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HELP! please help me tackle these arguments effectively - Page 3

post #41 of 58
I don't think circumcised was use as an insult.
post #42 of 58
At this point I would write something like this to him (or better yet say it to his face):

"It is painfully obvious to me that you are not going to change your mind on this. But know your stance and your words do nothing to change my mind. Circumcision removes healthy tissue which affects him sexually, it is not recommended by any major medical organization, it is not practice routinely all over the globe, and it robs a man of the choice concerning his own, healthy body.

Your way is on the way out. Numbers are dropping and minds are changing. Grasp and try to hold on all you want, but intact is going to beat you out. "
post #43 of 58
Originally Posted by Acksiom View Post
Ulla, why exactly are you allowed to have and apply standards and conditions for other people's behavior -- as you're doing -- but Vaughnmama, and myself, and presumably others in general, are not?

Because that's exactly what's going on here. You're doing the same things you're criticizing -- being rude, insulting, arrogant, and so on to other people.

So why exactly is it okay for you to behave like that, but not okay for anyone else here to do so?
FWIW, I don't think Ulla was being rude, insulting or arrogant. She was offering a criticism and disagreement, but the way she presented it was tactful.

I haven't read the whole letter the OP wrote to her uncle yet, so no comment there.
post #44 of 58
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I don't think circumcised was use as an insult.
Really? In the context of "elderly circumcised dinosaur"? I think it was meant as a slam.

Oh wait, it's "elderly circumcised dinosaur who doesn't know what he's talking about." So circumcised seems to be right in there with the other negative descriptors.
post #45 of 58
I don't/ I think elderly and circumcised were used as descriptors and dinosaur as an insult to his age and lack of knowledge.
post #46 of 58
Originally Posted by ulla View Post
It's not that hard to phrase a request politely. It doesn't matter at all whether he was swayed in his opinion or not. Everyone deserves respect and courtesy, even in an adversarial discussion.

I guess some people don't realize how ineffective they are as activists when they personalize the discussion and get rude, insulting, dismissive, condescending, and arrogant when faced with an opposing opinion. There's a big difference between being a committed advocate and over-invested zealot. The zealots are never gonna change anyone's mind because people don't take them seriously.

I agree 100% with what Ulla has said here. The way intactivists communicate with people who don't know how harmful circ is can make a huge difference in effectiveness. When a person is treated with respect, they are much more receptive to the message.

I think this gets back to our discussion about peacefulness and promoting peace. Approaching people who disagree with respect and caring will win a lot more hearts a lot faster. And insulting or getting snide with people who disagree just hardens their hearts and makes them defensive and even more resistant to change.

So if you care about results, it's worth considering.

(I still need to look at the whole letter, but the snippets Ulla pointed out are strongly worded and very much meant to make the uncle extremely defensive -- which it did. I agree a more confident and less aggressive tone would have been more effective. Live and learn.)

And one of my favorite life lessons -- it takes strength to be gentle.
post #47 of 58
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
You'd think if he saw so much smegma, he'd know how to spell the word, seeing as though he is a nurse and probably had to write it down a bunch of times....
Well, you know, sometimes *intactivists* make spelling mistakes too.
post #48 of 58

But, it was a joke! well, I try anyway!
post #49 of 58
IMO, "over invested zealot" is just as rude as what was written, even used as a general example. No one here is that.

And I still don't see how:

"you first must provide me with an authoritative reference"

is rude. Logical debate...asking for a reference...not rude at all.

Asking for a reference before debate continues is perfectly acceptable. And anyone who thinks "must" makes the sentence rude really needs to chill out.
post #50 of 58
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I don't/ I think elderly and circumcised were used as descriptors and dinosaur as an insult to his age and lack of knowledge.
Intactivists get sick of the same old cr*p; and I think the elderly dino comment just demonstrates that. It's always the older generation talking about icky smegma and "all those intact diseased penises" they have seen. Again. and again. and again. All anecdotal....every.last.one.

And now the OP has this uncle constantly emailing and badgering her (according to her latest post) with his anecdotal cr*p (which he is now trying to back up with horrible references such as a study that SURVERYED 46 men *rollseyes*)

Frankly, I am sick of the mutilators. Would I use that word to a family I was talking to or a doctor? Probably not (tho it depends on the situation, sometimes that language works, in my experience- usually with a younger crowd). I am also sick of the same crusty arguments concerning nursing home infections, soldiers with sand in their foreskins, icky smegma, etc.

I vent that here so I am refreshed when I go back out there to convince people.
post #51 of 58
I agree.
post #52 of 58
Originally Posted by vaughnmama View Post
So I really touched a nerve with my circumcised uncle it seems. He is constantly sending me defenses for continuing the practice of circumcision. Mostly it's the same old HIV/Africa and UTI crap, as well as his own beliefs that he couldn't possibly have better sex/sensitivity...

However, he also sent me this review from Hopkins that I was hoping someone could shed some light on for me. AKA...I know it's disputable, I just don't know how besides that fact that it is just looking at a small group of medical files...


Then he sent me this stupid survey of just 46 men to prove that circumcision increases sensitivity...

There are also reports of increased sensitivity after the proceedure in adult males http://www.albaspectrum.com/articles6/124681.html,
Of the 46 men, 31 were recent converts to the Jewish faith, 19 to Islam, and 6 had the procedure done for medical reasons.
The Survey Questions:
1. Is your sexual experience (a) greater, (b) the same, (c) less, after circumcision?
2. Have you noticed any difference in your incidence of genital infections since your circumcision? (a) less, (b) more, (c) no change.
3. If you masturbate, has circumcision (a) made no change in your masturbating habits, (b) you masturbate less, or (c) masturbate more.
The Results
Question #1 was answered by 32 men (a), 10 men (b), and 4 men (c)
Question #2 was answered by 35 men (a) 0 men (b) 11 men (c)
Question #3 was answered by 23 men (a) 20 men (b) 3 men (c)
The Results Interpreted
On question #1, an overwhelming majority agreed the sexual experience was more than before circumcision.
This is a very subjective question, and to compare, a man would have to had sex with and without a prepuce. No amount of conjecture on the nature of the prepuce can supplant the opinion of those who had it and then did not.
The fact that approx 70% said that their sexual experience was greater without a prepuce is significant. The fact that 91% said that is was greater or the same is very significant as a case for circumcision.
On question #2 the same majorities exist, and even a stronger case for circumcision is made. Using the studies and reasons for not circumcising men are fairly well refuted here.
Question #3 is not very clear, as the men's masturbating habits are not clearly defined.
An old excuse for circumcision is that it would discourage men from masturbating, but this question seems only to have determined that recently circumcised men either masturbate the same as they used to (before circumcision) or less. This would tend to confirm one reason for circumcision.
While the above survey does not follow scientific method in its strictest form, it does have something to say from men who knew the situation before circumcision and then afterwards.
You can certainly make up your own mind as to the conclusions, but statistically, it would seem that circumcision is a good idea, rather than a negative one.
It appears the circumcised men are enjoying their sexual experiences more than they used to, are healthier, and if they masturbate, are still masturbating.

Then he closes by patronizing me and saying:

I could continue and site more since there are multiple studies. But I can not see the benefit not when so much emotion may cloud the issiue. I had hoped to sooth your ire and ease your pain but I doubt if I can provide that type of support unless I take up your side which is something I can not do after review of both sides in this most emotional debates.

I don't get his point at all.

You BOTH have data on your sides.

You have surveys/data that say that circumcised men have reduced pleasure and sensitivity. There are also studies that show no connection between circumcision and HIV. He has not "trumped" you.

Did you show him the links about male circ being overstated as a preventative tool for HIV, from a group of researchers published in the South African Journal of Medicine? Or what about the sensitivity study published in the British Medical Journal?

Tell your uncle that you're glad, he's glad he's circumcised but the majority of the world isn't and they're healthy and doing fine.
post #53 of 58
Also, I don't think that survey is very credible! I checked out that link and albaspectrum really has nothing to do with circ and that survey is pretty much unsourced. Throw it out!
post #54 of 58
Also, the head of the penis would be more sensitive RIGHT after the surgery, its like how women who have their clitoral hoods removed report higher sensitivity for a little while.
post #55 of 58
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I don't/ I think elderly and circumcised were used as descriptors and dinosaur as an insult to his age and lack of knowledge.
OK, that's fair. I should give the benefit of the doubt to the poster.

I'll admit that I am very concerned about circumcised becoming a negative unto itself. We can all agree that circumcision is wrong.

I fear that if circumcised men are thought of or made to feel inferior, it will hurt them, create a lot of denial, and subsequently hurt progress for pro-intactness.

I don't think that circ'd men would like to think of themselves as victims either. Although I think an accurate attitude toward a circ'd man might be to view him as a survivor of abuse. Emphasizing the strength of survival and the strength of the man.

I don't think we should be surprised at all when circ'd men say they are happy with their penises as they are. I think that's actually a key part of their coping.
post #56 of 58
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
I don't think we should be surprised at all when circ'd men say they are happy with their penises as they are. I think that's actually a key part of their coping.
It is a safe place for them and I understand that. But the ones who continue and promote the cycle of abuse, like this uncle, I have nothing but contempt for.
post #57 of 58
Actually I don't give a crap if you give me the "benefit of the doubt" at all (who the hell are you to be commenting like that anyway?). As far as I'm concerned you can take it as an insult if you like, it doesn't bother me, this is the case against circumcision and I was replying to the OP with my opinion. If you don't like the way that some people view circ, well that's too bad. If someone spouts all that rubbish, he clearly isn't going to be convinced, and as far as I'm concerned he's just as much an antiquated wilfully ignorant tosser as the similarly elderly person who refuses to accept that either computers or mobile phones have any role in modern life because they're "new-fangled-gadgets" that they got on ok without "In my day", the pen and paper or tally sticks brigade. People who can't accept new knowledge are dangerous, and even more so when they try and inflict that dangerous lack of knowledge on someone else's body.

So you circumcised a child. You apparently aren't bothered by it. BUT bad news. It IS looked at negatively, and being circumcised is NOT an improvement. This ridiculous insistance in trying to make out that it makes no difference is what has allowed it to carry on for so long, people need to get angry about what was done to them, denial is only possible if people stay silent. I'd say that it says more about your own feelings that you managed to turn an ordinary description into an insult, than about my current level of vitriol.
post #58 of 58

I am not quite sure why the numbers are so high where your uncle is, but I know there are many health problems like diabetes and alcoholism in the Native American community, so perhaps that plays a role in foreskin health.  


I know someone from a country where they don't circumcise, and he was taught to retract in the bath as a little boy, and he does the same to his son when bathing him. I am curious if there is any research out there on which countries retract vs rates of medical issues with the foreskin.

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