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Arguments to persuade feminists/women of the madness of circ - Page 3

post #41 of 111
The reason MGM is such an issue is because it is here and now. It touches every family in America either directly or indirectly. It is an issue that we can all have a part in ending and we can see the results in the work we do.

FGM is a different story. It is practiced half way around the world by people we can not reach. All of the avenues we have to fight it will never reach those who support and do it.

We can end MGM in this country and I have no doubt that there will eventually be a MGM law to match eht FGM law. Unfortunately, we can not pass laws in other countries. We can only spread our influence. Unfortunately, FGM continues unabated and mostly unaffected by our laws and condemnation just as MGM continues here. Fortunately, the US responds to global condemnation of it's practices and there is a growing condemnation of MGM around the world as evidenced by stronger and more definitave statements of the world's medical organizations against MGM and a growing awareness in the world's media of our dirty little practice. It's all having an effect and that effect is noticeable and is documented.

I suspect that everyone here is really an intactivist for both males and females but realize the difficulty of changing practices on the other side of the globe by a population that is largely uneducated and unreachable by the means we have available to us. We are simply doing what we can with theresources we have available to us. I don't think this same thing applies to the feminists who support genital integrity for females and not for males. I just don't see it as dividing their efforts and making them less effective in their primary cause.






Frank
post #42 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
FGM is a different story. It is practiced half way around the world by people we can not reach. All of the avenues we have to fight it will never reach those who support and do it.
You don't think American opposition to FGM could help end the practice? I happen to think it's the only thing that could end the practice, and that the practice will never end without it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
FGM continues unabated and mostly unaffected by our laws and condemnation
We're not condemning it enough. We need the kind of opposition that we had to S. Africa's appartheid. We were certainly able to affect that, weren't we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
We are simply doing what we can with theresources we have available to us. I don't think this same thing applies to the feminists who support genital integrity for females and not for males. I just don't see it as dividing their efforts and making them less effective in their primary cause.
The women's rights movement also has limited resources, and a LOT to accomplish. I really don't think there are a lot of feminists who support genital integrity for females but not for males -- it would go against the feminist principle of equal rights between the sexes. Do you acknowledge, though, that MGM isn't particularly a women's rights issue? I mean unless you're talking about a mother's right to be fully informed about the procedure: that aspect of it.
post #43 of 111
Yes, our opposition will help but it is the men and women who went to Africa that came back and reported to the media that made a difference. You also have to remember that other nations took up this cause far before the US did. All of the industrialized nations of the world now have anti-FGM laws yet it still persists in Africa. Since internet access is not available to a large portion of the population there, it is difficult for every day citizens like us to have any direct influence. It is a far different situation here in America for MGM. The answer is to keep influencing the media here to keep them writing about it to keep it on top of the politicians minds. I think that's the most effect we can have in Africa.

America had little effect in the ending of aparthied. We certainly supported it once it started and I have no doubt that we had some influence in keeping the movement going. However, the end of aparthied was a movement that started in S. Africa and we would have made little difference had we tried to start the movement. We have to give the credit to the South Africans for that. Unfortunately, Africans have not started the movement to end FGM yet and they view our efforts as meddlesome in their affairs. Once they see the issue, I have no doubt we will be influential in ending the practice along with the rest of the industrialized world.

I certainly think MGM is a feminists issue. How can you advocate for rights for yourself while denying rights for others? That just doesn't jive. To benefit from your rights, you must support rights for all. I believe women have a right not to have to comply to social conventions and cause pain to their offspring. I think they have a right to have a bond with their sons that circumcision interferes with. I think they have a right not to have to explain to their sons why they took liberties with his most personal and private parts. There are some who speculate that male aggression has roots in circumcision. Don't women have a right not to be subjected to that aggression if it's true? Don't women have a right not to be subjected to abrasive and overly vigouous sexual realtions with their SOs? Don't women have a right to have a partner who is not prematurely impotent because of circumcision? Don't American mothers have the right to know that circumcision will not benefit their beloved son in any way? Is it right for mothers to have to tend to their son's circumcision wounds? Is it right for mothers to lose their sons because of circumcision accidents?

There is no question that male circumcision affects women and I think it is their right to not be affected when there is no benefit to be derived from the procedure. I certainly see this as a women's issue because women are definitely affected. They may not be directly affected but women in America are not directly affected by female circumcision in Africa. They are certainly more affected by male circumcision in America yet they don't take up the banner. Why is that? Because they don't see the harm that it causes them. As we educate the rest of America, we will also educate the feminists. While they may never see the benefit to them, they will certainly benefit.





Frank
post #44 of 111
SBF... I want to tell you about my mom. She talks about me all the time. She tells people that I am an activist against circumcision... and they say (the PRESUME)... "Oh yes, what they do in Africa is so terrible"

and my moms says... "No... right here, in America, what they do to the boys is also terrible."

and they look at her like, "Why on earth would someone WASTE THEIR TIME advocating for the rights of American boys when they could (SHOULD) advocate for the rights of African girls?"

My own sister in law- she tried to stop a conversation about my work against male circumcision by saying... "But you know what is REALLY terrible... what they do to WOMEN."

My friend in Austria... she also presumed that male circumcision was really something that needs no attention and all the effort and focus needs to go to FGM... no one had ever told her that males also need protection for cultural mutilations. After being told she was willing to consider it. The antiFGM rhetoric in Europe is strong, but the fear of anti-semitism keeps the Austrian noses out of what (in a country where the majority of male circumcisions are jewish rituals) might be considered "A jewish issue"

As long as our culture is going to protect our own sacred cow we can't be judgemental of other cultures. We have to fix it at home before we can be so judgemental of other people's resistence to change. If we can't trust american men who live in condos with hot and cold running water to believe that they can wash their own genitals and be "clean"... why would we turn around and think we are going to convince a family who lives in a hut with a community well that their daughter does not have to be cut to be clean?

You say: "We're not condemning it enough. We need the kind of opposition that we had to S. Africa's appartheid. We were certainly able to affect that, weren't we?"

OK... what do you propose? We boycott doing business with "nations" who pay for genital mutilations of children with taxpayer money? Oops... that's US.

The Africans pay for their OWN genital mutilations... there is no African FGM medicaid reimbursment.

How about we publicly persecute people who cut the genitals of children? Oh... another sacred cow huh? In Africa it's some poor travelling gypsy cutter... but they are a pretty high powered group of people in the USA... we couldn't do that! In the USA the harvest is sold to labratories and made into other products... at least in Africa they have the decency to feed the mutilated genital meat to the dogs... instead of creating a whole second economy of genital mutilation flesh. You think selling horse meat overseas is bad business. They are using our children's genital flesh to test products all over the world! Give those animal rights Brits their "cruelty free" What if we (Americans) were getting a wonderful beneficial product from African Female Genital flesh? Would we be so quick to condem? Perhaps we would be willing to put on some blinders to protect OUR OWN interest in them continuing to slice them up... just like Europe wears when they ignore the plight of our American sons.

What if we pass laws which protect children by refusing to honor religious motivations for child mutilations? Oh... we did that already... but only religions which are cutting females... the religions which cut males are exempt.

What action do you propose we take against a culture where FGM exists which would not be absolutly hippocritical while we continue to protect the culture of male child mutilation?

Love Sarah
post #45 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
How can you advocate for rights for yourself while denying rights for others?
Can you appreciate the difference between denying rights for others and not making rights for others part of your group's agenda? Both women's rights groups and anti-MGM groups do the latter, but neither of them does the former.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
As long as our culture is going to protect our own sacred cow we can't be judgemental of other cultures.
Watch me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
OK... what do you propose? We boycott doing business with "nations" who pay for genital mutilations of children with taxpayer money? Oops... that's US.

The Africans pay for their OWN genital mutilations... there is no African FGM medicaid reimbursment.
They don't pay for their own everything. They depend on us for a lot. Certainly we can refuse to trade with them. That's what we did with South Africa, and it worked. I'm convinced apartheid wouldn't have ended as soon as it did if it weren't for us. The only difference in this situation is that not as many people care about women's rights as about rights of different races.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
What action do you propose we take against a culture where FGM exists which would not be absolutly hippocritical while we continue to protect the culture of male child mutilation?
I am not hypocritical. I am not protecting MGM. Why do you think it's hypocritical to act against both FGM and MGM, but you don't think it's hypocritical to act against MGM while at the same time arguing that we shouldn't take action against FGM?

I definitely think that all individual people should oppose all GM, and that we should try to convince everyone to oppose all GM. I made that clear on my first post on this thread.

I defend organizations, however, who devote themselves to one cause but not another. All organizations do this, including anti-MGM organizations.
post #46 of 111
SBF- You misunderstood me... I am saying that ANY policy which would be enacted against a nation where FGM exists which was enacted while MGM exists here... would be hypocritical.

What, are we supposed to not do business with ourselves?

Or are we only supposed to not do business with nations where FGM exists, but continue to do business with nations where MGM exists?

I mean? Could we have an Alliance with Isreal and boycot Somalia?

Could we refuse to buy textiles from Egypt... but buy foreskin facecream from California?

That's what I mean. Until we fix our own autrocities- we don't have a foundation to stand on when it comes to political action against nations supporting child mutilation. We can do cultural support work simultaniously... but it would be outrageous to apply different sets of standartds to other countries but not our own

(a similar example I can think of it that the WHO code applies to other WHO member nations but not our own WHO memebr nation when it comes to marketing artificial breastmilk substitutes)

Love Sarah
post #47 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
They are wary of being sucked into other people's (and, yes, especially men's) causes.

Again, I'm one of the "they." I'm a feminist. And I fight for men's causes as well as for women's causes, because we're all human beings. This attitude is what gives feminists a bad name.

Kind of off-topic: This reminds me of something that happened when I was in college--a young man I was dating opened the door for me and I said "thank you." He said, "I'm surprised you liked that, since you're a feminist."

What, I can't be a feminist and feminine at the same time?

We're not all angry man-haters. And saying that "we" or "they" just don't "have time" to fight MGM makes it seem like we are just angry man-haters.
post #48 of 111
And I think the original question centers around approaching someone who is already against FGM to expand that thinking a little and see how easily MGM fits in with that cause. After all, if more people saw it that way, then MGM would be easily eradicated in the U.S.
post #49 of 111
Something else here is troubling me; I'm not sure I can quite articulate it....but I'll try.


Saying that MGM is a "men's issue" almost makes it sound like.......men deserve it? They deserve circumcision? They've messed up women's lives in so many ways....and men perpetuate FGM in other countries......so they deserve it? They deserve the pain? We ("they," whoever) are almost snickering quietly that men have something painful perpetuated upon them? We shouldn't be as adamant about stopping it because.........then life would be easier for men? And that wouldn't be ok?


Does anyone else feel this type of attitude in calling MGM just a "men's issue"?
post #50 of 111
And back on the original question...... ( note: I keep reposting instead of editing because the "edit" function doesn't work too well for me.)



I read something once about "why feminists should care about MGM." I'll try to find it again, if I can. But the basic premise was---that we are told (mostly by men) how are births should be---you should lie flat on your back, you should have an epidural or a C-section, you shouldn't eat during labor, you should have an episiotomy, it should be in a hospital, you should have your son circumcised, etc.

There is a growing movement to "take back" birth--to do it our way (whether that means having a homebirth, or using a doula, or whatever.) Saying "no" to the establishment is incredibly empowering, and recognizing that the resulting child is OURS from moment one is empowering, as well. So, sticking up for him and his pain level and future sexuality is an extension of sticking up for ourselves during the birth process.

The original writer said it much more eloquently. Hopefully I can find the article.
post #51 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
Perhaps we would be willing to put on some blinders to protect OUR OWN interest in them continuing to slice them up... just like Europe wears when they ignore the plight of our American sons.
Hey, we don't! Not all of us that is. In fact, we're in a position even more uncomfortable than American intactivists, because it's not just "Why do you care about this men's issue as a woman?", it's also "Why do you care about this American issue – they are able (and supposed) to deal with the problems they created themselves". And then there's: "As a Christian, you have no right to have an opinion about the religious practices of Jews and Muslims." Yeah. Right.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sbf
They don't pay for their own everything. They depend on us for a lot. Certainly we can refuse to trade with them. That's what we did with South Africa, and it worked. I'm convinced apartheid wouldn't have ended as soon as it did if it weren't for us. The only difference in this situation is that not as many people care about women's rights as about rights of different races.
I'm sorry, but I really don't think you got it right. FGM won't and can't be ended in the way apartheid was ended. It is not the state that is supporting FGM and neither is it the class of people that would be affected by political and economic sanctions the way the dominating (white) class in South Africa was affected. Actually, quite a few African countries already have a law against FGM, only they have no chance of enforcing that law in the remote rural places where it's done.

Many (most?) of the families who are practising FGM are poor anyway, and living off the land the way they have done for centuries, and they couldn't care less if the US or another nation started shunning their country. Or if they are indeed depending on foreign aid, cutting out this support would put them in danger of starving. But as worse as those people might be off, they wouldn't be persuaded to stop cutting their girls that way. Raging wars, genocide, drought and famine haven't stopped FGM either, because they cling to this cultural practise with the same relentlessness as Americans do cling to male circumcision – or Jews and Muslims for that matter. They'll probably hold on to it even harder if their situation gets worse.

What will help is to go there and educate every single family about genital integrity and the adverse effects of FGM – or give the government or local NGOs money to educate the people themselves. I'm not saying that the industrialized nations are sufficiently aware of the problem or that they couldn't do more to fight FGM. But the type of fighting that you're proposing is not an effective way for most of the countries concerned (Egypt might be one of the exceptions).


And to finish off a bit more on-topic: I understand and accept that not all feminist and women's rights organizations or single feminists/activists can include MGM on their agenda. What really irks me, though, is when they purposely exclude MGM from their agenda, never mention that aspect of GM at all or even go as far as claiming that male circumcision is "something completely different and sooo harmless compared to FGM" (it used to happen a lot over here, but it seems to have changed in recent years). What's so difficult about saying: "I/We think that cutting the genitals of children of either sex is wrong, but the cause I/we are dedicated to is the female side of it" and then go on linking/referring to MGM activist sites/organizations?

Stardust
post #52 of 111
Yea--here it is:

http://www.noharmm.org/feminist.htm


A quote:

"Before men, as a collective voice, spoke out against male circumcision, it took a birth experience at home (my own), with a lay midwife in attendance, stripped free of all other questionable medical ritual, to convey infant circumcision in all its glaring absurdity. It took a mother unusually knowledgeable as a childbirth educator, to recognize this horrendous "blind spot" in our awareness. It took maternal protective instinct, cruelly violated to the core, mixed with writer's inspiration and a researcher's determination to give birth to the movement."


Also, make sure you read the last four paragraphs of this article! Such good stuff!!
post #53 of 111
Again, there is a material difference between being a man hater and not taking up the cause of MGM. Some people here keep missing the point. No one's saying MGM isn't a worthy cause. But I believe it was pugmadmama who made a good point before: people are always telling women: "THIS is what you should be doing," and then we are called selfish if we don't do it. We don't ALL have to devote our energy to the MGM cause in order to be good feminists, or good women, or good people. And we don't deserve to be bad-mouthed, or to have people say that our own cause is unworthy, just because we don't ALL stand against MGM. And there's a double standard. Other groups aren't criticized for not joining in the women's movement.

I didn't say that MGM is ONLY a men's issue. I said that it is a children issue, and a human rights issue, AND a men's issue, just as FGM is a children issue, and a human rights issue, AND a women's issue.

Everyone should support human rights for all people, but it's also ok for an organization to focus on one agenda (Sort of like the anti-MGM groups focus ONLY on MALE genital mutilation!! Since it's okay for them to do so, why can't WOMEN'S organizations focus on WOMEN?? This is getting frustrating... I feel like I keep having to make the same argument over and over...)
post #54 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stardust27
Raging wars, genocide, drought and famine haven't stopped FGM either, because they cling to this cultural practise with the same relentlessness as Americans do cling to male circumcision
And yet we're making headway with MGM. We can make headway with FGM, too. If we try.
post #55 of 111

To answer the original question...

because women (as sexual partners) are damaged by the mutilated sexual equipment owned by a circ'd male. Ever gotten "friction burn"? yep, that's from his circ... run out of natural lube? another side effect.... felt guilty for his impotence? yessirree another side effect.
Let's return sex to it's natural state, with perfectly designed genitals, as MOTHER Nature intended

~diana <---on her quest to find the perfect intact mate
post #56 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbf
Again, there is a material difference between being a man hater and not taking up the cause of MGM. Some people here keep missing the point. No one's saying MGM isn't a worthy cause. But I believe it was pugmadmama who made a good point before: people are always telling women: "THIS is what you should be doing," and then we are called selfish if we don't do it. We don't ALL have to devote our energy to the MGM cause in order to be good feminists, or good women, or good people. And we don't deserve to be bad-mouthed, or to have people say that our own cause is unworthy, just because we don't ALL stand against MGM. And there's a double standard. Other groups aren't criticized for not joining in the women's movement.
See, this has gotten me confused. I don’t recall where anyone has said that feminists MUST “devout their energy” to the MGM cause. I don’t see where feminists have been necessarily bad-mouthed, or where their cause(s) has been declared unworthy. What I have seen is the declaration that SOME feminists will not even acknowledge MGM for what it is (genital mutilation) because it is deemed a “men’s issue”. And following that, the disbelief by many in this forum that a feminist, who is concerned with the rights of female children WRT genital mutilation, would have difficulty extending that CONCERN to male children. As I stated previously, how much skin is it off of their backs to logically extend their concern and embrace the idea of genital integrity for all? I'm not saying picking up signs and protesting, or a letter writing campaign or even logging onto a message board and debating the topic. I'm simply saying to EMBRACE the fact that cutting the healthy genitals of girls AND boys without their consent is WRONG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbf
I didn't say that MGM is ONLY a men's issue. I said that it is a children issue, and a human rights issue, AND a men's issue, just as FGM is a children issue, and a human rights issue, AND a women's issue.
And MGM is a WOMEN's issue and FGM is a MEN's issue...And I totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbf
Everyone should support human rights for all people, but it's also ok for an organization to focus on one agenda (Sort of like the anti-MGM groups focus ONLY on MALE genital mutilation!! Since it's okay for them to do so, why can't WOMEN'S organizations focus on WOMEN?? This is getting frustrating... I feel like I keep having to make the same argument over and over...)
Many of the anti-MGM organizations that I’ve looked at also very openly support the anti-FGM agenda. I haven’t seen many of the anti-FGM organizations even so much as mention MGM (and it doesn’t have to be much…just a statement that says they do not support the genital mutilation of anyone, including boys). I have heard MANY anti-FGM supporters (not necessarily "feminists" state that MGM is not worthy of support or that they fully support “parental choice” WRT MGM or that they had their own son(s) circumcised and it’s no big deal. But I have NEVER seen anti-MGM supporters claim that FGM is not worthy of support or that they agree with FGM.

I think perhaps we are all getting our lines crossed here. I'll speak for myself here by saying that I don't believe feminists must "take up the cause" of MGM. Just embracing the IDEA would go a LONG way to helping our infant boys.

Cindy

Lindsey (96/02/26)
Jason (00/06/08)
post #57 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by laidbackmomto2
See, this has gotten me confused. I don’t recall where anyone has said that feminists MUST “devout their energy” to the MGM cause. I don’t see where feminists have been necessarily bad-mouthed, or where their cause(s) has been declared unworthy.
Have you read this entire thread? Please don't make me go through and quote every instance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laidbackmomto2
What I have seen is the declaration that SOME feminists will not even acknowledge MGM for what it is (genital mutilation) because it is deemed a “men’s issue”. And following that, the disbelief by many in this forum that a feminist, who is concerned with the rights of female children WRT genital mutilation, would have difficulty extending that CONCERN to male children.
If that were all that had been said, I would not be arguing.
post #58 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbf

I didn't say that MGM is ONLY a men's issue.

No, you didn't. But pudmadmama did.
post #59 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by hahamommy
because women (as sexual partners) are damaged by the mutilated sexual equipment owned by a circ'd male. Ever gotten "friction burn"? yep, that's from his circ... run out of natural lube? another side effect.... felt guilty for his impotence? yessirree another side effect.
Let's return sex to it's natural state, with perfectly designed genitals, as MOTHER Nature intended

~diana <---on her quest to find the perfect intact mate

Yep, all that is true. But,
T

really? You're on the "quest" for an intact mate? Is this an announcement that you're moving to Europe?

Personally, if I were single, I'd be looking for a lot of other qualities first.
post #60 of 111
Ummmm..........anyone gotten around to reading the article (I linked previously) yet?
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