How bloody weird

Genital surgery to create so-called “designer vaginas” should be outlawed under legislation designed to prevent female genital mutilation, according to a group of MPs.

These bodies, do they belong to the women that inhabit them? In the absence of slavery yes, I think we have to conclude that they do.

I’ve not problem with saying that the taxpayer should not pay for such procedures, but to insist that someone may not have the cosmetic surgey of their choice at all is, umm, well, what should we call it? Liberal Fascism or summat?

I’m afraid that it’s actually a position that I simply don’t understand at all. The very same people who insist that a woman can and should be able to do anything she likes with her own pregnancy seem to be the same people who insist that she cannot do what she wants with her own fanny.

What contortions of logic do you need to get to that situation?

86 comments on “How bloody weird

  1. False consciousness. And so the circle is squared. And of course it takes an enlightened one to see through that false consciousness and point the right way forward. Enter the MP…

    You’re welcome.

  2. This is obvious. I remember a few years back a Japanese girl writing into the papers with a wonderful rant about being banned from marrying her long term British boyfriend in the UK because she’d been unable to prove it wasn’t a forced marriage. Obviously the government had been under pressure to stop Pakistanis forcing their cousins too marry one another in Britain but our wonderful social services and police – a la Rotherham – just couldn’t bring themselves to actually tackle the problem, and instead lumped Pakistanis in with the catch-all term “Asians”, and then set about ruining the lives of ordinary people while still allowing Pakistanis to force their girls to marry cousins.

    It’s exactly the same thing here.

  3. Logic just doesn’t come into it. The game is to forcibly shoehorn as many dog-whistle concepts as possible into a slogan, sound-byte or ‘down with this sort of thing’ campaign. It’s about building a narrative around these concepts that seems to deliberately ignore the actual motivations of those involved.
    I believe they call it intersectionality.

    So this is bad because it’s ‘the rich’ buying ‘advantage’ and ‘inequality’, it’s ‘patriarchy’ ‘exacerbating body image problems’, ‘normalizing’ something that a complete fucking idiot might confuse with an actually awful thing that should be stopped. It’s for the children, of course.

  4. What Tim said, the actual problem is too hard for them to do anything about without a high chance of offending those who must not be offended, so they solve a completely non-existent problem to favour a tiny number of nutjobs.

  5. The issue isn’t about cosmetic surgery, it is about clarifying the law on female genital mutilation, and the outlawing only applies to those under 18.

  6. The issue here in general is the Feminist mythology that women do everything as a consequence of patriarchal oppression. So, men force women to remodel their vaginas, which is oppression.

    I have never in my life among sexist male misogynist society heard a man ever complain about a woman’s vaginal appearance (should be vulva anyway, shurely?). They claim that it is due to porn; that it is making womens’ vulvas look like those of pornstars, and yet if you look at porn you see vulvas of all shapes and sizes.

    In other words, this is the usual Feminist bullshit of just making shit up and repeating it until it becomes considered true.

    “I am disappointed by my girlfriend’s labia majora”. It just doesn’t happen, does it? I mean, ever.

  7. Ian B .. yes I agree. But men also dont care about nail polish. Nothing to do with us. And wtf is vajazzling?

  8. I assumed, as Shinsei says, that the clit-clipping ban was for under 18 only.

    So is that incorrect, or are people having their children’s vaginas redesigned?

  9. There’s a world of difference between an adult woman deciding to get her spaniel’s ears piss-flaps re-modelled, at vast expense and her boyfriend’s bafflement, by an expert Harley St shyster (“it looks serious – we’re going to have to open your wallet”) and slicing an 8 year old’s clit off with an old razor. Surely even the CPS can see that, and make charging decisions accordingly?

    Sounds to me more like an excuse for doing nothing about Somalis.

  10. But this is the hole you dig for yourself if you both allow the circumcision of male children for religious reasons AND outlaw discrimination on grounds of religion & sex. Two are incompatible.

  11. Sorry. That won’t be clear, will it? Because religious male circumcision doesn’t require consent, to make female circumcision of minors illegal you have to make all elective surgical fiddling about with lady bits illegal. Irrespective of consent

  12. Hallowed Be,

    You think you don’t care about nail polish, but all make-up is about drawing attention or covering sins. Bright reds stand out to us. Even in your peripheral vision, it will draw your attention.

    Vajazzling was just a silly fad. It’s not the same as make-up, it’s more of a thing like tattoos where women do it for themselves.

  13. bloke (not) in spain – “Because religious male circumcision doesn’t require consent, to make female circumcision of minors illegal you have to make all elective surgical fiddling about with lady bits illegal. Irrespective of consent”

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of circumcision, the law has no problems telling the difference between different types of assault. Reflecting the fact that it is obvious that a slap is different from stamping on someone’s face when they are down.

    So too should the law have no trouble telling the difference between a sexual assault that prevents sexual pleasure for life performed on someone obviously in pain and an assault performed on an infant which it will not remember and which has no obvious downside whatsoever.

    Even if both acts were illegal, it would be *insane* to punish the two acts to the same degree.

  14. It’s the obvious conclusion – if we want to stop Fatima having FMG, we’ve also got to stop Shandiee having a…well, whatever Essex girls have down there.

    The only other alternative is expecting public servants to show discretion and judgement. And that’s just ridiculous!

  15. “So too should the law have no trouble telling the difference between a sexual assault that prevents sexual pleasure for life performed on someone obviously in pain and an assault performed on an infant which it will not remember and which has no obvious downside whatsoever.”
    How do you do that, once you’ve said you won’t discriminate on the grounds of sex?
    “The only other alternative is expecting public servants to show discretion and judgement.”
    But that’s what anti-discrimation laws are intended to prevent. The exercise of judgement. Discrimination is what judgement is.

  16. SMFS,

    A slap is still assault. If I walked up to someone in the street and slapped them, I’d expect to be in court for it.

    Infant circumcision is unnecessary and pointless surgery. There’s maybe an argument about sexual disease in which case, fine, ask the kid when he’s 12 if he’d like his foreskin chopped off. There’s maybe some loss of sexual sensitivity (and some suggestion that this was the purpose of it in the first place).

  17. and yet if you look at porn you see vulvas of all shapes and sizes.

    And in modern porn, that part of anatomy has largely been relegated to the, erm, back seat.

  18. Yup, outlaw it here as a point of principle. Make people who want it travel abroad to places where they won’t do a good job, then return to the UK and have the problems fixed on the NHS.

    Yes, I can see the sense in that.

  19. bloke (not) in spain – “How do you do that, once you’ve said you won’t discriminate on the grounds of sex?”

    I would never say we should not discriminate on the grounds of sex. But let’s assume the country is run by idiots. Oh. Damn.

    There is a world of difference between a slap on the face that provides a moment of pain but no long lasting effect and a lobotomy. The law should not have any trouble telling these apart. Not even if women usually slap men and women usually get lobotomies. Even if we ban all forms of discrimination, the law would be asinine if it could not take into account the difference between a trivial moment of pain with no long term impact and a deliberate crippling of a small child – not infant – in such a way she could never enjoy sex again.

    The correct parallel with FGM is not circumcision but castration.

    The Stigler – “A slap is still assault. If I walked up to someone in the street and slapped them, I’d expect to be in court for it.”

    My mother may have slapped me once. I don’t think she should be on trial. However even if we accept that a slap in a type of assault, the law is smart enough to tell the difference between a serious assault and a trivial assault.

    “Infant circumcision is unnecessary and pointless surgery.”

    It may be unnecessary. But it has a long history and as such it ought to be respected given it has no downside whatsoever. This is a simple British Conservative vs. French Liberal debate. We ought to support hallowed tradition because it is a hallowed tradition – at least without a strong reason to do otherwise. Unlike the French sitting around the cafe table saying “it is harmless in practice, but is it harmless in theory?”

    “There’s maybe some loss of sexual sensitivity (and some suggestion that this was the purpose of it in the first place).”

    There maybe. Then again there may not. It may provide longer and better sex for the woman. Or it may not. We don’t know. I suspect most people don’t care. This is driven by something besides the harm caused.

  20. The correct parallel with FGM is not circumcision but castration.

    No it isn’t.FGM leaves its victim reproductively functional.

    Why men engage in circumcision apologetics remains a mystery to me.

  21. The stigler..concede on the nail polish. Vajazzling then will be one those things we date the era. Like rubiks cubes.

  22. SMFS,

    “My mother may have slapped me once. I don’t think she should be on trial. ”

    But if you reported her, she could be. It’s only that you’ve not done so. Most men who get a slap from their wives after banging their secretary don’t go to the police either. They know they deserve it. But they could…

    “It may be unnecessary. But it has a long history and as such it ought to be respected given it has no downside whatsoever.”

    Tradition counts for shit. Is it OK or not? It’s an unnecessary medical intervention done without consent, and with some studies showing loss of sexual function, and with around 100 infant deaths in the US per year.

    What’s the point in doing it to someone before the age of say, 12? Why not wait?

  23. Ian B – “No it isn’t.FGM leaves its victim reproductively functional.”

    Removal of the penis but not testicles then. Ejaculation would still be possible and the male could still reproduce. As long as he is willing to engage in painful and unrewarding acts.

    “Why men engage in circumcision apologetics remains a mystery to me.”

    Why anyone gives a damn about circumcision escapes me. But if ever there is a thin edge of the wedge, this is it. How someone who claims to be a libertarian can support laws that could only be enforced by some form of soft Fascism escapes me. You think every child should have their genitalia inspected, unannounced, by government officials and policemen? On whom should the burden of proof lie should there be a problem?

  24. The Stigler – “But if you reported her, she could be. It’s only that you’ve not done so. Most men who get a slap from their wives after banging their secretary don’t go to the police either. They know they deserve it. But they could…”

    This is so utterly irrelevant I assume you have not bothered to read or understand what I said. My mistake for letting you distract me.

    So frickin’ what? The law would still make a distinction between a slap and permanent disfigurement.

    “Tradition counts for shit. Is it OK or not? It’s an unnecessary medical intervention done without consent, and with some studies showing loss of sexual function, and with around 100 infant deaths in the US per year.”

    Tradition is everything. It should not be discarded without strong reasons to do so. Circumcision doesn’t even come close.

    Let us agree it is an unnecessary medical intervention done without consent. So what? Ideally it would not happen but it does and it is important to some communities. Who have been doing it for generations and for whom it is an important source of identity. There is no downside making it worthy of a ban. If there is a single credible study showing decreased sexual function, cite it.

    “What’s the point in doing it to someone before the age of say, 12? Why not wait?”

    Because God says so. You may not care but other people do. Again it may be stupid. But trying to prevent them is much much worse. This is an issue where the State has no compelling need to intervene and the solution would be worse than the problem.

  25. How someone who claims to be a libertarian can support laws that could only be enforced by some form of soft Fascism escapes me.

    Because libertarianism is the philosophy that individuals have rights, and laws should enshrine those rights. Which is why libertarians would expect laws against sexually abusing your children also, even if “they’re too young to remember it and it does no lasting damage”.

    It is “fascism” that accords different rights and privileges to different classes of people, not libertarianism.

    But don’t worry, circumcision is “harmless”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/11470868/Worlds-first-successful-penis-transplant-carried-out-in-South-Africa.html

    Oh.

    It is very hard to enforce rape laws. Nonetheless we support rape laws. Can you guess why?

  26. They don’t want women electing to have cosmetic surgery on their vag… so what about Trannies? No mention of them.

  27. Ian. You’re just showing why libertarianism is a nice theory, but like communism, doesn’t survive contact with reality. Your idea of “rights” has no currency outside of a willingness to observe & grant those rights. So they have no value in the first place.

  28. SMFS, bravo, I’ve never seen someone in the West defending Female Genital Mutilation, but you just went ahead and did it.

  29. B(n)IS

    Rights are ground rules. There’s nothing unreasonable about that. Right to life==law against murder. Property rights==laws against theft. And so on.

    Any ruleset only has as much validity as the means to enforce it. That doesn’t annul the concept. The more such a ruleset is in place, observed by citizens, courts and government, the more libertarian a society is.

  30. SMFS: “There is no downside making it worthy of a ban. “

    Oh, but isn’t there complications of pregnancy (and increased cost) for the NHS to factor in?

  31. But, Ian, you’re never going to get agreement about the rules. So it ends up as one set of people having the power to impose their rules on those who don’t.
    Which is where we came in.

  32. Ian B – “Because libertarianism is the philosophy that individuals have rights, and laws should enshrine those rights. Which is why libertarians would expect laws against sexually abusing your children also, even if “they’re too young to remember it and it does no lasting damage”.”

    You know, you do say the weirdest things. Sexual abuse of children, of course, does long term lasting damage. It is bizarre anyone would say otherwise. No doubt you will yet again claim not to be a paedophile apologist. Weird.

    “It is “fascism” that accords different rights and privileges to different classes of people, not libertarianism.”

    So Modern Britain is Fascist and has been Fascist since Cromwell because it does not punish Jews for assault?

    It is Fascism to try to enforce such laws. You would need to inspect every child’s genitalia. It is abhorrent – and a bigger violation of rights and circumcision.

    “But don’t worry, circumcision is “harmless”.”

    So you cite, as an example, a man, aged 21, who lost his penis in a circumcision three years ago. When he was 18. In other words, you claim to be totally fine with this type of operation. His body, an adult, etc etc.

    British Jews cannot be held responsible for what African witch doctors do with sharp rocks and other adult’s penises.

    Although this complication is like FGM as fertility is preserved.

    “It is very hard to enforce rape laws. Nonetheless we support rape laws. Can you guess why?”

    That is an absurd parallel. But let’s treat the two in the same way. So the police wait for someone to complain. How long is the statute of limitations for rape? That is, the law would be unenforcable. What you want to do is stop people who don’t object doing it to people who grow up and don’t object. You are like those feminists who insist that one in four women are raped because even if they don’t think they were raped, their experience meets the feminists’ abstract criterion for rape.

  33. Richard Allan – “I’ve never seen someone in the West defending Female Genital Mutilation, but you just went ahead and did it.”

    You don’t read enough Germaine Greer. But of course I didn’t. Try again.

    JuliaM – “Oh, but isn’t there complications of pregnancy (and increased cost) for the NHS to factor in?”

    Male circumcision does not effect pregnancy.

  34. Ian. You’re just showing why libertarianism is a nice theory, but like communism, doesn’t survive contact with reality. Your idea of “rights” has no currency outside of a willingness to observe & grant those rights. So they have no value in the first place.

    Seems excessively reductionist. After all, nothing has value unless someone values it.

  35. @Richard Allan
    “I’ve never seen someone in the West defending Female Genital Mutilation, but you just went ahead and did it.”
    No he didn’t. He’s advocating arbitrary choice. This we allow. This we don’t. No attempt to ground the decision in a theory of “rights”.
    It actually largely reflects how we do the things that work. It’s trying to create rule systems are universally applicable ends up in the subject of discussion.

  36. Sexual abuse of children, of course, does long term lasting damage. It is bizarre anyone would say otherwise. No doubt you will yet again claim not to be a paedophile apologist. Weird.

    The baby abused by Ian Watkins et al would not remember anything and apparently suffered no identifiable harm. That does not make what he did tolerable.

    Of course, if he’d just flayed a baby’s penis, you’d have been leaping to his defence.

    British Jews cannot be held responsible for African culture. But they can be held responsible for looking at a healthy, newborn baby and saying “you know, he’d be much better if we ripped the skin off his cock”.

  37. UK Lib
    “Seems excessively reductionist. After all, nothing has value unless someone values it.”
    Yep

  38. It is Fascism to try to enforce such laws. You would need to inspect every child’s genitalia. It is abhorrent – and a bigger violation of rights and [than?] circumcision.

    You mean, like with any prohibition of FGM?

  39. The Stigler – “credible source?”

    Self reported. So not credible. On the other hand, good news for the Jews:

    In comparison to men circumcised before puberty, men circumcised during adolescence or later indicated less sexual pleasure at the glans penis, and a higher percentage of them reported discomfort or pain and unusual sensations at the penile shaft.

    “The bible says that the daughters of priests that become whores should be killed. Is that OK, too?”

    What part of “compelling reason” is hard to understand? Yes, the state has a compelling reason to prohibit murder – and murder is easy to detect without violating everyone’s civil rights. It does not have a compelling reason to ban circumcision.

    “Should we respect that “tradition”?”

    It seems the rule is only if Muslims do it.

    “If I write a book with “thou shalt beat your kids black and blue” in it by my sky fairy, is that then OK, on the basis of religion?”

    It is OK anyway.

    bloke (not) in spain – “He’s advocating arbitrary choice. This we allow. This we don’t. No attempt to ground the decision in a theory of “rights”.”

    Sorry but no he is not. Unless you are asserting that the difference between a slap on the face and a lobotomy is simply arbitrary. The stupidity quotient on that comment is unusually high. What is wrong?

  40. In comparison to men circumcised before puberty, men circumcised during adolescence or later indicated less sexual pleasure at the glans penis, and a higher percentage of them reported discomfort or pain and unusual sensations at the penile shaft.

    How the hell is a man who was genitally mutilated when only a few days old expected to know what a normal penis feels like?

  41. Ian B – “The baby abused by Ian Watkins et al would not remember anything and apparently suffered no identifiable harm. That does not make what he did tolerable.”

    Apparently? I find that hard to believe. How do you know? Scarring seems the least of the likely problems.

    “Of course, if he’d just flayed a baby’s penis, you’d have been leaping to his defence.”

    Flayed? No. Cut some functionless skin that does no long term harm? I certainly would not condemn him if it was done in line with centuries of his tradition.

    “British Jews cannot be held responsible for African culture. But they can be held responsible for looking at a healthy, newborn baby and saying “you know, he’d be much better if we ripped the skin off his cock”.”

    They don’t rip it. Do you think your need to misrepresent is a product of the weakness of your argument?

    Ian B – “You mean, like with any prohibition of FGM?”

    FGM is of course much more abhorrent and so the State has a stronger interest. But we have the same problem. We don’t know how to ban this. Everyone would like to see it end, but how? It is hard to reconcile a liberal society with the sort of actions we would need to take to prohibit FGM – inspect everyone’s genitalia as they fly to or from Africa? So far we have no solution and FGM continues.

  42. Liberty, yes. But the actual recommendation in the report is:

    24. We recommend that the Government examine the extent to which there is a double standard in the current treatment of female genital cosmetic surgery and FGM under the law, and whether there is a case for prohibiting all such surgery on girls under the age of 18, except where it is clinically indicated.

    To which the government’s response is “…The 2003 Act does not contain any exemption for cosmetic surgery…”

  43. SMFS,

    “It is Fascism to try to enforce such laws. You would need to inspect every child’s genitalia. It is abhorrent – and a bigger violation of rights and circumcision.”

    I’m not sure that laws are the answer in this case, for those sorts of reasons. You’ll get backstreet circumcision, or people flying off to countries that allow it.

    It’s wrong, but so’s FGM and there’s not much you can do to stop that, either. You can only stop them by explaining to people that these practices existed in tightly-knit tribal hunter-gatherer societies and have no use in our society.

  44. @IanB,

    SMFS indulges in a lot of apologetics for bad things that get done to people who are not SMFS.

  45. And it looks like if you are over 18 you can indeed have your fanny flayed to your own spec. So there is really nothing to see here.

    But boys can still be held down and have their dicks chopped up.

    SMFS, the reason that’s not very nice is that the person getting their dick chopped has no say in the matter. Whether you think it’s “just a functionless bit of skin” or not is totally irrelevant. Asides from anything else any procedure carries risks, and this is exposing of children to risk for no benefit. If we are supposed to just lop bits off newborns on the basis of their being “functionless” I can name half a dozen other bits we can lop off without ill effect (provided the procedure has no side effects). Why don’t we do that to every new born?

  46. Seems weird to be defending SMfS, but:
    “SMFS indulges in a lot of apologetics for bad things that get done to people who are not SMFS.”
    No he doesn’t. He says there’s a group of people been practicing religious male circumcision for quite a long time, without any great harm. There’s certainly plenty of Jews left around & not much pressure in Jewish circles to abandon it So why would you want to, maybe, end up in a situation where a community might feel obliged to leave the UK over trying to implement a rule system includes other things? Remember, their priorities don’t have to be your priorities.

  47. @b(n)is, the key is that it’s going on in a group that isn’t going to do it to him. He isn’t at risk of male genital mutilation, so what those darkies or kikes get up to is just fine. For the same reason he has no problem with general discrimination against darkies (justified by the darkie mean on some scale or other being inferior to not darkies). As a non-darkie he is not at risk of this (in fact stands only to gain). Likewise as a not-woman he is happy for general discrimination against women to take place (on the grounds that women prefer to cook and clean and pop out a baby every year but just don’t know what’s good for them). He isn’t at risk of losing out.

    The motivation is simple selfishness, and not caring about anyone else (and in particular trying to secure a personal advantage by defining out as many other people as possible). That really isn’t a particularly unusual attitude to have, but SMFS is very open and honest about it.

  48. Also, I’m pretty utilitarian on most things and no, I wouldn’t want Britain’s Jewish community to leave or get thrown in the clink. But this is a really hard one, and ultimately the rights of the individual not to be chopped up without their consent should take precedence. How we get there from here, I don’t have the answer.

  49. And yet, We can outlaw the docking of tails on dogs (for fashion) and can legislate for the docking of tails of sheep (for practical health reasons) Is species the problem?

  50. We seem to be capable of legislating any degree of protection for anyone or anything but infant boys, who remain subject to traditions and religions of which they have no knowledge and which they have made no decision to participate in.

  51. In support of SMFS: all the commenters here surely know that the Jewish community will go elsewhere if the Brits ban circumcision and so no government will ban it. Thus in insisting that circumcision is the male equivalent of FGM they seek to block a ban on the latter.
    But the two are not equivalent. Plenty of my generation of Gentiles were circumcised and all seem to have as active and pleasurable sex lives as those of us that weren’t. Whereas FGM is an awful thing: read Ayaan Hirsi Alias. As well as denying women sexual pleasure it stops then peeing properly and causes constant urinary infections.
    Such false equivalences have no place in libertarianism.

  52. Such justificational twaddle has no place in libertarianism either. Anyone who threatens to leave rather than respect the rights of others knows where the airport is.

    And you’re comparing the most extreme and lurid form of FGM (infibulation) with male circumcision. There is a range of practices down to nothing more than a ceremonial, and functionally entirely harmless, “nick”, but nobody is saying let’s keep the milder forms legal.

    Male circumcision, like female circumcision, is an unnecessary harm inflicted on defenseless others for purely ritual reasons (indeed, FGM practicing communities are a subset of MGM communities; everyone who practises FGM also practises MGM, but the converse is not true). There is no reason not to stop it; and I never in any other situation here complaints that we cannot pass a law because the people who don’t want to obey it will leave. It is an attempt to make opposition look anti-semitic/racist, and that’s pretty risible.

    Babies are born with genitals with various parts for various functions; it is entirely right to say that they should be left intact, and there is no plausible argument against that (no, “it’s not as bad” is not a plausible argument). I find it incredible that anyone would be saying “you must leave your daughters alone, but do as you wish to your sons”.

  53. Jeremy T,

    Who is saying FGM and MGM are equivalent? Who?

    Ian B,
    You’re generally right about MGM being a subset of FGM, except in the USA where circumcision is very popular for non-religious reasons. The suspicion was that it stopped masturbation many decades ago, but then stuck as family tradition. It’s highly variable by region – it’s almost non-existent on the west coast.

  54. Stigler-

    I said that FGM is a subset of MGM. Every culture that circumcises girls circumcises boys. Which strongly implies that male circumcision is the main focus of the practice, which in some cultures was also applied to girls.

  55. The Stigler
    Who is saying FGM and MGM are equivalent? Who?
    Ian B:
    How the hell is a man who was genitally mutilated when only a few days old expected to know what a normal penis feels like?

  56. Bloke in Germany – “SMFS indulges in a lot of apologetics for bad things that get done to people who are not SMFS.”

    How do you know if I have been circumcised or not? In my generation it was very common for boys.

    But also the point is while your spit-fleckled rants are getting better – this one is almost has substance – I do not care for circumcision and I have never disputed that it is not a sensible thing to be doing. What I have said is that it is impossible to ban it and remain a liberal society. The cure is worse than the disease here. That is not an apologetics for anything.

    Bloke in Germany – “the reason that’s not very nice is that the person getting their dick chopped has no say in the matter.”

    Indeed. Very sad. What is the solution? Compulsory inspection of willies between the ages of 1 and 18 to make sure no one if following the law of Moses?

    “Whether you think it’s “just a functionless bit of skin” or not is totally irrelevant.”

    The fact that it has no measurable harm is not irrelevant.

    “Asides from anything else any procedure carries risks, and this is exposing of children to risk for no benefit.”

    So do piercing ears. Myself, I flinch when I see the poor White trash around where I lived with toddlers wearing ear rings. But that is their parents choice and as stupid as that choice is, banning it would be worse.

    “Why don’t we do that to every new born?”

    Why not? If circumcision was introduced now, I would certainly say ban it. But it wasn’t. It is an important part of the traditional life of several communities in this country and has been for a long time. It is like fishing. If it was to be introduced into this country I would certainly oppose it. It is cruel. How it is a tradition and as such provides pleasure for thousands of people and so should be tolerated.

    Bloke in Germany – “the key is that it’s going on in a group that isn’t going to do it to him. He isn’t at risk of male genital mutilation, so what those darkies or kikes get up to is just fine.”

    How do you know? How do you know if I am Jewish or for that matter of African origin? You don’t. You are, as usual, full of crap.

    “The motivation is simple selfishness, and not caring about anyone else (and in particular trying to secure a personal advantage by defining out as many other people as possible).”

    I fully agree I stand to gain by living in a liberal society that does not hound Jews for practising the faith of their Fathers. Something IanB has forgotten. After all, if they come for the Jews, they will get around to all of us in the end. Well maybe not you or Ironman.

    Bloke in Germany – “But this is a really hard one, and ultimately the rights of the individual not to be chopped up without their consent should take precedence. How we get there from here, I don’t have the answer.”

    Then you need to think about it. Because it is the getting there that is the problem. With FGM as well. If there was a magic wand that I could wave to end FGM, I would wave it. But there isn’t. So what plausible path do we have left? Not a liberal one. Except perhaps the slow growth of empathy and liberalism among Somali and other African communities. So it ain’t going to happen any time soon.

    Ian B – “We seem to be capable of legislating any degree of protection for anyone or anything but infant boys, who remain subject to traditions and religions of which they have no knowledge and which they have made no decision to participate in.”

    And who largely do not complain.

    JeremyT – “all the commenters here surely know that the Jewish community will go elsewhere if the Brits ban circumcision and so no government will ban it.”

    That is not a good reason to ban or not to ban circumcision. Myself, I think the Jewish community has brought Britain some benefits, but also some harm. Eric Hobsbawm for instance. Ed Miliband’s Father Ralph. Karl Marx if it comes to that. Sigmund Freud. The prat who runs the Tate. But the law is the law. If it is to be enforced it should be enforced. The only plausible way to remain an even slightly liberal country and ban genital mutilation of all sorts is to expel the Jewish and Muslim communities. If that is where we want to go, we have to go there. However I don’t think that it is a sensible thing to do. Some places the State should not go.

    “Such false equivalences have no place in libertarianism.”

    And yet here we are.

  57. Ian B – “Anyone who threatens to leave rather than respect the rights of others knows where the airport is.”

    Indeed. Although it is the Guardian’s paradox – their leftist twaddle has taken them down the path of endorsing groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Understandably Jewish people are not inclined to work for a paper that endorses people who want to kill them because they are Jewish. I am sure the Guardian regrets that, but it is the logical consequence of their beliefs and so they get some brownie points for sticking to it. As vile as they otherwise are.

    However it is probably not a situation we want to be in.

    “There is a range of practices down to nothing more than a ceremonial, and functionally entirely harmless, “nick”, but nobody is saying let’s keep the milder forms legal.”

    Well some Muslim groups do. But I think there is room for debate on this. Depending on how harmless the nicks are. As they tend to be to the clitoris itself, I am not sure they are all that harmless. But let’s see a study.

    “There is no reason not to stop it; and I never in any other situation here complaints that we cannot pass a law because the people who don’t want to obey it will leave. It is an attempt to make opposition look anti-semitic/racist, and that’s pretty risible.”

    I have yet to accuse anyone of anti-semitism or racism. And it would look pretty funny if I did. But I have given you perfectly adequate reasons why it should not be stopped. Which you refuse to engage with. Fine. Your choice. But you cannot deny those reasons have been given. They have.

    “I find it incredible that anyone would be saying “you must leave your daughters alone, but do as you wish to your sons”.”

    I have not seen anyone saying that so it seems a strawman.

  58. I fully agree I stand to gain by living in a liberal society that does not hound Jews for practising the faith of their Fathers. Something IanB has forgotten.

    It’s actually the faith of their mothers. Jewish identity passes down the maternal line; the same mothers who are religiously responsible for ensuring their sons are circumcised. The same Jewish mothers who, hypocritically, feel free to demand action to end FGM- as with Lynn Featherstone.

    Look, nobody is saying that they cannot practice their faith. The question is, rather, what they can inflict on others on the basis of their faith.

    As a child, I was made to sing hymns and worship a God in whom I did not believe. But neither of those things is irreversible, and the most harm I suffered was some boredom. Not the permanent loss of a very personal body part.

  59. Ian B – “It’s actually the faith of their mothers. Jewish identity passes down the maternal line”

    Thank you. I am aware of Jewish law on this subject and theologically you may be right. As a matter of sociology, and common sense, no it doesn’t work that way. Faith is usually that of the father regardless of the mother’s own preference. Jews usually make sure Jewish boys marry Jewish girls and so the children get both the theology and the sociology aligned right.

    And please, no one tell me about their aunt Phylis who made her husband go to her Church.

    “The same Jewish mothers who, hypocritically, feel free to demand action to end FGM- as with Lynn Featherstone.”

    Well it is different when it is your own isn’t it?

    “Look, nobody is saying that they cannot practice their faith. The question is, rather, what they can inflict on others on the basis of their faith.”

    Yes you are. Given their faith involves todger chopping. We could pass a law prohibiting Muslims and Christians from doing it before the age of 18. No theological problems at all. But Jews are required to do it on the eighth day.

    And the point remains – this is a small harm that would require a much greater harm to end. There is no sensible case for ending it.

  60. Yes, and their faith once said that they had to sacrifice vast quantities of animals and birds in a temple, and they don’t do that any more. St Paul figured a way out (“circumcised in the heart”) 2000 years ago.

    And the point remains – this is a small harm that would require a much greater harm to end.

    It is a great harm unsuited to a liberal western society, and ending it would do no harm at all.

  61. On the Jewishness passing down the female line: If I’ve got my Jewish history correct this is quite a recent innovation. It owes its roots to various pograms in Russia & the common rape of Jewish women. Enabled the acceptance of children resulting from those rapes to be accepted into the community.
    Jews have a lot of experience of getting the shitty end of the stick. Maybe that’s why they adhere to their culture so strongly. It’s the only thing they’ve managed to keep, most of the time.

    Maybe worth bearing in mind when talking about banning them exercising portions of it. Sorry, but on the scale of things your verbal disapproval isn’t going to count for a lot, is it? And you’re unlikely to get meek compliance by going further.

  62. Duvid is walking through the muddy streets of the schtetl & he sees his old friend Moishe sitting on a chair, outside his tumble-down one room shack, intently studying a newspaper.
    “What is that you have there, Moishe?”
    “It’s the Moscow newspaper. I found it beside the railway track.”
    “What does it say, Moishie?”
    “It says the Jews are taking over the world, Duvid”
    “Is that so! And what are you going to do when we take over the world, Moishe?”
    “I was considering getting a goat, Duvid.”

  63. If I’ve got my Jewish history correct this is quite a recent innovation…
    No, it’s in the Talmud and seems to date from the Roman occupation.

  64. @PaulB
    As one might imagine, any two Jewish scholars will have three opinions on this. The one I heard was the earlier reference in the Talmud was the justification for the later adoption of the practice. Supposedly, there were lengthy periods where inheritance passed in the male line. It is, of course, a matter open to lengthy debate. Couple of centuries might get a provisional position agreed on the matter

  65. Ian B – “Yes, and their faith once said that they had to sacrifice vast quantities of animals and birds in a temple, and they don’t do that any more. St Paul figured a way out (“circumcised in the heart”) 2000 years ago.”

    What St Paul said really doesn’t influence Jews a lot does it? They don’t do it because their Temple is now a mosque. It is still part of the faith and when they Temple is once again Jewish, they will start doing it again.

    “It is a great harm unsuited to a liberal western society, and ending it would do no harm at all.”

    It is no more harm than ear piercing and I would love to know by what magic wand you plan to prohibit it without harm. The government starts to enforce assault laws. The Jewish community continues to ignore them. And ?

  66. “It is no more harm than ear piercing and I would love to know by what magic wand you plan to prohibit it without harm. ”

    Ironically anyone piercing the genitals of anyone under the age of 16, even with the express consent of the individual concerned, could be construed as having carried out a sexual assault, and no tattooist/body piercer would dream of doing such a thing for fear of being prosecuted for just that. Indeed if body piercers were regularly carrying out genital piercings on children with or without parental consent you can bet your bottom dollar the law would be changed within months to explicitly outlaw it. How you consider circumcision without consent to be less of a sexual assault than genital piercing with (albeit invalid) consent I really don’t know.

  67. Did the objectors to Jewish male circumcision ever hear a phrase from Nam?
    “We had to burn the village to save it.”

  68. b(n)is: really no. The rule is that the children of a Jewish marriage are Jewish, but otherwise a child is Jewish if its mother is Jewish.

    As you say, Rabbis have differing interpretations of many things, but I doubt there’s a single one (excluding obscure sects who don’t accept the Mishnah) between say 500 and 1800 CE who you could quote disagreeing with this rule.

    In theory that is. In practice a sufficiently rich and powerful man could find a loophole to have his children deemed Jewish regardless of the faith of their mother.

  69. BIG,

    > the key is that it’s going on in a group that isn’t going to do it to him. He isn’t at risk of male genital mutilation, so what those darkies or kikes get up to is just fine.

    I’m not going to get involved in the details of the circumcision argument again because life’s too short and I’ve said it all before repeatedly, but that imputation of motive really is utter utter bollocks. For the record, I’m half-Kike. I wasn’t circumcised because I’m on the wrong side of the family, but a couple of minor changes in circumstance and I could have been. And yet I agree with SMFS that Jews have the right to practice it and the state shouldn’t be moving to ban Judaism or Jewry — even though I was at “risk” of it myself. What on Earth could be going on here? It’s almost as if I have principles or something.

    But wait! Casting my mind back, I seem to remember countless other arguments in which you bastards have made it clear that circumcision is only being defended out of some sort of unreasonable deference to the Jews. So this is interesting. Anyone who defends circumision is only doing so because they’re Jews defending their own culture, or they’re only doing so because they’re too close to the sinister Jewish lobby and so are defending backwards Jewish culture from your Forces Of Enlightenment And Progress, or now they’re only doing so because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Jews and so are happy to see bad things inflicted on them.

    Antisemitism truly is virus-like in its adaptability.

  70. Jeremy,

    > all the commenters here surely know that the Jewish community will go elsewhere if the Brits ban circumcision and so no government will ban it.

    No, Ian B has repeatedly denied this.

  71. BNIS,

    > Jews have a lot of experience of getting the shitty end of the stick. Maybe that’s why they adhere to their culture so strongly. It’s the only thing they’ve managed to keep, most of the time.

    Some people might go so far as to describe that as a tangible benefit.

    For the umpteenth time, for the hard of thinking: A religion is not just a set of beliefs; it is a group of people. In fact, it is primarily a group of people.

  72. Paul,

    > In practice a sufficiently rich and powerful man could find a loophole to have his children deemed Jewish regardless of the faith of their mother.

    I am neither rich nor powerful, yet I am informed that I am nevertheless Jewish enough to be welcome in Israel should I wish to avail myself of that option.

  73. No one wishes to ban circumcision per se, just ban it for those who have not given consent, or are legally incapable of doing so. There would be nothing stopping people of the Jewish faith circumcising their young men at the age of 18, with their full consent of course.

    The reason everyone doesn’t like this is the fear that 18 year old Jewish men might not actually volunteer to be circumcised, and the practice would die out (thereby somehow causing the end of Jewry etc etc).

    Which seems to me to be a rather weak argument in favour of continuing to circumcise children who can’t consent.

  74. Jim,

    > There would be nothing stopping people of the Jewish faith circumcising their young men at the age of 18, with their full consent of course.

    But that is not the Jewish faith. Judaism clearly specifies the age of eight days. It may not be your faith; it is not mine either. But just because you don’t believe in it, doesn’t mean it can be dismissed as irrelevant.

  75. “But that is not the Jewish faith. Judaism clearly specifies the age of eight days. It may not be your faith; it is not mine either. But just because you don’t believe in it, doesn’t mean it can be dismissed as irrelevant.”

    There’s plenty of Leviticus that the majority of Jews don’t observe nowadays, so lets not pretend there hasn’t been plenty of ‘economy’ over the millennia of what exactly is or is not required to be a practising Jew. Modern Jews do not practise in exactly the same way they did thousands of years ago, so if some things can change, so can others.

  76. > There’s plenty of Leviticus that the majority of Jews don’t observe nowadays

    Yes, obviously. That is an asinine observation that has nothing whatsoever to do with what is being discussed here. No-one is talking about the ways in which Judaism might evolve in the light of its own philosophical tradition; they are talking about a bunch of gentiles banning part of Judaism in their territory.

  77. ” No-one is talking about the ways in which Judaism might evolve in the light of its own philosophical tradition; they are talking about a bunch of gentiles banning part of Judaism in their territory.”

    And there was me thinking that a religion was a revealed absolute truth. Apparently not – its just whatever a bunch of people decide it is at any given point of time. So if the Jews (and indeed any other religion) can ‘interpret’ their religion voluntarily over time, it makes no difference whether that interpretation is as a result of outside influences, or is the result of natural internal debate. The fact is the religion has changed in the past, and can change again in the future. Jews (and Muslims) will just have to accept that being part of a modern Western Society means not fiddling with kiddies bits.

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