To Snip or Not To Snip – The Great Debate

This was posted by my friend Chantale on Facebook.  I find myself opposed to genital mutilation as unnecesary in any form, so I was interested to hear from a mother’s point of view.  Thanks to Chantale for allowing me to share this with you.

Tonight while I was sitting in the waiting room (for what seemed like endless amounts of time just to get a cotton swab rammed down my throat and a prescription for anti-biotics) there was a piece to the news that got my ears, made them ring and probably had everyone around me thinking I was about to embark on some wild rampage with the look on my face. Yes, I was so irritated by the whiny barely 18′s curling up to their boyfriends to whine about their upset tummies that I lost it…Okay, seriously, I probably could have gone off on that…”It’s a stomach flu twat, grow a uterus and deal with it and until you do, PLEASEdon’t have children, you make women look weak, feeble and stupid…”

The excerpt was about the great debate on circumcision and whether we should do it or not.

In this excerpt, Africa is making the claim that circumcision decreases the chances of transmitting the HIV/AIDS virus by up to 60% and they have (essentially) mandated circumcision in some regions of Africa to prove this theory. They will be bringing their “evidence” to a summit meeting in the States surrounding HIV/AIDS. The gyst of it all was that if African doctors can substantiate this claim enough, Canada (in supporting the stop of HIV/AIDS spreading here) will “mandate” circumcision in boys at birth.

Anyone else suddenly feeling a little Soviet come out?

Now, me personally – I do not support circumcision. When I was pregnant with Nicholas, I did a lot of research on the topic, I even went so far as to write out the pro’s and con’s on paper and talk to some of my male friends - Next time around, I won’t ask for testimonials, apparently it’s just not the type of conversation a guy wants to really have…Wait, next time around? Ugh, nevermind, I’m not going down that road here…

Does that mean that I won’t date a man who’s circumsized? Hell no! I’d never get laid by anyone in my age group – Either that or I’d still be with my high school boyfriend, weighing in at 450 pounds with a heavyweight champion belt around my waist, sitting on my lard butt eating Twinkies and Ding Dongs all day, barking at our kids because I’d be a lonesome, miserable hag.
“Hey, woman, get back on topic here…No one wants to picture you THAT way.”
“Whhhhhhattttt? There’s some humour in knowing that I’ve potentially killed how many sexual urges in less than 5 lines, no? Okay fine…”

Back in the day, and for several decades, it was common practice for boys to be snipped at birth – The argument was that it was cleaner, less infections and some people even had it in their heads that it just looked better that way.
The Jewish culture makes it a great big celebration when a young boy gets his willie pruned and Mel Brooks (God bless that man for his simple, stupid humour) takes it to a whole new level playing a Rabbi trying to sell circumcision as a new fashion trend done with the mini-guillotine in “Robin Hood, Men in Tights”. Please tell me I’m not the ONLY lame ass who’s seen, and enjoyed, this movie…

Fast forward to 2005, statistically, 60% of the population does not believe in circumcision – That still leaves 40% that do, but, how many of those 40% are likely doing it because their husband/partner is circumsized and it only seems right to go with the “like is like” idea?Personally, I feel male circumcision is no different than female circumcision, and if we were born this way, there’s some reason for it – Yes, foreskin may look like a nasty extra piece that the Good Lord didn’t know what to do with it so he just threw it there, but, the same idea could be applied to vaginal lips too…Oh yes, I’m crossing into that line, and now to wait for the “boys” to chime in on how women need “pussy lips” and men don’t need “a toque”

Now, I spent most of pregnancy tossing between the yes or no on circumcision if I had a boy – I talked to my Mom about it, I read through a lot of forums and articles on it. Naturally, it’s about time I tear apart the arguments “for circumcision”:

1. It’s cleaner – Back in the 60′s, sure it was. Can you honestly tell me that in 45 years of technological and medical advancement that we didn’t learn better ways to clean a penis? If we could develop a drug to give a 90 year old man an erection that’ll last longer than any man in his 20′s, you’d think we could do the simplistic bottom line of “making your penis last longer by keeping it clean“.
In the 60′s, we didn’t give our kids a bath or shower every day, instead, 4 kids shared the same bath water, and the last kid in got screwed with dirty, soap scum water that was ice cold – And that wasn’t even every day. Can we say CESSPOOL of cooties?

2. Less infections – See point #1 – However, not only is cleanliness a big factor, somewhere between 1960-something and 2005 we discovered the idea that foreskin actually protects the urethra from bacteria entering it. Yes, boys can still get infections, but, I don’t know too many “extra dangly” men who’ve encountered that because it all comes down to the bottom line,clean your pecker and clean it properly.
On a side note, I don’t care if a man’s wearing a toque down there or not, cleanliness is still next to godliness, and you ain’t coming near me if your equipment’s not clean.

3. It looks better – Sure, if I’m only ever seeing it when you’re limp. When a man gets an erection, “Ooh are you ready for this? Are you, are you?” that foreskin retracts anyways.

Further on the above, I feel it is completely cruel to inflict such pain on an innocent child – We should love our children just the way they are when they come into this world and not want to change them. Perspective, it’s like giving your week old baby boy plastic surgery. I have seen and experienced some of the downsides to circumcision.
“Downsides? There can’t POSSIBLY be downsides, can there?”
“But of course, would it be a debate with only upsides?”

Come the end of the day, it is a human being performing the circumcision - To be human is to err…Accidents happen…There’s plenty of lines that go on that same idea – Mistakes happen, the foreskin can be cropped too short causing painful, curved erections later in life (receiving it that way isn’t so pleasurable either), the incision could infect (as if the procedure itself isn’t hard enough on a newborn, throw in a green gunk oozing out of their little body), and there was even a case when the doctor completely screwed up (maybe he was trying to look up Mommy’s short skirt, who knows) and he ended up lasering off a portion of a young boy’s penis! That was corrected by turning Johnny into Jane and returning the blue sleepers with baseballs for pink with flowers…Seriously, who wants to risk any of that over 1/4 inch (if it’s even that much) of skin?!?!?

My personal views are my personal views – I own them. I have friends who have chosen to circumcise their children, and I don’t sit outside their house picketing and chanting all kinds of random obscenities about their choice - Could be fun, but not over this, it’d have to be something REALLY stupid like the colour she dyed her hair….

I support the idea of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, I’d even love to see them find a cure before I’m rolling over in my grave – I support medical and scientific advancement a whole heck of a lot. But I would certainly love to see this “evidence” and compare the “standard of living” between Africa and Canada to have those differences considered too. Furthermore, I feel that education is the key is stopping the spread of any infectious disease.

This theory of circumsizing our children to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS is no different than saying “It’s okay son, stick your dick anywhere you want, you shouldn’t get anything because our government had you circumsized.”

You cannot convince me that chopping off 1/4 inch of skin is going to magically drop the HIV/AIDS rates down by 60% on these simple facts:

1. It is very uncommon for a man to contract the HIV virus through vaginal sex with an infected woman.

2. Most (not all, most) women who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS and got the disease through sex got it from that load of hot, steamy, HIV infected cum a man blew into her temple. Circumcision will not make cum cleaner, nor will it stop it from going inside a woman in the situation of unprotected sex.

3. It takes 13 LITRES of saliva from someone infected with HIV/AIDS to run the chance of contracting the disease – It takes one cum shot or one needle prick to risk contracting the disease.

What’s next? “Condoms” for needle users to “reduce” the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission? Give me a break…Look at the whole picture before making some outlandish claim, it’s more than just sex that spreads HIV/AIDS…

6 Responses to “To Snip or Not To Snip – The Great Debate”

  1. The conversation about this whole idea came up tonight while I was out with some friends.

    Another “side” to the story a friend heard was that the doctor heading this study is actually a German doctor, and he is trying to disprove the idea that men cannot get HIV/AIDS as easily as women when they are uncircumsized from the bodily fluids resting underneath the foreskin. He is using Africa because condoms are not common place or readily available in Africa. Allegedly, he has seen a 60% decrease because his plan is specific to the situation in Africa. Let’s be realistic, most of Africa is consider under-developped, their have a poor health care system, a low-rated education system, and many of their people live in poverty because of “mis-management” within their government, not everyone is as extreme as the “World Vision” people we see on TV, but it is known that many of these countries are in states of civil war, which only affects the general public more than anything.

    If that is the point of view (for the sake of keeping an open mind), I can see them maybe looking to supporting (foreign aid) a program like this for third world and developing countries to at least reduce the spread of it from 1 in 4 people.

    The problem now a days is that the media distorts a lot of what we hear – To get the full story you have to do a LOT of searching and embark on a quest to determine the truth for yourself more so than anything.

  2. Well, I’ll weigh in, being a mother of three boys. We did the “be like Daddy” thing, and my husband is fully intact. I felt like such a great mom, I was keeping my sons from a barbaric and outdated ritual.

    Fastforward ten years and we have a problem. Firstly, my ten year old and three year old will be going in this year for the snip. Sadly, both suffer from extremely tight foreskin, and can’t pull it back to clean. Yuck. Infections abound, and trust me, trying to get that area clean in our situation is almost impossible. Having it done now is major surgery, and hurts for a good month after. They just don’t heal as fast. Second, I had a conversation a while back with a friend who worked as a nurse in a long term care facility. She was telling me how difficult it was to clean the 95 year old men who hadn’t been circumcized. It was ugly, as they only get a weekly bath and most of them are (gross here) very dried out. Makes for infection central.

    Just thought I’d add my opinion. I’m good for that, my opinion. BTW, happily, boy number two is doing fine.

  3. Janine, my grandfather was in a similar situation to your sons and had to be circumsized later in life due to continued infection – He is immuno-comprimised and his body just could not help fight back enough – He had to be circumsized at 30 years old. Certainly, there are medical reasons for some people to do it, and I hope that your sons have an easier time once it is done for them –

    Not looking to start an outrageous “battle” here – But at 95 years old, and if they have a nurse cleaning them and caring for them to the extent you describe, I honestly doubt they ever in their lives pictured being in such a position.

    I work “with” seniors, I talk to them daily, I talk to their children and care givers and it’s a tragedy when a human being that was once vibrant, intelligent and lively is crippled mentally or physically to a point that they can no longer handle the simplest of tasks. I hear the stories from their wives who are more distraught by visiting their husband of 50+ years and he doesn’t even know who they are, I think they would go clean their husband’s uncircumsized penis hourly if it gave them even a shed of hope on him looking at her with love again instead of a hollow, empty stare. Further to that, for someone to go into a career of being a caregiver to seniors, they should expect some of the grossest duties ever, and they should be doing what they’re doing for the sake of caring for someone who was once a great person (in any way, great or small).

  4. Kimbo Jones Says:

    Late to the party…

    It’s unfortunate that not circumcising can lead to problems, but I don’t think I’d hear the same argument as often for the gall bladder or the appendix, for example. I had to have my appendix removed last year – I was in pain for 3 days, ended up in the hospital for 6 days with an infection, was practically bed-ridden for a week, and was in moderate to mild pain for the next couple of months. I had to be given special considerations for my exams and was restricted from lifting at work.

    Needless to say all this could have been avoided if we’d just removed the darn thing when I was born. But the thing is, every surgery has risks and it was possible that nothing would have ever gone wrong with my appendix. When something did go wrong, I was able to do a cost/benefit evaluation at that time (and maybe this is a bad example because if I didn’t have surgery I would have died, but hopefully I’m making my point). We can’t predict when something bad will happen, but personally I’d rather wait until something is necessary especially if it’s dangerous.

    It’s possible my future sons may be put into the unfortunate position of infections/discomfort/tightness, but the pain of surgery is temporary and it would be medically necessary at the time – which means the risks were necessary. Personally, due to those risks, I’d choose not to put any of my kids under the knife for cosmetics and what *might* happen. It sucks they’d have to go through the pain, but if they *need* it they need it and if they don’t they don’t.

    Digression alert: I also won’t pierce my girls’ ears as babies. If they want piercings, which hurt, they can do it later if they want to. I’m not going to poke holes in their main defense against infection (skin) as babies to save some discomfort later.

    Btw, I’m one of those people who does not equate male circumcision with FGM. For me, severity matters. However, I do find male circumcision, when it is not medically necessary, equally superfluous. So I do not intend to circumcise any boys that I may have. Hopefully they will take after their father, who hasn’t had any problems so far.

  5. Kimbo Jones Says:

    Now realizing that the post said “female circumcision” and not “female genital mutilation” so my last comment seems a bit out of place. :) My bad.

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