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I have a couple of feminist friends who just don't seem to get it on circ. Now, it probably doesn't matter too much because one of them doesn't want children and the other one's dh is adamantly anti-circ (he's circed). But they're close friends, and great women, and it just bugs the crap out of me that two educated, professional women who have dedicated their careers to civil rights and women's health and rights, respectively, can be so clueless.<br><br>
So I was thinking up some analogies and arguments to appeal to feminists/women (recognizing that not all feminists are women and vice versa), and just thought I'd share. (I don't believe in any of these arguments, but I do think they show logically how insane circumcision is and what a brutal violation of human rights it is). Not all of these are original (heck, all of them might be non-original but I haven't seen some of these laid out other places.)<br><br>
If it's OK to circ a baby boy because he won't remember it, is it OK to drug a woman and rape her because she won't remember it? Isn't circ worse in that situation - assuming the woman isn't beaten during the rape and assuming her rapist uses a condom and lubricant, so there's no physical trauma, she hasn't been physically harmed whereas a baby boy has had part of his genitals sliced off without his consent.<br><br>
If it's OK to circ a boy because hell, men aren't as sensitive as women and everyone knows that the clitoris has twice as many nerve endings as the penis, shouldn't the answer be to perform partial clitoridectomies on baby girls so that boys and girls have equal numbers of nerve endings?<br><br>
If it's OK to circ a boy because he might get penile cancer, shouldn't we amputate the breasts of baby girls at birth, because girls are far more likey to contract and die of breast cancer than boys are to contract and die of penile cancer?<br><br>
Since girls get far more UTIs than boys, shouldn't we genitally modify baby girls prophylactically at birth?<br><br>
And I'm sure there are more...any comments. additional analogies, or thoughts (besides puking, I realize these arguments are repugnant - but so is circ!)
 

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Hey... I think the penile cancer arguemnt is a little flawed. Although the breast thing makes a good point because breast cancer is so common... breasts are good for more than just bouncing... so from a lactivist standpoint that argument falls flat (oooh bad pun)<br><br>
What is a much better and relevant argument is that women are more likely to get cancer of the labia than men are to get cancer of the penis... so would we cut off the labia off an infant girl to reduce the risk of that cancer? Then you would be comparing apples to apples.<br><br>
Oh come on... do it with humor, next time you are late for a lunch, just use the old... "Sorry I couldn't get here sooner- I had to wash my extraneous genitals" excuse.<br><br>
Love Sarah
 

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i actually read a study that said penile cancer rates are *higher* in circumcised men.<br><br>
i'd simply ask if the woman wanted anybody to tell her what she could or couldn't do with her own body... ask her if she supports female circumcision... and then (assuming her answer is no!) compare that to routine male circumcision.<br><br>
you might also mention that female circumcision is ILLEGAL whereas male circumcision is not. ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> )
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>klothos</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... ask her if she supports female circumcision... and then (assuming her answer is no!) compare that to routine male circumcision...</div>
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I wouldn't go that route. FMF can consist of removing the clitoris, the labia minora and the labia majora. It can happen to infants but it also often happens to girls much older (10-12 years old.) It often happens in completely unsanitary conditions and is not performed by medical personnel. And so on.<br><br>
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."<br><br>
I would also stay away from the sexual assault anaology.<br><br>
As a feminist, I have found the best way to approach other feminists is with the basic facts. For example, I share that circumcision is not medically nessicary, that even the American Pediatrics Association no longer recommends routine circumcision. I share that circumcision (outside of religious ritual), is just another part of the patriarchal, medical model that does not respect our bodies inherent wisdom and purpose. Things like that. I stick to our common language and try to stay away from examples or arugements that are most likely going to lead to defensiveness.
 

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Look a little deepr into male circumcision rituals around the world and I believe you'll see MGM is very similiar to FGM. Most MGM is also done on older boys, go look at some pics of a 6 year old, or 12 yr.old boy being circed and tell me it isn't in the same catagory as FMG!<br>
It is done to turn a small boy into man. Make him never be a boy again, really read into it is a sick as why they do FGM. Of course the boys will be leaders after and the girls will not but these are children plain and simple there role in their societies shouldn't make one form of mutilation more accepted in our eyes. FGM is horrid, disgusting and sad but so is MGM.
 

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You can start here:<br><a href="http://www.noharmm.org/CAcycle.htm" target="_blank">http://www.noharmm.org/CAcycle.htm</a>
 

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Sorry, I got off topic there.<br>
I guess I think as women/mothers/sisters/friends we are obligated to stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves.<br>
Have they ever read about infant circ or watched one? As feminist don't they want others to be raising healthy males, who are intact sexually?<br>
Can they not see circ is sexually violent, or does it not matter because those baby boys will grow to be men?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pugmadmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wouldn't go that route. FMF can consist of removing the clitoris, the labia minora and the labia majora. It can happen to infants but it also often happens to girls much older (10-12 years old.) It often happens in completely unsanitary conditions and is not performed by medical personnel. And so on.</div>
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What you have described is the exact same functional equivalent of male circumcision. The only way female circumcision gets worse is with infibulation. Also, in Africa, male circumcision is done at about 12 years old and is done in such unsanitary conditions that as many as 20% of the boys die from their wounds.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">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."</td>
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Ah, yes, "To hell with the men! They're the ones causing us all of our problems! They get what they deserve." mentality<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I would also stay away from the sexual assault anaology.</td>
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Right! It's assault on a woman but the men should just be tough and bear it. They're over sexed any way.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As a feminist, I have found the best way to approach other feminists is with the basic facts. For example, I share that circumcision is not medically nessicary, that even the American Pediatrics Association no longer recommends routine circumcision. I share that circumcision (outside of religious ritual), is just another part of the patriarchal, medical model that does not respect our bodies inherent wisdom and purpose. Things like that. I stick to our common language and try to stay away from examples or arugements that are most likely going to lead to defensiveness.</td>
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How can they expect men to support them in their movement when they get defensive about our issues? It's a two way street.<br><br><br><br><br>
Frank
 

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Not to mention these aren't F'ing grown men they are babies and young boys.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Right! It's assault on a woman but the men should just be tough and bear it. They're over sexed any way.</td>
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of course! that's why circumcision became routine in the first place ~ it started becoming more widespread during the victorian era, to cut down on masturbation.<br><br>
Frank and Sheacoby ~ <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"> ITA
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Frankly Speaking</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...How can they expect men to support them in their movement when they get defensive about our issues? It's a two way street...</div>
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Are you serious? Historically and to the present day, women have had it <i>far</i> worse than men, generally speaking. Feminism did not rise out nothing. Do you expect people of color to support the white-power movement? I certainly do not.<br><br>
I am feminist. I am <b>against</b> circumcision of men and women. However, I can understand why some feminists, women who have been gravely harmed by the patriarchy we live in, opt out of what they see as a "men's issue". And, no, it's not the same as when men decline to support women's issues.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pugmadmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you serious? Historically and to the present day, women have had it <i>far</i> worse than men, generally speaking. Feminism did not rise out nothing. Do you expect people of color to support the white-power movement? I certainly do not.<br><br>
I am feminist. I am <b>against</b> circumcision of men and women. However, I can understand why some feminists, women who have been gravely harmed by the patriarchy we live in, opt out of what they see as a "men's issue". And, no, it's not the same as when men decline to support women's issues.</div>
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<br>
Your analogy is flawed. You can't expect any group to support a group that hates them. But men don't exist as a group to hate women.<br><br>
How are women harmed by "the patriarchy we live in?" This is a broad statement with generalized insulting overtones to all men. I don't think it is accurate. I also don't think women have had it far worse than men historically. It has been men who have marched off to war to die, rather they believed in the cause or was forced to go by their country.<br><br>
Men deserve the right to make the decision about their own body.
 

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"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."<br><br>
Well... the difference is not the volume of sexual tissue removed... the difference is that we are talking about something "we do" as opposed to something "they do" something many feminists (and not feminists) actually THEMSELVES do to other human beings.<br><br>
Where making a change with FGM involves doing some sort of global political or cultural action... making a change for another human being right here right now... all they have to do is not mutilate him, and understand that mutilating the genitals of their child would be a BAD thing to do to him. But by your interpretation... they would rather mutilate their son while politically defending African girls because an American man (likeley also a victim of a medicalized culture circumcision) failed to protect that (male opressor!!) child from her. "That's all THEIR FAULT!"<br><br>
Is that how it works?<br><br>
I guess this explains why in the book "Our Bodies Ourselves" the only mention of MGM is to tell women giving their children up for adoption... before they hand over the baby they are allowed the option to mutilate his genitals...<br><br>
It reads as a literal INVITATION TO MUTILATE MALES... here is your last chance... mulitate him now while you still have the POWER!
 

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It all makes the feminists sound very self centered and uncaring. I think I just stopped supporting feminist issues. After all, all they have to do is say stop the mutilation of all peoples genitals, not just girls.<br><br>
However, I am very aware that most seriously involved in the FGM movement advocate genital integrity for all, not just girls.<br><br><br><br><br>
Frank
 

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How can the mutilation of INFANTS genitals NOT be a FEMINIST issue? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Cindy<br><br>
Lindsey (96/02/26)<br>
Jason (00/06/08)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laidbackmomto2</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How can the mutilation of INFANTS genitals NOT be a FEMINIST issue?...</div>
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It is! Female Genital Mutilation is already a huge feminist issue. As for why male infant circumcision isn't...<br><br>
Maybe because Feminist organizations and feminist indivdually are already stretched too thin? Because the goal of <i>women</i> achieving social, political and spiritual equality is <i>enough</i> in and of itself? Liberal feminists are trying to change the system from within. Radical Feminists are trying to dismantle the system. Eco-Feminists are working to change the way we all view natural resources and consumption. And so on.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.)<br><br>
The OP said she wants to change her friends minds. She didn't say she wanted to feel superior to them or sit around her applauding how wrong they are with everyone else who <i>already agrees with her</i>. I share what other feminists have shared with me and I get slammed. If I didn't care so damn much about reaching out to the OPs two friends, I would be seriously regretting posting in this thread at all.
 

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What part of protecting male genital integrity is in conflict with the current "feminist agenda" as it stands? When someone asks a feminist to embrace this philosophy... what EXACTLY are we asking them to "give up"<br><br>
What part of Feminism does mutilating males help?<br><br>
Is this really an either/or type of issue?<br><br>
Does anyone think that MGM makes the world a better place for women or men or children?<br><br>
It seems to me that perhaps some feminists have a whole lot invested in the idea that ONLY women can be victimised... and anything that might threaten their status as the best and only victims makes them balk... that's why some women get so bent out of shape at the idea of a 7 lb 2 day old being sexually mutilated being actually a human rights violation... it does not fit in with their idea of HIM as a wife beating higher payscale intolerant pro-life zealot opressor pornographer warmongering rapist. If his human rights can ALSO be violated- well then HE is a threat to their victimhood. That's why they can, with a straight face and clear conscience- point in another direction (Africa) when asked simple questions about the here and now. because in their here and now- gender inequality is a private one way street.
 

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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. (call me a rabid fundie in private all you like, i'd have a good laugh at that.)<br><br>
suse<br><br>
back on topic: if for no other than selfish reasons, feminists need to support the end of mgm to lessen the amount of victimized pissed-off men growing up. you *want* guys to associate mama not protecting their genitals & getting them cut up as their first sexual experience? gee, that won't lead to trouble <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>The Lost Ramone</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...But men don't exist as a group to hate women.<br><br>
How are women harmed by "the patriarchy we live in?" This is a broad statement with generalized insulting overtones to all men. I don't think it is accurate. I also don't think women have had it far worse than men historically...</div>
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Men, as a group, have harmed women. Just as surely as white people, as a group, have harmed people of color.<br><br>
If you're serious about educating yourself, any of the books below are a good start. Request them at your library or, if you have trouble finding them, I'll lend you my own copy.<br><br><a href="http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0679724516-23" target="_blank">The Second Sex</a> by Simone De Beauvior<br><br><a href="http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0896086283-5" target="_blank">Feminism if for EVERYBODY</a> by bell hooks<br><br><a href="http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0195051858-3" target="_blank">The Creation of Patriachy</a> by Gerda Lerner<br><br><a href="http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0385472625-1" target="_blank">To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism</a> by Rebecca Walker (books of essays by various Third Wave Feminists)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pugmadmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is! Female Genital Mutilation is already a huge feminist issue. As for why male infant circumcision isn't...<br><br>
Maybe because Feminist organizations and feminist indivdually are already stretched too thin? Because the goal of <i>women</i> achieving social, political and spiritual equality is <i>enough</i> in and of itself? Liberal feminists are trying to change the system from within. Radical Feminists are trying to dismantle the system. Eco-Feminists are working to change the way we all view natural resources and consumption. And so on.</div>
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I think you missed my point...<br><br>
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?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">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.)</td>
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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.<br><br>
And as far as support on other feminist issues from intactivists goes, I'd like to say "to each their own", but I know that could be used against my own arguement above. I just don't see how embracing the idea of ending MGM, AS WELL AS embracing the idea of ending FGM is skin off anyone's back here.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The OP said she wants to change her friends minds. She didn't say she wanted to feel superior to them or sit around her applauding how wrong they are with everyone else who <i>already agrees with her</i>. I share what other feminists have shared with me and I get slammed. If I didn't care so damn much about reaching out to the OPs two friends, I would be seriously regretting posting in this thread at all.</td>
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I didn't feel I was slamming you. I am just shocked that someone could be so bent on "Feminist" ideas, that the genital mutilation of INFANT boys is seen as somehow "less" then FGM...is seen as solely a "Men's issue". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
I think you've read too much into the posts in this thread. I don't feel they are directed at YOU, but at some of the concepts that you have presented on behalf of the Feminist movement...whether they be your own or others.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br><br>
Cindy<br><br>
Lindsey (96/02/26)<br>
Jason (00/06/08)<br><br>
Edited for (hoepfully) clarification
 
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