Monday, September 14, 2009

Babies Nearby? Put the Knives Down

I would like to state the matter plainly: we should stop slicing off the tips of infant boys' penises. There is no god, and that being so, there is no one watching over these decisions with peevish sensibilities, categorizing as "sacred" the situation where the tips of infant boys' penises end up in the medical waste, and as "not-sacred" the situation where the tips of infant boys' penises remain intact.

Instead, there is the infliction of pain for no good reason, and it should stop. Circumcision is bullshit. And don't even get me started on female circumcision, which is the part of the bullshit composed of the shit of parasites feeding from the bull's intestines. It is deeply horrible and should cease, no matter the excuse.

If you have a new baby, congratulations. Do not cut its genitals.

Sure, sure, I've seen the studies showing a slightly decreased incidence of AIDS transmissions among men who had the tip of their penises sliced off. As you're gazing down upon your infant son and wondering about his future, do you really, truly believe that circumcision is a good way to protect him from AIDS? This is your anti-AIDS plan for his life? Really?

If adults want to genuflect before their favorite god by slicing up their genitals, I have no quarrel with their right to do so. Adults who believe the creator of the universe cares whether they have foreskin or an intact clitoris are, in my opinion, more than a little batshit-insane, but opinions famously vary about the wishes of the gods. Whatever.

When it comes to caring for children, pull your head out of the ancient texts, and put down the knife.

(via Rust Belt Philosophy)


Sis B said...

Hear, hear!

And when they're old enough, chicks dig 'em.

Mark Lyndon said...

In Europe, almost no-one circumcises unless they're Muslim or Jewish, and they have significantly lower rates of almost all STI's including HIV.

Even in Africa, there are six countries where men are more likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen. We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms.

The one study into male-to-female transmission showed a 50% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost lives, not save them.

Dale said...

Mark, Sis B, thanks for the insights.

Caroline said...

Thanks, Dale. Put down the knife indeed! Amen.

If you've never seen Penn and Teller's Bullshit: Circumcision, I highly recommend it!

Joel said...

I thought you might find it interesting to find out what happens to many discarded infant foreskins (its big business for a lot of people - disgusting!):

"A culture system using human foreskin fibroblasts as feeder cells allows production of human embryonic stem cells "

"tissue explants and fibroblast cultures are established from freshly harvested neonatal foreskin tissue."

"Different beauty products companies have used different ingredients to make their product the best one. Now it is the turn of the human foreskin to join the list of ingredients being used in such products. Suddenly, the foreskin fibroblasts have turned into big business. Foreskin fibroblast has been used earlier for growing skin for burn victims, in eyelid replacement procedures, for growing skin for those with diabetic ulcers and making creams and collagens in the cosmetics industry). It is often seen as a better alternative to testing cosmetic products on animals though it does raise ethical questions about the value of human skin. Foreskin fibroplast is now being used in SkinMedica, a new facial cream promoted by Oprah Winfrey."

"bioengineered from infant foreskin tissue, "

"Injectable collagen derived from newborn foreskin left over after circumcision."