I was recently saddened to learn that one of my more liberal/feminist friends didn’t feel at all challenged by my opinion piece on abortion. I feel obliged to stir up some controversy, so my next effort deals with another touchy subject, circumcision.
Recently in the news was the announcement from the UN that they recommend male circumcision for the purpose of decreasing HIV infection. You see, they did a study where they went around Africa cutting the foreskins off of guys, and then later visited the guys to see if they had HIV. They discovered that the foreskinless guys were less likely to contract the infection.
So I wonder, did they do a similar study with women? Did they ride around in their trucks telling women “hey we’d like to do this medically unnecessary and invasive operation on you to see what happens?” No, they didn’t, because they are vehemently opposed to all forms of female circumcision.
But you may protest that female circumcision is a horrible painful mutilation whereas male circumcision is but a tiny clipping of useless flesh. Well, that is a commonly held belief, but it is false. The more extreme forms of female circumcision are indeed extremely heinous, but the lesser forms (Type I, refer to wikipedia) are roughly equivalent to male circumcision, and constitute around 85% of all female circumcisions in Africa.
So, on one hand the UN is entirely opposed to all forms of female circumcision, but endorses equivalent forms of male circumcision, and even went so far as to travel around performing circumcisions for experimental purposes. This is an extremely hypocritical standpoint, and one of the many reasons why the UN has lost all credibility in my eyes.
So, what do I think? Glad you asked. No medically unnecessary circumcisions should be allowed on anyone unable to consent, such as children. Only adults who go into the procedure with full knowledge of what they are doing should be able to cut chunks off of themselves. I don’t care if the procedure is a long held tradition in your culture, be it African, or Jewish. I don’t care if you are an adherent to John Harvey Kellogg’s beliefs in eugenics, circumcision, and corn flakes. Just don’t do it.