Thursday, November 08, 2012

A nick down there

I am absolutely appalled to hear how wide spread female circumcision is in Australia with something like 120,000 Australian women(not necessarily done here) who have undergone some sort of procedure that is surely meant to make them not function well sexually. I hope most have only undergone scratches and not the much worse. No one has the right to to abuse another person's body and remove part of it without permission.

Which brings me to less serious business of male circumcision. In a post many many years ago, I surprised males by being able to tell if they were circumcised by just knowing a little about them. If you combine ethnicity, religion and where they grew up, it is not hard. Well, not if they are of a certain age. Things are a changin', and not before time.

I have noticed, in my limited experience of course, that Jewish and Muslim men seem to be circumcised very severely. Essentially, there is little loose skin at all. I am third generation Australian protestant white Anglo Saxon male, so of course I am cut, but not severely.

I understand the norm for people of my ilk born in the last couple of decades in Australia is not to be circumcised. Some detail of break downs would be an interesting read.

When I was young, I certainly preferred men who were cut. As time has gone on, I have learnt to appreciate the uncut style too.  I don't have a preference now. A cock is a cock is a cock.

But let me just say this. I care not for religion or reasons of culture, none of that will wash with me. No one has the right to decide to physically abuse another person's body, let alone take to it with a knife. If a male or a female wants to chop or cut bits of themselves when they reach maturity, so be it, but it is not for the parents or anyone else to decide about or to do before the person reaches the age of consent.

I will wear that male circumcision does little harm, but then I don't have the experience of what the alternative is like. I did know a guy who was circumcised by his own choice when he was in his early twenties. He regretted the loss of sensation and wished he had not done it. Circumcision may well have penile and other health benefits, and that is for a person to decide for themselves when their brain is developed enough to make such a decision.

Regardless anyone who removes part of a woman/girl, or is complicit in such removal, and so renders a woman unable to have full sexual function is evil and should be prosecuted to the extreme of the appropriate laws. This is not a grey area.

26 comments:

  1. I was circumcised shortly after birth and have no knowledge of what it is like to be in the alternative state but I have never been sorry about that.

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    1. Victor, like me, you don't know any difference and I don't think it does any harm. Medical opinion is still quite divided.

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  2. By the way, I wasn't relating my comment to the issue of female circumcision about which I am rather ignorant.

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    1. Victor, circumcision of women is a poor description. In many cases, it is mutilation.

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  3. It's so very sad that this happens to young girls. I read something recently about American women having cosmetic surgery down there so they could look better. Sheer and total insanity. imho

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    1. Rubye, I think in the US, certainly here, it is big business now. Many Australian's have cosmetic surgery done in Asian countries because it is much cheaper. I am not sure if that includes...there is a name...Vaginoplasty. I wonder if down the track, like other cosmetic surgery, we will start to see photos of when it goes wrong. Anyway, their bodies, their choice.

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  4. I agree. This practice is evil and needs to be stamped out. It happens in third world countries where women are still seen as lesser beings and ruled (oppressed) by men. It is thought that by circumcising, a woman is less likely to enjoy sex and so won't stray or otherwise make herself available to other men. Female circumcision is not just a nick, in some cases whole areas of genitalia, clitoris and labia are cut away, often without anaesthetic and infections and death from this are frequent.
    I would imagine that in Australia this type of thing happens more humanely, maybe in a hospital, but it shouldn't happen at all.
    NOT AT ALL. Religion is no excuse.

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    1. River, you have certainly painted the picture in vivid colour. It is about male control over women. It doesn't really happen here, as it is illegal and there has been prosecutions against offenders. But, apparently it does.

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  6. oh poop! if it's not right this time, forgive me.

    Agreed, River, you seem to have read about female circumcision, which in some cases [infibulation] is unimaginably extreme. You were probably as sick after discovering the detail as I was. Unforgivable. [Hence my concern at the wording of proposals to change the constitution to guarantee cultural freedom.]

    As you say Andrew, opinion is divided with respect to males.
    I do remember hearing from many sources that it was once near impossible to take home a newborn boy without having him circumcised first. I believe the opposite is now the case.

    Naturally I consulted the resident medical encyclopaedia on this issue. More appalling stuff. When TO was doing midwifery in the early 70s, boys were held down in a purpose built frame and circumcised without even a local anaesthetic or sedation, though both are now used.

    T.O. used an ice cream cone which tapers towards the end –with a bit of the end nipped off – to illustrate. Apparently the end of a newborn's foreskin tapers and is slightly narrower than the head of the penis. It is elastic and in most cases loosens enough over time to pull back more easily.
    In some cases the end of the foreskin simply cannot be pulled back at all, but generally if a baby is returned to hospital for circumcision it is because of horrific infections.

    Apart from instances of extreme tapering, TO suggests a lack of education of new parents is a huge issue, especially as we have seen new generations of circumcised [mainly Anglo/ European] men becoming parents of uncircumcised babies, with no experience or advice to go by in handling uncircumcised babies.

    Male circumcision is no longer as extreme as it once was, with just enough of the foreskin removed to overcome the issue of tightness at the end, or to excise infected skin.

    For cultural or religious reasons? I agree it should be a personal choice and circumcision should NOT be automatically inflicted on males.

    I’m no mo’yel, but I assume that except for extremely orthodox Jews the practice with boys is not quite so cruel as it could be. Ritual completed, a mo’yel would know what he is doing and turn the remaining end of the foreskin back and stitch it down the way goyim once did.

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    1. FC, dicks are something I do actually know about and I am terribly glad you got it right at the end and I did have to do the agree to disagree moment. Tapering is an interesting expression but quite valid. One guy in my whole life was tapered to the point where he could expose himself. He was Greek, if that is relevant.

      TO's theory is something I thought about for a bit, but no. Once guys reach puberty, they will work it out for themselves, if they have not already. Besides, it would be automatically done by their mother, or primary carer, when they were babies. Very obvious.

      Your last paragraph is something I don't know about. Must investigate.

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    2. There's no question you know more about dicks than I do.
      By TO's theory are you referring to education? I think she was talking about parents cleaning newborns - accumulation of nappy lint, baby powder, faeces etc being a problem if they are not aware of how important it is to be careful, and how to be careful.

      Had no idea myself until I asked.

      She was only talking about newborns, not adults. From TO's theory, to have such a problem as an adult your greek friend might not have been born in an Australian hospital, perhaps.

      A friend's 5 year old son was taking forever in the bath one night. She laughed hysterically and said he is always very careful about cleaning under his foreskin. Now I see she was serious as well as amused.

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    3. Yes, she was saying some carers need educating, we can't always assume they have the brights or knowledge to deal with an infant foreskin, esp if others in the family were circumcised.

      Not a disagreement, perhaps, so much as my imprecise waffle.

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    4. Ok, clear now. Yes, new borns, with a cut father, or one who makes assumptions and is hands off, and a mother who doesn't know any better.

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  7. Agreed Victor and will cut, (Boom! Boom!) paste and alter your comment. I was not circumcised after birth and have no knowledge of what it is like to be in the alternative state but I have never been sorry about that. Different strokes (Boom! Boom!) for different folks.

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    1. Almost Boom Boom LS. I would have said you cut LS. Are you a Mick?

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    2. Not a Mick. An intact Proddy - until I became a god fearing atheist.

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    3. I think you might be a minority group then.

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  8. *crosses legs & shifts uncomfortably*

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  9. My dick (dicks) are intact..make of that what you like Andrew haha!!

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    1. I always knew there was something about you Grace.

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    1. World wide problem I thin Kath. I think the UK is coming down pretty hard on it.

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    1. Diane, it should be a motherhood statement, and while it might be here, clearly it isn't for everyone.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.