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“unable to give their consent”

So you may have heard a while back that a German court ruled that the circumcision of infants was child abuse. Brendan O’Neill has apparently decided that the only reason for this decision could have been anti-Jewish bigotry, and that bigotry came from atheists.

I’m going to quote the part of O’Neill’s article that made me feel a need to address it, I have more to say on the matter but really this is the primary point, the main idea, the one thing that I want an answer to.

There are many bad things about the modern atheistic assault on religion. But perhaps the worst thing is its rebranding of certain religious practices as “child abuse”. Everything from sending your kid to a Catholic school to having your baby boy circumcised has been redefined by anti-religious campaigners as “abuse”. This use of emotionally loaded language to demonise the practices and beliefs of people of faith has reached its ugly and logical conclusion in Germany, where a court has decreed that circumcision for religious purposes causes “bodily harm”, against boys who are “unable to give their consent”, and therefore should be outlawed.

See the quotes there on the part about consent? I want someone to tell me how an infant gives consent. Heck, the court case was about a four year old boy from a Muslim family, tell me how a four year old gives legal consent.

I notice you also put quotes around “bodily harm”. See the thing is, Brendan (may I call you Brendan?), when you use quotes like that it looks like you’re disputing the words used. So this paragraph suggests that you think:

  1. Cutting off a foreskin is not bodily harm, and
  2. Children, including newborn infants, are capable of giving consent.

I really want an explanation of this. Seriously, no bullshit. Use small words because I’m kind of stupid. How is this not causing harm without consent? O’Neill never explains this, he just goes on to say that people who did terrible things to the Jews in history also called circumcision barbaric child abuse. In other news, a stopped clock is right twice a day, Hitler ate sugar, and an association fallacy really isn’t worth stretching into five paragraphs.

That’s the meat of this post. Frankly you can skip the rest if you want because from here on out it’s mostly just shouting. With lots of wine, so it’s not even coherent.  Read the rest of this entry

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

Found this on Pharyngula, under the heading “Female genital mutilation has medical benefits?” and my first thought was “Oh how cute, those sick girl-cutters are copying a page from the sick boy-cutters and claiming bullshit hygiene improvements”. And at first it seemed to be exactly that, it started with some bullshit about secretions that accumulate causing an odor that leads to infections (odors cause infections? What?), but then I read this:

Circumcision reduces excessive sensitivity of the clitoris which may cause it to increase in size to 3 centimeters when aroused, which is very annoying to the husband, especially at the time of intercourse.

At some point during the reading of that sentence, part of my brain started screaming and hasn’t fully stopped yet.

The site is called Islam Question and Answer, and is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a place to ask questions about Islam and have them answered by people who presumably know what they’re talking about.

Ok, first of all, listing the removal of an annoyance to her husband as a health benefit for her seems like a joke in very poor taste, considering the flimsy excuses abusive spouses use to justify their violence. Also it really suggests that the woman isn’t being considered a person in her own right, but rather a thing belonging to her husband, to be modified for his pleasure. My little fucktoy, or something. I want to emphasize that the part about considering a woman a person in her own right is more important than what follows, even though I’ll spend less time on it.

Second, I want a serious show of hands from any men in the audience who have ever been annoyed by a woman’s clit during sex. Seriously, as they say on Wikipedia, citation fucking needed! How is that even supposed to work? Read the rest of this entry

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