Friday, October 31, 2014
A landmark achievement that intactivists grope for is legislation that would give male minors equal protection under the law. That is, that forced male genital mutilation, particularly the circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, be banned and made illegal. As of 1996, a federal ban on female genital mutilation prohibits any and every genital cut performed on girls for any reason, and there is no exempt for religions or cultures where female circumcision is considered an important tradition.
I've already mentioned it in past blog posts, but the way things stand now, I think this country has a long way to go before it acknowledges that male minors ought to be given the same protection as female minors. It was easy to enact legislation that bans female circumcision because it is not a custom in this country for girls to be circumcised. It's always easy to ban something that people already consider barbaric. Much groundwork has to be laid before this country is ready to ban the forced genital mutilation of male minors. It's not going to happen overnight. "Baby steps," as some put it.
Recently I was giving the issue of legality some thought, and I got to thinking about a hypothetical situation; what if, instead of a ban, circumcision were allowed to legally continue, but we somehow made it so that men that grow up to resent the fact that they were circumcised could take their circumcisers to court?
That's right. Doctors could keep right on circumcising, and mohels and imams could go right on circumcising, with the acknowledgment that they could one day be legally taken to court by any of the boys they circumcise?
It is often said that most, if not all circumcised men, are happy and content with their lot, but I wonder, how much of this is true? How many would seek legal redress if they possibly could? How many circumcisers would stop if they knew they could face legal consequences one day?
This is a big part of the problem; doctors and religious circumcisers don't have to face any consequences for their actions. If any of the boys they circumcised grow up to resent having been so, they could sleep at night knowing that short of huffing and puffing and gnashing their teeth, there is nothing they can do.
Well, what if instead of a direct ban, intactivists worked to make it possible for angry men to take their circumisers to court? Lift statutes of limitation? Make it legally required for each circumcision to be documented with the name of the circumciser and child, so that that person has legal access to this information as an adult, in case there is something he'd like to do about it?
The law could start requiring doctors to keep a record of an illness or medical condition that necessitates surgery, what methods of treatment were tried over time before circumcision was considered as a last resort, to ensure that only doctors who performed medically necessary procedures have a legit defense. (A legit medical reason is usually required for any other medical surgery performed on a non-consenting minor!!!) This would ensure that only medically necessary circumcisions were being performed.
A ban is a long way off. I think intactivists ought to start considering smaller victories that could achieve the end result they want, which is to stop the forced genital mutilation of healthy, non-consenting minors.