Friends and countrymen, we again discuss male genital cutting.
Frequently, as I peruse the internet, I see this framed as a discussion of whether circumcision hurts or harms the penis, and how. On the surface, the pro-circumcision crowd reacts in anger and defensively works to justify his own surgical modification.
For all men who are circumcised, who love their penises, and wouldn’t want it any other way: no one should be trying to change your mind regarding your own penis, and I apologize if you got the impression that anyone was. What is most important for a man is that he be happy with his penis. And based on what I’ve read, the vast majority of men who have undergone the surgery are pleased with the results. So live it up, friends who are happy with their circumcisions.
My main issue with circumcision is that in the US, almost no men choose for themselves how their penises will be. Although the circumcision debate revolves around benefits, risks, harms, injuries, and the surgery, the question that most people face regarding circumcision is not “Should I be circumcised?”
Instead, we get, “Should he be circumcised?”
Anyone who wants a circumcision should be able to get one, and I fully support men’s rights to circumcise themselves. But most men (again, in the US) do not have the option, and the first time most men get to weigh in on circumcision is in deciding whether or not to have the procedure performed on a newborn child. We are alone, by the way, in doing this: nowhere else in the world is the foreskin removed at birth out of mere routine.
If the topic at hand were not circumcision, but tattooing at birth, a far less risky procedure, most people would understand that the procedure is not necessary, and the child should therefore be left alone until he or she can decide for him/herself. Similarly, there are no benefits so great as to justify cutting healthy, sexually sensitive tissue off of a boy without consulting the boy first. This is more important that how much his father is pleased with his own circumcision; it’s more important than whatever preferences the mother may express. It is a fundamental right of all children to keep their bodies intact unless a medical emergency demands otherwise.