Reader mail: Quit chopping baby penises already

Snip Fight

Not an expert: Dr. Helen Salsbury, the physician featured in your piece about the argument over circumcision ("Just a Little Off the Top," Deirdra Funcheon, February 16), says she does only five circumcisions a month. That is simply not enough to be a proficient practitioner. If you are going to circumcise boys, you cannot simply do it as a part-time job. You need to do it every day. This is why the best circumcision practitioners are mohels (Jewish trained circumcision experts), who do them daily. Mohels circumcise thousands of boys over the course of a career, and they are chosen not just by Jews but also by non-Jews, British royalty, and celebrities. This is why Sandra Bullock had her son circumcised by a mohel. I would not choose someone who does so few circumcisions a month as the best person to have my boys circumcised.

Troy


Waste of time: Parents get to decide what they want to do with their children. Get over it. Go crusade for a useful cause instead of wasting your time over a fucking foreskin.

Bebep


Circumcision is sex abuse: Salsbury couldn't have described these crimes against children any clearer. To those who quote the law given to Abraham as an excuse for sexual assault on children, perhaps you should read what the apostles wrote in the Book of Acts: that circumcision is not necessary before God. Children are sexually abused all the time and the nation goes up in arms against it, branding the perpetrators for life, but when it comes to slicing off part of the child's genitals, everyone is silent. I would never knowingly allow someone near my child who supports such sick child abuse. I highly recommend severe criminal penalties to evil people such as Salsbury. Culture or religion is not a valid reason to allow anyone to be maimed and mutilated. Those who promote child genital mutilation ought to be locked away.

Hmghosthost


Sex is better uncut: Major studies all show no conclusive evidence that sexually transmitted diseases are less prevalent among men who have been circumcised. The American Academy of Pediatrics is no longer recommending circumcisions. Studies and reports for many women, meanwhile, show that circumcised males require much more stimulation to make up for the lack of nerve endings that were removed and because the male glans becomes completely exposed to constant contact with underwear and clothing, thus lessening its sensitivity. Women with men who have been circumcised report males have to thrust much harder to achieve orgasm, leaving the women feeling bruised. Women with men who have not been circumcised report such men are much slower and more gentle in their lovemaking.

watersisland


Look at Europe: Almost no one in Europe is circumcised, and the HIV infection rate is less than half that of the United States, where nearly everyone is circumcised. So much for that claim.

Ladyfingers


Police State

Big Brother is watching: Your story revealing that Miami-Dade police frequently track people's cell phones without a warrant ("Calling Big Brother," David Minsky and Tim Elfrink, February 16) shows why it's scary to think the government can follow us so easily. To me, it smacks of Big Brother. However, I also agree we need to get criminals off the streets as quickly as possible. I'm not sure what the answer is here, but as our technology evolves and improves, we also need laws to reflect those changes. I personally don't have anything to hide, but the thought of being tracked through my Android phone gives me a shivery feeling. That said, as the courts rule on this issue, I hope cases that hinge on cell-phone tracking don't get thrown out on a technicality.

NavyMom


Too much power: Although our system assumes innocence before guilt, government officials don't always care about due process. The authorities might track an individual long before he can prove his innocence. For years, lawmen have tracked and captured thousands of suspects without devices such as cell-phone trackers that could be used indiscriminately against the public. We've all seen police who use such resources for personal and sometimes nefarious reasons.

Myangeldust


Power trip: Handing police the power to track and trace anyone is not the answer to our crime problems. That is just an outright invasion of privacy. Police can pick and choose and use that power to lock up innocent people just because they think they are a nuisance. It's bad enough when cops make up bogus charges and plant just enough evidence for prosecutors because they simply don't like somebody. In a perfect world where law enforcement goes by the book, this type of power might be OK, but the last time I checked, that world doesn't exist.

Wizard 13

 
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32 comments
BYOUNGORDIE
BYOUNGORDIE

With a transmission rate of over 70% MORE of HIV not to mention the other diseases that the UNCUT MALE CARRIES, I am still surprised that anyone would still want to sleep with you DOG DICK MF'S!

Karen Goldis
Karen Goldis

Saying mohels are better at circumcising babies than doctors is probably true, but it is also saying they are better at surgically raping babies, doing it proficiently and often. If this was done to animals, it would be an animal right's abuse, circumcision is no less a human right's abuse. Cutting off any part of your child is not a parent's right and belongs no where near modern religion. What we know about the benefits of intact genitals should trump any barbaric blood ritual. Karen at Tampa Bay Area Intactivists, visit us on Facebook!

Jen Bl
Jen Bl

Infant circumcision is wrong. It is not medically necessary and the infants are non consenting participants. They are the ones who have to undergo this unnecessary procedure and they are the ones who have to live with the consequence...shouldnt they be the ones to decide, when they are older, if having their foreskin cut off is what they want? Both baby girls and baby boys should equally be entitled to genital integrity. We, in the US, are disgusted with ANY type of female circumcision (to the most extreme to the absolute minor forms) yet we cut off nearly 1/3 of our baby boys HEALTHY penile tissue because...why, again? We take away their individual rights. Almost every argument used to justify infant circumcision can be refuted or can be delayed until the child is older and is of consenting age. Equality for sexes...we should be advocating for our children's rights, not exploiting them. jennifer @ facebook page Miami Against Routine Infant Circumcision

Laura
Laura

I wonder if circumcision will start becoming more common again in certain Western & European countries? The rates were very low for a long time, but in recent years because of the large influx of Muslim immigrants, there are now many circumcision clinics that were not in existence before. One of the things I was reading in the recent articles is that these circumcision clinics in Western countries are not just circumcising Muslim boys, but many non-Muslim boys as well. Many Christians in the UK, Canada & Australia are now having their boys circumcised and it is becoming more popular again.

Jason G.
Jason G.

@Cheryl LZ Granderson's article was idiotic, not least because he used the possibility that a boy might one day have a sexual encounter with a woman who is ignorant of what a penis should really look like, as a good reason to circumcise a boy. In this "article", Granderson compares a ban on circumcising minors to an incident that occured in Texas where a gay couple were arrested for having sex in a hotel room. He's obviously an imbecile if he doesn't understand that discriminating between two consenting adults being intimate simply because they happen to be of the same gender is NOT the same thing as saying that parents shouldn't be allowed to alter their son's penis from its natural state. Contrary to what Granderson seems to think, a ban on circumcision performed on males below the age of consent isn't about restricting choice, so much as putting the choice exclusively in the hands of the only person who matters; the person whose penis it is.

Gloria
Gloria

Boys are going to continue to be circumcised for a long time to come, so why spend so much time thinking about it and arguing about it? Some people just prefer the cleaner, more hygienic look of the circumcised penis. If European women like uncircumcised men, that is their preference. If American women prefer circumcised men, that is their preference also. Neither one is right or wrong.

Cheryl
Cheryl

Why do you spend so many hours worrying about whether other parents have their boys circumcised? It is nobody else's business. As CNN commentator L Z Granderson said last year when the circumcision controversy erupted in San Francisco, it is up to the parents and their doctor to decide whether to circumcise their boys - it's not for anyone else to stick their noses in.

TomTobin
TomTobin

Parents get to decide which parts to chop off their children...but only half the time.If she's female, nobody is cutting her genitals. If he's male, the surgeon gets to make an extra $1500, so he can look like Daddy.To Bebep, who said, "Go crusade for a useful cause instead of wasting your time over a fucking foreskin", you have no idea how kind nature was when it created the foreskin, 120 million years ago. The sensations it gives are straight out of the deepest pleasure a male body can feel.Nobody who has a foreskin, would ever spit out such an ugly sentence.It's not just your penis which is damaged. It's your psyche. No one who truly cares about kids thinks they should have a knife taken to them when they are healthy.

Bradley
Bradley

I hope not. Circumcision should be banned worldwide with lifetime imprisonment or execution as the punishment, along with the rest of the child rapists and molesters.

Cheryl
Cheryl

The majority of Americans do not support a ban on male circumcision - they support the right of parents to have their boys circumcised if they so choose. So Granderson is in the majority on this one actually. I don't agree with all of his points, but his main thesis is very much in the mainstream.

SteveB954
SteveB954

Cutting the genitals of a child for so-called cultural reasons is wrong. It is past time for American doctors to stop cutting the genitals of healthy boys.

Bradley
Bradley

The south preferred to keep slaves, the north didn't. If the south liked it, that's their preference. If the north didn't, that's their preference also. Neither one is right or wrong.

What a splendid train of thought you're riding.

guest3
guest3

Glad we Americans have an option to tailor our men to the way we prefer! Kind of like how we tailor our women to have big breasts, be ultra thin, and behave a certain way.

Wait, you say that that's WRONG for women...? But...it's cosmetic! Some people just prefer the look of a slim woman with big breasts!

Guest1
Guest1

Actually circumcision is pretty rapidly becoming obsolete. Who cares about what a penis looks like? Virtually no one. Probably no man prefers to lack a foreskin which made him lose up to 70% of his nerve endings.

Circumcision was introduced in the US to curtail masturbation and now it's just a bizarre money-maker.

SteveB954
SteveB954

Why do you send so much time trying to justify cutting the genitals of children?

Male circumcision is a form of permanent body modification, like tattoos or genital piercing. If you were to pierce your son's genitals, you would go to jail. Male circumcision is a more severe form of permanent body modification that genital piercing.

When a boy is old enough to get his genitals pierced, he can decide whether or not he wants to have a doctor cut part of it off.

Bradley
Bradley

I will agree with you Cheryl, but only if you agree that female genital cutting should be up to the parents as well. You know, it's a widely accepted tradition in parts of the world, and a religious ritual, and we don't want the government sticking their noses in do we?

Guest1
Guest1

Cheryl:

People worry about this because it's a violation of human rights. Quite often, when they realize what they are missing (a substantial number of nerves and extra flesh that makes it more comfortable to be the possessor of male genitals) grown men would like to to have baack the foreskin nature originally gave them and it's too late. Also, some babies die from circumcision as a result of complications from the procedure. Besides that, many people think circumcision is barbaric and a cruel infliction of pain. Can you imagine what it's like to have one's genitals cut? Whatever you do, don't watch a video of the procedure. Physical pain in childhood is especially awful, don't you think?

Kg
Kg

Amputating healthy functioning body parts from a defenseless child is a violation of human rights. Everyone has the right to a whole body.

Bradley
Bradley

The mainstream is wrong, just as it was in the south for slavery and segregation.

Why should a parent have the right to deprive their child part of their normal healthy sexual anatomy? Shouldn't boys have a right to genital integrity as girls do? Or are you just sexist?

Craig
Craig

This is America. We do things differently here. If the Europeans don't want to circumcise their boys, that is up to them. Americans will continue to circumcise their boys though.

13andrewvaughan13
13andrewvaughan13

That has absolutely nothing to do with MGM. If a woman wants breast implants, more power to her

Cheryl
Cheryl

Circumcision is not becoming obsolete. The rates have fallen in the U.S. from what they once were, but it still remains enormously popular and the majority option in some regions of the country. Most men have no problem with being circumcised, and most boys are not bothered by being circumcised either. Some of them are glad to be circumcised and have said so, including a number of celebrities.

Jason G.
Jason G.

These men must have fragile egos indeed if the only way they can feel close to their son is by giving the boy a matching disfigurement. It's really quite pathetic. The boy will already half have the father's genome, and share some of his characteristics, is that not enough? If the son happens to inherit the mother's hair colour, will the father dye it to match his? What of eye colour? Contacts? The whole 'circumcise to look like daddy' excuse suggests a psychological issue on the part of these fathers. They'd be better off holding out until human cloning is perfected an legalised, they don't want a son, they want a "Mini-Me".

Craig
Craig

There is a video on YouTube in which Jewish fathers describe the strong emotional connection they felt to their sons at their circumcision ceremonies. Perhaps you should express your feelings to them.

SteveB954
SteveB954

Should we also respect the strong feelings of some African women who want their daughters to be circumcised like them? Cutting the genitals of a child to create a "cultural bond" is absurd!

SteveB954
SteveB954

Many men in Africa prefer circumcised women. In my opinion there is no ethical difference between an American woman who rejects a man because he has normal, intact genitals and an African man who rejects a woman because she has normal, intact genitals. Cutting the genitals of a child to satisfy the sexual preferences of adults is morally wrong whether it is an African girl or an American boy.

Cheryl
Cheryl

Some fathers have strong feelings that their boys should be circumcised, and as one doctor told me, this should be respected. Men don't have as many ways to feel close to their sons as women do, and this is a cultural bond that many of them share. I'm not saying that's something I'd agree to for my son, but it is a common feeling in many households.

Jason G.
Jason G.

You admit that some people might have an opinion on how they want their sexual partners' genitalia to be, yet you don't seem to be willing to acknowledge the fact that men should have the right to choose how they want their genitalia to be. If a woman, or gay man for that matter, exrpresses a preference for penises that are one way or the other, then that's their business, I think they're idiots if they turn down a man simply because he's as nature intended, when he obviously fits all their other requirements, but that's up to them. Many men wish their penis wasn't altered from it's inteded state, though, and this is where the problem lies. If circumcision on minors was banned tomorrow, I'd be very interested to see just how many men in 20-30 years time would actually choose to have their penis disfigured. Not many, I'd imagine. The way things are now, a lot of boys and men are circumcised for no better reason than their father is, which isn't a reason at all, in my opinion.

Bradley
Bradley

False equivalence my ass. You're just ignorant of normal male anatomy and the nature of most female circumcisions, and you're stricken with cultural bias, because one thing is practiced here, and another is not, so the one that is not is easier to dismiss as some barbarity, while an identical sexual violation against men, is ok, because it's normal here. SOME FGM is worse, indeed, but most FGM is no worse, often much less severe than male genital cutting. Far less tissue is usually removed.

Who cares what people like. What matters is what the person to whom the penis belongs likes, just as it is with the female genitalia. Should my preference dictate what parts of your genitals you get to keep?

Cheryl
Cheryl

You're engaging in false equivalence and silly analogies. It's silly to make those arguments and it hurts your argument. You don't seem to be aware that people have their own preferences for what they find attractive. Some women (and gay men I know) prefer circumcised men, others may like the 'uncut' variety.

Bradley
Bradley

Celebrities who have stated that they hate the fact that they were circumcised:

Howard SternBen Affleck

Celebrities against Circumcision:Russel Crowe(intact)Gore VidalColin Farrell(intact)Christopher HitchensCarl SaganArthur C. ClarkePenn & Teller (both of them)Rosanne BarrGeorge CarlinMario Lopez(intact)Princess DianaSalmon RushieRicki LakePamela AndersonRosario DawsonMontel WilliamsElizabeth Hurley

And those are just the ones we know about.

Bradley
Bradley

Most circumcised women have no problem with it either.

Your argument is like saying that since there are many blind people who are happy and have no problem with being blind that it's ok to pluck the eyes from infants.

I am a circumcised male who will hate to the day I die that part of my penis was chopped off for no reason and that I was violated this way, when in any civilized society people who put a knife to a child's genitals would be imprisoned for life or executed, like any other child molestor or rapist.

 
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