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 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 →
Now don’t get me wrong, I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an incredibly bright and brave woman who makes a true difference in the world and I thoroughly respect her work, but while I completely agree with her opinion on female genital mutilation (FGM) I reserve the right to disagree with her stance on male genital mutilation aka circumcision.
Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation to allow a nick in the clitoris as a symbolic alternative to more intrusive female genital mutilation rituals (the lesser of two evils argument) Ayaan Hirsi Ali voiced a strong counter argument; allowing any ritual even a nick – which is still genital mutilation by the way – is sending a signal that we as a society accept the basic premise, that women are inferior beings with an evil sexuality that should be harnessed. Of course, any society that considers all humans created equal cannot accept such an attitude; as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has put it on a different occasion ‘Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice‘.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response to AAPs FGM recommendations here
But as right and just Ali is on the stance against FGM, she is wrong – both factually and morally – when claiming that male genital mutilation is less invasive.
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.
‘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.