Report calls for female genital mutilation to be treated as child abuse

46

Thousands of girls in danger of genital mutilation are being failed by the health and justice systems, a coalition of health professionals has warned in a report that recommends aggressive steps to eradicate the practice in the UK.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) should be treated the same as any other kind of child abuse and evidence of it must be reported to the police, according to the report.

Janet Fyle, a policy adviser of the Royal College of Midwives and one of the report's authors, said that just as it was inconceivable that a health worker would not report evidence of child abuse to the police, it should be equally important to report evidence of FGM.

"If we are applying child protection laws, we cannot pick and choose which crimes against children we pursue," she said.

"We are not asking for more money or legislation, we are just asking that child protection laws should work for all children not just some."

Written By: Conal Urquhart
continue to source article at theguardian.com

46 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

      Can’t we just be a bit more progressive and say that all genital mutilations are child abuse?

      Coincidentally progressive would coincide with logically consistent in this case.

    • In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

      Can’t we just be a bit more progressive and say that all genital mutilations are child abuse?

      Of course we can, if we don’t mind diluting a monstrous evil in the eyes of the public consciousness to accommodate a lesser one.

      We can include people with ginger hair if we wish when campaigning against racist hiring practices.

      We can say that spanking a child is equivalent to trafficking children for sex.

      Or we can recognize that female genital mutilation and male circumcision are separate and wholly distinct from each other, and by treating them equally we devalue one and elevate the other.

      Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness.

      It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist they’re analogous. They’re not, okay? They’re just not.

      • In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

        Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness.

        It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist they’re analogous. They’re not, okay? They’re just not.

        So, the logical conclusion to your statement is that some genital mutilations are okay. What makes a genital mutilation not okay? Is it when it crosses a certain level of severity? Perhaps we need to get a team of scientists today to figure exactly how much of the genitals is okay to cut away from each gender!

        Or is it not okay only when it’s done to a woman? Or when our own culture isn’t the ones that do it? It’s quite easy to demonize those evil Africans, but really if all you can tell them when they have a knife in their hand is “You’re holding down the wrong child, cut this boy instead;” you probably aren’t being a very good, or logically consistent person.

        • In reply to #8 by Michael Austin:

          In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

          Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness.

          It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist th…

          ” So, the logical conclusion to your statement is that some genital mutilations are okay. “

          No, that is your conclusion and the two acts, FGM and circumcision, are not equivalent and circumcision was not even the point of the article.

          Your concern is noted but attacking Kathy’s position shows a logical fallacy. The false equivalency fallacy.

          Katy Cordeth’s post was well written and well supported by the evidence.

          ” Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness. “

          Does this sound like she thinks male circumcision is OK?

          Ideology does that to one’s vision and understanding sometimes. FGM is the topic of greater importance here at least.

          • In reply to #9 by Neodarwinian:

            No, that is your conclusion and the two acts, FGM and circumcision, are not equivalent and circumcision was not even the point of the article….

            Except Katy Cordeth continues to play ignorance of the fact that FGM is practiced in multiple forms!
            One of which only involves removing the clitoral hood!
            Now because this practice isn’t as severe as the other forms of FGM,does that mean it is to be tolerated?
            Absolutely not!

            People like Kate Cordeth present weakening arguments and don’t seem to understand that one is never to bargain with an abuser! FGM happening to be more extreme than MGM in some cases, doesn’t make MGM anymore acceptable.
            Its this abuse comparing mentality that the west must get rid of, if it is to secure the individual’s right to their own body.

          • In reply to #12 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #9 by Neodarwinian:

            People like Kate Cordeth present weakening arguments and don’t seem to understand that one is never to bargain with an abuser!

            I think that depends on whether you would like to make the world a better place or you just want to maintain your ideological purity by never compromising. In the real world of everyday politics sometimes you have to settle for eliminating some evil today and going after other evil tomorrow. If you reach too wide you risk creating too large an opposition and ending up achieving nothing.

          • In reply to #13 by mmurray:

            In reply to #12 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #9 by Neodarwinian:

            People like Kate Cordeth present weakening arguments and don’t seem to understand that one is never to bargain with an abuser!

            I think that depends on whether you would like to make the world a better place or you just want to maintai…

            I disagree, you have much stronger case when you ban all genital mutilation, otherwise you end up with a pointless debate on what is worse, and why, and then you logically end up with what? Less severe FGM, and MGM? What is a better time to tackle MGM then now when genital mutilation is discussed?

          • In reply to #20 by Maki:

            >

            I disagree, you have much stronger case when you ban all genital mutilation, otherwise you end up with a pointless debate on what is worse, and why, and then you logically end up with what? Less severe FGM, and MGM? What is a better time to tackle MGM then now when genital mutilation is discussed?

            Right, this is precisely what happens every time FGM is raised: like clockwork the absurd FGM vs MGM battle-lines are drawn and the endless and pointless debate continues.

            Perhaps a first step would be to call it Genital Mutilation full stop. The power of language should not be underestimated. Do we speak of Female Child Abuse and Male Child Abuse? No, that would be absurd. We call it child abuse. Period.

      • In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

        Can’t we just be a bit more progressive and say that all genital mutilations are child abuse?

        Of course we can, if we don’t mind diluting a monstrous evil in the eyes of the public consciousness to accommodate a lesser one.

        We can include people with ginger hair…

        Well written indeed.

      • In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:
        “It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist they’re analogous. They’re not, okay? They’re just not”

        Sorry, but you’re wrong. An assault is an assault, whether I give you an uninvited shove to get on a train in front of you, or whether I break your arms and legs and crack your skull with a baseball bat. Both are offences, both should be prosecuted; there may well be some variation in sentencing.

        By saying a little bit of child abuse (MGM) is OK, we enable and legitimise FGM. And we forfeit the authority to criticise.

        A little bit of child abuse is never OK.

        • In reply to #15 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:
          “It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist they’re analogous. They’re not, okay? They’re just not”

          Sorry, but you’re wrong. An assault is an assault, whether I give you an uninvited shove to get on a train in front of you, or whether I break your arms and legs and crack your skull with a baseball bat. Both are offences, both should be prosecuted; there may well be some variation in sentencing.

          By saying a little bit of child abuse (MGM) is OK, we enable and legitimise FGM. And we forfeit the authority to criticise.

          A little bit of child abuse is never OK.

          This is just silly. You seem to be saying all crime is morally equivalent, with the discretion allowed at sentencing the only indicator we have of the severity of the criminal act. Centuries ago, stealing a loaf of bread was sufficient to get you deported to a penal colony on the other side of the world, your bunkmate on this voyage a vicious murderer. Thankfully, we’ve moved away from a culture which wielded the law as a cudgel. Don’t drag us back there, Steve.

          To me, piercing a baby’s ears is an abomination, but it does happen. The child has no say in getting mutilated this way, so presumably we can include it in this debate, if we’re to accept your premise that any amount of child abuse legitimizes the worst kind.

          Let’s reckon up: Now when discussing the morally unambiguous issue of female genital mutilation, we not only have to include, perhaps properly, male circumcision, but also the perforating of infants’ earlobes. What about vaccination, which Michael mentions in his post #29? It isn’t technically mutilation but can be traumatic, even though done for the child’s own good. Do we have the right to innoculate our children against their will? This woman doesn’t think so. Would anyone else care to chime in? I’m sure those who insist it’s abusive to place a foster child in the home of those from a different ethnic or cultural background would like to get a mention.

          This is the slippery slope we find ourselves on when we insist all child abuse should be treated equally, and what I meant when I said male circumcision serves only to cloud the issue of FGM. I’m not being a misandrist, as Terra Watt seemed to suggest in this comment on a related thread.

          People here seem intent on ignoring the significant and compelling evidence that male circumcision may confer benefits, principally in reducing the risk of contracting HIV and other diseases later in life (I get the feeling the fact this practice has its roots in religion is reason enough for some to condemn it out of hand). That doesn’t necessarily make it right, and you can have that debate. Just keep it separate from this one, because this one really is simple.

          Campaigners against the practice recognize the truth of this, which is why they prefer the term female genital mutilation over female circumcision. They’ve gone to the trouble of rewriting the dictionary in order to distinguish it from male circumcision. I’m inclined to trust their judgement on this.


          In reply to #19 by Anvil:

          In reply to #8 by Michael Austin:

          …Possibly. It certainly sounds like Katy thinks that awareness of Female Genital Mutilation is somehow diminished by awareness of Male Genital Mutilation. I’m not sure how or by what mechanism this works, though?

          I hope this comment has explained the mechanism to your satisfaction, Anvil.

      • In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

        Can’t we just be a bit more progressive and say that all genital mutilations are child abuse?

        Of course we can, if we don’t mind diluting a monstrous evil in the eyes of the public consciousness to accommodate a lesser one.

        We can include people with ginger hair…

        Yes. We could include people with ginger hair… people like me. I was circumcised in Kansas – WASP female 1950s – by the same medical industry that now claims great benefits for male circumcision. And I defend boys from the same fate I met – with all my heart. I hope, Katy, that you were not cut. Many women were circumcised in the USA and have no idea that they were.

        I do not believe that decrying MGM detracts from the abuse of FGM. Both are abuse and both need to end, everywhere. People need to stop inflicting unnecessary harm to, and fear in, innocent, helpless, defenseless children.

        I don’t trust any person who allows or advocates for the mutilation of healthy human flesh. Doctors – religionists – any and all circumcisers – will only stop cutting children when there is no monetary benefit – and when there is a law against it. I have met several other WASP women who were cut in the USA. Circumcisers – and circumcision advocates – do not care about girls OR boys. They only care about their bottom line. Well, then again, there are some who are actually kinky enough that they say they would circumcise even if it was illegal. This was determined by a poll taken of OB/GYNS about ten years ago.

        Words I heard directly from the mouth of a former OB/GYN: “I never liked doing them, but if I didn’t do it, somebody else would get the money.”

        My concern is the psychological impact. The physical loss of skin is secondary to the loss of peace of mind, feelings of being safe, protected, loved. Circumcision engenders a level of post traumatic stress on every recipient. Every mutilation is traumatic to the body and to the mind. What on earth are we doing to our children by “welcoming” them to the planet by inflicting pain and mutilation? There is something very “off” about justifying such cruelty. Circumcision is child abuse – no matter who does it and no matter what excuse is given.

        [Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use]

  1. I can’t understand how the piercing cries of a little girl in sheer agony, can be deadened by petty nauseating cries of cultural intolerance?
    How can that possibly logic in an adult brain?

    No, seriously, think about it. Imagine this, some dirty scoundrel tortures a little girl by making cuts to her genitals, the girl screams
    her lungs off and eventually gets the attention of near by people, then finally the police arrives and intervenes in time.
    Now the savage is feeling pressure to explain it self and what does it’s brain formulate as a feasible excuse?
    “It’s my culture”. How did this unintelligent term called “culture” come to grow so powerful and become a jail free card?
    How is that in anyway a feasible excuse for the grievous bodily harm being conducted on little children!

    “FGM is a normal thing for us. We don’t know it is against the law, but I know that it damages girls and leaves them scarred for life – mentally and physically. “It is very important that everyone knows that FGM is illegal. We suffer from a lot of complications [because of the procedure].

    These people who are supposedly members of the most intelligent species on earth, can’t tell right from wrong unless THA LAW ALMIGHTY
    says so?

    If there’s a person that can first hand put themselves through an act in which another person,
    in this case a little girl suffers torture and not be disturbed by it, then it is stupid beyond belief to expect such a callous freak to
    understand ethical arguments! The only thing to do is to just kill or imprison the culprit for life and ensure they can cause no more harm!

  2. Not a big fan of the doctor who slashed away at my perfectly good baby junk, just so (I suspect) it would resemble my father’s.

    I’ve talked with young fathers (my former self included) who are trying to decide whether or not to do it, and I think this is the biggest reason it continues – for males at any rate.

  3. I’m not making the claim that MGM and FGM are equal in severity. I’m saying that MGM and FGM are wrong for exactly the same reasons: they force the removal of functional tissue from unconsenting individuals. Both wrongs are exacerbated by the fact that the practice is usually facilitated by someone who is supposed to be acting as a guardian and protector to that victim.

    If the most severe forms of FGM are analogous to removing a hand, then “circumcision” (I would use MGM again, but I think that cases like subinicsion are worse and would need a new analogy) is at least comparable to removing a few fingers. Forcing unneeded and painful surgeries on children is unethical no matter the results.

    If the West (especially America, where the majority of males, including myself are cut) didn’t have a history of history of male circumcision, there is absolutely no way that we would treat these as separate issues because they fundamentally are not. If we discovered in a cultural vacuum both forms of genital cutting being performed by immigrant communities, do you think that we would arbitrarily separate the interests of future men and women because one form was more severe than the other? Of course we wouldn’t, both are human rights violations of the highest order.

    In America and Europe, we have laws that expressly prohibit any form of female circumcision, even the forms that are nearly exactly analogous to male circumcision. Yet boys have no such protection. Even if you operate on the premise that one is intrinsically worse than the other, both need to be considered child abuse and dealt with by the authorities.

    Operating on the maxim that all children need to be protected from genital mutilation does not weaken our efforts to end FGM. It makes them more consistent. No one can be an avid campaigner against FGM while turning a blind eye to their own culture’s problems with genital cutting. It would make that person a hypocrite and an ethnocentrist.

  4. You have to look at the damage, not why the damage was inflicted. Every sort of religious child abuse is form of insanity, where there are significant numbers all suffering from the same delusion.

    The first priority is protect the child. The second priority is prevent a repeat to some other child. The third priority is punishing the perp. I think we should treat abusers like people with other violent delusions. Even if the violent delusion is religious, it still should be treated with drugs and other therapy as part of the sentence. The right of a child not to be abused trumps the religious right of a parent to abuse.

  5. LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE.THEIR GENITALS ARE THEIR OWN,NOT THEIR PARENTS’,TO BE HACKED AT BECAUSE OF SOME STUPID RELIGION OR CULTURE.

    I realize I was shouting,but really,why put children through this pain and trauma?Let the kids grow up and THEN decide if this barbarous practice is something they are willing to embrace.

  6. Sigh!

    I see many here just wanting to maintain ideological purity (mmurray) and fuck up the whole issue by a questionable conflation of interests.

    MGM?!? Excepting clitoral hood removal ( and I am not sure about that exception ) the comparison in the real world does not exist. In ideological world things are obviously different.

  7. Nope. You seem to think that you can end FGM by continuing with the genital mutilation of boys. I simply disagree with this strategy.

    I think that the genital mutilation of girls is bound up and inextricably linked with the genital mutilation of boys.

    I agree with mmurray that one has to, on occasion, take a utilitarian approach. How can we best lessen suffering? Can we lessen the suffering of some children by focusing on their particular brutality. Can we bring an end to female genital mutilation by ignoring the barbarity enacted upon their male siblings?

    I don’t believe we can.

    I believe that as long as their sons are cut, their daughters will be cut, too. To think otherwise is simply not living in the real world.

    Talking about the real world, the majority of FGM in SE Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia generally) is nicking, pricking, or scraping of the clitoral hood to produce spotting of blood on a cloth – this is still, though, genital mutilation is it not? It was imported by the cultural hegemony of Islam in the 13th century.

    Before that it was unknown in the region.

    Other forms of genital mutilation imported into other parts of SE Asia was by the US in the 20th century. It now stands at around 80% (from memory) in S Korea.

    Before that it was unknown in the region.

    To imagine that a cultural and religious practice of a dominant world power, regardless of how normalised as medical procedure, would not affect the cultures that come into contact with it, is to imagine nonsense.

    To believe that this then has no affect on the mutilation of the genitals of boys and girls in the greater world is to display a level of cognitive dissidence that is frightening.

    No less frightening though, than the cultural relativism necessary to imagine that the mutilation of all boys occurs in the cleanliness of an american surgery, or indeed that this very cleanliness makes it somehow okay.

    Anvil.

    • In reply to #18 by Anvil:

      Nope. You seem to think that you can end FGM by continuing with the genital mutilation of boys. I simply disagree with this strategy.

      I think that the genital mutilation of girls is bound up and inextricably linked with the genital mutilation of boys.

      I agree with mmurray that one has to, on occas…

      ” Nope. You seem to think that you can end FGM by continuing with the genital mutilation of boys “

      What?!?

  8. In reply to #8 by Michael Austin:

    In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

    Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness.

    It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to the coattails of FGM and insist th…

    ” So, the logical conclusion to your statement is that some genital mutilations are okay. “

    No, that is your conclusion and the two acts, FGM and circumcision, are not equivalent and circumcision was not even the point of the article.

    Your concern is noted but attacking Kathy’s position shows a logical fallacy. The false equivalency fallacy.

    Again, the false equivalence fallacy fallacy. As others have pointed out, regarding the actual level of mutilation, some forms of FGM are not as mutilating as MGM so are you and Katy suggesting that some forms of FGM may be acceptable? I can’t imagine that either of you are, so what exactly is falsely equivalent about removing flesh from the genitals of children of either gender for cultural and religious reasons?

    Katy Cordeth’s post was well written and well supported by the evidence.

    What evidence?

    ” Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness. “

    Does this sound like she thinks male circumcision is OK?

    Possibly. It certainly sounds like Katy thinks that awareness of Female Genital Mutilation is somehow diminished by awareness of Male Genital Mutilation. I’m not sure how or by what mechanism this works, though?

    Ideology does that to one’s vision and understanding sometimes. FGM is the topic of greater importance here at least.

    Again, the use of the word ‘ideology’ as an ad hominem. Why? Surely demanding the narrowing of the debate are the actions of the ideologue, not the other way around.

    As regards FGM being the topic of greater importance, that would, as I mentioned in my previous post above (or below?) depend on how you perceive child abuse such as FGM to be legitimised and supported. If it is felt that one type of child abuse is legitimised and supported by another then it is foolish, indeed senseless, to ignore said other.

    Of course, one can claim, as you yourself and Katy seem to, that the distance between cutting the flesh from the genitals of one child and cutting the flesh from the genitals of another can be as great as the distance between a slap on the leg and trafficking a child for sex.

    I fail to understand how anyone cannot see the cutting of flesh from the genitals of any child as a monstrous evil. I’ll admit, I find that somewhat irksome.

    Anvil.

    • In reply to #19 by Anvil:
      >
      As others have pointed out, regarding the actual level of mutilation, some forms of FGM are not as mutilating as MGM.

      Precisely. In fact what can also be heard proposed in certain circles as an alternative is a ceremonial very slight “nicking” of the clitoris. This would represent the least destructive form of genital mutilation indeed possibly even less egregious from a “mutilation” standpoint than arguably, say, piercing of the earlobes. Certainly much less destructive than cutting of the foreskin off the penis which has been well documented by scientist to contain “thousands of fine touch receptors and other highly erogenous nerve endings”.

      Even so I and I would hope everyone on this page would reject even that practice (the nicking) for the clear and simple reason expressed by Christiana: “LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE”.

    • In reply to #19 by Anvil:

      In reply to #8 by Michael Austin:

      In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #1 by Michael Austin:

      Elevating the issue of male circumcision is fine, but not when it’s done at the expense of female genital mutilation awareness.

      It is irksome when opponents of male circumcision try to latch on to…

      ” What evidence? ” The evidence that female genital mutilation, as per the article, is ILLEGAL while male circumcision is not!

      ” Again, the use of the word ‘ideology’ as an ad hominem. Why? Surely demanding the narrowing of the debate are the actions of the ideologue, not the other way around. “

      No, derailing the debate, as per the article, is an ideological position and are the actions of an ideoluge. That is, you!

      ” I fail to understand how anyone cannot see the cutting of flesh from the genitals of any child as a monstrous evil. I’ll admit, I find that somewhat irksome. “

      Yes, I am sure you fail to see any difference in quantity of flesh cut here and damage to lives done here. What was that about ideology as an ad hominem attack? Be irked but know that there is a vast difference here whether you can allow yourself to know it or not.

      • In reply to #25 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #19 by Anvil:

        What evidence?

        The evidence that female genital mutilation, as per the article, is ILLEGAL while male circumcision is not!

        It’s legality or illegality is evidence of what exactly?

        ” Again, the use of the word ‘ideology’ as an ad hominem. Why? Surely demanding the narrowing of the debate are the actions of the ideologue, not the other way around. “

        No, derailing the debate, as per the article, is an ideological position and are the actions of an ideoluge. That is, you!

        Nonsense. Derailing a debate is exactly that, derailing a debate. It is not an ideological position. Your use of emphasis does not make you any more correct, unfortunately. The debate, if there is one at all – and one which you seem determined to stop, should be how we put an end to FGM, which is what most of us on this thread have been trying to fathom.

        You, however, seem determined to cling to a position regardless of the amount of evidence, regardless of the amount of reasoned and rational debate, regardless of the impassioned cries of those affected by this systematic and mutilating abuse. And do you respond with reason and rationality, yourself? No. You deny, over and over, that any mutilation exists at all, and then huff and puff and sigh, and demand that people not see what is in front of their faces. You continually insist that people understand that the removal of flesh from the genitals of one infant holds no similarity, no equivalence, and therefore no connection, to the removal of flesh from the genitals of another.

        If you want us to believe that then you ought to try and counter the arguments which say otherwise rather than remain entrenched in a position which sees mutilation on the genitals of one child, but not on the genitals of another. A bizarre Jedi mind-trick, or a dogmatic and uncompromising position of the ideologue?

        ” I fail to understand how anyone cannot see the cutting of flesh from the genitals of any child as a monstrous evil. I’ll admit, I find that somewhat irksome. “

        Yes, I am sure you fail to see any difference in quantity of flesh cut here and damage to lives done here. What was that about ideology as an ad hominem attack? Be irked but know that there is a vast difference here whether you can allow yourself to know it or not.

        Well I was using the language of my opponent in debate (the language that you thought well written) in order to make the point that the mutilation of any infants genitals is a monstrous evil and that one – the mutilation of an infants genitals – is intrinsically and inextricably bound to the other, which happens to be the mutilation of the genitals of an infant. I have no idea what you mean regarding my using ideology as an ad hom attack as I cannot see either ideology or an ad hom anywhere in the sentence? Perhaps you can point this out for me.

        I do however remain astounded that the ‘vast difference’ between one mutilation and the other, though both involving the removal of parts of the genitalia of an infant or child, could be argued to be that of a slap on the legs compared to trafficking a child into the sex trade.

        Gobsmacked, actually.

        I remain irked.

        Anvil.

        • In reply to #39 by Anvil:

          In reply to #25 by Neodarwinian:

          In reply to #19 by Anvil:

          What evidence?

          The evidence that female genital mutilation, as per the article, is ILLEGAL while male circumcision is not!

          It’s legality or illegality is evidence of what exactly?

          ” Again, the use of the word ‘ideology’ as an ad hominem…

          I said I was out but your verbose post with it’s many ” points ” force me to reply.

          ” It’s legality or illegality is evidence of what exactly? “

          The variance in the severity of the problem obviously. It does not need your agreement to have this vast variance is the harm done by FMG verses what you call MGM. A cut by cut, comparison would not favor you position. Excepting your ideological position.

          ” No. You deny, over and over, that any mutilation exists at all, “

          This is what prompted me to respond. Moderated or not on this post, know sir that this is a lie. I do not favor circumcision but I do favor one point at a time and you are dragging on the coattails of the FMG cause.

          ” If you want us to believe that then you ought to try and counter the arguments which say otherwise rather than remain entrenched in a position which sees mutilation on the genitals of one child, but not on the genitals of another. A bizarre Jedi mind-trick, or a dogmatic and uncompromising position of the ideologue? “

          Assault with one’s fist is a misdemeanor while an assault with a weapon is a felony. The gradient of severity is charged and punished differently and the distribution of FMG, from a little to a lot, is compared to the one circumcision technique. Not seeing the difference here is the disingenuousness of the true ideoluge and your straw man (which sees mutilation on the genitals of one child, but not on the genitals of another) rather seals the deal.

          ” I remain irked. “

          So?

  9. “…..we are just asking that child protection laws should work for all children not just some.” Janet Fyle’s request absolutely nails it on the head. “ALL” children female, male and intersex deserve protection from ritual genital cutting and cosmetic amputations of the reproductive system. Circumcision should only be used for the rare case that actual medical intervention is needed to address an existing problem.

    “more than 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of it.” That is horrible and they are not alone. More than 1 million boys under the age of 15, mostly under the age of 2 weeks are at risk of genital mutilation in in the United States – Land of the Free. More than 100 of these perfect children will die from complications during or following the mutilation. There are even more boys Muslim and Jewish communities sadly at risk and anguishing the day it is their turn, like a prison sentence. How can we turn our backs on this?

    Many people find it to be insulting to compare FGM to MGM. I will agree that some forms of FGM are more damaging, but this does not make MGM “okay” nor should it dismiss comparison. Let’s compare:
    • Forced or coaxed onto children by mutilated adults
    • Reduced pleasure / senses
    • Difficulty to climax
    • Need unnatural lube
    • Reduced desire
    • Lost organs
    • Painful mutilation
    • Designed to control adult sexuality
    • Female painful intercourse – Male Painful erections
    • Female assisted childbirth Type 3
    • Male erectile dysfunction – heroic measures to maintain

    No matter what gender, where it is done, or by whom, Forced Circumcision is Criminal Child Assault and Abuse:
    Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CATPA)
    • “Child Abuse = is a Criminal Offense that involves the physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of or Infliction of Non-Accidental injury to a child committed by a parent or another party if responsible for the child’s welfare or not, either purposefully, or due to neglect.“
    • “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker or any other person, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

    Forced Circumcision = Child Abuse
    • Assault – Non-accidental injury, deliberate wound, amputation of a functional part of the reproductive system, bodily harm
    • No established benefit – lack of an existing problem
    • Forces a religious identity/branding – exploitation
    • Mutilation – Disfigures, removes sexual functions, leaves a scar, alters normal aesthetics, harm
    • Risk infection, bleeding and even death
    • Adults have indicated physical and emotional harm from circumcision
    • Doctors are sworn to an oath “first do no harm” – they break their oath
    • 14th Amendment of the US Constitution: Gender Discrimination
    / Violation of the Constitutional Right of Equal Protection
    • Forced Circumcision is Child Assault and Abuse – A crime tolerated and ignored

    Boys deserve the same protection that girls deserve and are receiving.

  10. All genital cutting, male and female, comes from a desire to inflict harm and control upon a population, to limit their expression of sexuality as much as possible and render them without a sense of pleasure. As a circumcised male I struggled for years with off and on abject depression even wishing to end my life over what was taken from me. This may sound harsh but the reality is that you are advocating the torture of screaming baby boys that only wish for love and kindness, not to have their penis mutilated and forever debilitated! The foreskin is incredibly sensitive to touch and when the glans is removed from its natural protection, the foreskin, the sensitivity in the most delicate area drops by 12 fold. The glans is a mucus membrane and is meant to stay extremely delicate to the slightest of sensations enabling amazing and orgasmic pleasure at every subtle motion, however to take its foreskin away dulls it to such a profound point that many men have trouble having orgasms, bleed during sex and etc. The frenulum is the male g spot and is not meant to be cut off and removed! The process of circumcision is extremely debilitating, if your basis for supporting it is ignorance then you will always support evil. In slavery times you will not join the abolitionists, in these times you will not joint the marijuana legalizers, its safer than beer and a proven cure for cancer with 34 studies and a huge movement of people embracing the thc oil as a true medicine! You name it and authority will enforce and it will be evil, we are called as good people to question everything, circumcision is absolutely not okay. Simple hemp oil heals those so called “incurable” infections and heals many skin diseases, cancer, dandruff and more. The foreskins of screaming tortured poor and delicate little babies and their first experience in life is TORTURE , their foreskins are sold to lotion companies! How sick is that! I want my foreskin back and some day the person that did this to me will probably face jail time. I don’t know if I wish that on him or not but no child torturer deserves a clean slate without naturally paying back his karma. Its not okay to do this to boys, OR girls. Make circumcision illegal immediately! No religion has a right to harm.

    • In reply to #27 by circumcision is evil:

      All genital cutting, male and female, comes from a desire to inflict harm and control upon a population, to limit their expression of sexuality as much as possible and render them without a sense of pleasure. As a circumcised male I struggled for years with off and on abject depression even wishing…

      ” As a circumcised male I struggled for years with off and on abject depression even wishing to end my life over what was taken from me. “

      Really?!?

      ” The glans is a mucus membrane and is meant to stay extremely delicate to the slightest of sensations enabling amazing and orgasmic pleasure at every subtle motion, however to take its foreskin away dulls it to such a profound point that many men have trouble having orgasms, bleed during sex “

      You don’t say!!

      Since your membership here is quite recent one has one’s suspicions.

      Not ideologically driven? Not much! ( or planted satire )

    • In reply to #27 by circumcision is evil:

      All genital cutting, male and female, comes from a desire to inflict harm and control upon a population, to limit their expression of sexuality as much as possible and render them without a sense of pleasure.As a circumcised male I struggled for years with off and on abject depression even wishing to end my life over what was taken from me. This may sound harsh but the reality is that you are advocating the torture of screaming baby boys that only wish for love and kindness, not to have their penis mutilated and forever debilitated!

      I am sorry to hear that I hope you have sought help for the depression. “Torture of screaming baby boys” is an exaggeration given that male circumcision in western countries should be done as a medical procedure. I would imagine most parents think they are doing the right thing from a medical perspective just as I thought I was doing the right thing when my sons were vaccinated even though they screamed. L

      Your post motivated me to check what the situation is in Australia. We share with the US and Canada a tradition of a high non-religious male circumcision rate. I’m in my late 50s and when I was a kid I reckon 90% of boys had been circumcised. Certainly it was the uncircumcised kids who got teased when getting changed for swimming. I had two boys of my own and it never even crossed my mind my mind to get them circumcised. I assumed that it would be mostly dying out outside of religious groups. It seems hard to get the data though. It appears that the current average for the Australian male population is around 60% circumcised and the rate is currently around 10% in Victoria and NSW (most of the population) and 15% in Queensland (the deep north, near the equator — say no more). The Jewish and Islamic populations are so low as to have no impact on those figures. I was disappointed to see the numbers are still that high and that nobody seems to really be tracking them. It should be possible, given our bureaucratic health system to track the procedures.

      Like you I would like to see this practice stop and I am surprised to see it still so high. But I think the politics of MGM is so different to FGM that the two should be kept separate for political purposes. When you live in a country where there is a high degree of acceptance of MGM in the community if you tie FGM and MGM together you risk making FGM more acceptable rather than making MGM less acceptable.

      Michael

      • In reply to #29 by mmurray:

        (…) But I think the politics of MGM is so different to FGM that the two should be kept separate for political purposes. When you live in a country where there is a high degree of acceptance of MGM in the community if you tie FGM and MGM together you risk making FGM more acceptable rather than making MGM less acceptable.

        Michael

        Hi Michael. I think this is the argument in a nutshell. Though obviously I take a differing stance. I don’t believe for one moment that arguing for the cessation of genital mutilation in children would lead to a greater acceptance of FGM. Most peoples knowledge of both is based on simple ignorance.

        Once people realise that their is no rational reason to mutilate the genitals of children – none – they tend to display revulsion at the practice.

        I think for the advanced industrialised nations the acceptance of MGM would fall like a house of cards were the debate to be had, and legislation enacted.

        Banning FGM on its own in our countries will do little to stop this disgusting practice abroad. Banning genital mutilation of all children in so called ‘western’ countries would however be a huge blow to the cutters in the less industrialised nations. No longer would they be able to point to the hypocrisy of the ‘west’ continuing to mutilate their own children whilst preaching to us ‘lesser’ peoples about how we treat our own.

        The key to helping to stop girls being cut in the developing world is to ban the genital mutilation of all children where and when we can.

        Where and when we can – is right here, right now.

        Similar arguments (asking too much leaving you in danger of getting nothing) were, I recall, conducted regarding civil rights movements, racial & sexual equality legislation, and even corporal punishment. How long ago was it that Gay ‘Marriage’, was a line that would never be crossed.

        We are at a tipping point here, I feel. Some of us can do more than others – but we can all do something. Language is probably the least, yet in many ways the most useful. Call it what it is – it is the mutilation of the genitals of children for no reason other than culture or religion – it is child abuse.

        Time to stop it. All of it.

        Anvil.

        • In reply to #33 by Anvil:

          In reply to #29 by mmurray:

          I think for the advanced industrialised nations the acceptance of MGM would fall like a house of cards were the debate to be had, and legislation enacted

          There is already no acceptance of routine MGM, except for unjustifiable religious and justifiable (very rarely) medical reasons in all advanced industrialized nations of Europe and Japan.

          It remains only routinely implemented in the advanced industrialized nation with the most dysfunctional democracy, the most godsbothering, the most evolution denying, the highest personal firearm ownership, the most deaths by (surprise) firearms, the highest infant mortality, the highest incarceration rate, the worst and most profit driven health care system, the most Orwellian surveillance network, the most illegal drug use, the most climate change denial, the death penalty.

          • In reply to #34 by godsbuster:

            It remains only routinely implemented in the advanced industrialized nation with the most dysfunctional democracy, the most godsbothering, the most evolution denying, the highest personal firearm ownership, the most deaths by (surprise) firearms, the highest infant mortality, the highest incarceration rate, the worst and most profit driven health care system, the most Orwellian surveillance network, the most illegal drug use, the most climate change denial, the death penalty.

            The distribution across countries is strange. Higher in Australia then New Zealand ? Have a look here. Unfortunately no simple table of numbers but the data is there by country.

            I also noticed this “Non-therapeutic infant circumcision is no longer provided in public hospitals in New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria, and South Australia.”. One advantage of a public health system!

            Michael

  11. Circumcision is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION! TO excuse male genital mutilation is to call men NONHUMAN! Why ignore one sex when you are advocating for another?

    Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have made me leery of having sex with my wife. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use artificial lubricant or sex would be painful for my wife and I. My parent’s chose this painful and unsatisfactory sex life for me and my wife and I simply cannot fathom why. I would never have chosen to have my foreskin removed. Only 1/16,667 intact males will have a problem with their foreskin, 99% of which can be treated with medicine not surgery. 117 babies die from circumcision a year in the US that is 9/100,000 babies that die each year from a cosmetic surgery. Men have lost their penis, glans, and suffered from deformity caused by the operation. It isn’t right that these children pay the price for a decision their parents made, a decision that should be left up to the owner of the penis. Even those who survive still have problems like mine, though they are seldom discussed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    http://Www.sexasnatureintendedit.com

    They didn’t tell you the functions of the foreskin, but they did lie to you and said it had health benefits. Did they also tell you it pays for their house, their cars, and their children’s college? FYI It is illegal to sell an organ taken from a patient but they still do it.

    Foreskin for sale: $155/500µg = $310,000/g = $8,788,345/oz.

    http://www.rockland-inc.com/Product.aspx?id=40484

    My numbers and claims are supported by these studies:
    Dutch Medical society and their stance on RIC
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhipa1ei2rqj12q/KNMG-viewpoint-Non-therapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-27-05-2010-v2%20%281%29.pdf

    Meta-analysis of circumcision research
    http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/urology/2013/109846/

    This document outlines the deaths caused by circumcision in the US.
    http://db.tt/0LW1FHVy

    All the myths about circumcision and how they are dispelled.
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe

    Boy wants to be a girl after botched circumcision
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/11/09/52144.htm

    Cost benefit analysis of circumcision.
    http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/24/6/584.abstract

    US Navy Study that shows circumcision has no effect on HIV or STI infection rates.
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA458066

    Article to Appear in AAP’s “Pediatrics” journal.
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/aap-12-europe.pdf

    All the statements made by medical organizations about circumcision, and they are cited.
    http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

    Men complaining about being circumcised against their will.
    http://www.mendocomplain.com

    Three Videos of Circumcisions they are very graphic.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjkd30_infant-circumcision-injection-and-procedure_news#.UYWGx7Vn7pI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXVFFI76ff0&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MDuDhkiDdns

    • In reply to #30 by Lastfreethinker:

      Circumcision is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION! TO excuse male genital mutilation is to call men NONHUMAN! Why ignore one sex when you are advocating for another?

      Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have…

      ” Circumcision is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION! TO excuse male genital mutilation is to call men NONHUMAN! Why ignore one sex when you are advocating for another? “

      Sigh!

      How much more of this will there be?

      ” Like you I would like to see this practice stop and I am surprised to see it still so high. But I think the politics of MGM is so different to FGM that the two should be kept separate for political purposes. When you live in a country where there is a high degree of acceptance of MGM in the community if you tie FGM and MGM together you risk making FGM more acceptable rather than making MGM less acceptable. ” (mmurray)

      Rather neatly and fairly summed up and deserving of being the last word here on this issue. ( somehow I doubt that will happen, but I am out )

      • In reply to #31 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #30 by Lastfreethinker:

        Circumcision is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION! TO excuse male genital mutilation is to call men NONHUMAN! Why ignore one sex when you are advocating for another?

        Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would..

        >

        Sigh!

        How much more of this will there be?

        Rather a lot I would imagine.

        And more and more until it is over.

        And it will be over. Not with the help of sighing, though.

        Anvil.

  12. Until Genital Mutilation is no longer practiced on those who cannot consent.

    Counting EITHER mutilation as HIGHER than the other does a disservice to both. Justifying or saying CUTTING this women is different than cutting this MAN is wrong. It is cutting a part off of a human being without their consent. Read my actual post, it is very clear you didn’t and don’t actually know a thing about this.

  13. “Report calls for female genital mutilation to be treated as child abuse.” And in related news, scientists confirm that water is wet.
    After all, isn’t FGM a sexual assault of the most grotesque kind on an innocent child?

  14. I want to chime in on Katy’s side here, though possibly for a different reason.
    Like any problem that needs to be solved, we can expect to make better progress by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
    So anything that helps combat FGM is great.
    And anything that helps combat MGM is also great.
    And anything that fails to do any good because it tries to solve both at once is a waste of time.

  15. In reply to #40 by CliveHill:

    I want to chime in on Katy’s side here, though possibly for a different reason.
    Like any problem that needs to be solved, we can expect to make better progress by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
    (…) anything that helps combat FGM is great. And anything that helps combat MGM is also great. And anything that fails to do any good because it tries to solve both at once is a waste of time.

    Hi Clivehill. Your analysis is correct providing we all start with an agreed definition. I’ll presume that we do from the abbreviations MGM & FGM.

    In order to understand this we need to apply reason and rationality to your three points which are:

    _1) Explore and identify what we can do which has helped or will help combat FGM. _

    2) Explore and identify what we can do which has helped or will help combat MGM.

    3) Explore and identify what has failed, or is likely to fail to help combat FGM and MGM by the application of the same policy, law, action, or procedure, to both.

    Of course, to be consistent in your method of analysis you would have to add a fourth point:

    4) Explore and identify what we can do which has helped or will help combat FGM and MGM by the application of the same policy, law, action, or procedure, to both.

    Would this be the case?

    Anvil.

  16. Katy Cordeth

    (…)This is the slippery slope we find ourselves on when we insist all child abuse should be treated equally, and what I meant when I said male circumcision serves only to cloud the issue of FGM. I’m not being a misandrist, as Terra Watt seemed to suggest in this comment on a related thread.

    No one is insisting that all child abuse be treated equally. Rather that similar child abuse be treated similarly and that, further, the continuation of one is a pillar on which rests the continuation of the other.

    People here seem intent on ignoring the significant and compelling evidence that male circumcision may confer benefits, principally in reducing the risk of contracting HIV and other diseases later in life (I get the impression the fact this practice has its roots in religion is reason enough for some to condemn it out of hand). That doesn’t necessarily make it right, and you can have that debate. Just keep it separate from this one, because this one really is simple.

    No, this one really isn’t simple at all, and no one is intent on ignoring anything – let alone the significant and compelling evidence of the benefits that infant MGM may confer. Even the notably flawed African studies you cited earlier. Is it significant and compelling that (according to these studies) sixty adult men would have to be circumcised to prevent one HIV infection, and that based on this infection rate (from these studies) we should conduct infant MGM on all African children with all its attendant hazards and the concomitant risks to ending FGM in the same high risk communities?

    This regardless of the fact that these infants will not become sexually active for a number of years when a vaccine for HIV may be available? And regardless of the fact that the populations studied are all high risk and very different from, say, the US, Australia, and the UK where studies show no difference in the rate of infection from ‘circumcised’ to ‘non-circumcised’ with regards to HIV infection? And regardless of the fact that these ‘benefits’ could be equally attainable by deferral.

    Mind you, how popular this deferral would be is seen by the queues of adult African men waiting to be circumcised.

    Another benefit of MGM, we are commonly told, may be the a reduction in risk of penile cancer which is associated with phimosis (that’s the inability to pull the foreskin back over the glans, or head, of the penis) – but men have a 1 in 250,000 chance of contracting cancer of the penis, and it’s cause, phimosis, can be treated individually. Hardly a reason to take a knife to an infant male – clean and sharp or otherwise.

    Protection from early Uti’s are another benefit bestowed upon MGM. So we should cut the flesh from a newborn in order to protect him from a urinary tract infection he may or may not get and which is treatable by simple drugs? HPV, the same, Prostrate cancer, the same. One by one every claim as to the ‘benefits’ of MGM has been shown to be as weak as the ‘benefits’ for FGM.

    No. There are no rational reasons to take a knife to the genitals of a child or infant. None.

    Campaigners against the practice recognize the truth of this, which is why they prefer the term female genital mutilation over female circumcision. They’ve gone to the trouble of rewriting the dictionary in order to distinguish FGM from male circumcision. I’m inclined to trust their judgement on this.

    Who are these campaigners of which you speak? Who are these people who have re-written the dictionary? These are people like you, and me, Katy. People who write letters and shout and talk and scream and engage using whatever platforms we can. The term FGM was taken up following the publication of a book by an American feminist in the seventies (I’m sorry, her name has gone – it’s late here in W.A.) She lived in a world where the medical benefits of ‘male circumcision’ were obvious to all and sundry.

    We now know that this was religion and culture masquerading as science.

    It is up to us to go to the trouble of re-writing the dictionary we inherit. There is no-one else to do it but us.

    Anvil.

  17. In reply to #23 by ACIMessentials:

    In reply to #6 by Katy Cordeth:

    Hello Patricia. Thank you for the response. I’m very sorry for what you underwent in your youth, but would like to make a couple points regarding your post.

    I don’t trust any person who allows or advocates for the mutilation of healthy human flesh. Doctors – religionists – any and all circumcisers – will only stop cutting children when there is no monetary benefit – and when there is a law against it. I have met several other WASP women who were cut in the USA. Circumcisers – and circumcision advocates – do not care about girls OR boys. They only care about their bottom line. Well, then again, there are some who are actually kinky enough that they say they would circumcise even if it was illegal. This was determined by a poll taken of OB/GYNS about ten years ago.

    May I direct your attention to this article, The Facts About HIV and Male Circumcision, which states:

    Based on the conclusiveness of these trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued recommendations in 2007 stating:

    “Male circumcision should be recognized as an additional, important strategy for prevention of heterosexually acquired HIV in men…(but) should never replace known methods of HIV prevention.”

    I’ve linked to this before, including on a recent related thread, and it’s been repudiated by a few members, but not refuted. I think it’s safe to say the jury is out, at least on this site, on whether the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of male circumcision as another weapon in the fight against the spread of HIV is justified.

    However, I don’t think the WHO is concerned with making a profit from circumcision. Whether or not you yourself trust them or choose to lump them in with those medical professionals who regard this practice as an enormous cash cow is of course up to you.


    You write:

    My concern is the psychological impact. The physical loss of skin is secondary to the loss of peace of mind, feelings of being safe, protected, loved. Circumcision engenders a level of post traumatic stress on every recipient. Every mutilation is traumatic to the body and to the mind. What on earth are we doing to our children by “welcoming” them to the planet by inflicting pain and mutilation? There is something very “off” about justifying such cruelty. Circumcision is child abuse – no matter who does it and no matter what excuse is given.

    But earlier in your post you said:

    Many women were circumcised in the USA and have no idea that they were.

    My question here is, if these women have no idea they were operated on in this manner when young, how can they be said to have incurred any loss of peace of mind, feeling of being loved and so on? As mmurray points out in an earlier comment, most circumcisions performed on infants in the West are done under anesthetic. One assumes this was also the case in the 1950s. There may be some soreness afterward, but to say post-traumatic stress is an inevitability seems to be stretching it a bit. If they discover later in life that this procedure was performed, with their parents’ consent, they may then feel a sense of betrayal, but it can’t be retroactive.

    I see no reason why, as you seem to be suggesting, the mildest form of circumcision performed on an infant with the use of anesthetic should create post-traumatic stress which will stay with it for the rest of its life. I’m not trying to justify either form of genital surgical alteration with this; I just think there’s a fundamental flaw in what you’ve asserted.

    Best wishes

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