Today I’d like to do a quick shout out for the practice of male genital mutilation, or, as it is more commonly known under its tidy little euphemism, circumcision.
I get that the practice is nowhere near as brutal or heinous as the female version, but let’s be clear: it is intensely painful genital mutilation. (mutilate verb inflict a violent and disfiguring injury on) Why is this practice normative in North America?
Within Judaism, they have their religious reasons. It is normal now to give people practicing the religion a free pass on not just this archaic and brutal practice, but also anything else they do, up to and including war crimes and violations of international law. So let’s just leave that alone.
But all the non-Jewish folk still having the ends of their babies penises cut off with scalpels? As far as I can tell, it’s just because women enjoy the aesthetic.
I can almost hear the eyes rolling here. “Oh, sure. Circumcision is genital mutilation? Oh right, it is.”
Okay. I challenge anyone thinking that way to go and watch a video of the procedure. Go, watch. Then come and tell me it’s nothing.
I say again: WTF, people?
It strikes me as one hell of a cultural blind spot. But condemning far off cultures for something that you essentially do yourselves is a pretty normal human behavior. Because normal humans suck.
Just as an exercise, try pulling that sterile, blind spot inducing euphemism “circumcision” out of the normal conversations you hear about it, and substitute the more accurate terminology.
“Oh! You’re having a boy! That’s wonderful! Are you going to mutilate his genitals?”
“Well, of course we are. It just looks nicer, doesn’t it? And this way he’ll look like his daddy. We think cutting a piece off the most sensitive part of his sex organ with a scalpel when he’s a newborn and still hypersensitive to pain and stimulation is really the best thing for him. Because we’re fucking nuts and value conformity more than the well-being of our child.”