Monday, September 21, 2009

A Moment of Realization

Yesterday I saw a post about Female Circumcision in America, going back to as late as 1960. I was shocked. This isn't ( or wasn't ) my topic of passion, so I never learned much about it. I learned enough about male circumcision so that I have decided that if we ever have another boy, that I will not have him circ'd. But I never really cared enough to dig deeper.

So I was reading, shocked, about female circumcision here in America, and I was appalled that it happened here and not just in Muslim or African regions. One quote absolutely blew me away and enraged me at the same time. This is from a medical journal in 1959:

"If the husband is unusually akward or difficult to educate, one should
at times make the clitoris easier to find [by amputating the clitoral hood]."
-Female Circumcision : Indications and a New Technique, 1959

That's right Ladies! You'd better hope and pray that your husband can figure out how to find your clitoris, otherwise you might just have the clitoral hood removed for his ease of discovery. I was absolutely DISGUSTED by this!

I watched a pro-female circumcision video on YouTube, posted by a Muslim woman who tried to show the "joy" in GIRLS being circumcised. I was even more disgusted that this was touted as a joyful thing, instead of something barbaric being done against young girls, to strip them of any sexual pleasure they might enjoy as a woman. I was horrified.

And then it hit me. We do this to our boys. It's still socially and culturally acceptable to remove newborn boys' foreskins. And under what justification? So that he'll look like everyone else? When should parents EVER want their children to conform to what society deems "fashionable" ( which is essentially what this is )? So that he'll reduce the risk of infection and disease? ( which is actually a HIGHLY erroneous belief ) Studies have proven that with good hygiene, the risk of infection and disease is just the same as a circumcised man. So there goes that argument.

Even worse, justified just as the Muslims do for women - as a religious belief? For those Christians out there who ignorantly claim Biblical reasons for circumcision - I expect the women to have long hair and have it covered at all times. I expect them to remove themselves from the company of their husbands for the duration of their menstruation. I expect the men to offer livestock as sacrifice to God. Sounds wonky, right? Well, that's because we're no longer held to the laws of the Old Testament. Circumcision used to be used to show salvation. To be set apart from the Gentiles. That's no longer needed. The bible states in 1 Corinthians 7:18-19:

18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

God calls for the circumcision of the heart, NOT of the flesh. It is absolutely ridiculous to uphold the ONE biblical law of the Old Testament that causes genital mutilation to our sons. And let's face it - it is RARE anymore for someone to circumcise their sons because of true religious conviction, for salvation.

Let us please stop mutilating our sons' genitals, and keep them intact. Isn't it much better to teach them to be clean ( both in hygiene and sex? ), and to have a circumcised heart? There *are* risks and side effects to circumcision. And people who don't think that their baby was bothered by it, don't want to face up to what they actually just did to their helpless newborn.

It's a horrific act done in modern times, when we ought to know, and be doing, better.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Great post! Isn't that horrible about FGM in the United States? I was shocked when I heard about it too.

Hopefully, it won't be long now before people look back with the same horror at what we used to do to our boys.

Thanks for raising awareness.