Anyone Seen This Yet? SF Proposes Circ Ban - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Anyone Seen This Yet? SF Proposes Circ Ban
anony's Avatar anony 10:30 PM 11-16-2010

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/12/health/main7048210.shtml

 

Even if it doesn't pass, this is a sign of progression that this would even be discussed! The woman defending it comes off as pretty uninformed but the guy proposing the ban points out a few of the double standards. In the news piece, you can see how far brainwashing it as normal has gone because some people feel it goes too far. I'm not a proponent of government banning things and telling people what to do cause i'm a bit libertarian. But this isn't that. It's not the personal choice of the child who gets cut. The sad part i doctors forcing the issue have made many parents believe it is the right thing. Those on the fence do it because a doc convinces them and they are just pawns in the whole situation. Any bill banning circ is not an attack on parents, it's an attack on outdated medical beliefs as I see it.

 

And while one can deem it a slippery slope between this and legislating parenting, there are already measures that prevent tattooing, spanking, teaching hateful doctrine, etc. Some of this has people thinking it's nanny state stuff but I believe we as a society are better off. The only thing that gets to hide behind it is religion but in non-religious cases, I don't see circumcision being a fair personal choice because babies and young children are not making the final say. Why is this any different? It's forcing beliefs on the child and while all of us grow up believing a lot of what our parents teach us, it is ok unless it does not preach harm to an individual. This is an interesting battle of individual rights (specifically those who can't speak up for themselves) vs. the power of culture mentality.



TyrantOfTheWeek's Avatar TyrantOfTheWeek 06:13 AM 11-17-2010

I think it's an awesome start.


mar123's Avatar mar123 11:46 AM 11-17-2010

In America, there is NOT legislation preventing spanking, tattooing, or teaching hateful doctrine. The child needs a parent's permission to be tatooed, but I know MANY children under the age of 18 who have tattoos..

 

I think this is a slippery slope towards parenting being legislated. What's next, telling parents what they must feed their children? How they must sleep? What if they used "studies" to determine that co-sleeping was dangerous? They are out there, even if we don't agree with them. What if they do away with homeschooling? There are always going to be two sides to an issue. The best approach is to change the culture, not the law. By forcing this type of thing on people, you simply harden their resolve towards ever changing. I find it ironic that so many on this board fight tooth and nail against vaccinations being mandatory, yet would be okay with the government legislating other forms of parenting.


ammiga's Avatar ammiga 12:04 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

In America, there is NOT legislation preventing spanking, tattooing, or teaching hateful doctrine. The child needs a parent's permission to be tatooed, but I know MANY children under the age of 18 who have tattoos..

 

I think this is a slippery slope towards parenting being legislated. What's next, telling parents what they must feed their children? How they must sleep? What if they used "studies" to determine that co-sleeping was dangerous? They are out there, even if we don't agree with them. What if they do away with homeschooling? There are always going to be two sides to an issue. The best approach is to change the culture, not the law. By forcing this type of thing on people, you simply harden their resolve towards ever changing. I find it ironic that so many on this board fight tooth and nail against vaccinations being mandatory, yet would be okay with the government legislating other forms of parenting.


Maybe that's because you are looking at these issues from a different perspective? I think people should have the right to choose what they do to their own bodies. That means that the gov't can't force me to take a vaccine, doesn't allow me to permanently remove a healthy part of my son's body, and many other things that you didn't bring up.

 

Do you also feel that female genital cutting should be legal?

 

Also, many states ban tattooing a minor, regardless of parental consent.


K703's Avatar K703 12:05 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

In America, there is NOT legislation preventing spanking, tattooing, or teaching hateful doctrine. The child needs a parent's permission to be tatooed, but I know MANY children under the age of 18 who have tattoos..

 

I think this is a slippery slope towards parenting being legislated. What's next, telling parents what they must feed their children? How they must sleep? What if they used "studies" to determine that co-sleeping was dangerous? They are out there, even if we don't agree with them. What if they do away with homeschooling? There are always going to be two sides to an issue. The best approach is to change the culture, not the law. By forcing this type of thing on people, you simply harden their resolve towards ever changing. I find it ironic that so many on this board fight tooth and nail against vaccinations being mandatory, yet would be okay with the government legislating other forms of parenting.


Well, do you think that FGM should be legalized (given that you think that parents should have choices in those areas)?

 

ETA: ammiga beat me to this question.


BunnySlippers's Avatar BunnySlippers 12:15 PM 11-17-2010

A darn good start!

 

Do the signatures need to come from San Fransico residents?


mar123's Avatar mar123 12:24 PM 11-17-2010

The government doesn't force you to circumsize, so I really don't understand your argument. And no, I do not think that FGM should be legal, but IMO that and male circumcision is entirely different. I know many of circumsized males who have no ill effects from the procedure, but that is really beside the point.

 

What I am trying to get across is that if you truly want to make circumcision extinct, you have to do it through culture and awareness, not through beating people over the head with it. I have the same issue with abortion. I don't think making illegal will ever be the answer, even though I personally don't agree with it. By using information and awareness, people will change; people have started to change.


hakunangovi 01:12 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

 I know many of circumsized males who have no ill effects from the procedure, but that is really beside the point.

 

 

No ill effects that they are aware of - yet.  This is because they have no clue as to what a foreskin is, how it works or what they are missing. It is the same as someone who can only see in shades of grey. They have no idea what colour is!!  The fact is that they are missing out on a whole spectrum of experience that they can never know, in addition to the fact that their sex life will end about a decade before it should.


outlier's Avatar outlier 01:22 PM 11-17-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

The government doesn't force you to circumsize, so I really don't understand your argument. And no, I do not think that FGM should be legal, but IMO that and male circumcision is entirely different. I know many of circumsized males who have no ill effects from the procedure, but that is really beside the point.

 

What I am trying to get across is that if you truly want to make circumcision extinct, you have to do it through culture and awareness, not through beating people over the head with it. I have the same issue with abortion. I don't think making illegal will ever be the answer, even though I personally don't agree with it. By using information and awareness, people will change; people have started to change.


But this IS raising awareness.  I don't think having one pretty progressive city in the entire country ban circ equals beating people over the head with it.  Even if this does pass, which would be highly unlikely, people can just go to a neighboring town to have their boys cut.  No one will stop them.  Hopefully a ban would give some people pause first and might make them actually look up what they're putting their sons through.  That's great that people have started to change, but how does that help all the boys born into circing families now?

 

Many of us on this board would disagree with you that male circ is entirely different than some forms of FGM (prepuce, aka clitoral hood, removal), and I guarantee you there are many circed women on this planet who would claim they've had no ill effects from their own surgeries, even those victims of the more extreme forms.  After all, it's usually the women who insist on it for their daughters.


Contented73's Avatar Contented73 01:32 PM 11-17-2010

I really don't understand why OBs - and sure, why not start with those in SF? - simply start refusing to perform routine infant circs.  Bingo, problem solved.  As much as I hate circumcision (and I soooo hate it), I REALLY hate trying to legislate things like this.


Ambystoma's Avatar Ambystoma 01:58 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

In America, there is NOT legislation preventing spanking, tattooing, or teaching hateful doctrine. The child needs a parent's permission to be tatooed, but I know MANY children under the age of 18 who have tattoos..

 

I think this is a slippery slope towards parenting being legislated. What's next, telling parents what they must feed their children? How they must sleep? What if they used "studies" to determine that co-sleeping was dangerous? They are out there, even if we don't agree with them. What if they do away with homeschooling? There are always going to be two sides to an issue. The best approach is to change the culture, not the law. By forcing this type of thing on people, you simply harden their resolve towards ever changing. I find it ironic that so many on this board fight tooth and nail against vaccinations being mandatory, yet would be okay with the government legislating other forms of parenting.


Actually, there is legislation against tattoos on minors. With or without parental permission, you can't tattoo anyone under the age of 18 in Alaska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and for all purposes, Georgia (must have a licensed osteopath do it). In fact, in Illinois and South Carolina, you can't get one until 21 years old. 

 

And, tattooing is a reasonable comparison to male circumcision: unnecessary, painful, cosmetic, and could be argued (though I don't agree that this is true with circumcision) no long term effects on the person's body other than appearance. There was no slippery slope that disallowed even ear piercing in minors, so I doubt that suddenly there would be legislation against co-sleeping.


ammiga's Avatar ammiga 03:00 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

The government doesn't force you to circumsize, so I really don't understand your argument. And no, I do not think that FGM should be legal, but IMO that and male circumcision is entirely different. I know many of circumsized males who have no ill effects from the procedure, but that is really beside the point.

 

What I am trying to get across is that if you truly want to make circumcision extinct, you have to do it through culture and awareness, not through beating people over the head with it. I have the same issue with abortion. I don't think making illegal will ever be the answer, even though I personally don't agree with it. By using information and awareness, people will change; people have started to change.

My argument is that people should have choices with their bodies. Whether it is the government forcing vaxes or parents forcing circumcision, neither one should be allowed.

 

Do you think that all "circumsized" women feel they have ill effects from the procedure? If they truly feel it is so awful, why do they do it to their daughters?

 

Cultural awareness is great. But when it comes to ending an abusive process, sometimes you've just got to stop it and then work on explaining why.


 


philomom's Avatar philomom 05:39 PM 11-17-2010

I commented. There's a lot of educating to do out there.


eepster's Avatar eepster 05:39 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post
I find it ironic that so many on this board fight tooth and nail against vaccinations being mandatory, yet would be okay with the government legislating other forms of parenting.


Comparing a parent being required to give vax to a parent being banned from circ'ing is a very poor comparison.  I think it is more comparable to the government preventing me from injecting my healthy child with human growth hormone to make him/her extra tall, or my injecting my child with morphine to make him/her quiet.  Obviously, human growth hormone and morphine are sometime prescribed for children with genuine health problems.  I can't just decide to give my health child any old medical treatment that happens to strike my fancy though.


Dar's Avatar Dar 09:37 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

First of all, a women who has been circumsized CANNOT enjoy sex


That's not actually true. Many women who have been circumcised have stated that they enjoy sex - check Fuambai Ahmadu's writing on her own circumcision as a young adult, for example, or Carla Obermeyer's comprehensive review of the literature.


jserral's Avatar jserral 10:09 PM 11-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

First of all, a women who has been circumsized CANNOT enjoy sex


That's not actually true. Many women who have been circumcised have stated that they enjoy sex - check Fuambai Ahmadu's writing on her own circumcision as a young adult, for example, or Carla Obermeyer's comprehensive review of the literature.


There are also many forms of cutting that are less severe then what people typically think of, such removing some labia or clitoral hood.  All forms are banned.  What do you think bothers people most about it?  The right to choose?  Lack of medical reasons?  Or that it is part of the natural female body, something they are comfortable with?  Why was a law the acceptable route for this issue?

 

I do not think the abortion comparison is fair, there are a lot more unknowns, strong issues for either side, and a lot higher stakes.   Leaving your child intact lets them decide what they want and there are not really any valid reasons to take this right away.


2xy's Avatar 2xy 08:59 AM 11-18-2010

It's also illegal to tattoo a minor in Rhode Island. People always forget about us, but over a million people live here. :)

 

As for legislating parenting....I don't see newborn circumcision as a parenting decision. It shouldn't be, as far as I'm concerned. The owner of the penis should be the one to decide whether to cosmetically alter it through invasive surgery.


2lilsweetfoxes's Avatar 2lilsweetfoxes 09:31 AM 11-18-2010

Even if the ban were to pass, right now, it is only in one city.  If a parent wanted it done, all they'd have to do is go a town or two over and find a pediatrician there.  However, with having to make the arrangements and get around to it, some would just not get it done out of laziness.  Also, docs and such would have to be well-informed about care of intact penises--or we'll get a spate of 3-5 year old boys "needing" circumcision later.


Pumpkinheadmommy's Avatar Pumpkinheadmommy 07:35 AM 11-19-2010

CNN.com has an article about this right on their front page today.  It's actually pretty good.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/19/male.circumcision.sf/index.html?hpt=C1


Pirogi's Avatar Pirogi 11:45 AM 11-19-2010

Hm ... I couldn't see any comments.

 

As for the article, I thought it was trying to be "fair" and "balanced," although the tone was a bit condescending regarding those opposing circumcision.  Unfortunately, there is nothing fair or balanced about RIC, so stories like this are inherently flawed.


buckeyedoc's Avatar buckeyedoc 12:47 PM 11-19-2010

By banning circumcision of minors, the government wouldn't really be legislating parenting by forcing boys/men to be intact. They could still be circumcised at their own request, as legal adults. I know Americans value fierce independence, but we also don't own our children and can't do whatever we want to them, which should include a totally elective, non-medically necessary body modification. Being forced into a decision by the government would be bad, but being forced into "non-decision" is a non-issue IMO.  


Galatea's Avatar Galatea 06:57 AM 11-20-2010

Yep.  People are making this into "taking away my parental prerogative," when really it is preserving the rights of the child.  What is more exciting is that intactivism is common enough now to be talked about all the time.


brant31's Avatar brant31 03:53 PM 11-20-2010


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

First of all, a women who has been circumsized CANNOT enjoy sex; I have yet to meet a circumsized man who does not enjoy sex.

 

Also, how do you KNOW the sensation is increased? My husband and other men I know would argue that point. You might say they don't know, but how does anyone?? Everyone's sensations are different.

 

I do not want any government telling me how to raise my child. I do not want to live in a nanny state where the government thinks it knows better than I do what is best for my child. The truly scary thing to me is it seems we are headed right down that terrifying road.


The law isn't about your rights, it's about another human being's rights. Yes, state and federal laws actually protect children as well as adults.

 

You can't serve alcohol to a child under 21, you can't let him or her drive your car at age 12, and you can't cut anything off of your daughter's genitals. Your son needs all his genitals, too.

 

Fully 97% of women in Egypt have been circumcised, and they would be furious with you for saying they cannot enjoy sex. I cannot even fathom the basis for such a statement, other than outright sophistry. It is a cherished, established part of their culture. Ditto for their neighbors in Somalia and Sudan. Female circumcision is generally performed on women by women. Do you honestly think this would have persisted for hundreds of years if it rendered sex impossible or even difficult? They view it as an enhancement... much as your comments suggest about MGC. Nevertheless, awareness campaigns in all of those countries are drawing attention to the detriments of circumcision and and raising awareness of the human rights aspects.

 

A simple histologic map of the penis reveals which parts have the densest and most specialized nerve endings. The winner is the foreskin, and the glans is a distant contender. The glans, in fact, is sized and shaped the way it is in order to keep the much more important foreskin taut and supple. Other than that and some aid in insertion, the glans is actually rather expendable. It's a dumb organ, the rock against which you wash your clothes.

 

So yes, it is entirely reasonable to discuss the sensation function of the foreskin. The only complete, peer-reviewed, published account of this (never academically refuted) is John Taylor's 1996 extensive study in the British Journal of Urology. In it, Taylor identifies clearly the ridged band of the inner foreskin as the primary ejaculatory reflex of the penis, and explains in detail the function the foreskin plays in mediating sexual response. It's an integral, useful, brilliant part of male anatomy and only ignorance of these complex functions leads to support for routine infant circumcision.


Claire and Boys's Avatar Claire and Boys 04:38 PM 11-21-2010


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

First of all, a women who has been circumsized CANNOT enjoy sex; I have yet to meet a circumsized man who does not enjoy sex.

 

 


http://www.adriancolesberry.com/life/?p=687

http://www.adriancolesberry.com/life/?p=554

 

A couple of interesting blog posts relating to FGM and male circ with commentary on the above - also read the comments. In short - you're wrong.


QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar QueenOfTheMeadow 06:13 AM 11-22-2010

I have removed many posts from this thread.  We do not wish to host comparisons of abortion to circumcision.  Per the UA:

 

Quote:
 We do not host abortion debate. Conversations regarding the issues surrounding abortion are hosted with caution. Please see the MDC User Agreement for more information. 

 Please keep this in mind when posting.  Thanks! thumb.gif


kythe's Avatar kythe 10:09 AM 11-22-2010

[quote]

Fully 97% of women in Egypt have been circumcised, and they would be furious with you for saying they cannot enjoy sex. I cannot even fathom the basis for such a statement, other than outright sophistry. It is a cherished, established part of their culture. Ditto for their neighbors in Somalia and Sudan. Female circumcision is generally performed on women by women. Do you honestly think this would have persisted for hundreds of years if it rendered sex impossible or even difficult? They view it as an enhancement... much as your comments suggest about MGC. Nevertheless, awareness campaigns in all of those countries are drawing attention to the detriments of circumcision and and raising awareness of the human rights aspects.[/quote[dg

[/quote]

 

Having read the autobiography of the model and UN spokeswoman Waris Dirie, I have been under the impression that part of the *reason* for female genital mutilation (as she calls it) is to prevent women from enjoying sex.  She is from Somalia, where women have no rights at all and are expected to be completely subservient to men.  Women do circumcise their own girls, but not for sexual enhancement.  In some cultures, it is the only way for girls to be valuable in marraige.  

 

The other human rights issue that comes up with female circumcision is of how the procedure is performed.  Some countries use modern technology and sterile technique, but in some areas it is still very much a backwoods procedure, done with dirty instruments that lead to infection, disease, and even death without proper treatment.  Things like this make it extremely difficult to compare male circumcision in America to female circumcision in other countries.  Even the reasons the procedures are done are very different. 

 

I can see the point of banning male circumcision, and San Francisco seems like a good place to start because they have a very low circ rate anyway.  But changing culturally based practices is very difficult and it tends to require more than just laws to change people's attitudes and ideas.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 10:43 AM 11-22-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by kythe View Post

Having read the autobiography of the model and UN spokeswoman Waris Dirie, I have been under the impression that part of the *reason* for female genital mutilation (as she calls it) is to prevent women from enjoying sex. 



And, newborn circumcision of males in the US began as a way to prevent masturbation. I have no opinion on whether circumcized women can or do still enjoy sex, because I wasn't circumcized, and have no way to know. However, routine infant circumcision (for males) doesn't do what it was supposed to do, which was all about sexual enjoyment.


brant31's Avatar brant31 10:56 AM 11-22-2010

 

It's interesting, my viewpoints and knowledge about life in NE Africa, including Egypt, Somalia and Sudan, have changed in recent years after many conversations with my neighbor. He spent years working for the Ford Foundation in that part of the world, and has incredible stories to tell of interesting, worldly and in some cases very wealthy families from those countries. Nevertheless, FGC and MGC are still practiced. So my point of reference isn't a girl in a village being cut with a dirty piece of glass; it's a wealthy family in Cairo or Alexandria where all the grown women are already happy to be circumcised and expect their daughters to be, too. And in that setting, it is most certainly not done to destroy their sex lives. I'm talking about families much more affluent than I'll ever be.

 

Remember, Cairo is a wealthier city than even Johannesburg or Cape Town. So, a strong preference for FGC exists in relatively modern locales as well. The point is that it is as futile and unhelpful for us to generalize about the reasons for or conditions surrounding FGC as it is for people in that part of the world to generalize about why North Americans are so wedded to MGC.

 


kythe's Avatar kythe 11:13 AM 11-22-2010

True, and the "medicalization" of female circumcision does put it more in league with what we think of as male circumcision.  But don't the reasons sound similar?  Many people in the US who circumcise are wealthy and educated, many men here can be said to be "happy to be circumcised and expect their sons to be, too".  And circumcised men are assumed to have normal sex lives, too.

 

Yet we are here arguing against it, claiming it as a human rights issue, and wanting to enforce a boy's right to decide when he is old enough.  The World Health Organization has much stronger statements against female circumcision than it does against male circumcision, so I tend to be surprised when people defend it:

http://www.who.int/topics/female_genital_mutilation/en/ 


Galatea's Avatar Galatea 01:37 PM 11-22-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by kythe View Post

True, and the "medicalization" of female circumcision does put it more in league with what we think of as male circumcision.  But don't the reasons sound similar?  Many people in the US who circumcise are wealthy and educated, many men here can be said to be "happy to be circumcised and expect their sons to be, too".  And circumcised men are assumed to have normal sex lives, too.

 

Yet we are here arguing against it, claiming it as a human rights issue, and wanting to enforce a boy's right to decide when he is old enough.  The World Health Organization has much stronger statements against female circumcision than it does against male circumcision, so I tend to be surprised when people defend it:

http://www.who.int/topics/female_genital_mutilation/en/ 

No one is defending female circumcision - just pointing out the cultural hypocrisy of the idea that female circumcision is always awful and should definitely be illegal, but male circumcision is not as bad and should not be illegal.

 

FWIW, my sister chose to be circumcised as an adult (she is married to an Egyptian) and she says it makes sex better.  I think she is nuts, but she, an adult, made the decision for herself.  That is all we ask.  If circumcision is so wonderful, then it will survive any legal bans b/c so many men will still choose to be circumcised as adults.  eyesroll.gif  Wait... you say they won't want to be circumcised?  So you mean the whole point of the "parental rights" argument for circumcision is to force a choice on a child that he wouldn't make for himself?
 


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