A defense of the foreskin


By Mikael Aktor
Originally published in the Danish daily INFORMATION and on INTACT DENMARK 10th July 2013 and to

If accidents or disease reduce the bodily functions of a child, we do whatever we can to remedy the damage. Why then inflict such a loss on healthy children ourselves?

June 27 was a sad day for Danish boys. On this day the minister of health, Astrid Krag, rejected legislation against boy circumcision on the basis of a newly delivered report from the Health Council. But the report and Krag’s arguments only relate to a very narrow health perspective, they do not deal with the equally important human rights aspects.

I am a member of an association – Intact Denmark, Association Against Child Circumcision – which has as it’s goal to restrict circumcision to persons who themselves express the wish to have it done and who have reached the age of consent. The arguments for this view among the members of the association vary but my own is quite Continue reading

Foreskin Explained with Animation


Circumcised men and their partners experience sexual dysfunctions more frequently that intact men and their partners a scientific study performed by Prof. Morten Frisch (et al9 suggests. The research team suggests further studies on the subject which suggests that the negative consequences of circumcision even in seemingly successful cases can be far reaching.

Read a short presentation of the study here: Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life

Circumcised radio host: ‘It’s pure torture’ (Full translation)


By Kjeld Koplev, Radio Host / Journalist
(Full translation of article published in Danish daily Politiken 07/18/2012)
Translated and published by Lena Nyhus / IQvixen with permission from the author

Kjeld KoplevPhotographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Kjeld Koplev
Photographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Circumcision is an interference into the sex life of the Jewish man and should be stopped immediately.

The signature Anders Jerichouw (AJ) writes in the editorial of Politiken 07/15/2012 that circumcision of Jewish boys is the family’s way of passing on love.

I find that it is pure torture! Cocksure, AJ claims that the circumcision causes no harm. I say, that the torture I was exposed to when a Rabbi cut off my foreskin without anaesthesia   – and without medical experience or training – inflicted lifelong psychological trauma on me.

The Rabbi who yielded the knife also inflicted a castration anxiety that has stayed with me ever since.

I cannot in any way see that circumcision has the least to do with love. Continue reading

Can you give me back my foreskin? (Full translation)


Open letter to Bent Lexner, Chief Rabbi of Denmark

By Leo Milgrom
(Milgroms translation of his original piece published in Danish daily Politiken ‘Kan du give mig min forhud tilbage?‘ 07/28/2012 and first covered by this blog here.)

March 1980: a man drives into a neighborhood south of Copenhagen. He stops in front of a terraced house, walks up the stairs to the first floor and into the bedroom where he proceeds to greet the people present. He recites a number of verses – and then he cuts of my foreskin and takes it with him.

32 years later I have grown up to write to you, Bent Lexner, because you are Chief Rabbi and in charge of Jewish circumcisions in Denmark. Questions have piled up Continue reading

Boys inferiour to Girls under Danish Legislation


Ironic, isn’t it? That we in the West have been working so hard for decades to achieve equal rights for our girls and women (and we’re closing in on that goal now), yet we appear deaf, dumb and blind to the plight of boys who are exposed to male genital mutilation.

In Denmark we pride ourselves on being voted the happiest people on the planet, on being one of the safest countries to live in, on respecting human rights – of course – and we take pride in our children.

Child labour is illegal, spanking is strictly forbidden and naturally female genital mutilation is considered an abomination and has been prohibited since 2003 (France outlawed it already back in 1979, but let’s not get carried away. Better late than never, right?).

Then there’s the boys. Their genitals get mutilated too. We just call it circumcision and excuse Continue reading

WANTED! Danish atheist photographer


457 unique visitors from 22 countries in just 6 days . My blog is taking off flying. By I’m far from satisfied. I want to bring attention to atheism and anti-genital mutilation. And I want you to help me. There’s no money in it for either of us. All I can promise you is that your name will be exposed together with the pictures. 60% of my users are Danish and at the moment my site is growing by a rate of +200% every day. Maybe this could be a good deal for you as well as good cause.

Contact me on justasnip@hotmail.com and let’s be creative.

 

‘Can You Give Me Back My Foreskin?’ Leo Milgrom asked…


by Lena Nyhus / iQvixen

‘Can you give me back my foreskin?’ Temp Teacher and former member of the Danish Mosaic Community Leo Milgrom asked Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner in an open letter published in Politiken 07/28/2012.

Read more here (Article in Danish: Kan du give mig min forhud tilbage?)

In an insightful piece Milgrom shared his thoughts on the Jewish culture that had fostered a tradition of circumcision citing scripture on several occasions to expose some of the many commandments that the Jewish community of today have already abandoned.

A modern human being must be able to explore and discuss the culture, traditions and rituals which it is part of, but unfortunately some parts of the Jewish community seem unable to partake in such a debate, he claims. Surely, the time has come to question and abandon and ancient and cruel ritual that leaves children traumatised.

Chief Rabbi has circumcised more than 1.000 infant boys over the years according to his own records and he is the religious head of the Jewish community in Denmark. In that capacity Milgrom asks for answers on behalf of himself and perhaps to the benefit of some of the other boys Lexner circumcised over the years.

The intimate bond of trust between parents and child is irreversible severed during circumcision, substituting family with religion. Later in life, when the boy becomes a man, yet again the circumcision inhibits intimacy between the man and his sexual partner. Between them will always be a third party; religion.

Milgrom’s mother cried during the circumcision, his father nearly fainted, they have confided to him. His question to the Chief Rabbi is ‘Why didn’t the circumciser stop to ask what was the matter?… Did he at any time think: I wonder what this little boy thinks about what I’m doing to him? Do these contemplations not even enter your minds?’

To my knowledge Milgrom’s questions, as I have described them here, remain unanswered. Cheif Rabbi of Denmark Bent Lexner never replied.

‘Circumcised radio host: It is Pure Torture’


by Lena Nyhus / iQvixen

When the debate about male genital mutilation (so-called circumcision) flared up in Denmark during the summer of 2012 one of the most compelling opinions voiced was that of journalist and author Kjeld Koplev; ‘In my opinion it is pure torture!’ he exclaimed in a column printed in the prominent Danish newspaper Politiken on 07/18/2012 and continued to explain how the circumcision he suffered through as an infant had left him traumatized and with castration anxiety lasting into adulthood and crippling his life and sexuality.

Read the full article here (in Danish)

‘Circumcision is not an act of love.’ he wrote as a response to an opinion voiced by journalist Anders Jerichouw in an editorial in Politiken 07/15/2012 ‘It is a selfish act, wherein some people – in misunderstood religious zealousness – abuse and brand an infant boy. Not more nor less. Any other opinion is simply a rationalisation.’

A circumcised child existing in a primarily uncircumcised society such as the Danish suffers from yet another torment; he is ostracised. Perhaps not literally, but in his own mind. Being different at an age where one desperately wishes to just fit in can be extremely challenging.

Mr. Koplev draws attention to the UN-concention on Childrens Rights (ratified by Denmark) and claims that surely circumcision must be considered a violation.

Accusations of anti-Semitism and other parallels to Nazism and fascism are frequent in the debate about circumcision but as Mr. Koplev frases it; ‘Naturally, my opposition has nothing to do with hatred towards Jews.’ Just as the opposition to female genital mutilation is not rooted in hate towards Islam, the opposition towards male genital mutilation (aka circumcision) is not by any means related to anti-Semitism.

It would be suitable Koplev states if the practitioners themselves abandoned the barbaric tradition of genital mutilation of both boys and girls even before legislation restricts it.

An Insight into the Danish Circumcision Debate


By Lena Nyhus
Published in The Jerusalem Post
10/15/2012

See the original piece here

To many Danes the case is simple; any man or woman may do with their own bodies what they see fit, but no one should be allowed to make decisions about non-medically warranted procedures on behalf of anybody else.

In the article “Assault on Jewish customs in Scandinavia,” which appeared in The Jerusalem Post on October 8, Magnus Frank paints a bleak and unfortunately rather biased picture of the current debate regarding the circumcision of un-consenting boys in Denmark.I find it imperative to present the Israeli public with a broader view on the debate than the one offered by Frank. Persecution of minorities, i.e. anti-Semitism, is a very serious issue and an offence that the authorities in Denmark take a very strong view on indeed, which Magnus Frank probably knows very well. I am also sure that he is well aware of how rare an offence it is in Danish society, which is widely inclusive and in fact highly secular.Speculating that the media and a wide variety of the debating Danish public may have ulterior motives in the ongoing discussion regarding circumcision is an unnecessary and unproductive approach to the debate and frankly it only serves to demonstrate that Frank may simply lack proper arguments for his point of view.

The majority of the voices raised against circumcision have three main points: firstly, the basic human right to an intact body. When there are no medical reasons to perform surgery on a child, any procedure must be considered an assault.Secondly, research has shown that in societies such Denmark’s where good healthcare and high hygiene standards prevail there are hardly any medical benefits from circumcision. When it comes to preventing STD’s, for instance, a much more effective approach is the simple use of condoms.

Thirdly, there is the concern that if there are any risks the child may suffer health or sexual consequences from the circumcision immediately after the procedure or perhaps later on in life as an adult, it should be prohibited.

This is a debate about the individual’s freedom of choice, about avoiding the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering for non-medically warranted procedures and about the prevention of health and sexual complications later in life.

It should be noted that Prof. Morten Frisch’s study, which was questioned by Frank, has incorporated a number of measures to ensure the statistical validity of the data as well as peer review, which is of course the very reason it was deemed fit to be published in a respectable international medical journal in the first place.

Prof. Frisch’s study suggests that a significantly larger number of circumcised men report sexual problems than do their intact peers. In addition, women in relationships with circumcised males report sexual problems more frequently than do women with intact partners.

Therefore Prof. Frisch has found it vital to call for further studies. It is paramount to understand the potential consequences of circumcision.

The majority of the circumcised subjects in the study were not of Muslim or Jewish origin.

It is my understanding that if the study were to be transferred to for instance US, it indicates that approximately 10 million American men maybe more and their respective partners suffer from sexual problems that are less frequent among their intact peers.

Important to the understanding of the Danish debate is also the simple fact that circumcision is not a common procedure in Denmark, so it is primarily performed by the Jewish and Muslim community and in connection with medically warranted circumstances.

It would be fair for an outsider to assume that the Danish debate might well have xenophobic undertones, however that does not appear to be the case. Rather the case is simply that the majority of Danes place a very high value on personal freedom of choice and are naturally sceptical of non-consensual non-medically warranted procedures.

Mr. Magnus Frank brings up another interesting point in his piece, namely that the circumcised males in Denmark supposedly generally enjoy “a much higher level of education, income, and living compared to the average Dane.”

While that may be true of the Jewish population in Denmark (I have never seen studies to prove it, but am inclined to think that it may very well be correct) it is unfortunately not true when it comes to the Muslim population in Denmark.

Multiple studies have shown that while young Muslim women in Denmark generally excel in the educational system, the young Muslim men fail to follow their example. So I am inclined to think that the ability to achieve a high level of education, income and standard of living does not depend on the amputation of highly specialized and sensitive skin in the genital area but rather on other cultural factors.

In Denmark it is regarded deeply unacceptable to inflict pain or abuse on children – any pain or abuse. Therefore children’s rights are protected throughout the legislation, universally banning for instance spankings and other forms of physical acts of violence against children. The legislation also protects the children from psychological abuse and it protects girls from non-medically warranted circumcision procedures also known as female genital mutilation.

Boys do not currently enjoy the same right to bodily integrity under Danish legislation as girls do. A recent poll indicates that a majority of the Danish population finds that it is time to ensure the boys equal rights.

To many Danes the case is simple; any man or woman may do with their own bodies what they see fit, when they reach adulthood, but no one – not even parents – should be allowed to make decisions about performing permanent non-medically warranted potentially harmful procedures on behalf of anybody else.