Cutting bits off

I saw a link to this on Twitter, an article which claims that pediatricians are saying the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. I had a few thoughts about it.

First and foremost, I really don’t care whether that claim is true or not. You’re still performing unnecessary body modification on someone incapable of consent. That right there is abuse. I’m not fucking joking, either. You don’t own your baby’s body, your baby does. You are making decisions in trust until your baby is old enough to make those decisions. Frankly if you’re cutting parts off when it’s not strictly necessary I think you’re abusing that trust.

Body autonomy really trumps everything else here, in my opinion. You can make whatever modifications you like to your own body, but you’d better have a solid, strong reason to alter someone else’s.

But frankly I kind of suspect that the whole thing is bullshit, and on some level everyone knows it, because no doctor has ever, I mean ever, said to me, “You might want to consider circumcision”. For all the people talking about its benefits, nobody ever tried to sell those benefits to me, or any other adult, I suspect. These wonderful benefits of circumcision are only ever touted for those who cannot make the decision themselves. When most circumcisions are performed on consenting adults, then, and only then, will I be willing to consider the pros and cons.

Until then I’m just assuming it’s institutionalized child abuse, performed and tolerated and even defended out of a sort of cultural inertia, because that’s how it’s been done for ages. Just like freshmen hazing in high schools, or child rape in catholic churches.

Hat tip to barrels of oranges for the link.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on September 6, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. that was a very interesting post, “leo” (or however you prefer to be addressed)! having given birth to two sons (both circumcised) i must now regard my own acquiescence to the practice with a jaundiced eye and revulsion deep in the back of my throat. GHAAHGH! I just wonder why there isn’t more objection to this barbaric custom in this day and age…

    keep yanking our chain — keep us honest and questioning. we need people like you very much!

    • “Leo” is fine, I’ve grown quite attached to my pseudonym. Thank you for your comment, it really made my morning!

      I think we have a tendency to just go along with things that are common practice like that, and when someone suggests changing it our first instinct is resistance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can lead to some weird places.

      • do you remember me? we met at least twice, perhaps a time or two more, back when you were (redacted) and gabriel was gabriel. you were kind of a dark, brooding, sardonic sort who would occasionally astonish me by some deeply intelligent observation or other. somehow this blog, though quite refreshing, is not at all surprising coming from you. i have been thoroughly enjoying it! thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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