Because it ain\’t the same thing you stupid woman

We rightly decry female genital mutilation. Why, then, are so many happy to condone the male equivalent?

No, leave aside the rights and wrongs for a moment.

Just consider that comparison.

The male equivalent of FGM would be to slice the entire glans off.

This is not something supported by anyone at all.

21 thoughts on “Because it ain\’t the same thing you stupid woman”

  1. So Tim, if I want to come and practise my religion on you by cutting off about 1/3 of the skin of your penis, is that GBH or not?

    So, if I want to practise my religion on my new-born son by cutting off about 1/3 of the skin of his penis it is not GBH because ____________.

    Not to mention that female circumcision is indeed something supported by some people, which is why it was banned. Religio-cultural sensibilities were (entirely correctly) not taken into consideration then, neither should they be taken into consideration with male circumcision now.

  2. Actually, it’s reckoned that removing the foreskin affects the male sensitivity. It’s not just a bit of redundant skin.

    (there’s some theories that it started as a way to make men less lusty).

    Tim adds: If that were true then it would be a conspiracy by the current generation of women to aid the next. Reducing sensitivity in the male would make said male last longer: to the presumed benefit of future mates.

  3. Circumcision is a highly effective prophylactic measure against the development of blindness in teenage boys. We observe very little blindness in teenage boys in countries where infant circumcision is widespread (USA, Yemen) thus proving that the method is effective. Who cares if years down the line you find half your scrotum riding painfully up your over-taut shaft and your shrivelled glans can’t feel that much because your mommy was Jewish or couldn’t cope with her four year-old asking questions about his knob so got the doctor to see to it? You’re still physically capable of cracking one out given enough effort, so shut the fuck up and accept that parents are entitled to whip bits off you at will.

  4. I may be wrong, but any amount of snipping of a female would be considered FGM and undefendable. If you support male circumcision then you must surely support parents rights to cut off non vital bits of girls as well. Unless you take the view some bits of males are redundant but not so for a girl. I have no idea how anyone can decide they know better than millions of years of evolution though.

  5. The religious know much better than evolution. They are however a little short on explanations of how God managed to cock things up so badly when it comes to cock.

  6. I’m not an expert on anatomy, but i would say cutting off the foreskin is probably the equivalent of removing the clitoral hood. Which would be considered FGM by any sane person.

  7. As someone who has been “done” I can say that sensitivity has not been affected, but then I haven’t got anything to compare it to since my op was when I was a baby.

    I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything. In fact I prefer my shape to that of some one who hasn’t been done.

  8. They might not be the same, but parents should be prevented from mutilating their children.

    SBML, no-one is stopping an adult have such surgery if they wish; much like a tattoo.

    And not that it matters, but you can’t actually know how sensitive you would have been, had you not been “done”.

  9. Nautical Nick

    So parents shouldn’t be allowed to have their baby girls’ ears pierced, either, then? Oh dear. Tell that to the traveller communities.

  10. “Just consider that comparison. The male equivalent of FGM would be to slice the entire glans off.”

    Not strictly true.

    Female circumcision can be limited to removal of the clitoral hood – equivalent to the male foreskin.

    Removal or trimming of the clitoral hood was practices in Western Countries to discourage masturbation and possible diseases up to the 1960s when this practice was considered abusive and outlawed.

    So if it is abuse and illegal to remove the equivalent of the male foreskin in females, why not so in males?

    The point surely is not the degree of the mutilation, but whether it is permissible on any grounds other than medical.

  11. It’s possible to masturbate to climax by just rubbing the foreskin over the glans – therefore, circumcised men are missing out on something. I don’t have a problem with circumcision, per se – it’s infant/childhood circumcision I’d like to see outlawed. If you want to get yourself done once you’ve reached the age of medical consent, go for it, it’s nobody’s right to stop you.

  12. Frances: Piercings heal. Circumcisions very rarely grow back. It would be more akin to cutting off the earlobe.

  13. Are there any health benefits to FGM? I don’t know of any. While I doubt many people would be convinced that medical arguments justify infant male circumcision, it does appear to have some health benefits – blindness prevention not being one of them!

  14. Of course there are no health benefits to routine circumcision, although there are medical reasons to have it done. The hygiene and infection reason is usually trotted out. But we don’t go around chopping off peoples feet to deal with athletes foot. It’s done because in olden times people thought it would please a wrathful God. Now it is done because of tradition I would suppose. Which is still a stupid reason.

  15. Matthew L

    Whether or not the mutilation heals is not the issue. It’s still mutilation of another human being who has no say in the matter.

  16. jimmy

    Circumcision was used as a badge of identity in Judaism – akin to branding, it permanently identified a man as a member of the Jewish nation.

    Islam’s roots are in Judaism, and unlike Christianity which considered the issue of circumcision very early on and decided not to continue the practice, Islam has continued with it for reasons I admit I don’t know.

  17. @Nautical Nick, my point was that even though I was done as a child and had no say I don’t see it as child abuse. I’ve grown up without it and no nothing different. To me sex is still a lot of pleasure. Telling me I would experience better pleasure is like telling a blind person what the colour red looks like.

    In fact what about Cochlea implants to “fix” deafness. Is that child abuse? There is no medical need to fix deafness as there are disability laws and enough support and help to allow deaf people to live pretty normal lives. So are parents committing child abuse in getting the operation done?

  18. Jimmy: obviously there are some people for whom circumcision is an appropriate medical intervention in response to a specific medical need, eg in cases where the foreskin is unusually tight. That alone differentiates it from FGM. But I am less sure than you that ‘obviously’ there are no benefits from more widespread application – isn’t there evidence of it reducing certain STD transmission rates?

  19. The effect on transmission of STDs (actually it’s only HIV) is trivial and only works in one direction (female to male transmission, which is a lower risk to start with). No one in their right mind would rely on it compared to something like a condom (or not sleeping with the infected) which does actually work.

    And we again return to the point that this is totally irrelevant for kids. Kids are not at risk of getting HIV off their girlfriends. Kids old enough to be at risk of getting HIV off their girlfriends are old enough to make their own decision.

    The medical indication is likewise a red herring. There is one genuine medical indication, phimosis – a foreskin so tight you can’t roll it back. Maybe 1 in 1000 men at most. There are also genuine medical indications for the amputation of limbs but we tend not to do it routinely on the basis that a few people need it.

  20. It certainy seems to be a relatively harmless business, and although the argument is a very strong one about the infant’s right not to have bits removed, there is an equally strong or stronger counter argument which says that as long as parents feel it is right to do it, then it will be done, and if it is outlawed then medical standards are likely to suffer and as a result the wee chaps as well; therefore, for purely pragmatic reasons it would be well not to ban it, but to try to persuade people in general that cutting bits off other people is wrong.

    Plus the hysteria of some of these posts and articles makes one wonder if the authors are less concerned about infantile foreskins than about geo-politics in the middle East…

  21. cuffleyburgers: The nice thing about banning circumcision is that it unites Jews and Muslims, giving them a common cause to rail against. Perhaps a roadmap for peace in the Middle East?

    Tim Minchin based his peace plan on “we don’t eat pigs, and you don’t eat pigs, so let’s all not eat pigs together”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UO6YlkYNJQ

    I’d love to see a song about this one.

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