Male Genital Mutilation

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posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 04:59 AM
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I'm wondering lately why circumcision is not properly called Male Genital Mutilation, whereas female circumcision is known as such. Circumcision for males is culturally accepted in the West, yet when it happens to females it's considered a horrid tragedy perpetuated by irrational, superstitious cultures.

Is this because 'Female Genital Mutilation' is a foreign concept to Westerners, and thus horrific, or is it because removing the most sensitive parts of the human genitalia for no reason whatsoever is in itself horrific, but we accept it outright? The idea that male circumcision is performed for hygiene is not true, and in fact its origins in America amongst gentiles were for reasons of sexual purity, as detailed by a proponent of the operation, John Harvey Kellogg:

"Tying the hands is also successful in some cases. Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying abnormal excitement. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect on the mind."

Um... thanks, John, I'm not quite sure I'll ever look at corn flakes the same way again.

Anyway, I find the practice of mutilating a child's body horrific, male or female. What's interesting about the issue of Female Genital Mutilation is how serious the term sounds. It was definitely formed by a propagandista for maximum psychological revulsion by using the words...

Female - subconsciously associated with vulnerability
Genital - an emotional word with strong cultural sensitivity
Mutilation - self-explanatory

...whereas Male Genital Mutilation is still conveniently referred to as the benign-sounding circumcision, when in fact the operations have the same overall physical and psychological effects on the victims, since the glans and the clitoris are the most-common feature of male and female genitalia.

Next time you hear of someone talking about circumsizing their baby boy, just say, "Oh, you mean Male Genital Mutilation?" The reaction is interesting.




posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 06:43 AM
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some tribes in africa do female genital mutilation so that they wont have any pleasure from having intercourse, because their tribes beliefs dictate that only the men get to have pleasure. But otherwise i disagree with you on circumcisions because lots of men have been circumsized(i have) and i couldnt be happier. It is basically the removal of the foreskin. The foreskin basically has to be pulled back to reveal the head of the male genitalia so the male can urinate, have intercourse, and because of the foreskin, there is much more hygenic issues with the foreskin than with a circumsized male. I have also heard that many women prefer men who are circumsized.

(not to offen anybody or to repeat what many ppl already know)



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Echotebarknwhale
some tribes in africa do female genital mutilation so that they wont have any pleasure from having intercourse, because their tribes beliefs dictate that only the men get to have pleasure.


yes and what happens to those females is considered "barbaric" and "mutilation" in the eyes of "the western world" while the western world practices a different form of it and is never questioned.




But otherwise i disagree with you on circumcisions because lots of men have been circumsized(i have) and i couldnt be happier. It is basically the removal of the foreskin. The foreskin basically has to be pulled back to reveal the head of the male genitalia so the male can urinate, have intercourse, and because of the foreskin, there is much more hygenic issues with the foreskin than with a circumsized male. I have also heard that many women prefer men who are circumsized.


spoken like a person who has no foreskin. its not your fault but this whole hygenic argument is pure bunk. scientists once "knew" the world was flat and the sun revolved around our planet...our knowledge evolves and its been found with regular cleaning, something everyone should do anyway...its no more of a problem than a man that has been circumsized. and no a man doesnt have to pull it back to urinate, again you speak from ZERO experience of this. preference has ZERO to do with getting it done and shouldnt be a factor to begin with, how many parents ever thought "hey lets get it done so our son will be more lucky with women in bed"???? and the reason for the preference is because is because its done so often, and with little thought being put into it, females have become use to it and have even come to expect it. of course if a woman is picking her men based on if they have a foreskin or not should get their head examined, in todays world thats the least of their problems.


this was primarily done as a religious exercise and while i support people's right to priactice their religion i dont support this based on someone's misconception that somehow having the foreskin is unclean in some way. maybe for those who bathe but once a month they might be true but i think anyone who doesnt bathe on a regular basis will enevitably develop medical problems of some kind at one time or another, circumcised or not.

i've never had a problem with women, i can only assume that them having a preference only applies to some women.

i just dont get the idea of removing any part of the human body for no real reason. this doesnt pertain to just THIS subject.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 10:12 AM
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Perhaps the difference in terms comes fromthe goal of the proceedure. With FGM, the goal is to prevent sexual pleasure - to prevent orgasm and sexual thoughts. For men, it's done for religious reasons, and now done for cosmetic and for the false pretense of cleanliness. Sure 200 years ago it helped prevent all kinds of infections, but not anymore. It's not needed. Cosmetically, sure. I've had men tell me they would want their sons to be circumsized to look like them, to not be laughed at in gym, to not be different from everyone else, and yes, so women will like them. Rediculous, in my oppinion, and cosmetically, I think uncircumscised penises look just fine.

Also, could the naming difference be because of the people who are bringing the issue to light? For women, its a much more charged issue. All of the articles and oppinion pieces I've read about FGM are from women and dealing with womens rights. Women, who are a lot more emotionally connected to the issue, are probably more likely to use terms like mutilation. Ever read anything by men opposed to male circumscision? They use terms like mutilation also.

Thankfully, not circumscising male children in the US is becoming a lot more accepted.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by RedBalloon
Perhaps the difference in terms comes fromthe goal of the proceedure. With FGM, the goal is to prevent sexual pleasure - to prevent orgasm and sexual thoughts.


It's the same goal originally in the US, thanks to anti-masturbation nutcases in the 1890s. Look at Kellogg's quote in my post.

The fact that female circumsiscion is not accepted and looked on as brutal whereas male is looked on as being a benign parent's choice is because our culture has accepted male circumsision as normality, whereas doing it to females is absurd. In the other cultures it's normal and something not mentioned is that males undergo it as well. Mom's have it done and expect their daughters to have it done, and daughters think all is normal, otherwise the practice would not become culturally accepted.

My point is to bring up the fact that genital mutilation of children is culturally accepted in this country when the children are male, but looked on with horror when the children are female. Both operations carry considerable risk and the benefits for the operation on both male and female are non-existant. The idea that an uncircumsiced penis is unclean is a strong superstition and nothing more. The hygiene 'benefits' are laughable compared to the risks inherent in the process of literally ripping skin off a part of your body.

The acceptance of genital mutilation on males and the rejection of the same process on females provides an interesting perspective on the power of culture's ability to define normalcy.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:28 AM
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Red Balloon is absolutely correct in saying it's all about the goal of the procedure. FGM is done to prevent sexual enjoyment and used as means to control, whereas male circumcision is not. If male circumcision was performed to prevent pleasure during sex - I would the same reaction as I do to female GM, but it doesn't. Intent is everything in this issue.

Types of mutilation:


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the term used to refer to the removal of part, or all, of the female genitalia. The most severe form is infibulation, also known as pharaonic circumcision. An estimated 15% of all mutilations in Africa are infibulations. The procedure consists of clitoridectomy (where all, or part of, the clitoris is removed), excision (removal of all, or part of, the labia minora), and cutting of the labia majora to create raw surfaces, which are then stitched or held together in order to form a cover over the vagina when they heal. A small hole is left to allow urine and menstrual blood to escape. In some less conventional forms of infibulation, less tissue is removed and a larger opening is left.


For more information on FGM - Link



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by taibunsuu
My point is to bring up the fact that genital mutilation of children is culturally accepted in this country when the children are male, but looked on with horror when the children are female. Both operations carry considerable risk and the benefits for the operation on both male and female are non-existant. The idea that an uncircumsiced penis is unclean is a strong superstition and nothing more. The hygiene 'benefits' are laughable compared to the risks inherent in the process of literally ripping skin off a part of your body.


I was agreeing with you. I think the hygiene argument is crap, but when I've brought it up, I hear all sorts of reasons why it should still be done. It's just become a normal thing to do to a male child, and it is absolutely mutilation. Try suggesting that to a circumsized male, however, and many become VERY defensive.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:44 AM
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In a number of cases the foreskin will not retract, and you end up having to have a late-in-life circumcision. This happened to my father-in-law.

Now... let's be fair. Let's compare the "mutilations," shall we?

male:
done in hospitals
sterile instruments
by doctors or rabbis with doctor assist
takes only foreskin


female:
not done in hospitals
usually done with a piece of broken glass (really!)
done by various people with no medical training
takes foreskin, clitoris, labia (equivalent of slicing off the penis itself.)

The resulting scar tissue from the operation for women means that in order to have sex, the man will slice the genitals open with a knife so he can have sex with her. Frequently he will hit her until she is unconscious so it won't hurt her so much.


I don't see how removing a foreskin can be considered a psyche-mutilating event, particularly given some of the things males do to themselves (I won't detail it, but you can look up piercings, wands, and "Prince Alberts" for yourselves as well as some of the ritual scarification that goes on in various primitive socieities that mark a boy's entry into manhood. It's interesting that those extreme ...modifications... to the male organs aren't shrieked about as genital mutilations (even when mandated by the society) -- and yet so many get bent out of shape about removing the foreskin.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:55 AM
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Yes, it's done in hospitals with sterile instruments because its ACCEPTED. It's not a back room proceedure, and it isn't done in a country where some of the hospitals are suspect and more dangerous than handling a problem yourself.

WHY is it done to males, today in 2004 in the USA? Piercings and tattoos are something that men have chosen to do to themselves. It's not done to them as an infant, and it (hopefully) isn't something that can impact sexual sensitivity.

Removing a foreskin may not be as psychologically traumatic, but it's still unnecessary mutilation.


TPL

posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by RedBalloon
It's just become a normal thing to do to a male child.


Is it really prolific in the US, its almost unknown in the UK.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:32 PM
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My dad is circumsised but im not. Im lucky, my parents havnt forced me into a religion or done something irreversible to my body at an early age. I do see it as mutilation because there are no benefits after the precedure and when it happens, usually in a childs infancy, they have no say in the matter, which, in my opinion is wrong.

Why would someone want to oppress the pleasure that sex gives people? I think it's ridiculous. Those organs were placed on your body to make you orgasm? Why would someone want to take one of best parts of the human body?

(By good, I mean I part that gives enjoyment and pleasure.)



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:48 PM
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I myself am not circumcised. I did have a problem with not being able to pull it back when I was younger because I forgot to properly take care of it
. It did not seem important to me at the time and being a young kid I didnt even know what to do with it
. Either way the problem became daunting on me when I was in my teens and I realized that I should do something about it. Rather than going to a doctor and getting circumcised I forced myself to get it pulled back. Months of stretching and wa la back to normal. I have no problems with it now and I dont see why anyone would need/want to get circumcised. As far as Im concerned it is uncomfortable for my uncovered parts to touch anything dry as it its very irritating. I guess if you were circumcised from the beginning you wouldnt notice much but I still prefer my protection.

The fact that you are not cleaning yourself is irrelevant. If you have a shower every day and clean where youre supposed to you wouldnt have problems with stuff like that. If a circumcised man didnt clean himself he would have the same problem as one who wasnt and didnt clean himself as well.

Either way I must laugh at the whole idea as I myself even considered it once upon a time but was able to overcome my dilemma. All you have to have is patients people. Things take time.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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I think it's also more accepted, because most babies are circumcised at just a few days old, while a girl in some remote African tribe might be mutilated at age 12. There is one hell of a difference, as a baby won't remember and doesn't have fully developed nerves down there yet, and a girl of 10 or so will undoubtedly be traumatised beyond belief, and experience pain that she will remember for the rest of her life.

-Becs



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 03:14 PM
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I won't argue the relative merits of circumcision, except to say that, as Sir Killallot points out, it makes the penis relatively maintenance-free, until puberty, when suddenly it seems, it requires considerable attention.

Clitoridectomy, however, is tantamount to removing the glans penis, which no one here is likely to advocate.

[edit on 04/8/22 by GradyPhilpott]


d1k

posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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The difference is with males are circumcised they are just cutting away extra skin. It's a fact that male whom are not circumcised are more prone to infections and other problems to a build up of more bacteria under the skin.

Female whom are circumcised do not get skin cut away, they actually cut off the clitoris (sp?). They are cutting away body parts, and very sensitive ones at that. That's not right any way you look at it. In fact some of the cultures that circumcise feel that females should not have pleasure while having sex, that it's just an act of reproduction. If thats not barbaric I don't know what is.


in fact the operations have the same overall physical and psychological effects on the victims


They do not at all.

[edit on 22-8-2004 by d1k]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 03:43 PM
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So, you guys who still have all your parts... any negative reaction among female prospects?

I'm sorry if this seems inappropriate to ask but as an experienced observer of "girl talk", the consensus seems to be that most women are hesitant to take the downtown train if the foreskin is present. I have heard this from several women, but, being a lesbian myself, I really have no opinion on the issue of "ewww" vs. "no problem". I understand this is a cultural issue/bias/whatever, but I am wondering about how the reality of it affects men who are not circumcised.

esther.

.


TPL

posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 03:46 PM
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In the UK it doesnt seem to be a problem, in fact to be circumcised is considered wierd.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by TPL
In the UK it doesnt seem to be a problem, in fact to be circumcised is considered wierd.


Hmm..depends on where you live I think, there's a large Muslim population here and they're all circumcised. It's more prevalent in America though, if I'm not mistaken.

-Becs



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 05:46 PM
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removal of the clitoris and other vaginal organs shouldnt be accepted because not only is it unsanitary it is not right. circumsicion is done because it is unsanitary not to have it done. when circumsicion is not done the penis can be infected very easily.



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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My husband is uncircumcised and the only problem we have experienced with it was once with a lack of lubrication the area where the forskin attaches to the penis tore a bit. I don't find it a turn off at all though.
I have two sons and I remember bringing up the topic when I was pregnant with my first child ready to defend his rights to forskin, luckily he agreed that we should not do it. Also when I was in a parenting group we were discussing circumcision and apperently one study showed that babies who had undergone the process had been showen to have lower pain tolerance than boys who had not been circumcised.
However although I am against it I do not beleive that the physiological and physical effects are the same when it comes to boys vs girls genital mutilation, for one the forskin does not really provide much in the way of sensation, whereas the clitoris most certainly does, in fact there are reletivly few women who are able to have an orgasm without some sort of clitoral stimulation, the two men who I have had intercouse with who had been circumcised could still orgasm.Actually I suppose if the male vs female mutilations were equal it would be the women labia being removed as that serves more or less the same function of providing a protective layer of skin for the more sensitive parts of the organ. Of course I dont agree with doing mutilation to either sex.





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