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Are women responsible for unnecessary, non-religious circumcision of male infants in America?

Posted Dec 29 2009 12:00am 2 Comments
I found this article (via HealthMad) by way of Jim over at No Circumcision, and sadly I agree with it...

Are women responsible for unnecessary, non-religious circumcision of male infants in America?

I didn’t know how the majority of women in America (mothers, wifes, girlfriends) view the foreskin and male circumcision until I happened to come across a heated discussion about whether infant male circumcision was child abuse in one of the message boards I frequent. It was an eye opener to me because I didn’t know American women think the way they do about the foreskin. I will come to the specific opinions these women had later in this article. First, I’d like to touch upon circumcision of male infants.

Circumcision of male infants happens mostly for religious reasons around the world, but in America, you have parents choosing to have their male child circumcised for non-religious reasons, specifically “hygienic” reasons. Now, the “hygiene” theory is highly suspect and I don’t know of any medical association that says that you need to circumcise male children due to “hygienic” reasons. In fact, routine male circumcision is not recommended by doctors in general. Also, do the propagators of the “hygienic” theory mean to say that most of the men around the world are unhygienic?

Most European men don’t get circumcised and by far the majority of men around the world aren’t – does that make them “dirty?” If an uncircumcised penis was so susceptible to infections, then all these men would be queuing up to get circumcised, but they aren’t. They are living just as normal as anyone else. Also, animals don’t get circumcised and they don’t seem to have any problems with infection.

It does make one wonder as to how the “hygienic” argument came about in the first place. Some believe that Dr. John Kellogg (of the cereal fame) was responsible for propagating this idea of “hygiene.” Apparently, this man advocated circumcising young boys to check/curb masturbation. This is what he said about the subject – to quote him.

“A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.”

Its plausible that Dr. Kellog and his peers propagated this Victorian idea of hygiene to justify routine male circumcision. It probably caught on and came to be viewed as a must-doThere are risks to circumcision that most parents aren’t aware of or choose to dismiss, but they need to be considered. Some of the risks are.

1. Risk of fatal infections/uncontrollable bleeding.

2. Unintended snipping of the glans or part of the glans during the procedure.

3. Risk of burn and scarring during electrocautery.

These are just some of the risk factors circumcision entails.

Most supporters of male circumcision put forward the idea that the foreskin is a useless piece of skin. Well, its far from useless. It has many uses. I’d list some of them here.

1. Protects the delicate glans (soft tip of the penis) from injury and keeps the glans moist and sensitive. Its function is similar to that of an eyelid in its protective nature.

2. The foreskin is as sensitive as the tips of your fingers or the lips of your mouth. It contains over 3 feet of arteries, veins and capillaries and thousands of nerve endings (above 10,000).

3. Facilitates smooth and gentle motion between the mucosal surfaces of partners during sexual intercourse.

4. Prevents the desensitization of the glans due to constant exposure of the glans to clothing and other material.

Most parents in America don’t seem to understand the uses of the foreskin and that men can live normally with the foreskin intact. By circumcising their male children, they are taking away the right to decide on this irreversible procedure. Its also curious that while there is so much outrage towards female circumcision – the same outrage is absent when it comes to male circumcision. The reason given ostensibly is that female circumcision affects the pleasure factor significantly, whereas in men that isn’t the case. Well, chopping away the most sensitive part of the penis with all of its veins, arteries and capillaries and erogenic functions takes away from pleasure for men as well. So – shouldn’t people feel just as outraged? The reason they don’t is because they’ve been conditioned to accept male circumcision as opposed to female circumcision.

Talking about women, I think they are one of the main reasons why infant males continue getting circumcised in modern America. These American women (who are mothers, wives, girlfriends, etc) have drilled it into themselves that the foreskin is “ugly,” “dirty,” “disgusting,” etc. Here are some messages from the message board I mentioned earlier in the article. It was an eye opener to me. I am quoting them verbatim.

“It’s only a teeny weeny piece of skin, for heaven’s sake, get real!”

“An uncircumcised penis reminds me of a dog penis.”

“don’t forget the smegma smell – guess that’s why the French stink.”

“but they look GROSSSSS EWWW – i would never saddle my child with it.”

“the stigma of being an uncircumcized male!!!! I have only been with 1 man that was not and boy howdy does that thing look scary. Needless to say it didn’t last!!!!”

“he may not be so thankful to you once he starts dating…” (in response to a woman who chose not to circumcise her kid)

“My husband was not circumcised and says he was teased b/c of it in gym class and was adamant about our boys being circ’ed.”

“It is a little piece of skin”

“with the foreskin ON, they stink even more”

“men don’t want an ugly uncircumsized penis, so get over it and do your boy a favor. Not to mention all the health reasons. Sheesh!”

These are the enlightened American women who make the decisions for their male infants. For them, its just a “piece of skin” and its no big deal. Well, it is a big deal for some men. They wouldn’t be so matter-of-fact and callous if the topic was female circumcision, but they are just so dismissive of male circumcision. Not a surprise that – is it? I think its high time these women read up on male circumcision and the facts about male circumcision. Instead of treating the foreskin as an “ugly piece of skin” and wanting to do circumcision for cosmetic or hygienic reasons – perhaps they should educate themselves a little better. Isn’t it surprising that most Americans have been brainwashed so thoroughly into believing that the foreskin is “ugly,” “abnormal,” “unnecessary,” etc.
Comments (2)
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Absolutely on the money there. It is very similar to how girls are circumcised in Africa though - there is pressure from men, who can have a marriage anulled if a woman is not circumcised, but it's the women who do the cutting as they see it as cleaner, it was done to them and it's no big deal.

In the USA it's the other way around - all but a few brave and enlightened fathers feel their sons must be circumcised, because they can't accept that their penises are not normal, that they are somehow lacking. Women reinforce this with judgement, ridicule and ignorant statements.

For male genital cutting to end in the USA, mothers must take a stand and protect their babies. They shouldn't care what their sons' penises look like in a sexual context - there is something disconcerting about that. Fathers in the USA need to man up, and be big enough to accept that their sons might have a bit more penis than they have - so what?

Woman blaming, particularly mother-blaming are one of the most prominent psychopathologies produced by circumcision. This pathology occurs in every culture where circumcision is practiced.

In certain middle eastern cultures, men seize a child age 2 - 6 from safety in a shawl on his mother's back, bring him to a barber shop (barbers are always male), all his male relatives and their male friends and the male barber's assistant pin him to a table holding his legs, arms, with one man draped across his torso and then the barber cuts him, no explanation, no anaesthetic, obviously no consent, everybody ululates (screams) to drown out this cries of terror and agony and then throw him back on his mother's perspiring back for her to deal with his trauma and post-traumatic condition. Many men dis cuss this in later years and what to they say - the worst pain was caused by the perspiration on their mother's back. They also blame their mothers for "bringing them to be circumcised" when she probably never knew a set of male mutilators were planning to harm him.

Circumcision is a barbaric, bronze age sacrificial blood ritual, designed to mutilate, mark as slave, to intimidate and reduce virility, courage, spirit, sexual capacity, and render males damaged in this way more maleable and able to be dominated.

It is a patriarchal practice against which women may resist only at peril of life and limb, which many have done, to no avail. Her little son is ripped away from her, mutilated and she is beaten and sometimes killed for trying to protect him.


I have been an intactivist for over 50 years and it rots my socks the way men blame their mothers for their circumcisions. It is cowardly and stupid, keeps them from dealing with the true perpetrators of this highly institutionalized criminal act, which takes a lot more courage imagination and initiative to deal with. But that's the intent of circumcision, to cow men so they will not seek and deal with the true and actual villain. 

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