Just three or so weeks ago I was reading in a recent issue of The Atlantic and there was a blurbish bit about circumcision. It stuck in my mind as circumcision is one of those pet topics I'm so apt to go on and on about. I thought about posting about it but I'm still not sure the dust has settled over at the Fobcave. But then I heard of a Pressing Circumstance that made a circumcision talk necessary and since the Cicada-hosted one is still awaysaway, I thought maybe it was time to take up the ole banner and wave it about.
To start with, I am opposed to circumcision. Perhaps I should state this more strongly:
I AM OPPOSED TO CIRCUMCISION.
Yes. That's better.
I have a large number of reasons why I feel so, but today I will try to stick with the facts.
[SPOILER ALERT: The following paragraphs do NOT follow thnorm. Instead they discuss human genitalia. Those wishing to avoid such conversations are invited to leave now. That is all.]
Which brings us back to my Atlantickian blurb mentioned above--it seems a good place to start. Unfortunately, the blurbs don't seem to make the online edition so I can't reference you to their source, but here's the deal:
The uncircumcised penis of an adult male has five spots where the nerves are particularly sensitive and which are notably more sensitive than any spots on the circumcised penis. And really there's only one worth mentioning on that poor damaged fellow. The bright side is, that spot's unique to the circumcised penis. The lodestone lining is that's because the sensitive spot is where the damage was dealt. So claiming that as a bright side makes about as much sense as saying it was totally worth losing my right arm to that steamshovel cuz I get the chills when my woman licks my stump.
Crap. I've only touched on my first reason and I'm already getting rude. I apologize. But not sincerely enough to delete it.
Because it's true, isn't it? This notion that the unique pleasures of being circumcised outweigh the more numerous and demonstrably greater pleasures of being un?
Anyway, sexytime is, arguably, a "shallower" reason to pick sides on this issue. After all, isn't is true that uncircumcised men traffic in AIDS?
Um. Moving on.
What about health issues? What about men who lose their foreskins late in life do to health issues?
Fair question. If I'm not mistaken, most of those issues are hygiene-related, so unless you prospective parents are intending to neglect that portion of your child's education, week excuse.
And what if a clean person has this happen to them?
Well, what if the top half of your thumb has to be amputated when you're forty-five? Or your right ear at thirty-five? Or your anterior lobe at fifteen? Or even your tonsils at merely five? Are we going to simply start cutting off everything at birth that might possibly have a health issue later on? You're not going to have much baby left if that's the plan.
Moving on (I really don't want to spend too long on any one point less I offend...more than I would anyway...):
What about religion? I've heard people use this as a reasoning, though I can't follow it. Ignoring what's in the New Testament, I would say I as a Mormon have scripture enough to debunk that silliness.
Now onto the sticky one: aesthetics. This seems to be the one that's gotten me in the most trouble in the past.
I'm not alone in dismissing phalli as inherently lacking aesthetic appeal, but for those who like looking at the occasional wanker, here's what I have to say on the subject.
1. It's a fashion. And an American one at that. And one that seems to be fading at that.
2. The argument that the uncut will only be viewed as merely a fetish object rather than as a person with feelings while traveling with the homosexual community really doesn't do anything for me. Sorry.
3. The argument that the sight of a foreskin will terrify a virgin bride confuses me to no end. If she's a virgin bride, how much difference can it really make?
4. And besides, for virgin brides an uncircumcised penis offers, um, "natural glide." This would count as a plus.
5. And while you have that link open (and still have #3 in mind), note this: "A study (1988) of randomly selected young mothers in Iowa, where most men are circumcised, found that 76% found the circumcised penis looked more exciting. Although 88% of the women surveyed had only had experiences with circumcised penises, a majority of the 24 women with dual experience also felt this way." So there's that.
6. And to wax Mormon once again, how can a clipped private be okay, but not four earrings?
A related topic to aesthetics is the issue of "fitting in." Here are some of the potential concerns I've heard before in this regard:
- v. locker-room shower buddies
v. other white kids
v. local kids
v. the rest of the gay community
v. one's own brothers
Shame on me.
Anyway, I could go on. Especially about the issues connecting circumcision to sex. I could say things like "But the snipped can only wonder what it would be like with all their nerves intact" or accusing the some snipped of jealousy leading to another generation cut off from their----
Or I could talk about the original purpose of the modern style of circumcision which arose out of attempts to curtail masterba----
But I won't. I'm tired. I've said enough. I've probably said too much. I don't think I'll even read what I've already written. But I'll post it anyway.
Because if I manage to save one little boy from mutila--a needless medical procedure,--then it'll make me feel as though my hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'.
So to sing.