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Arguments to persuade feminists/women of the madness of circ - Page 2

post #21 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
I know a lot of feminists who are pretty angry that American women spend so much time and energy fighting to save little boys foreskins when so many little girls are being so much more severly mutilated. They feel that FMF should be the focus, with male circumcision a "men's issue."

What you've said here makes no sense to me. Please don't lump all of us feminists together as thinking that circ should be a "man's issue." (Any more than FGM is just a woman's issue.)


I'm a feminist, also a humanist. I taught World Civ. and taught about FGM. I made the INHERENT connection between FGM and MGM, and consequently left my son intact. No one had to make the connection for me, although my doula helped solidify my position.

Y'all keep talking about "feminists" as if they are the "other," as if they don't read (and participate!) in this board! Here I am!

And I'm here DAILY! You couldn't get rid of me if you wanted to! I should make a T-shirt slogan: Intactivist Feminists Unite!!


BTW, I've been meaning to ask this question:

What is the male equivalent of the word "misogyny"?

I want to say that FGM is misogyny and MGM is ............ (the equivalent), but I can't think of the word.

Misandry?

Misoandry?

Something else?
post #22 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by laidbackmomto2
...WOMEN give birth to CHILDREN...not just GIRL babies. The mutilation of CHILDREN's genitals (BOTH boys and girls) is INHERENTLY a "Feminist" issue. Actually, it really isn't a "Feminist" issue or a "Men's" issue at all. Genital mutilation is a "Humanist" issue...all of humanity should be equally appalled with the entire concept...no?...
Not all women give birth. Not all women who give birth are mothers. Again, approaching this with feminists from the standpoint that "women give birth" might very well offend.

The feminist movement has been around for hundreds of years now. To suddenly declare that your issue is "inherently" a feminist issue is a tricky proposition. For example, there are people who feel that prostitution is an "inherently" feminist issue, only some of them are saying feminists should be working towards banning it and others are saying feminists should be working on making it legal.

I agree with you that it is more acurately described as a humanist issue. Of course, "humanist" is also a term many women of color have adopted to describe their "feminism" because they feel feminism has become "too white."

Do you see how confusing this gets? And I don't mean that in a "throw up your hands, get pissed off and walk away" way, I mean it in a "when you're not familiar with a movement and its history, perhaps it's best to approach it gently and from a place of respect for what it has done/is doing instead of launching into a scathing criticism of what it isn't doing."

Cindy, I thank you for reaching out to me with kindness and for being open. That's how real change happens.
post #23 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
What you've said here makes no sense to me. Please don't lump all of us feminists together as thinking that circ should be a "man's issue." (Any more than FGM is just a woman's issue.)...
I didn't say "all of us feminists", I said a lot. Because I've read a lot of feminist history and spoken with so many feminist (both in person and on the internet), I feel qualified to pass on what I've read and heard.

It might not make sense to you (it doesn't really to me either), but I'm not going to declare these women as wrong. I'm just not. Because that leads to hostility, name-calling and defensiveness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
...What is the male equivalent of the word "misogyny"?

I want to say that FGM is misogyny and MGM is ............ (the equivalent), but I can't think of the word. ...
The word misandry means hatred of men. But I don't think it's the "equivalent" of misogyny. Women, as a group, have never had the power men had. Misogyny doesn't get it's power from individual men, it gets it's power from the patriachial power structure.

I think FMF and MGM are both by-products of a misogyny. It wasn't women doctors who brought male circumcision out of the context of religious ritual and popularized it. The global, patriachial society sees infants as part of their mothers and therefore has no problem exploiting them and their bodies. Once those infant boys leave their mothers (literally and figuratively, nothing worse than a "mama's boy", right?), then they are seen as a part of the patriachy and worthy of protected status.
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
What is the male equivalent of the word "misogyny"?

I want to say that FGM is misogyny and MGM is ............ (the equivalent), but I can't think of the word.

Misandry?

Misoandry?

Something else?


Misandry = An intense dislike of and disrespect of males. (not specific males but all males)

However, FGM is not misogyny. Most FGM is perpetrated on the child by her mother with full approval and cooperation of the mother. It is the sexual reversal of what we see in circumcised men insisting that their sons also be circumcised. The mother does not hate her daughter or other women so, it does not qualify as misogyny.




Frank
post #25 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama


The word misandry means hatred of men. But I don't think it's the "equivalent" of misogyny.
To me, it is the equivalent. Thank you for clarifying what the word is.
post #26 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
...However, FGM is not misogyny. Most FGM is perpetrated on the child by her mother with full approval and cooperation of the mother. It is the sexual reversal of what we see in circumcised men insisting that their sons also be circumcised. The mother does not hate her daughter or other women so, it does not qualify as misogyny...
I completely disagree. Internalized misogyny can be just as powerful as misogyny coming from an outside force. Those women are taught to hate their bodies and all women's bodies. They were not born with that belief, it was taught to them by the misogynist culture they live in (that we all live in ), that gave rise to FGM.
post #27 of 111
I'm not feeling well, so I'm going to unsubscribe from this thread.

,
pugmadmama
post #28 of 111
I'm going to ignore all the feminist-bashing on this thread and simply answer the OP.

Tell your friends that feminism is about CHOICE and EQUAL RIGHTS. People have the right to choose what happens with their own bodies. No one has rights to anyone else's body. If females have a right to genital integrity then so do males. Condemning FGM but failing to condemn MGM isn't being a feminist, it's being a hypocrite.

I can't imagine a feminist failing to condemn FGM even if it didn't involve removing all external genitalia, and was done only to infants in a sanitary environment by doctors.

Yes, women are greatly harmed by the patriarchy we live in, in so many ways that it needs its own thread, but not in the circ forum. And yes, women have historically had it much worse than men. However, these facts are completely irrelevent to the question of whether infants' genitals should be protected (ALL infants' genitals).

Please don't refuse to support women's rights just because some people don't make anti-circ part of their agenda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
I hang out at a few feminst boards. Every few months someone stops by to tell us what else we should be doing as feminists. Everything from collectively adopting Veganism to embracing the anti-choice agenda. Funny thing is, I don't see these same groups putting into feminism what they expect out of it. Why? Because we are all trained to believe that women are supposed to stop what they are doing and start doing whatever work is requested of them.

Male circumcision is slowly becoming a feminist issue. Although, I must say, in NO THANKS to the vast majority of the male circumcision activists, who react so poorly when they find out that women who have dedicated their lives to protesting, marching and working in the feminist movement aren't also ready to adopt their agenda on a moment's notice (reread this thread to get an idea of what I'm talking about.)
Good points! I don't expect Women's Rights organizations to put MGM front and center of their agenda any more than I would expect a Men's Rights organization to put FGM front and center of their agenda.

We individual humans, though, should all support HUMAN rights. No one should be refusing to support any one else's rights. If we don't all support everyone's rights, then no one's rights will be protected. "No one is free when others are oppressed."

We're all in this together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
What part of Feminism does mutilating males help?
Who claimed that mutilating males helps feminism???

Let's not adopt a "whoever's not with us is against us" attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suseyblue
ot- pugmad, if you don't want to be referred to as 'pro-abortion', please don't refer to me (and other pro-life, anti-abortion, whichever- feminists- see my sig) as 'anti-choice'. at least not here on a board where we are not supposed to blatantly disrespect other posters.
If you simply wouldn't have an abortion yourself, then you are anti-abortion. If, however, you think it is your place to make that decision for ALL OTHER WOMEN, then you are anti-choice. If you think I should be denied MY right to choose for MY body, then "anti-choice" is an accurate label. Pro-choice people do not promote abortion, we simply defend a woman's right to choose, so it would be inaccurate to describe us as "pro-abortion."

Quote:
Originally Posted by laidbackmomto2
How a "Feminist" can embrace the effort to end FMG (because it is performed on girls) and not also embrace the effort to end MGM (claiming that it's a "men's issue"), completely boggles my mind. Notice I say "embrace"...not necessarily dedicating their entire waking moments to the cause.
Thank you for making that distinction. Anti-MGMers should "embrace" anti-FGM (and I'm sure most of them do), just as anti-FGMers should "embrace" anti-MGM (and, again, I'm sure most of them do).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
Those women are taught to hate their bodies and all women's bodies. They were not born with that belief, it was taught to them by the misogynist culture they live in (that we all live in ), that gave rise to FGM.
I agree with this, also.

Okay, so I lied. I didn't confine myself to the OP.
post #29 of 111
I think what men have or have not done to women is not the point when we are talking about MGM. These are babies NOT men. They have no idea of the politics of which they are born. That helpless baby doesn't know that his gender has/does cause pain and suffering of women. When he is strapped down and brutally , sexually violated he doesn't know that some men have done the same to women. He has no concept that he is male. I think to say MGM is just a "male" issue is wrong it is about harming babies and children. Gender shouldn't matter , MGM and FGM are the same human rights issue. I honestly don't see how people can seperate them in their minds. Cutting genitals is cutting genitals , no? I guess what I'm trying to say is in the moment of the act of circing a boy , the history of men/women doesn't matter all that matters is that baby being violated. Because women are opressed and also circed doesn't make the act of circing that helpless baby boy any less awful. I don't think I'm explaining this well. The baby boy HAS NO POWER it doesn't matter at all that he will have power when he is man. I think dismissing the horror of MGM on the premise that men are opressors/in power is absurd and illogical.

Quote:
Tell your friends that feminism is about CHOICE and EQUAL RIGHTS. People have the right to choose what happens with their own bodies. No one has rights to anyone else's body. If females have a right to genital integrity then so do males. Condemning FGM but failing to condemn MGM isn't being a feminist, it's being a hypocrite.
WELL SAID!
post #30 of 111
http://www.noharmm.org/comparison.htm
post #31 of 111
when i was forced into a (legal! so don't tell me this is completely ot; parents having omnipotent control over their children's body IS what this forum is about) abortion at 17, the dr telling me to stop screaming and the nurses holding me down weren't telling me all about my glorious freedom to 'choose'. there couldn't possibly be a pro-abortion agenda within radical feminism, then?

i asked to not be referred to as 'anti-choice', and i'll ask again. if i can be polite enough to call you 'pro-choice' here instead of 'pro-abortion' after that (in no way isolated) incident, because it is how you reference your beliefs (even if i think it is hogwash) you can do the same.

suse
post #32 of 111
Feminism does not condone forced abortions. The pro-choice movement is about each woman choosing for herself whether to have an abortion or whether to continue her pregnancy. Forcing someone to have an abortion is just as anti-choice and anti-feminist as forcing someone to continue a pregnancy.

Even if it wasn't an isolated incident, you can't blame feminism. Blame the doctors who do it.

Again, if you acknowledge that I should be able to choose to have an abortion, just as I acknowledge that you should be able to choose to NOT have an abortion, then you are not anti-choice.

It isn't a matter of politeness, it's a matter of accuracy. I am pro-choice because I support BOTH choices: It's up to the woman. I do not promote the choice of abortion, so therefore it would be inaccurate to label me pro-abortion.

I need to be able to distinguish the women who would never have an abortion themselves, because they're personally against it, but who support the right of other women to make that choice for themselves. They are the ones who can call themselves simply anti-abortion instead of anti-choice.
post #33 of 111
I am temporarily closing this to have time to read and investigate complaints.
post #34 of 111
I am opening the thread back up.

After consulting with other mods and Cynthia, I am going to leave it open.

However, the discussion needs to stay focused on circumcision. Debates about abortion semantics are inappropriate for this forum. If the posts continue to discuss abortion, I'll have to remove it entirely.

You are invited to start another thread in TAO about abortion verbage, but this current thread can only remain open if you return the discussion to the subject of circumcision.

I hope this will happen because I think this is an important discussion.
post #35 of 111
"Maybe because Feminist organizations and feminist indivdually are already stretched too thin?"

I don't get this. How much thinner does one have to stretch to say "all genital mutilation is wrong" instead of just "FGM is wrong"?

Anyway, back to the OP, while all these arguments and analogies are valid, maybe even persuasive, why should one need them at all? Isn't it enough to say that no person has the right to permanently remove a healthy, functioning part of another person's body? How could anybody possibly argue with that, unless I guess they believe in ownership (slavery)? And feminists don't believe in that. Why is it so hard to bring it to its logical conclusion? You don't force choices on people. Period.
post #36 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueviolet
"Maybe because Feminist organizations and feminist indivdually are already stretched too thin?"

I don't get this. How much thinner does one have to stretch to say "all genital mutilation is wrong" instead of just "FGM is wrong"?
...
It's not a far leap from "why won't you just say this" to "why aren't you fighting for this" to "why isn't this the focus of your fight?" The feminists I know are not unreasonable women, but they also didn't just fall off the turnip truck. They are wary of being sucked into other people's (and, yes, especially men's) causes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueviolet
...Anyway, back to the OP, while all these arguments and analogies are valid, maybe even persuasive, why should one need them at all? Isn't it enough to say that no person has the right to permanently remove a healthy, functioning part of another person's body? ...
Well said.
post #37 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
They are wary of being sucked into other people's (and, yes, especially men's) causes.
How is INFANT circumcision a MEN'S cause???? These are babies NOT men. What an ugly attidude some people have. If it was grown men being circed then it wouldn't really be an issue now would it, since adults have the legal right and obligation to consent to medical procedures.
I really don't get this perspective at all. Maybe these women should witness RIC and all tribal male circs and see if that'll change their minds.
post #38 of 111
Both MGM and FGM can be classified under "infant issue" and "human rights issue," but MGM can additionally be viewed as a male issue, and FGM can additionally be viewed as a female issue. Some of the people in this forum have sigs that say things like "genital integrity for all," but others have sigs that focus on MGM, like "if men were meant to have a foreskin, they would be born with one." I don't say to people in the latter group "Hey! How come you haven't taken up the anti-FGM cause?!" I'm pretty sure that if I asked them if they are opposed to FGM, they would say yes, but I don't criticize them for focusing on fighting MGM. I think most of the activists in this forum are focused on fighting MGM, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, as long as they don't actually say that FGM is okay. So I don't think there's anything wrong with an anti-FGM activist wanting to focus on FGM or a feminist organization wanting to focus on women's rights. I'm sure most of them aren't ok with MGM, even if they're focused on fighting different issues.
post #39 of 111
I think one reason most here (especially those of us living in the US) focus on MGM is because it is common and accepted here (meaning the US) by many.
FGM is already illegal here (again in the US) so at least on the home front MGM is what we are fighting against.
I would gather that everyone against MGM here at MDC is equally against FGM, but the same can not be said the other way around. I have found that a lot of people I have talked with irl and online do not feel MGM is a human's right violation or even wrong.
I didn't really think we were talking about feminist on a whole taken up MGM on their platform but trying to convince feminist on a personal level why MGM should be something they are horrified by just as they are about FGM. I would love to see a lot of strong women stand up against MGM and see it for what it is though! I do think it would be great if feminist groups would fight for genital integrity in general and not just for females.
post #40 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I think one reason most here (especially those of us living in the US) focus on MGM is because it is common and accepted here (meaning the US) by many.
FGM is already illegal here (again in the US) so at least on the home front MGM is what we are fighting against.
I have a world-wide perspective. Things don't bother me less just because they happen on the other side of the ocean. FGM is common and accepted in other parts of the world, and not enough people are doing anything to stop it. There needs to be global outrage and international pressure. Even here, where it's illegal, it still happens sometimes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I would gather that everyone against MGM here at MDC is equally against FGM, but the same can not be said the other way around. I have found that a lot of people I have talked with irl and online do not feel MGM is a human's right violation or even wrong.
I think most people who believe in genital integrity believe in it for both sexes. I think there's an equal number of people who take a stance against MGM who don't take a stance against FGM as there are people who take a stance against FGM but not MGM. Historically, feminists have helped other causes, but haven't been helped BY other causes. [The feminist movement has been one of the strongest promoters of equal rights for all races, but the anti-racism movement hasn't really returned the favor of helping women achieve equal rights.]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I didn't really think we were talking about feminist on a whole taken up MGM on their platform but trying to convince feminist on a personal level why MGM should be something they are horrified by just as they are about FGM.
I think we've been talking about both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I would love to see a lot of strong women stand up against MGM and see it for what it is though!
There are a lot of strong women standing up against MGM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I do think it would be great if feminist groups would fight for genital integrity in general and not just for females.
Would you say the same thing about anti-MGM groups? That they should fight against FGM? Let's not have a double standard. It would be easier for an anti-MGM organization to simply oppose all genital mutilation, male and female, without spreading itself too thin (or having to alter its focus or its message), than it would be for a women's rights organization, which is trying to defend ALL areas of women's rights.
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