Circumcision of boys is mutilation

In Denmark the debate about circumcision of boys is raging. It has reached the headlines of national news papers as well as the opinion pages in the local ones.

Politicians, commentators, medical experts and children’s rights advocates are debating the issue. In 2013 circumcision without medical indication reached the Danish media more than 200 times. Less than one month into 2014 it looks as though that number may quadruple at the very least during the year to come.

If all goes according to plan, Denmark is less than a year from a total ban on circumcision of healthy boys. Intactivist are working for an 18 year age limit for elective genital surgery.

Support Intact Denmark’s work – donate here. Every little bit helps.

1597118_10202827902075973_1920636240_oOn 22nd January 2014 Dahir Jama Roobleh posted in local Danish paper Fyens Stiftstidende “Circumcision is not mutilation, Lena Nyhus, Chairwoman of Intact Denmark, an organisation which fights to ban circumcision in Denmark. Dear Lena, you must respect and accept our action, which is performed by Jews and Muslims. Do not interfere with our faith!”

Circumcision is mutilation

Dear Dahir Jama Roobleh

“Do not interfere with circumcision of boys, it’s a religious act performed by Jews and Muslims”,  you wrote to on 22nd January 2014.

I do not mind explaining why Intact Denmark – Against Circumcision of Children and I would not even consider abandoning the issue. We are an organisation founded by people with Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Some of faith, some not. We are all of the opinion that the child has a right to it’s own body, a right to protection against mutilation, a right to a personal choice of religion and in particular the right to choose whether that religion should include saying goodbye to their most sensitive body parts.

Parents do not hold ownership rights to their children, they have the obligation to care for them. That does not give them the right to cut functioning parts of their children’s genitals.

Chairwoman Lena Nyhus - Intact DenmarkYou may not know it, but this Tuesday (21st January 2014) the Danish National Board of Health ended a hearing on “Guidelines to Circumcision of Boys), in that context the Danish Medical Association, the Danish College of Medical Practitioners, the National Council for Children, the Danish Family Planning Association, Children’s Welfare and a number of other super talented professionals have taken a stance on circumcision of boys in addition to Intact Denmark, naturally.

In common for all the answers to the hearing I have had a chance to see is the opinion htat circumcision of boys without medical indication is mutilation. As simple as that. An opinion shared with 85% of the Danish population. We must have legislation to protect the children now.

Join Intact Denmark and support the organisations efforts. Press here.

Allow me to explain why:

Children are persons in their own right. They have rights. They have the right to their own bodies. They have a right to their own religious beliefs. Those rights are strictly personal and every bit as inalienable as your personal rights and mine. That means that I may not amputate part of your healthy body. That means that I may not force my personal cultual, religious and aesthetic preferences on you. It also means that you may not do that to your children.

The religious freedom is personal. It does not include the right to carve your religion into the body of another human being. Not even if this human being is your own child.

Of course the adult man who understands consequences and riscs should be able to choose circumcision if he wishes to say goodbye to half of the sensitivity of his penis. Of course he should be able to choose to mark his religion or culture on his body. That is his choice. His free right. His human right.

The basis of our life in a democracy is the respect for each persons human rights. That is why I interfere in the question of circumcision of boys. That is why the members of Intact Denmark have entrusted me with the position of Chairwoman.

Omskæring ér lemlæstelseI will not stop until boys are protected from unnecessary surgery to their genitals, just as girls are under the current legislation.

Thank you for raising the issue in Fyens Stiftsstidende Dahir Jama Roobleh, without your effort I might not have had the chance to inform the papers readers about this issue. I suggest that we arrange a debate, during which we can talk it through thoroughly. What do you say?

In conclusion may I suggest that you try a thought experiment? Imagine a religion which demands that fingers, toes or ears are cut off the children. Would you accept that the neighbours children came to school without their left ring finger (it has fewer funtions than the foreskin by far) or perhaps without an ear? Where would you draw the line?

I claim that you and I would agree on that issue, just as I assume we will, when it comes to circumcision of girls. One does not cut healthy children!


11 thoughts on “Circumcision of boys is mutilation

  1. Circumcision, even with consent, is a mutilation. If statehoods choose to allow the religious stamping of boys on their body, then girls should be also be equally allowed, where equality rings. I would think then such governments would surely want their own stamp on children’s bodies in it’s own self interest.

    Made in the USA:

    Dr. Edgar Schoen promotes circumcision as American as apple pie and has created his own poems of praise as well. BTW even though Schoen has left Kaiser Permamente as head of pediatrics, his legacy lives in those mutilated. Decades ago, I had witnessed my friend scolding his mother “You had no right to circumcise me”. Yet years later he consented to circumcise his only son. How can this be? This Walnut Creek Kaiser doctor kept hammering how wonderful and worldly circumcision is with no downside. Brow beaten and mind warped into circumcising, and 15 years later turns out this procirc doctor is also a mohel. (Disgusted, I prefer the Hebrew pronunciation mo’hel.) Last year at San Francisco Pride, a 21 year old man comes to our Bay Area Intactivists booth to say he has lost all the good sensations from his penis ever since a Walnut Creek doctor told him during a Well visit 3 years ago that his penis would
    “fall off” if he didn’t get circumcised. He had a non problematic phimosis but agreed to circumcision. This young man was on the verge of tears, obviously PTSD, which runs deepest where trust and authority is involved.

    (Brian Herrity has gone solo and within Bay Area Intactivists continues to organize demonstrations in this circumcision hot spot Walnut Creek, California.
    Photos on facebook.)

    Right before WWII, there was an influx of Jews into the medical profession. From this General George Patton drew doctors into the military to promote circumcision. Patton knew well if you control the man’s sex you control the man. AKA the military or marine cut is a severe form of circumcision though my WWII marine father-in-law is intact. Yet circumcision was pushed many ways in the military and it was my friend (above) whose mother was head nurse on an Army’s circumcision ward. She told me on this ward the men cried because they were no longer men having had their manhood taken from them. Most happened to be Italian. General George Patton is the original Asshole. He coined this 60 year old word during WWII as told in Geoffrey Nunberg’s book, Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the first sixty Years. To wrap this up, multi activist Pat Brown and I went to Nunberg’s book signing lecture. And as suspected it is true, he is related to this Nunberg who authored:
    Problems of Bisexuality as Reflected
    in Circumcision – Nunberg (hardback)
    Originally printed in the International Journal of Psycho Analysis
    1947. 83 pages.

  2. As a man who was genitally cut by an incompetent doctor, who has long known that his penis was not as good as it should have been, and now does not orgasm in intercourse, I can only say the genital cutting IS mutilation. All strength to Lena, and her fellow Danes, in getting the nasty habit of childhood genital cutting consigned to the garbage can of history where it belongs.

  3. No discussion, no decision, no circumcision. Weg mit den Beschneidungsmessern. Hat der sich über die Oslo Resolution freuende Dr. Antony Lempert (Children’s basic rights to bodily integrity and to form their own beliefs, Quelle Barry Duke auf freethinker am 02.10.2013) denn gar keine Lehre aus dem Mau Mau Aufstand gezogen? Wenn wir ein antikolonial fühlendes Mädchen rufen lassen: “Ngaitana – I will circumcize myself”, dann ist das hundertprozentige genitale Selbstbestimmung nach dem Grundatz: Let girls decide for themselves whether or not they want to be circumcised, nur das Geschlechtsorgan ist anschließend für immer kaputt. Der voreilig als Intaktivist gehandelte Sprecher des UK Secular Medical Forum (SMF) Dr. Lempert toleriert das freiwillige Beschneiden für völlig gesunde Minderjährige (There can be no justification for healthy children to be forcibly cut, Quelle national secular society am 01.10.2013), doch in jener zauberhaften Stunde, in der im heiligen Wald der erste Junge aufschreit “Ndiyindoda! – I am a man!”, gleich ist der sich auf die Einweihung freuende kleine Nelson Mandela an der Reihe, haben wir genau den gesundheitsgefährdend geringen Anspruch der Anne Lindboe erfüllt: “Vi hos Barneombudet mener derfor det er best for barnet at barna selv skal få bestemme om de vil bli omskåret – Wir als Kinderrechtsbeauftragte glauben, dass es am Besten für ein Kind ist, wenn sich das Kind selbst entscheiden kann ob es beschnitten werden möchte” (Quelle LET BOYS DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO BE CIRCUMCISED tönt es am 30.09.2013 aus Norwegens Hauptstadt – Antrag abgelehnt sehr geehrte Frau Anne Lindboe und sehr geehrter Herr Fredrik Malmberg, Skandinavien braucht kein Ngaitana für die Mädchen und für die Jungen kein Ndiyindoda. Dass Kinderärztin Lindboe auch das zwölfjährige oder zehnjährige männliche Kind entscheiden lassen will, lässt sie unwidersprochen in der israelischen Presse publizieren: non-medical circumcision of pre-teen boys should be outlawed (JTA 25.11.2013). Norwegen braucht einen neuen Ombudsman für Kinderrechte, Anne Lindboe ist in ihrem Amt nicht länger tragbar.

  4. Make the lower age for genital cutting 18years or more, a point where a person should be able to decide what they want, and why they want it.

  5. The foreskin probably has the sexual potential and genital sensitivity of the clitoris.

    They children’s ombudsmen are able to alibi: EITHER we work for a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys OR we ask the boy: “my son, decide whether you want to be ugly and undutiful non-kosher, hell-bound and infamous harâm, or want to please The Heaven and be circumcised tomorrow.”

    Let’s face it: average twelve or fourteen year old jewish or muslim boy wants to belong to the family and the peer group, and to earn honour – and won’t be able to say ‘No’ to the mutilation.

    The children’s ombudsmen from the five Nordic countries tolerate the harmful mutilation, backtrack from the fundamentalist communities of Halakha Law or Shariah Law, and give the boys away.

    “Let boys decide for themselves whether they want to be circumcised” is just a code for: let them mutilate as before.

    Oslo Resolution on circumcision – to backslap selfcongratulatory – in actual fact a ‘Black Day for Children’s Rights’.

    Time for policy shift: Let’s ban circumcision for all males under the sage of 18.

    Cees van der Duin

    • Cees, thank you for the comment.

      The Nordic Children’s Ombudsmen have suggested that children decide for themselves at the age of maturity, NOT at ages 12-14.

      That age-limit was brought into the debate by the Swedish Medical Association and has nothing to do with the declaration by the ombudsmen. Happily so.

      – Lena

      • The average child is likely to be easily swayed by his parents/cleric, especially where religion is concerned. Therefore make the minimum age for cutting to be the age of adulthood. If he is old enough to marry, and drive on the highway, he should be old enough to decide to have the best part of his penis cut off, or not.

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