I'd been meaning to write a blog series, where I go through logical fallacies which are commonly used by circumcision advocates when defending circumcision, particularly the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, and dismantle each and every one of them, one by one. I have finally decided to sit down and start writing the series, though, right from the start, I shall let my readers know that I am unsure how or when this series will end. I will be drawing from several resources for this blog series, including books, other blogs and websites, and my own thoughts which I've been compiling for some time now.
I'd like for each post in this series to be thorough and well-thought-out, so as a warning, this project may span the rest of the year, if not spill into next year, as I want to devote the right amount of time for each post. The posts in this series will be interspersed amongst other blog posts, perhaps other blog series I start, so please do not expect it to be consecutive and uninterrupted; I want to make posts on other news and thoughts as I see fit.
Posts on this series will be properly labeled with the heading "CIRCUMCISION PHALLUSIES BLOG SERIES," so readers, be on the lookout!
The current state of affairs, at least in my country of the United States, seems to be one such that penises are circumcised by default, while anatomically correct genitals need to be apologized for. In the American psyche, the word "penis" conjures up the image of a penis, the head of it permanently exposed, without a foreskin. In most, if not all American textbooks, the male penis appears circumcised, as though it had always been that way, molded without a foreskin from within the womb by nature. The foreskin, if mentioned at all, is referred to only in passing, within the context of circumcision. Some textbooks refer to it as "that extra piece of tissue removed during circumcision." (Imagine, if you will, a book that begins describing the breasts as "those mounds of fat and flesh removed during a mastectomy.") Circumcision is considered "normal," while possessing intact genitals is considered "alien," "foreign," or even a deformity that should be corrected. While there doesn't seem to be any real need for a good reason to circumcise a healthy, non-consenting minor, a good reason seems to be required in order to NOT circumcise a child. This is the only instance in American medicine where doctors and researchers are more interested in the deliberate destruction of a normal, healthy part of the human body, rather than preserving it. To me, all of this seems logically turned on its head.
Normally, the human body is left as is; you need a good reason in order perform surgery, or cut any part of the body away. Normally, the human body is presented as it occurs in nature, not in a contrived, surgically altered state. Normally, scientists, researchers and educators are interested in the functions and purposes of body parts, and do not begin describing them by the procedures in which they are removed. In America, descriptions of the anatomically correct penis, descriptions of the foreskin, all tend to begin by talking about circumcision, and of all the diseases and medical conditions which befall males who aren't circumcised. When we talk about, say, the prostate, or mammary glands, we do not begin by talking about prostate or breast cancer. We do not start talking about the liver by talking about hepatitis. We do not begin to talk about kidneys by talking about kidney stones. And yet, when you ask your average American doctor to talk about the foreskin, what is the first things out of his mouth? "Uncircumcised children could develop phimosis and UTIs. Uncircumcised men get smegma. Balanitis is a problem in uncircumcised men. Penile cancer is more common amongst uncircumcised men." They begin with all the ailments they know about which are said to afflict men with foreskins and couldn't care less about what the foreskin actually does, and about the fact that actually, the majority of most men in the world do fine with their whole organs. (70% or so of the world's male population is not circumcised.)
The standard of care for therapeutic surgery requires the medical benefits of the surgery to far outweigh the medical risks and harms, or for the surgery to correct a congenital abnormality, injury, or condition which represents an immediate threat to the person's well being. Unnecessary, invasive procedures should not be used where alternative, less invasive techniques, are equally efficient and available. It is unethical and inappropriate to perform surgery for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown there to be other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive. In any other case, reaping profit from performing non-medical procedures on healthy, non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud.
When compared to other parts of the body and their surgical alteration, the logical reasoning behind circumcision in America is turned upside-down. Normally, the human body is innocent until proven guilty. With circumcision, the foreskin is guilty until proven innocent. American doctors and "researchers" aren't looking for ways to cure or prevent disease, but for diseases which justify their "cure." Normally, in the disease/cure equation, the end result, health and well-being are always constant, while the means is a variable, researchers ever searching for more effective, less invasive cures and prevention methods. In American science and medicine, circumcision is a fixed constant, and the point isn't to find better cures or disease prevention methods, but rather, to justify circumcision, and to make sure it is always a necessary end result. In short, absolute madness!
"The cardinal medical question should not be whether circumcision can prevent disease, but how disease can best be prevented." ~Morten Frisch
Why Do Normal, Natural, Anatomically Correct Genitals Need Justification?
The circumcised penis is a forced phenomenon; an artificial, contrived subversion of what the male genital organ is supposed to be. Why then, does the circumcised penis enjoy default status in the United States? Why is it that having an anatomically correct penis with a foreskin needs justification? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Since being circumcised requires causative action, and having a foreskin the natural state of the male organs, shouldn't it be CIRCUMCISION which demands an explanation?
In this blog series, I aim to turn the tables and place the onus of justification where it needs to be. Having a foreskin needs no more explanation than having lips, ears or eyelids. It is not having intact genital organs, but taking a knife and forcibly altering them in healthy, non-consenting minors that demands an explanation.
What are the arguments for taking a healthy, non-consenting child and forcibly cutting off a normal, healthy part of his body? Are they logically sound? Or are they phallacious?
I close with my mission statement. This my position, and the argument that I put forward.
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.
The foreskin is not "extra skin." The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, with which all boys are born; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.
Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individual is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.