So why do I oppose circumcision? I’ll let Penn & Teller explain it, they’re so much more entertaining than I could ever hope to be. Afterwards you’ll also fully understand why I prefer ‘genital cutting’ or ‘genital mutilation’ to the word ‘circumcision’.
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
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
Jewish Scholar Miriam Pollack discusses male genital cutting (aka circumcision/genital mutilation) from a Jewish perspective. Many interesting and enlightened points.
In early December 2012 The German Paediatric Association took a massive leap forward in the defence of children subjected to genital mutilation.
Based on comprehensive studies into amongst others circumcision procedures, pain thresholds in infants and children as well as possible physical and psychological consequences of the procedure the German Paediatric Association (Berufsverband der Kinder- und Jugendärzte e.V.) recommended a ban on circumcision of boys.
Referring to studies by numerous specialists their conclusion was clear Continue reading
by Lena Nyhus / iQvixen
Circumcision Tantamount to Bodily Harm a local Cologne (Köln) court ruled in May 2012. The ruling enraged Jewish and Muslim communities all over Germany and provoked an intense debate on the issue reaching as far up as parliament, which is currently debating legislative action.
The dilemma faced by the legislative body and the public alike is how to balance considerations concerning the child’s rights as well as respecting religious minorities and avoiding notions of discrimination.
With one part claiming parental and religious privileges and the other citing the child’s right to protection from abuse and bodily harm the borders are sharply drawn at the best of times and voices of the debate shrill, but at this point neither part of the conflict seem confident that their particular point of view will conquer.
In the middle of this tense atmosphere award-winning Jewish filmmaker Victor Schönfeld presents ‘It’s a boy’ a documentary on infant circumcision – botched infant circumcision. Reportedly Professor Dr. iur. Reinhard Merkel, member of the German Ethics Council has called for members of the Bundestag to view the film before they legislate on a general permission for non-medical circumcisions of young boys, naming it a “noble obligation”.
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.
By Lena Nyhus
Published in The Jerusalem Post
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.
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.