Does violence beget violence? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been following a certain "news/current affairs show" and they have spent the past few weeks talking about the war on woman. How it seems that sexual violence against woman is growing and becoming more prominent.

First, I attribute this to the fact that we have national 24 hour news on like 20 different channels and they have to fill the time with something so we are hearing about more of it than ever before...but still I have to wonder...

The US has one of the highest circumcision rates and also the highest rates of male on female rape and murder...does anyone else see a correlation? Maybe it's true that violence begets violence. In this country, most's males first sexual experience is violent...pleasure and then the excruciating pain of having their penis ripped apart and chopped up. They already have pain studies that show brain changes during circumcision. We know it interferes with breast feeding. We know that it can interfere with bonding. Could it go much deeper than that?

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#2 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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I don't think so at all. Yes, I think circumcision is a traumatic injury, but if you look at violence against women worldwide it is a serious problem in MANY countries and cultures, many of which are historically intact. Violence against women, and women's ability to resist and fight back, has much more to do with the status of women and their political and economic power than it does with circumcision status.

For example, look at violence against women in the Russian Federation. Or Mexico. Or Peru. Or Haiti. There are many, many examples all around the world where women are subjected to significant physical violence without fear of retribution -- all by intact men. Just google "international comparative statistics on violence against women" and you'll get more than you ever wanted to know about how horrible the situation is for the majority of the world's women.

Historically, rape and violence against women has pretty much been a fact of life during just about any war you can name. Most recently, look at the systematic rapes of Bosnian Muslim women by Serbian (intact) men. Or the violence against women in occupied countries during wartime by (intact) Germans and (intact) Japanese in WWII. The Japanese military forced Korean and Chinese women into prostitution to "comfort" Japanese soldiers.

I think it is just not a good idea to lay violence against women at the door of circumcision. Because the counter-factuals are simply overwhelming, and I think the argument undermines the true, genuine arguments we can make about the harms of circumcision.

ETA: the US may have one of the worst rates of violence against women in the developed world, but certainly not compared to the rest of the world.

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#3 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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I believe that violence begets violence.

I see it every day raising three children ages 7, 3 and 17 months. The 3 year old upsets the 7 year old and the 7 year old pushes the 3 year old and then the 17 month old, who up til this point was not involved, walks up and pushes who ever he can get to first. It's a total monkey see/monkey do progression.

Now think about it, the most sensitive part of your body has been touched then excruciating pain is next. It has to fire off some strong signals in the mind's wiring. Do I think all circumcised men are violent? No. Do I think there is a deep psychological wounding that occurs with circumcision? Yes and I think it occurs to absolutely every single man that is circumcised and I think the wounding is in the background and is an undercurrent in his life, remaining unconscious for the vast majority of them.

I think it suspends logical thought. Circumcision is not a logical event. Really, when you think about it, what's logical about cutting baby genitals? And yet people assume it's just what you do and if presented with any opposition, they often will argue in support of it. You have to abort logical thought to advocate for circumcision.

Yes, I believe violence begets violence and circumcision begets circumcision and some days I feel a deep despair for the human race.

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#4 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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I want to say, I totally agree with Quirky. I don't think circumcision is to blame for the violence men perpetrate against women in the US or other contries. I believe this is much more an aspect of culture and roles and power.

I was speaking more of circumcision begetting more circumcision in general.

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#5 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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In Ronald Goldman book the hidden trauma mention that circumcision can lead to violence it showed how USA was higher in intentional homicides by men all the way past the 12 mark while Denmark, switzerland, sweden,spain, netherlands,italy,germany,france,denmark, austria were all around a 2 .

According to dorothy lewis a psychiatrist who has done pioneering work for 20 years on the causes of violent behavior a child prior experience is the primary factor .

Research shows that men who have been abused as children are more likely to be violent toward others in life.
Male victims of child physical and sexual abuse are at a higher risk to be arrested for sex crimes as adults.

The behavioral reenactment of the trauma is a compulsion of some trauma victims .

Since Violence is an expression of anger and anger has been associated with circumcision.

A male with low self esteem a side effect from circumcision correlates with a high risk for homicide.

Majority of circ men are not violent because trauma is connected with a wide range of possible ptsd, variety of associated behaviors . Violence is an extreme response.
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#6 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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But again, drawing the link between circumcision and violence against women, even in the US, is too far-fetched.

The US has a long and shameful history of violence against women, and institutionalized oppression of women.

Long before circumcision took hold through a large part of this country's economic classes, women were essentially powerless politically and economically -- first their fathers controlled them, then their husbands. Women could often not own property, or divorce, or get custody of their kids.

There was no such crime as marital rape. If a man wanted to have sex with his wife, no matter what her wishes were, legally, it was not rape.

We have had a violent culture long before circumcision became widespread in the last 70 to 80 years.

And again, the causal connection falls completely apart when you look at all of the INTACT countries that have NEVER had a history of circumcision, yet have histories of endemic and institutionalized violence against women.

ITA that circumcision begets circumcision, and harm to the specific people who undergo it and to our culture in general.

But I see it as a symptom of our violent culture, one that harms both women and children, not a cause.

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#7 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I was subjected to sometimes very painful sometimes pleasureable sexual abuse as a child. It has not left me seeking to inflict sexual pain on others. Quite the reverse in fact.

Society recognises that what happened to me was not right. The same is not true of circumcision. To me the only violence circumcision begets is that against future generations of boys who are circumcused because daddy was.
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#8 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Quirky View Post

But I see it as a symptom of our violent culture, one that harms both women and children, not a cause.
This struck me profoundly! Thank you!

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#9 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
I have been following a certain "news/current affairs show" and they have spent the past few weeks talking about the war on woman. How it seems that sexual violence against woman is growing and becoming more prominent.

First, I attribute this to the fact that we have national 24 hour news on like 20 different channels and they have to fill the time with something so we are hearing about more of it than ever before...but still I have to wonder...

The US has one of the highest circumcision rates and also the highest rates of male on female rape and murder...does anyone else see a correlation? Maybe it's true that violence begets violence. In this country, most's males first sexual experience is violent...pleasure and then the excruciating pain of having their penis ripped apart and chopped up. They already have pain studies that show brain changes during circumcision. We know it interferes with breast feeding. We know that it can interfere with bonding. Could it go much deeper than that?
I'm pretty sure if you look at the war torn nations in Africa where rape is being used as a weapon, you would find a much higher rate if rape than in the US. But then again, I think that shows how violence begets violence. But I do not believe that being circ'd makes someone more likely to rape a woman. To me, that is a really huge jump and incredibly hurtful to the hundreds of thousands of men who are circ'd and would never ever rape a woman.


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#10 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just really wonder what such an act of primal sexual violence perpetrated against an innocent newborn really does to their minds...are some more effected than others?

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#11 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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Fyrestorm, many years ago I read about someone else pondering the same thing. I thought it was Christiann Northrup, the OB who wrote the book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom but when I went back to look for it, I couldn't find it.

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#12 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 01:09 PM
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I thought about it and even discussed it with dh. But of course, being originally from Israel he immidiately was able to prove the theory wrong.
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#13 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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I definately don't think it helps! I have no doubt that it must effect a little boy in profound ways. But there are too many examples of circ'd men who aren't violent and intact men who are to draw a straight line.
I do ask what it says about the violent nature of our culture though, that so many Americans see nothing wrong with such a brutal for of sexual assault on the most vulnerable in our society. If there's nothing wrong with circumcision, rape doesn't seem so bad in comparison.

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#14 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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I do not think you can draw a staight line from circumcission to violence but

I might get flamed..........I do believe violence begets violence. I also think crimes against women are decreasing -- just news does not make it seem like that. If I am wrong on this let me know but I do think statics show there is a decrease.

Our society is focusing on violence against women. Yelling, men don't do this. As valid as an argument this is. It is an incomplete argument. We (societal) are not looking at how boys are turning out that way. What is happening to make them violent?

It is easy to blame men. But these men were little boys at one time where are we going wrong? It is not just men fault it is a societal failure. We are not allowing our boys to have the same privilege of being able to be weak, emotional, et. We have expectations of their behavior.

We have double standards that I think confuse and makes it harder to change the outcome for women. --sex abuse is one area that we need to evaluate and have a societal change of view. There is little talk about how boys are abused. There is a "way to go" attitude when a teen or preteen boy has sex, especially by an older woman. The boy is suppose to accept that he gained from it and was better off. By not making it acceptable to abuse boys will help them learn that it is not ok - period.

Sometimes we (societal) are creating IMO a self-full filling prophecy. Boys are told they are horn dogs and are suppose to be sexually aggressive. When they are not something is wrong with them. My son and his friends are 15 and scared to death of girls and sex. Now other boys are not but trust me they are looked down on by society for not having or wanting girlfriends yet. They are interested but not ready to explore.

Society expects them to chase girls like crazy. My mom grilled my son when he said he just wanted to find a nice smart girl. He has for years said he wanted to marry a smart girl. He has had experience with "crazy" girls because of his height and them wrongfully judging his age. Cops have laughed at us. This past summer he had advances from a 16-year-old girl. She stalked him until dads (off duty cop) finally question the situation. At the time, he was 14 and she followed him home in her car. If it were a 16-year-old boy following, a 14-year-old girl home I doubt the cops would have laughed at her.

I think how violence against boys is handle that creates a confusing double standard. A boy is suppose to take it like a man, ignore it if he is assaulted, or he deserved it. I once was in the break room with a mom whose male partner had beat her. She was sitting there with a black eye and handprints on her arms. She started talking about her kids misbehaving. Then she talked about "beating" her son. She actually said, "You have to beat them [boys] to make them strong." I just wonder how many beatings her partner got and how flipping strong that one she got made her. I wonder how many times these attitudes perpetrate the situation of violence against women. It happens to men/boys they just have to take it so in a bizarre messed up way it becomes expectable way to gain control.

As much rhetoric there is give about men being in control I do think there is a large portion that feels less than in control.

I think there we need to do a LOT, I MEAN ALOT, more work on allowing men to be caring and nurturers. We (societal) need to change our attitudes of what is strong and strength.
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#15 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
I do not think you can draw a staight line from circumcission to violence but

I might get flamed..........I do believe violence begets violence. I also think crimes against women are decreasing -- just news does not make it seem like that. If I am wrong on this let me know but I do think statics show there is a decrease.

Our society is focusing on violence against women. Yelling, men don't do this. As valid as an argument this is. It is an incomplete argument. We (societal) are not looking at how boys are turning out that way. What is happening to make them violent?

It is easy to blame men. But these men were little boys at one time where are we going wrong? It is not just men fault it is a societal failure. We are not allowing our boys to have the same privilege of being able to be weak, emotional, et. We have expectations of their behavior.

We have double standards that I think confuse and makes it harder to change the outcome for women. --sex abuse is one area that we need to evaluate and have a societal change of view. There is little talk about how boys are abused. There is a "way to go" attitude when a teen or preteen boy has sex, especially by an older woman. The boy is suppose to accept that he gained from it and was better off. By not making it acceptable to abuse boys will help them learn that it is not ok - period.

Sometimes we (societal) are creating IMO a self-full filling prophecy. Boys are told they are horn dogs and are suppose to be sexually aggressive. When they are not something is wrong with them. My son and his friends are 15 and scared to death of girls and sex. Now other boys are not but trust me they are looked down on by society for not having or wanting girlfriends yet. They are interested but not ready to explore.

Society expects them to chase girls like crazy. My mom grilled my son when he said he just wanted to find a nice smart girl. He has for years said he wanted to marry a smart girl. He has had experience with "crazy" girls because of his height and them wrongfully judging his age. Cops have laughed at us. This past summer he had advances from a 16-year-old girl. She stalked him until dads (off duty cop) finally question the situation. At the time, he was 14 and she followed him home in her car. If it were a 16-year-old boy following, a 14-year-old girl home I doubt the cops would have laughed at her.

I think how violence against boys is handle that creates a confusing double standard. A boy is suppose to take it like a man, ignore it if he is assaulted, or he deserved it. I once was in the break room with a mom whose male partner had beat her. She was sitting there with a black eye and handprints on her arms. She started talking about her kids misbehaving. Then she talked about "beating" her son. She actually said, "You have to beat them [boys] to make them strong." I just wonder how many beatings her partner got and how flipping strong that one she got made her. I wonder how many times these attitudes perpetrate the situation of violence against women. It happens to men/boys they just have to take it so in a bizarre messed up way it becomes expectable way to gain control.

As much rhetoric there is give about men being in control I do think there is a large portion that feels less than in control.

I think there we need to do a LOT, I MEAN ALOT, more work on allowing men to be caring and nurturers. We (societal) need to change our attitudes of what is strong and strength.


I agree with so much of what you have said!
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