Danish Minister of Children and Equality Open for Debate on Circumcision


Early March, Manu Sareen, Danish Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs opened for a debate of circumcision of healthy boys. It happened on the direct radio show Call the Government, when a curious listener raised concerns about why healthy boys are not protected from circumcision, just as well as girls are.

Skærmbillede 2014-03-17 kl. 22.23.51Having learned more about circumcision of boys during the past year, I admit to have become aware that the matter may not be as clear cut, as I have previously thought. That is why I have changed my stance, because it does harm many men’s sexuality and does have some physical consequences. Even though it’s wrapped in a religious context we have to dare to take this debate about circumcision as well…. I fully respect other people’s religiousness, but that does not mean that I in any way accept that one can do anything in the name of religion. That makes this debate immensely difficult, but one has to dare to take it.

His party Radikale Venstre, a social liberal party, has passed a resolution to ban circumcision of healthy boys. However the members of parliament are not obliged to work actively for the parties resolutions and have negleted to do so up until now.

Listen to the show here (in Danish) at 28 min.

Inspired by other great Danish voices for children’s genital integrity and autonomy Intact Denmark has worked hard for the past year to make a Danish age restriction on circumcision of healthy boys a reality. Being the founder and chairwoman of the organisation, I am personally very proud of the results we have achieved so far.

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6 thoughts on “Danish Minister of Children and Equality Open for Debate on Circumcision

  1. Reassuring to know there are sane people in Europe working toward advancing human consciousness. Of course the physical effects are horrible, and evidence of the original intent of this mutilation. Parenthetical seems to be the psychological effects, also noted by Maimonides since the religious beginnings, of remembered punishment, now PTSD has put an official name to some of it, yet I might add that the heart is also ‘circumcised,’ as likened to castration and Fromm’s “thwarting of life.” My continued befuddlement at the lasting notion that religious belief must be “respected,” an ideal which usually demands evidence of worth. Suffice to say, living in pretend reality is a negative, as are validation of war, slavery, rape, and assignment by gender, blood, and soil to an inferior and subjugated existence while all assume a kneeling position.

  2. I hope denmark will be the first but not the last country, where little boys get the same protection against reductive genital surgery like girls.
    The phenomenon of respecting the vulnerability of male humans far less than of females is one of the strongest fuels for the ongoing violance happening in the inevitable conflicts that comes with people living together everywhere on this planet.
    And as the amount of conflicts are more likely to increase in the process of globalisation, we have to stop this injustice and put the same awareness of value, vulnerability and deserving protection on both gender

  3. Susanna Richter: “where little boys get the same protection against reductive genital surgery like girls” – that is interesting, Susanna, why don’t you say: “where little boys get the same protection against reductive genital surgery like LITTLE girls”? Then, unspoken, you would agree it is ok to mutilate the OLDER girls – I hope you wouldn’t. No, we have to protect all children, not only the LITTLE children. It is not ok to protect the LITTLE boys and to mutilate the older boys. Ban the circumcision of all males under the age of 18 years old.

  4. I think that when a number of the smaller countries actually put legislation in place to protect boys from genital cutting, larger countries will follow. I certainly hope so, I know only too well the harm that genital cutting does to a man, and that I am glad we said no when asked if we wanted him circumcised, although at that time I was still able to have orgasms in intercourse.

  5. Please think twice, Susanna: “we have to stop this injustice and put the same awareness of value, vulnerability and deserving protection on both gender” – that is not enough to really guarantee intact genitals for each citizen, because legalizing circumcision for boys AND GIRLS worldwide would avoid (gender-related) “injustice” and fulfil some kind of “awareness” perfectly. No, we should clearly state: stop any genital mutilation.
    Instead of talking about “reductive genital surgery” you should write “circumcision, an archaic ritual mutilation that has no justification whatever and no place in a civilized society” (Ashley Monatgu) or specify: “The greatest crime against humanity is the torture and mutilation of children” (James Prescott).

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