Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why on this good and verdant earth....

are people trying to defend the violation of someone's bodily autonomy?

This article bothers me for a few reasons.

First:
Californians are facing billions in tax hikes and spending cuts that could mean more cutbacks in services and givebacks by state workers.
And yet, for some reason the debate over foreskin has a place.
Notice how the writer seems to think that money is more important that the foreskins of boys who have no say in the matter. Don't get me wrong the money issues in California are a big deal and need to dealt with but that doesn't mean its more important than people (let's see him try to say that he budget issues are more important than say, gay marriage rights).

Second:
And speaking of sex, having a circumcised penis saves the young man of the potential embarrassment of having a new partner look at his nude body and say "What in the hell is wrong with your... penis."
Here we have the writer saying that what future partners might think of foreskin is a reason to have the procedure done. On a person that has no say in the matter. Cosmetics are not a valid reason to do this to children (or does this mean that its actually okay to perform labia-plasty* on little girls, you know so their future partner won't ask what the hell is wrong with their genitals).

Third:
I get the science behind not having the procedure done: There are nerve endings that are being severed during the procedure, and it is normally not medically required. But generally speaking it has not been proven to be medically harmful either, though there have been rare occasions of infection and excessive bleeding requiring stitches.
So he acknowledges that several nerve endings are being severed by having this done and (for the most part) there is no actually medical requirement for it. But then just shrugs all that away by saying that it really doesn't hurt that much therefore its okay to do it. To people who can't consent to having it done.

Fourth:
Besides being an important aspect of some religions, circumcisions improve hygiene, which is effective in limiting urinary tract infections and the transference of STDs. And speaking of sex, having a circumcised penis saves the young man of the potential embarrassment of having a new partner look at his nude body and say "What in the hell is wrong with your... penis."
When's the last time someone tried to defend violating someone's body with religion? When's the last time that defense was allowed to stand? So damn the bible for saying that homosexuality is wrong but hold the Torah up as justification for cutting off foreskins of people too young to say anything about it? And about that hygiene thing. New Rule: If you are going to say that circumcision improves hygiene and reduces various infection and diseases then you should be able to show some evidence that circumcision is more effective than proper genital hygiene and safe/smart sex education (which you need even if you circumcised).

Fifth:
Besides the measure having no provision for religious practices -- thereby making it unconstitutional -- it's downright ludicrous when you consider that Matthew Hess, the man who has written similar, but failed, legislation for states across the country, is the same Matthew Hess who demonizes Jewish culture in his online comic book "Foreskin Man."
Now I'm not going to try to argue that there anti-Jewish sentiment in that comic. However that does not suddenly mean that any opposition to circumcision of invalid. Just because Jewish people perform circumcision doesn't make them demons. I personally think it makes them wrong (but only for doing it to children), but it doesn't make them evil. But furthermore as I say the existence of the extreme end of the opposition (and trying to highlight them as if they represent all opposition) does not nullify said opposition.

As for banning circumcision the only provisions that I think should be allowed for are people over 18 (which is already in the writing, meaning that grownups are free to have the procedure done if they wish) and actual medical necessity (which I'm sure is already in the writing). Anything else is just a violation of a person's body due to the fact that they are not able to say they want it done.







(* - Speaking of female genitals I have this to say. Regardless of which one is more damaging, the reasons for performing them, and anything else you can think of to try to keep the conversation on FGM separate on this there is still one base thing that ties them together. Both procedures are being done on people who are not of age to consent to the procedure. Newborn boy or teenage girl, neither one is able to choose if its done to them. Plain and simple.)
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