious - what's the big problem with it? I mean, there aren't any clear medical problems that arise from it (everything seems really debatable - like, there might be some effects, but nothing clear-cut or severe), and it's definitely a huge part of Judaism and Islam. Seems that the benefits outweigh the costs (full disclosure: I'm an observant Jew).

Also, a lot of the criticisms I've heard of circumcision condemn it because it's a "barbaric, outdated practice," which seems to me to be kind of culturally insensitive, because the whole point of the act is to show continuation with the past.

You're probably going to reply with an argument from the medical side, that actually circumcision has medical consequences, but let me just ask you this question: if the issue is purely a medical one, why does the bill in question refer to it as "male genital mutilation"? Comparisons between this and FGM are completely, completely absurd and insulting to the women who suffer FGM (and can't even then get refugee status), and it seems that inflated and misleading efforts to create such a hysteria over the whole thing wouldn't be needed if the medical reasons for outlawing it were so unquestionably clear-cut. Seems there's some deeper motivation, maybe, among some of these legislators trying to outlaw it? (also, I can get a little paranoid about tyranny of the majority, being both a religous and a political minority).

[Moreover, as far as I know, most families that do it for religious reasons can't get insurance to cover it anyway. At least, I've never heard of a moyel that takes Blue Cross/Blue Shield.]
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-04-22 10:58 (UTC) ()
Bottom line: It is mutilation. It's extremely painful, and it cuts off a part of the baby's body. I'm not talking about circumcision for religious reasons (even though the article talks about it), but the unnecessary medical procedure that the US does on over half its baby boys (and it's pretty much only the US. Other countries don't do it routinely). It's nonconcentual cosmetic surgery, done with just a little numbing cream. I've seen a circumcision--I wanted to jump at the doctor and stop him from hurting the baby. At least the moyel gives the baby wine--a much better anaesthetic than the cream that hospitals use.

More information here and here, explained better than I ever could. And here's something about the "Bloodless Bris", which I am SO unqualified to speak on, because I'm not Jewish.. But, I can say that even if Jews and Muslims are still allowed to circumcise their kids, stopping routine circumcision of baby boys in hospitals is a good thing. Because, unlike a bris, there's absolutely no reason for it.

The Foo Queen
erebor at 2005-04-24 13:48 (UTC) ()
I'll sidestep the whole issue if done on religious practices, but I've never understood why the rest of us do it ... except of course, oh yeah ... we've been told it's hygienic and that we're supposed to. (Don't get me started on the whole fear of body odors and such, that's another debate.) And I've never understood the idea that a baby doesn't experience pain (any more than I think that animals don't).

To me, outside the religious arena, this is all about education. Pretty much everyone does it without looking into the matter. Herd mentality. A couple of years ago I asked my brother and his wife to reconsider the practice for their infant son (and so did my brother's best friend, who is Jewish, yet!) but it just came up against a brick wall. And these are parents who normally research EVERYTHING to the nth degree.

I think I boil it down to the question, "What's the point??"
Susan the Neon Nurse
neonnurse at 2005-04-22 14:52 (UTC) ()
Thanks for your very straight-forward and non-heated response and questions. I always appreciate discussions with people who believe in courteous rationality. :)

One of the problems that seldom gets put forth is that, like ANY medical procedure, there are occasional unexpected deaths, either from shock or later complictions like infections. I feel that even one is too many, so why take the risk?

Calling it MGM might seem over the top at first glance. But it is technically correct--the penis is being mutilated by removal of the protective skin over the glans. Also, although these days the practice is pushed for 'cleanliness' reasons, it was actually promoted for non-religious general application in this country (starting in the early 1900s by Kellogg and others known to have an over-active interest in the 'health' of young boys) because it was thought it would prevent masturbation. Since AS WE ALL KNOW that causes insanity, blindness, etc....
So there is a connection between the FMG in Africa and the original 'selling point' that got the practice rooted into our medical culture.

As for deeper motivations, the pediatric arm of the AMA briefly came out against routine circumcision (those not required by the religion of the parents), citing it did no evidential good in later life, health prevention wise, and also citing the morbidity stats. Guess who threw a fit? All those docs who make a nice chunk of change for each operation. So they retracted the statement and rewrote it a lot more blandly.

I don't want to get into the religion aspect much, because I don't want to be insulting. But I have a little trouble with the idea that parents are entitled to do what they choose to their child's body because of their beliefs. Circumcision is a minor act compared to FGM or parents who believe in faith healing or no blood transfusions allowing their children to die...but it's all the same argument in the end. I applaud the Jewish leaders who are trying to find a reasonable path down the middle (per primroseburrows post) to meet the needs of tradition without hurting the little baby boys as much.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-04-22 20:20 (UTC) ()
Since AS WE ALL KNOW that causes insanity, blindness, etc....

Well of course. Which of course is why most teenage boys are blind and crazy. Oh, wait. They aren't. Gee. ;)
Susan the Neon Nurse
neonnurse at 2005-04-22 20:39 (UTC) ()
Well. Mostly not BLIND. :)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-04-22 20:51 (UTC) ()
I have one non-crazy teenage boy. Well, most of the time. He did dye his hair several interesting colours at various times. :)
Really Sunny
willysunny at 2005-04-22 14:51 (UTC) ()
Hot DAMN! Now that is just plain AWESOME. :)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-04-22 20:27 (UTC) ()
Isn't it? :D :D
sweet_merak at 2005-04-29 05:00 (UTC) ()
dan savage had a kid who'd been mutilated in a botched circumcision write in to him, and the pain that kid has... I don't think I could do anything that would have the chance of causing that to a child. Nevermind the loss of sexual sensitivity. I'll get lots of flack from my family, but I plan to do the bloodless bris if I have sons. G-d will understand other ways that my family will be pledged to Judaism.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-04-29 16:38 (UTC) ()
It's all about symbolism, right? IMO, religious beliefs are not a reason for abuse, which is what I believe circumcision to be. I hope more families decide on a Bloodless Bris, and that secular circs are exposed for the torture they actually are.
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