Originally Posted by Sarah
I agree Ellie- the cleanliness reason is a new made up reason. Many cultures don't circumcise and still don't have the hot running water and indoor plumbing we now enjoy. Our own US History, Native Americans, Spanish Explorers, Pilgrims, Colonists, Revolutionary War soldiers, Pioneers, Homesteaders, Immigrants... was made up almost entirely of intact non-circumcising people. In fact- it seems that almost in sync- we developed plumbing and bathing contrivances right along with introducing medicalized circumcision- but it was moral, not physical hygiene that was the focus. . Circumcision was not developed because we were dirty...it wasn't pushed on the population until we were already on the road to bathing more (or more easily)
thank you, thank you, THANK you for pointing that out!!!
It really, REALLY gets under my skin when people say that circumcision is no longer necessary because we have easy access to soap and water in these modern times. I am glad that they DO realize that circumcision is unnecessary, however I hate to see the notion reinforced that it EVER was necessary for cleanliness and health. It is not now and never was necessary for cleanliness and health!! People nowadays may choose to shower or bathe, and retract the foreskin and rinse in the shower, but it is for AESTHETICS; to look and smell nice in order to fit in with our culture which abhors body odors and secretions. It is NOT necessary for health. The "Native Americans, Spanish Explorers, Pilgrims, Colonists, Revolutionary War soldiers, Pioneers Homesteaders, Immigrants..." weren't dropping from penis infections, and neither are people today who don't circumcise and don't have modern indoor plumbing either.
HANDWASHING is important for health. Keeping food preparation/serving clean and away from waste is important for health. Keeping sewage sequestered and treated is important for health. This is why modern plumbing/washing/sanitation keep us healthier. Keeping your armpits and crotch washed and sweet-smelling may be important for your social life, but it really doesn't matter to your health.
I wish more intactivists would get this. When they say, "Bah! You don't need to circumcise your son, he can just choose to wash his penis!" - well, their heart is in the right place and that is great they would argue against circumcising, but they are at the same time reinforcing the very wrong idea that if you don't circumcise your son, he will need to wash very thoroughly and regularly or else face infections and problems....the idea that an intact penis is risky and high maintenance...which is why lots of parents end up circumcising!