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IEET > Location > Africa > Rights > PostGender > Life > Health > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Staff > Contributors > Hank Pellissier

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Liberating Egypt from Female Genital Mutilation


Hank Pellissier
By Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Feb 25, 2011

“That woman in Cairo,” I wonder as I stare at the dramatic photo in Washington Post, “the one with the Egyptian flag and the black headscarf… does she have a clitoris?”

Cairo women

Perhaps my question is intrusive and impolite. Perhaps discussing clitorises is a more taboo topic than if I, for example, announced that I don’t have a foreskin, or that I do have a hemorrhoid.

I don’t know. What I do believe (mutating stanzas from 1963’s Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss) is this:

What’s the point of the Egyptian Revolution
If it doesn’t stop female genital mutilation?
If girls are chopped bloody, sexually-deducted,
Was the 18-day struggle at all productive?
Egypt gave itself a Mubarak-tomy
Now its time to end clitoridectomy
Let us condemn
F-G-M

Is female genital mutilation (FGM) a transhumanist issue? Yes. “Enhancement” is championed by technoprogressives as a basic human right; this suggests that the opposite “reductions” like FGM deserve condemnation as a violation of the same entitlement. The H+ desire to be “more than human” should be linked to a protest against non-consensual amputation. The Transhumanist Declaration also strives for the “alleviation of grave suffering.”

Do I believe male circumcision of infants is also a non-consensual “reduction” that transhumanists should oppose? Yes, I do. In San Francisco, where I live, there’s a proposal circulating that would ban the unnecessary, sensory-reducing procedure. The measure intends to make it “unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years.” The law, if passed, would punish the new crime with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and it’s getting my vote.

However, female genital mutilation is not circumcision—it’s a far more dangerous and debilitating attack on the flesh. Abolishing FGM unfortunately was not an agenda item that any Egyptian revolutionary spokesperson mentioned, and it was generally ignored as a subject of discussion by international media until CBS reporter Lara Logan was assaulted in Tahrir Square on February 11 by a mob of up to 200 men.

The Sunday Times reported that “sensitive parts of her body were covered with red marks… from aggressive pinching.” She was also “stripped, punched and slapped.” Suddenly, misogynist horror in the land of the Pharaohs was in the spotlight, and why not? The attack on Logan, who was rescued by Egyptian women and policemen after 20 to 30 minutes of abuse, serves as a potent reminder that even with Mubarak gone, it’s often a nasty men’s world in the Nile nation.

“Rampant sexual harassment, public fondling and groping of women… is used as a way to keep women indoors,” writes Asra Nomani in the Huffington Post. A 2008 survey by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights says 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign visiting females experience sexual harassment, and the Arab Human Development Report (2009) claims 35% of all Egyptian women have been physically attacked, a figure they suggest is grossly under-reported. The 2010 Global Gender Gap Index, a Swiss study that rates progress towards women’s equality, places Egypt in the international cellar: #125 out of 134 nations surveyed. Egypt’s rank is abysmal because it excludes women from good jobs, especially managerial positions, and only 2% of parliament is female.

Abuse of Egyptian females often occurs early in life, with female genital mutilation. Although it was banned in 2007 by the Ministry of Health following the death of 12-year-old Badour Shaker—who overdosed on anesthesia in an illegal clinic—its prevalence has only dropped from 97% to 91% in recent years, according to Nfissatou Diop, program coordinator of a joint project by UNICEF and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund).

The Grand Mufti of Egypt has said FGM is “prohibited,” the Al-Aabar Supreme Council of Islamic Research says it shouldn’t be practiced because it has no basis in Islamic law, and even the former first lady—Suzanne Mubarak—denounced it as “a flagrant example of continued physical and psychological violence.”

So…why does this barbarity persist?

FGM

UNICEF claims that FGM’s primary raison d’etre is to “reduce the sexual desire of a female…[to] maintain a girl’s virginity prior to marriage and her fidelity thereafter.” Traditions insist that FGM makes girls “clean,” “beautiful,” and “pure,” because it removes the “ugly” and “dirty” genitalia. Superstitious propaganda also contends that men become impotent or sick if their penis contacts a clitoris, that a mother’s milk will be poisonous if she’s uncut, that her face will turn yellow and she’ll get vaginal cancer without FGM, and (perhaps most frighteningly) she’ll masturbate excessively or become a lesbian.

My sociological opinion is that FGM’s intent is to terrorize young females into lifelong submission to male authority.

Archeologists believe FGM’s origins probably lie in the pyramids’ shadows. Unraveled mummies were found with FGM, and a Greek papyrus from 163 B.C. notes that Egyptian girls were given the operation when they received their dowries.

Today, an estimated two million girls per year are excised. Here’s a list of high percentage nations, tabulated by Rosemarie Skaine in her book, Female Genital Mutilation: Legal, Cultural, and Medical Issues—Burkina Faso (71.6%), Chad (60%), Cote d’Ivoire (44.5%), Djibouti (90-98%), Eritrea (90%), Ethiopia (69.7-94.5%), Gambia (80-90%), Ghana (40%), Guinea (98.6%), Liberia (60%), Mali (92%), Mauritania (71%), Sierra Leone (90%), Somalia (95%), Sudan (91%), Togo (50%), Iraqi Kurdistan (72.7%), and Egypt (78-97%).

Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi—who had her clitoris excised when she was six—became a doctor who regularly observed the “terrible physical damage female genital mutilation could cause.” In 1972, when she was director general in the Egyptian Ministry of Health, she wrote a book, Women and Sex, that criticized FGM. She subsequently lost her job.

InfidelAyaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali/Dutch/American writer, is probably the most famous chronicler of her own genital mutilation experience. In her biography, Infidel, she describes her cutting, followed by infibulation:

Women held my legs apart. The man… picked up a pair of scissors… The scissors went down between my legs and the man snipped off my inner labia and clitoris, like a butcher snipping the fat off a piece of meat. A piercing pain shot up between my legs, indescribable, and I howled. Then came the sewing: the long, blunt needle clumsily pushing into my outer labia, my long and anguished protests…”

Many girls die during or after their excision, from infections. Other complications cause enormous, more or less lifelong pain… My once cheerful, playful little sister [Hawaya] changed… never the same afterwards. She became ill with a fever for several weeks… horrible nightmares… she just stared vacantly at nothing for hours…

Later, her sister dies young, after years of psychosis.

Hearing this stuff drives me, personally, crazy with rage and bewilderment. How can anyone who claims to love their children simultaneously subject their innocents to such ghastly abuse? To care for one’s children is to keep them from harm, not dissect their young bodies with filthy tools.

The civilized outcry against FGM is not 100% universal, due to “cultural relativism” infecting some circles of feminism. The Village Voice reports that in 2006, Patricia Clough, director of the Center for the Study of Women at CUNY, “declined to call female genital mutilation wrong.” Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf of Brown University has also defined FGM as “a site of identity formation.”

But generally, condemnation of FGM in the Western world is substantial, led by many European women’s groups, such as GAMS FRANCE, GAMS BELGIUM, END FGM, FGM- HILFE (Austria), Female Integrity (Sweden), FSAN (The Netherlands), FORWARD (UK), and others.

If FGM persists in Egypt after democracy (we hope) is installed, it will be an embarrassment in the pages of their progress. Ignoring FGM at this time would resemble the shame American people of conscience feel when they regard the year 1870, when black men were given the vote via the 15th Amendment, but women of all colors were denied—for another 50 years (the 19th Amendment).

Egyptian feminist Nawla Darwiche has stated that “all the men were very respectful during the revolution… sexual harassment didn’t occur during the revolt.” Let’s hope, and insist, that this cessation of abuse becomes a permanent feature in the new, ancient nation. The words “Egyptian Revolution” have a glorious sound, but not if we simultaneously hear the screams of girls.


Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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COMMENTS


I find it ironic, Hank, that you should write about FGM in Egypt when it was still being practiced in the USA until quite recently.  It was only outlawed in 1996.  Heck, Hank, you could look at ME - WASP female born in Kansas - and wonder “Does she have a clitoris?” and the answer would be NO.  No clitoris and no labia… inner OR outer.  And I’ve met others… It’s all in my book.

Clitoridectomy was covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield until 1977.  It was big business in the USA.  And we still do the same to baby boys. 

I love your line, “How can anyone who claims to love their children simultaneously subject their innocents to such ghastly abuse? To care for one’s children is to keep them from harm, not dissect their young bodies…”  And I wholeheartedly agree -  even if the tools of destruction are gleaming, clean medical scalpels. 

Is it not hypocrisy of Americans to call other cultures primitive while our own is still cutting baby boys - against their will, reducing their sexual pleasure by tens of thousands of nerves - reducing their future female partners’ sexual pleasure in that reduction as well… creating a manmade incompatibility between the sexes due to ruining nature’s perfect plan?

I urge us to look in the mirror and clean our own noses before we go preaching to people abroad.  How audacious and cruel of us all - Muslims, Americans, israelis.  When will we grow up and get honest?  Cruelty is SO last millennium.





No body has told me why muslim mutilate clitoris of girl child. Are they ordered by their allha (or Prophet Mohammad) to mutilate the clitoris of their girl child ? or it is to torture their female counterpart.

If it was to reduce the sexual desire of females then why the Muslim population in the world is increasing by more than double than people of any other religion.





thanks for your comments, Patricia.  I didn’t know the information that you provided—Blue Cross covered it?!  Yikes!  And of course, male circumcision remains “big business” as well.
I do mention in my article that there is a proposition coming up in San Francisco that would ban male circumcision, and I believe it is conscientious to vote for it because subjecting minors to needless surgery is unethical.
Thanks again,  My only disagreement with your comments is that I don’t want anyone’s fear of being called “a hypocrite” to keep them from trying to protect girls internationally.  There are many people working now to end FGM, and I don’t think they should quit their work and try to solve their own nation’s injustices—they are doing good work in North Africa that deserves commendation.





“If it was to reduce the sexual desire of females then why the Muslim population in the world is increasing by more than double than people of any other religion?’

Though desire might not be present, fundamentalists & semi-fundamentalists will reproduce to carry on their gene pools and their faiths. Not to forget their portfolios.





Indra, from what I understand: 

1) there is no ‘circumcision covenant’ in the original history of the Jewish people - “The Book of J” - and

2) there is no mention of circumcision in the Qu’ran. 

My conclusion is that circumcision is not a divine requirement but a political manipulation, to obtain a pledge of allegiance from their parents - and to teach children to fear authority. 

—-

Thanks, Hank, for responding.  I enjoyed and appreciate your article.  I too was shocked to discover FGM happened in the USA - especially to learn about my own condition - I had thought that if anyone was normal, surely it was me - haha - I had NO idea FGM had happened here.  A vast majority of the people in the US are shocked as well, as they learn about it now.

And yes, I am sincerely grateful to any and all people who work to end the cutting of children’s healthy genitals.  I wish my mother had not made that decision for me.  I would never have chosen it for myself.  And yet since I encounter some very active FGM workers who still insist on their ‘right’ to circumcise their boys, I hoped to point out that ALL children deserve protection from unnecessary genital cutting… regardless of religion.  I can’t help but think that the world would be a far happier, healthier, more peaceful place if genital cutting was to end in this very moment.  I personally don’t believe it is a ‘coincidence’ that the ONLY three cultures that circumcise their young are at war in the Middle East.  I think we have three cultures who are in a state of unresolved fear and fury.  Much healing is needed.

Circumcision is quite a trauma for anyone - it would be considered assault and battery if it were done to an adult.  And PTSD is an inevitable result of being overpowered and hurt - even if the child passes out or dissociates.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s description of her sister. correlates with my memories of my emotional condition after my circumcision: 

“My once cheerful, playful little sister [Hawaya] changed… never the same afterwards. She became ill with a fever for several weeks… horrible nightmares… she just stared vacantly at nothing for hours…” 

We cannot believe we were betrayed by those who were supposed to love and protect us.  Three things I have noticed about circumcised men and women:

1) they often have had suicidal ideation - even as very young children (men commit suicide 4x as often as women),

2) they suffered from nightmares, night terrors, and

3) they have lifelong difficulty trusting people. 

Yet, these things can be reversed.  I am a hypnotherapist and when my clients release fear and trauma from the past, their symptoms evaporate - no more nightmares, no more suicidal ideation, no more depression, anxiety, inappropriate angry behaviors.  I believe PTSD and much mental dis-ease begins with this early experience.  Fortunately, I was deeply involved in healing others before I discovered my loss, so I was able to quickly go to work to release my own stored fear. 

Also, I’d like to add that an extremely empowering thing for men is do is to take charge of their physical loss by restoring their foreskins.  Much of what was lost is restored… and sex improves for both them and their partners.





You can find a list of reasons advanced for female genital cutting at http://www.circumstitions.com/FGC-stitions.html The ones about reducing sexual pleasure are always expressed positively, “to stabilize her libido” and so on.

They’re just as varied (and crazy) as for cutting boys. (http://www.circumstitions.com/Stitions.html). And female genital cutting need not involve clitoridectomy, in fact a device invented by a US surgeon in 1959 included a shield to protect the clitoris: http://www.circumstitions.com/methods.html#rathman .

“If it was to reduce the sexual desire of females then why the Muslim population in the world is increasing by more than double than people of any other religion.” A woman does not have to enjoy sex to get pregnant. (And a man need not enjoy it fully, only enough to want to do it.)





I have additional info to provide here:

Commenter Patricia Robinett has written a book on the topic, it’s called:
“The Rape of Innocence:
Female Genital Mutilation & Circumcision in the USA”
the link is: http://rapeofinnocence.com/

The San Francisco proposal to end Male Circumcision link is here:
http://www.facebook.com/mgmbill.org
the leader of that organization - Lloyd Schofield - has informed me
that there is still FGM in the USA.  What he said specifically is,
“Dr. Poppas in NYC has a thriving clitoral reduction practice for preadolescence girls.” —there’s more info at his website about that

I think San Francisco is the third area to come up with a anti-circ proposal.  I believe, but I’m not 100% sure - that there were previous proposals in Massachusetts, and Denmark.  Neither one got very far.

I wrote an article for Salon.com where I interviewed numerous women to find out if they preferred sex with circumcised or uncircumcised men.  You can read it here - “Sexy Penises”
http://dir.salon.com/sex/feature/2000/09/11/circumcision/index.html

and lastly, Patricia mentioned Foreskin Restoration—there is a website about that here:
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-foreskin-renaissance/3/





Yes, fact is that circumcision does not reduce the ‘urge’ for sex.  Nature demands that species reproduce; hormones rage regardless of circumcision status.  What circumcision reduces is the level of satisfaction.  Genital surgery turns what is meant to be heavenly into a hellish tug of war between the sexes.

Sex is designed to be a mutually ecstatic, full-body, orgasmic experience - for both parties.  Nature intends to bond couples together sexually through pleasure, appreciation and gratitude.  But human tinkering interferes with the natural bonding process.  The desire rhythm of male and female bodies are out of synch when one or both are cut; similar when both have natural bodies.  He wants more; she wants less; many men and women both feel unloved, unseen, unheard, dissatisfied, used.  Anger arises.  Fights erupt.  Divorce happens.

Some men report they have their first full-body orgasm only after they have restored their foreskins.  They find they are so satiated that their natural rhythm grows more in synch with hers and she no longer feels pressured by his unnatural demand.  They are both satisfied.  Both enjoy but are not obsessed due to those pesky hormones.  Harmony at last.





We don’t want to put down Islamic Fundamentalists too much; Christian fundamentalists in America aren’t exactly civil libertarians, but they can’t gain power because our complicated laws discourage totalists.
Mosques in this country are more guest-friendly than churches, I went to mosque for a class project, and the Muezzin said, “you can watch us or participate in prayers. Whatever you wish.”
He also mentioned 72 virgins in Paradise is a mistranslation: it is in reality 72 fruits—or so he said.





This is an excellent essay. Thank you for it.

A Somali Bantu friend once referred to this as “Pharoh’s circumcision”. This is an issue for us here in the states because we have refugee and other immigrants who may wish to continue the practice here, though not openly.
And, I’d like to echo a part of what Patricia said about looking in our own house. Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote an OP-ED piece about Loganon 2/24. He quotes the Rape, Abuse & Incest Network as saying “one in every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.” Violence is a world-wide issue.





I am a 30 year old British born nurse. I met and married an Egyptian doctor
several
years ago, lived in Egypt for several years and converted to Islam and underwent
female circumcision. I have no regrets.
Firstly I want to dispel any myths about what it is. It is NOT infibulation -
that’s
something which occurs only in Sub-Saharan Africa and is strictly forbidden by
Islam.
Where female circumcision is practiced (and that is in Muslim countries from
North
Africa, through the Middle East to the Far East) female circumcision can be
described as
either of two forms - partial circumcision, where part or all of the clitoris and
inner
labia are removed or full circumcision where the labia majora are also removed.
The only
stitches put in are to surture the cuts made during the circumcision - and
definitely
NOT for the purpose of narrowing the vaginal opening.
Secondly, under Islam, all operations (including circumcisions!) must be carried
out under
medical conditions by qualified personel and using an anaesthetic where
appropriate.
There is no more reason for somebody in Egypt to go to a “back-street”
circumciser
than somebody in the West has cause to go to a “back-street” abortionist.
Neither is there anything barbaric about female circumcision. The authorities in
the
West know perfectly well that STRICTLY SPEAKING IN MEDICAL TERMS, partial female
circumcision is a more minor procedure than male circumcision. Where the cuts are
made,
there are fewer nerves or blood vessels cut than in male circumcision.
Complications
are almost non-existent. Even in the case of full circumcision complications are
hardly
greater than in male circumcision. This information is widely known in countries
that
practice female circumcision, but it is deliberately supressed by the West -
whether
you want to call it cultural imperialism, political correctness or just plain old
bigotry against those of different beliefs or religion is up to you.
Thirdly, the reasons for female circumcision are also deliberately misrepresented
by the
West. Female circumcision IS permitted under Islam and since the West has banned
it,
this is an attack on our religion. In the past female circumcision was considered
optional, but many (both ordinary people and religious scholars) now think that
it
should be mandatory because of the West’s anti-Islamic predjudice.
The West also deliberately supresses the medical information relating to the
benefits of
female circumcision. Particularly in the case of Egypt where due to Western
pressure its
practice was banned for many years - but then permitted again some years ago -
substantial
comparative data has been gathered. [While female circumcision was banned it
nevertheless
continued to be practiced, although admittedly under less than perfect conditions
-
and this was one of the reasons why the Egyptian government lifted the ban].
Within a few years of the ban being lifted, female circumcison rates shot up from
90% in
the countryside and 50% in the cities to 97% throughout the country. It could be
clearly
seen from the data that, in the case of full female circumcision, genito-urinary
tract
infections were reduced to about 10% of their level in previously uncircumcised
women. Even
when only partial circumcisions were performed, there was still some preventative
benefit.
Also, and very importantly, births amongst circumcised women were found to be
easier. This
is exactly the opposite of what the Western “Feminist” and “Human Rights” groups
would have
you believe. With external genital tissue already removed, there was far less
need for
episiotomies. Caesarain births were reduced. Labour is generally shorter and
easier in
circumcised women and healing of the birth canal and the surrounding region much
easier.
Fourthly, another of the great myths put about by Western anti-female
circumcision groups
is that it stops a woman from enjoying sex. Nothing could be further from the
truth.
Female circumcision does remove unwanted and unintentional arousal, there is no
doubt about
that, but until you have undergone female circumcision you can’t be aware of just
how
much involuntary (and completely unneeded) arousal occurs because of previously
unnoticed
rubbing or pressure on your genitals. Many women in Egypt who have been initially
partially
circumcised have opted for full circumcision because in day-to-day life it brings
about
a very profound feeling of contentment, calmness and satisfaction. You are
completely
freed from sexual thoughts, you can have no idea how liberating that feels. It is
like
removing an itch that you cannot scratch. There is no feeling of loss -
specifically
because the very thing that caused you to desire sex all the time has been
removed. Do not
believe the myth that sexual arousal is all in the mind.
So if arousal is removed, doesn’t that mean sex is less enjoyable? It is exactly
the
opposite! Intercourse is far more pleasurable because the whole of the sexual act
is
made spiritual in nature and focuses entirely on intercourse with your husband.
Do
circumcised women still enjoy orgasms? OF COURSE THEY DO! With no external
genital
tissue in the way, penetration is deeper and more satisfying and with all
sensation
coming only from penetration, the resulting vaginal orgasim is deeply intense in
a
way that an uncircumcised woman could not understand.
Fifthly, there is also a great deal of hypocrisy from the West, particularly in
regard to plastic surgery. How can it be OK for Western women to have breast
surgery,
nose jobs or (dangerous) lipo-suction - all in the name of aesthetics, but it’s
not
OK for a Muslim woman to change her body?
Sixth, it is well known in countries as far afield as Indonesia and Malasyia to
Egypt,
that girls who have been circumcised do better in school and university. How can
it be
that the West claims to champion women’s rights but tries to deny Muslim girls
the right
to a better education, something that is closely correlated with the practice of
female circumcision in Muslim countries?
And finally what of the myth that female circumcision is dying out. Well the West
can
stick its head in the sand if it likes. It certianly suits us. Of course, if the
various “feminist”, “human rights” and anti-female circumcision groups in the
West
were forced to confront the actual figures, then it might help expose the rest of
their
lies about female circumcision to their deceived populations.
Even the Western estimates acknowledge that as many as 200 million Muslim women
have been
circumcised world wide. They know that the number is growing both as the Muslim
population grows and as access to better medical facilities allows it to be
carried out
by a greater proportion of the Muslim population. In some countries like Egypt,
Malasia and Indonesia female circumcision is almost 100%. [Just think, if any of
you
go on holiday to Egypt all the women you pass (including any female doctors
and nurses) have undergone either partial or full female circumcision. How is it
that
they can be happy with their lifes and seek to continue the practice in what is
obviously an open, friendly and civilised country if they weren’t happy with
being circumcised?] Its practice is now also spreading to other Muslims from
countries
like Pakistan, Northern India and Bangladesh - often it is now being found
amongst
Muslims who have settled in the West. I ask you this question, if a religious
practice
of yours was banned, do you think you would be more or less likely to continue
with
its practice?
It is only because of Muslims natural reluctance to talk openly about sex and
because
of the deliberate suppression of information from Muslim countries - including
interviews
with medical staff and Muslim women and who have been circumcised who argue
strongly for
it to continue - that there has been no open debate about the nature and benefits
of
female circumcision. The West claims to champion freedom of speech, freedom of
conscience and a rational approach to life and yet when it comes to female
circumcision

      sabeena777@yahoo.com





Hi Sabeena—thank you for sharing so completely your experience and your opinions regarding female circumcision.  I appreciate hearing the opposition viewpoint and it would not be a truly open discussion if women like you were not heard from.  I sincerely thank you for that.

There are several points that I would like to contend with you, but I’d like to start with just two:

1.  You made your choice when you were an adult.  That is fine with me.  But do you really think it is humane to give young girls FGM. or is it a violation of their human rights?  I believe they should be allowed to make the decision for themselves.  I believe the same policy - letting the individual decide - should apply to male circumcision.

2.  Your opinion - that childbirth is easier if you have been ‘cut’ - seems to contradict other information that I’ve read.  I am unclear how acquiring scar tissue there would make pregnancy easier.  However, I am not a medical professional so this topic is out of my range.  I will try to find some specialists who can debate with you on that topic.

thanks again!





Why Egyptian women support female circumcision

Cairo - Twenty-two years ago, Fatma, a 34-year-old domestic servant living in Cairo, had her clitoris cut out according to a centuries-old custom. Seven years ago, she had the same operation performed on her daughter, Shaima, who was then 12. Now she is outraged to learn that the Egyptian government has banned the practice - and wonders how she will be able to have the same operation performed on her eight-year-old daughter Basma.


“How can they stop something that our ancestors have been practising for ages? Our mothers and grandmothers earned their respect and preserved their honour by undergoing tahara!” Fatma exclaimed.


The word “tahara” literally means “cleanliness,” but is used to refer to circumcision in colloquial Egyptian.


And without the operation, Fatma fears that she may not find a man willing to marry Basma.


“This is our tradition and the custom of our village. Every girl has to have it,” she says, echoing the view of millions of Egyptians who have their daughters undergo the clitoris-removing surgery, usually between the ages of 7 and 12.


A survey conducted by Egypt’s Ministry of Health as recently as 2005 found that 96 per cent of all women interviewed have had the procedure.


They all believe that the removal of the clitoris helps prevent promiscuous behaviour in girls.


“The government is not abiding by the tenets of Islam,” Fatma concludes.


Like millions of Egyptians, she is repeating without question the traditionalists’ argument which ascribes to religious belief cultural traditions that are tolerated, but not mandated, by the Muslim faith.


Among the traditionalists was Sheikh Gad al-Haq, Egypt’s grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, the country’s highest religious authority, in the 1980s. He endorsed female circumcision, thus undermining a government campaign to ban it.





Female circumcision is not required in Islam, it is a cultural practice which many non-Muslims in those countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia also adhere to.  It is not a practice seen in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, etc. among Muslims. 

As a licensed midwife I find your ridiculous statement regarding female genital reduction surgery to improve childbirth and reduce cesarean section rates to be laughable at best. 

Sabeena I don’t know why you choose to write your outlandish statements here but they defy all medical knowledge of human anatomy.

Lastly, let’s call it what it is, it is Genital Reduction Surgery whether inflicted on boys or girls.  Genital cutting of children is WRONG.





I am now thinking that “sabeena” and possibly also “muslim sister” are not really the individual women they claim to be.  I have heard that “sabeena” has been posting near-identical posts since 2005.  sabeena’s text is also so long and so formal, that I think it was probably created by some type of pro-FGM, or pro-Islamic organization, to spam out as propaganda.  “muslim sister” also reads like something off a newswire. Quite probably, both were written by men.  One never knows on the internet. If I am right, all I can say is shame on you for being deceptive liars!





hello, moderator.  sabeena and muslim sister are the same person.  it are also the same person as fatima309… may be other aliases as well. s/he sounds like someone determined to slur islam… using articles that are very old news.  people on other boards have said she attracts people and talks with them personally… may be a voyeur, they said.  ?





Oh, dear.  We have a problem here, Houston.  I wrote my story about FGM in the USA in one book, and another is called “Knowledge: The Essence of World Scriptures”.  Unfortunately for the religious argument, I am very clear on the concept of what God is and what God is not; what religion is about on a very core level and what it is not.

It is difficult, when custom and religion become intertwined, but I would urge us to try at least to differentiate between the two.  Humans have a natural urge to unite with the source from which they came - the pure life force.  The writings upon which religions are based are usually inspiring and help us to focus on our divine identity.  That was the purpose of every master who came to this planet.  However, when we add to that pure intent, the customs of the culture, then we have created a volatile mix. 

No one can argue about the very essence of Life… no one can debate it, for it is beyond what can be said or written.  When it is enjoyed by one, s/he can only bless and would never harm in any way.  When it is enjoyed by more than one, there is only peace and harmony, no harm.  And we need to keep our eye on the ball.  The jewel, the treasure, is the love that created us… and it is the same internal love all humans come equipped with, no matter what color of skin or any other external, including religion.  Finding the Love that is common to us all is what makes a heaven on earth - not religious or cultural custom.  Obviously, religious customs are what set us apart and what create division. 

I heard a Jewish woman say once, “Circumcision IS my religion!”  If that was true, then she was a phallus worshiper.  This is far from the original intent of Judaism.  Moses did not have his own son circumcised, but Moses had married a Midianite wife and his wife - obviously very afraid to break her tradition, circumcised their son. 

The so-called “circumcision covenant” was not in the original history of the Jewish people.  Circumcision was added hundreds (at least) of years after the death of Abraham.  See “The Book of J”.  Circumcision was also not recommended in the words attributed to Jesus.  In fact he says that circumcision was NOT of Moses but was of the “patriarchs” - heads of the tribes. Mohammad did not write about circumcision in the Qu’ran.  Circumcision is a social custom elevated to a “religious ritual” by some very clever editing.  Jewish scholars say that “corrupt priests” added it to the Abraham story. It undermines the very pure purpose of each of these three religions.

Circumcision was added to all three of the Abrahamic traditions, after the fact.  Elevating circumcision above the purpose of seeking and enjoying God has taken all three traditions far afield.  In this way, all are genital worshippers.  This was not the original intent.

My friend Ib remembers when he was circumcised.  He was twelve years old and a man came to the door of his family home in Bethlehem carrying a small bag with the word “circumciser” written on it.  Both Ib and his father were circumcised at that time.  My own father bought a set of encyclopedias from a traveling salesman while his wife and children were abroad for a summer.  Beware the traveling salesman.  And beware anything sold in the guise of religion.  The experience of God is free. It is what we feel when the sex is over.  Sex is a physical act but it leaves us mind-blown and in that absence of mental chattering we feel the bliss of Being that gives us a taste of the Love of God.

What happens when a commercial venture manages to become a “mandate of God”?  It becomes far more profitable. Tradition now has it that Americans circumcise their boys - but not their girls.  The medical field has taken over most Christian circumcisions in the USA.  It is a “profit center” in many OB/GYN and pediatric practices.  It is sold by public relations firms in the same way they sell other commodities.  They use words to create a “need” for what is not necessary.  They create a “desire” for things that are contrary to nature and harmful to our health and well-being.  They are not our friends. 

When God has become a business, it is demeaning to God and also demeaning to humans.  It is important to discern fact from fiction.  God is the pure Life force.  God is in harmony with nature.  God does not mandate the cutting off of healthy human flesh as a gesture of our holiness.  God made us holy, whole, and when we cut parts off, we are doing something of our own invention, nothing to do with God.  God has, unfortunately, been hijacked.  Religion has become a business.  The cutting of genitals is a business.  And because money has become the “god” of planet earth, genital cutting persists and is defended, even promoted.

The rest of the world cringes when it encounters the concept of genital mutilation.  Babies scream and cry and try to escape the knife.  Sentient beings avoid harming themselves or others.  Advocates of harm are first themselves, victims of unnatural customs, cultures and traditions.  They are not on task.  They need to stay focused on the ball - the REAL purpose behind their religion - and in that they will find a pleasure that puts any physical activity to shame.  Even sex cannot hold a candle to the real pleasure. 

And, the essay posted by Sabeena is very old and has been around the internet here and there.  It makes an appeals to make genital alteration a weapon between reigions and cultures.  I regret that it continues in any of its forms.  Nature is wise and loving.  Humans have lost their connection to nature, and therefore their connection to their own own wise and loving selves.  I recommend going for the gold, going for the good, going for God, bypassing all harms that humans have devised and inflicted on one another.





I come from a country where circumcision IS practiced, and I know for a fact, in most places where this happens within Africa, this is not a practice based on men oppressing women. The practice is done only by women in the first place, and women initiate it because THEY feel like it cleanses them, and is part of their tradition. If the women feel that way about it, would a man in society want to marry someone who is not circumcised and henceforth considered ‘unclean’ by her fellow women? Probably not, and that’s where men come in the picture. That’s why men don’t want to marry women who are uncircumcised and henceforth initiates the need for women to get circumcised in these societies. In most societies, the person who does the process is a woman, and women support the process, even more than men do. So how is this just male oppression?

I think it depends on what different societies portray, and speaking from my point of view, honestly, I think the only thing you guys are promoting is cultural imperialism. I personally don’t support the process at all, and my tribe in particular does not practice circumcision, but by giving out information that you have not seen from all perspectives, you are basically saying that if you think it’s wrong, it should be banned everywhere else in the world. What if I came up to you and said because I think plastic surgery is wrong and a poor attempt to change who you are into something you are not is wrong and wish for it to be banned everywhere in the world, what would you say? This is a sensitive culture issue, and as harmful as it may be, if done in a hospital, in hygienic conditions, at a woman’s own will, it’s not so different from plastic surgery. Yes, it’s not for medical purposes, but things like breast augmentation aren’t either.

This has a cultural purpose, if they would want to stop it, they would have, ages ago. Yes, it may sound hypocritical for me to be supporting it and disagreeing with it at the same time, but I feel like the Western world just keeps shouting and claiming and fighting for something they only know little about. The reasons they have for doing it, if they are viable for them, then they shouldn’t affect anyone else. Just like plastic surgery. The only thing I agree with you guys about this is the fact that it should be done when the women are willing to do it, and in a hygienic manner, because it’s their culture.

Cultural Imperialism and Ethnocentrism is probably one of the reasons why half the world hates the Western World. Honestly speaking.





Sia, i wonder who told them that they were dirty and needed to be cleansed.  I always think of Aesop’s fable about the fox and his tail.  Because the fox had lost his tail, he tried to convince everyone else it was better so they would cut off their tails. 

I believe circumcision was spread in a similar way.  Public relations may have existed a very long time ago.  If I was to hazard a guess, I’d guess that circumcision is a form of cultural imperialism… maybe not all that long ago. 

Creating fear, pain, humiliation, overpowering, trauma, feelings of being ‘dirty’... is very unkind.  Who perpetrated circumcision on your culture?  I know who perpetrated it on mine.  Who on earth would ever dream something like that up?  Not 99.99999% of the people in the world.  But that naughty fox…  He made us all feel we were not as good if we were whole.  If he had his tail, he never would have been so naughty.





Hi Sia—thanks for writing in.
I agree with you that there is correlation between FGM and plastic surgery, but it is not a pleasant correlation.  They are both largely based on a loathing on the natural body.

You mention Cultural Imperialism and Ethnocentrism.  I am not offended by that accusation because I am not a “cultural relativist” and I don’t see why any logical person would be.  I am “western” but I happily, stridently critique my own culture, and well as any other culture that I believe deserves criticism. 

American culture has many faults, but so do other cultures. Criticizing cultures outside our own has benefited the world.  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are set up to monitor and inform the world of atrocities, for example.  Apartheid in South Africa was largely disbanded due to international pressure.  Everybody in the world sticks their nose and injects their two cents into everybody else’s business, and I think that is generally a good thing.

In the case of FGM, there are young girls who are non-consensually cut and I believe even you believes this should be stopped.  It seems in your note you are talking about grown women who are getting FGM, so they are legally of age to make this decision.  I agree, if they are indeed of legal age, but I retain the right to say that they are making a mistake based on a self-destructive “traditional” perspective. 

The notion that a clitoris is an unclean and ugly thing to look at is a notion that is damaging to women - it is a useless and self-destructive concept.  Sorry for being blunt.  Would you have also defended Chinese foot-binding?  Or the cultural practice of having Hawaiian royalty weigh an unhealthy 300 pounds?  Probably not.  I think we should defend the body’s ability to enjoy itself and educate people to appreciate what all parts of their body look like. 

Thanks again for writing in.  I encourage you to maintain, uphold, and even proselytize, the admirable aspects of your culture - but - for positive change to occur in the world, we must all be willing to self-critique our heritages, not just be self-defensively reactive.





I wish that everyone would appreciate that human bodies are means to an end, not an end in themselves.  We are on this planet for a higher purpose than body worship or modification.  We are here to live happily, free, knowing that we will have ‘challenges’ in our lives that we planned, with others, so that we can release our fears and heal any residual trauma we might have brought with us.  Without body identification, we cannot experience fear, so we would not be able to learn to release fear without it. 

Given healing as a grand overview, it’s possible to be born in a body that has ‘different’ qualities than the ‘norm’ and recognize that it is part of our plan to overcome self-judgment or fear of being ‘different’... or if someone else is ‘different’, then it is our opportunity to extend compassion and loving kindness rather than judgment.  It’s also possible to be ‘harmed’ in this life and recognize that it is our strategy for learning forgiveness… or to be overpowered and learn that we are not powerless after all.

But to make body modification mandatory for all people in our respective tribes - ? - that smacks of something other than wise planning by the individuals involved.  It suggests group bullying, manipulation, and trauma induced perhaps to ‘dumb down’ the population so it is receptive to rulership by a few. 

Circumcision used to be performed just before warriors went into combat… it had purpose:  1) to detach the man from his wife and family and tender feelings, 2) to make him feel that he had nothing to live for because his best feelings were now history, 3) to make him angry, irritable and ready to lash out at the ‘enemy’.

Consequently, we live in a nation now - the USA - that is largely populated by circumcised people.  As they recognize their wound and heal from it, they become more loving and in tune with their nature.  But those who have not yet healed are dangerous indeed.  The wars in the middle east are due to the only three cultures that circumcise their young… Jews, English-speaking Christians and Muslims.  They were all treated cruelly and they are now passing on the cruelty.  This is not the quality of life we really want.  We really want a world that is peaceful and loving and wise.  At least I do.  I hope you will join me and protect all children from adult brutality. 

Thank you.





I am married to an Egyptian.  A few years back he married an Egyptian girl he had been engaged to for 7 years.  The marriage lasted one. Month due to terrible painful sex which he could not deal with and live with for the rest of his life.  He vowed never to have another relationship with an egyptian woman again.  I am English and the reason many many Egyptian men seek a western woman is to have a decent sex life.  They do not agree it is better to remove the clitoris although they understand the reasons claimed since their own families practice it.  Thevwoman who made that previos statement about how wonderful fgm is must be crazy.





Hello Sally—thank you for the email.  that really is tragic, that Egyptian women have to undergo FGM and then they get divorced later by husbands because they operation ruins their married sex life.  thank you for providing a detail that I missed in the essay, much obliged.





Sia Chami says women perform circumcision and so blame the women for it. If men had not required it for marriage (survival) in the first place, women would never have even thought of it. It is a symptom of male domination, men usurping women’s rule which existed from the beginning when Goddesses were worshiped and was wiped out by violence against women like threat of death, rape, or acid attacks for not wearing veils. Circumcision (and Islamo-Christo-Judaism) destroys the soul as well as body, and that makes women (and men) easier to control like gelding a horse or dog.





Sally, where is your husband’s public condemnation of FGM?





Without male condemnation in our patriarchal world, we will never end male or female circumcision. Teach Goddess worship.





Astraea, I cannot see a lot of difference between men and women, gods and goddesses.  Individuals get bad ideas and impose them on others, who then - having been abused themselves - pass them on to others.  I cannot get behind condemnation of individuals or groups but I could get behind the letting go of harmful behaviors.  I could get behind clear, rational thinking and more kindness, understanding and compassion in every area of life.





Patricia, you can’t get behind condemnation of individuals, but patriarchs, both male and female, can and do condemn women, and until men condemn the patriarchal condemnation of women and human sexuality, there will be no peace on Earth.





Honey, women can abuse power as easily as men.  If not, then women would not circumcise girls.  In my family, my mother was the matriarch; my dad was the ‘nice person’.  Goodness is not gender-dependent.





Patricia Do you believe as men say that women choose to circumcise their children if men would marry them uncircumcised and support them in a patriarchal society that forbids women supporting themselves?

And after how many thousands of years of male brainwashing of girls and violence against women did it take to make women believe that?





“Honey, women can abuse power as easily as men.”

Patricia: 99 percent of those at IEET knows this; yet it is the scale of male domination which is of concern (IMO naturally). The only nation I’m familiar with is America as it takes decades to truly know another country—let alone a region such as the Near East. In America the domination is basically the same as in the Mideast however the scale is smaller, that is all. Only difference between the West and Near East is institutions are different (hence irreconcilable hostility) while our respective natures are virtually the same. America is not as violent as the Mideast however it is as visceral, as bloodthirsty.
But you already know the above, don’t you?





Another point. Muslims, when they die are suppose to be buried naked, wrapped in a cloth. it means, as they were created by God. Why they cant be buried the same way - as God created them? Including clit (for females) and non-circumcised penis (for males)?

I believe, the all physical ‘adjustments’ are outgrowth of very simple minded people. Causing pain without serious medical reason should do punished as crime.





Hiko, I agree.  Why can’t we LIVE and die as God created us?  Whole, intact, healthy…  I totally agree with your assessment of physical adjustments as expressions of bored, simple minds - and your proposal that circumcision is unnecessary harm and is therefore a crime.  It is a crime to hurt another person - or an animal.  Since circumcision is shrouded in the mystery of tradition, culture and religion, and sex is a taboo subject for many people, then it continues as if it is “nothing” - I certainly hope it will soon be absolutely nothing and nowhere, forgotten and not practiced by anyone, anywhere.





The following comment goes off on a few tangents, but not far.
Mutilation of any sort is a blatant indicator of repressed violence; which brings to mind the repressed violence in America as well. Reading a review of the film ‘Fargo’ reminded me of the Breivik mass murder in Norway.
The review read: “this movie brings to life repressed violence in the seemingly peaceful Scandinavian-influenced upper Midwest.”
Genital mutilation comes from the repressed violence within a given culture; and a blogger here wrote that genital mutlilation until recently was practiced in America, too.





post-post writes four times about “repressed violence.” Why not simply, violence?


Patricia asks: “Why can’t we LIVE and die as God created us? Whole, intact, healthy”

Does this mean we shouldn’t get our ears pierced, not to mention piercing the ears of our toddlers (which would seem to be a crime according to her definition)? Besides, where does Patricia get this notion that God created us?

Finally: http://www.circinfo.net/benefits_outweigh_the_risks.html

Dr Tom Wiswell, a respected authority in the USA was a strong opponent, but then switched camps as a result of his own research findings and the findings of others. This is what he has to say: “As a pediatrician and neonatologist, I am a child advocate and try to do what is best for children. For many years I was an outspoken opponent of circumcision ... I have gradually changed my opinion” [Wiswell, 1988; Wiswell, 1992].

Wiswell looked at the complication rates of having or not having circumcision performed in a study of 136,000 boys born in US army hospitals between 1980 and 1985. 100,000 were circumcised and 193 (0.19%) had complications, mostly minor, with no deaths, but of the 36,000 who were not circumcised the problems were more than ten-times higher and there were 2 deaths [Wiswell & Hachey, 1993].

(Don’t worry, none of this implies I’m for FGM, which I think is terrible.)





Ronaldo, you ask, “Why not simply, violence?” rather than “repressed violence?”  Perhaps to contrast past and present to what might come.  A friend of mine who is an author of books about circumcision says that blood will flow in the streets when men finally catch on to what they have lost due to the very dirty trick that was played on them, called circumcision. 

Ronaldo, circinfo.net is a site where those who ‘love’ circumcision - those who ‘love’ blood and penises and private body parts - congregate.  Not your most reputable site.  It has an agenda… to circumcise every penis on the planet. 

Wiswell?  He pretty much disappeared from view when he was almost sued for libel.  His ‘UTI study’ compared the records of healthy, full-term circumcised babies with premature, sickly babies who they had dared not circumcise because they were so weak.  Therefore the ‘uncircumcised’ group was already predisposed to infections… and surely wore catheters from birth in the NICU. 

You wrote, “(Don’t worry, none of this implies I’m for FGM, which I think is terrible.)”  Ronaldo, isn’t that terribly hypocritical?  Baby boys are fair game, but girls are not?  Why not either circumcise both or neither?  I propose we keep our hands and knives off all babies. 

Yes, when men catch on and understand what they have lost due to this very primitive, cruel practice; that they were robbed of the most ecstatic and sensuous part of their private parts; that they bleed for someone else’s pleasure and profit in hospitals; when women learn of the pleasure they have lost due to the lack of foreskin, the blood of circumcisers and circumcision demanders might very well flow in the streets.





Patricia, I think your characterization of circinfo is a quite, silly, as if they care nothing about the health of the baby. Like they really love penises more than they care about healthy babies.

If your telling me that being sued for libel was supposed to turn me against Wiswell, it didn’t. After all, Deborah Lipstadt was also sued for libel.

Be that as it may, let’s skip Wiswell and go with the AAP’s statement, which I have no problem with:

http://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/prenatal/decisions-to-make/pages/Circumcision.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:+No+local+token

“Scientific studies show some medical benefits of circumcision. However, these benefits are not sufficient for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to recommend that all infant boys be circumcised. “

I appreciate that they added the word “all” and I appreciate that they’re not against banning the practice.

“they were robbed of the most ecstatic and sensuous part of their private parts”

How is this tested? Do you take identical twins, one of whom was circumcised as a baby and the other one not, have them masturbate, and see if they moan at different decibel levels? I don’t think this can really be tested.  I’m circumcised, and my orgasms are just wonderful, thank you; I don’t think I could take it any more intensely. Now, is my wife missing out? Is her pleasure diminished? Maybe so, but maybe that diminishment of pleasure helps us “go longer,” which increases our pleasure /in a different way./


“when women learn of the pleasure they have lost due to the lack of foreskin, the blood of circumcisers and circumcision demanders might very well flow in the streets. “

There are probably hundreds of thousands of women who have had sex with both circumcised and non-circumcised men. Please inform us how many of these women are in prison for murder.





ronald, medical circumcision is often committed on babies who are perfectly healthy.  they cut off healthy skin.  this is not necessary.  nor is it medicine.  it is disrespectful, harmful, and can make for PTSD.  why risk meatal stenosis, losing the glans (i know a man who lost his), losing a life (bleeding even a tiny amount is equivalent to a hemorrhage to a baby), infection from feces and urine in the diaper contacting the wound, and so on?  circumcision is not justifiable.  the british ended it quickly once an MD did a cost-benefit analysis. 

how is the sensuous loss tested?  those who are c’d at birth may never know what they lost, but there are those who were c’d at more advanced ages who do remember.  i have met men who were c’d after the age of 20 who reported that they lost more than half their sensation, then they restored their foreskins and regained up to 80% of what they used to have.  many men who were c’d as adults bemoan the fact. 

in addition, a study was performed in 2006.  go to cirp org and search for sorrells’ fine touch study.  he found conclusively that circumcised males are significantly less sensitive. 

ronald, if you love kissing, imagine how much more or less fun it would be without your lips.  the foreskin is a wet, warm, moving part over the glans… which would be good enough, but the foreskin itself contains the lion’s share of the fine touch sensors on the penis and foreskin is the lips.  intact bodies feel much better for both parties.  the good news is, men can restore.  see “manual tugging” while you’re at google. 

neither men nor women know yet what has been lost.  when they do, THEY will not be the ones in prison… and those who cut children might want to change their occupations now.  some confront their circumciser; some sue them.  the point needs to be made that it’s not a kind thing to do; it’s not a wise thing to do; it’s not a loving thing to do; it’s not a medical necessity; it’s not a religious necessity; it’s a superstitious and $$$ profitable $$$ thing to do.





> “medical circumcision is often committed on babies who are perfectly healthy. they cut off healthy skin. “

No, it’s almost /always/ done (though I like how you say ‘committed’) to babies who are perfectly healthy. But this is irrelevant. It’s almost never done for /current/ health reasons, but often done for /future/ health reasons (I’m excluding religious reasons).

> “intact bodies feel much better for both parties.

You repeated yourself, even though I acknowledged that our sensation might be diminished, but you didn’t comment about my “go longer” comment. If there’s less sensation, can a person go longer without ejaculating? Is there a benefit of lasting longer?

Also, why should I, or anyone, accept CIRP.org, when the AAFP writes: “In January 2007, The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) stated “The effect of circumcision on penile sensation or sexual satisfaction is unknown. Because the epithelium of a circumcised glans becomes cornified, and because some feel nerve over-stimulation leads to desensitization, many believe that the glans of a circumcised penis is less sensitive. [...] No valid evidence to date, however, supports the notion that being circumcised affects sexual sensation or satisfaction.” ?

> “it’s not a medical necessity”

No one says it’s a medical necessity. They say it’s beneficial /overall/ from a medical perspective.

> “it’s not a religious necessity”

Frankly, I suspect that to you, /nothing/ is a religious necessity. For Christians, I ‘d probably agree it’s not. For many Jews and Muslims, it is. You may say it’s not, but for them it is.

> “the blood of circumcisers and circumcision demanders might very well flow in the streets.”

Are there really “demanders”? Promoters, sure, but demanders? Let’s be accurate.

Also, you said that “the blood of circumcisers will run through the street.” Where are all those murderers who have experienced both C’ and non-C’ sex? (I guess since you didn’t answer this the first time I asked (nor my questions about ear piercing or God’s design), I should expect not to hear an answer to this.)





you know, ronaldo, i don’t really enjoy talking with you about this.  you seem to have an attitude that children’s genitals are fair game for adults’ pleasure and profit.  i have the attitude that there is no excuse for child sexual abuse.  if you could see this subject without your cultural blinders, you would surely shudder at the mere idea of cutting a child’s genitals - of either gender. 

i was circumcised.  i wish someone had protected me.  you were circumcised.  i wish someone had protected you.  i have never heard a valid excuse for child abuse, and abuse it is:  sexual, physical, mental and emotional.  cutting the healthy skin off an infant’s genitals is inexcusable.  it is the behavior of degenerates.  i am appalled that anyone would ever ever wish to justify such a degrading and demeaning act… but then, i understand there are those who get off on such things. 

i regret to inform you that there are no real health benefits for circumcision.  study the figures - not statistics, but figures.  and if you still imagine there is a health benefit, give me the numbers and let’s talk.  but i will expect you to give me a truly logical reason why people should circumcise little tiny babies to prevent adult problems.  condoms are known to work better than a permanent injury.  as i said - there is no excuse for child abuse - well, that is, unless adults use babies for sex, which i understand is the custom in some homes. 

i have had extensive sexual experience with both intact and cut men.  i seemed to be a magnet for intact men - or they were a magnet for me.  i certainly was attracted to their relaxed, comfortable way of being.  and in bed, they excelled.

the intact male body works perfectly for me, even in my diminished state.  an intact man moves his body in a very sensuous way.  he is not in a hurry, a rush.  the nerve endings in his foreskin let him gauge exactly where he is in the process and give him feedback about his partner’s progress too.  he can slow down if he senses he and his partner are out of synch, and start up again without fearing failure, for his body does not betray him, or her.  foreskin makes his entire penis alive with sensation, so he doesn’t favor just the underside.  the movements that work for him, work for me.  foreskin contributes its own natural lubrication and due to the skin’s sealing effect, it does not drag moisture out of me.  as a circumcised woman with decreased sensation, i am particularly aware of how precious an intact male body is. 

the cut men i have known - no fault of their own - have two speeds:  on or off.  two directions:  in and out.  researchers have two determined that the glans itself responds only to pressure and friction, so the cut man moves fast and hard.  the dry, denuded glans and shaft rub and chafe the tender inner female mucosal tissue; it hurts and fails to satisfy due to the painful distraction.  intercourse with a cut man requires artificial lubrication, which is a total turnoff for me.  the cut penis has a limited range of motion - and his range is opposite of what works for me.  he needs to stimulate his frenulum, which is on the underside of his penis; i need him to stimulate the tissue that remains where once there was a clitoris, to move toward the upper side of his penis.  we are at odds.  it is totally frustrating.  circumcision has created an unnecessary, artificial sexual incompatibility, a war between the sexes.  it has resulted in failed relationships that need not have been.  the cut man either prematurely ejaculates or is tediously slow in arriving to his destination - way overstaying his welcome.  as he ages he needs more and more “heroic measures” to be able to even function.

the natural, intact man works for me every time.  the cut man has left me screamingly frustrated and feeling used, time and time again, to the point where i have retired from the romance game.  i have heard the same from many other women.  see the book, “Sex As Nature Intended It”.  there is also a website by that name.  i am on secret women’s lists on facebook where we discuss this issue at length, often.  women report that when their men begin to restore their foreskins, things get better… and better… and better.  foreskin is not a birth defect; it is a masterpiece of engineering. 

as for the medical argument?  what you wrote sounds like a bit of a mealy mouthed misleading little bit of disinformation, does it not? - not designed to clarify but to obfuscate.  how can any surgical intrusion on a healthy organ be an improvement over nature?  they found it didn’t pay to simply rip out tonsils, appendixes, wombs and ovaries.  they will admit someday that it was a foolish idea to medicalize a cruel, superstitious ritual.  surgery is meant to be reserved for the cutting away of diseased tissue, not healthy skin.  ronaldo, there is no excuse for child sexual abuse.

when you know what God is, let’s talk.  until then, begin to separate religion, culture and superstition from the power that breathes you.  religion is a business.  God is the E and C and M=E/C2 or E=MC2.  think on that for a while.





oh, as for demanders.  yes, i have known some.  they usually come in the guise of grandparents.  MDs harass, repeatedly put the consent form under the hands of parents, asking them to succumb to their irresistible offer, to allow them to cut their babies’ pristine, perfect bodies and sell the tissue to a human blood and tissue bank.  but grandmothers and grandfathers really turn on the screws.  begging, pleading, threatening, disenfranchising, disowning, disinheriting.  one woman told me - she actually yelled it at me - “CIRCUMCISION *IS* MY RELIGION!”





After seeing the histrionics expressed at this thread, maybe sex isn’t so ...important after all. People: take a cold shower, you might feel better for it.





...now I know why people become celibate: they are exposed to others’ sexual hysteria and think maybe living in monasteries and convents isn’t such a bad idea after all.





> “you seem to have an attitude that children’s genitals are fair game for adults’ pleasure”—“I understand there are those who get off on such things. “

Wow, you sure have me pegged!

 

 





Doesn’t the men of these Islamic countries realize that advocating for AMG is a really sad commentary on the sexual prowess of the men who support this? If one treats their woman right and makes sex a 2way function these women wouldn’t go looking for some other man. It turns sex into simple masturbation! It reminds me of the same nations non-conversion laws. If their faith was strong enough they wouldn’t look at other faiths as threats. Both of these atrocities speaks volumes of these peoples narrowmindedness and disregard of what God creates! If Allah wanted women to be devoid of sexual pleasure, they’d been born this way. Surely all of Islam doesn’t believe in this. Or does it? What a shameful thing to do!





How can someone who contends to believe in God take it upon himself to mutilate what God has made? It sickens me and doesn’t bring about respect for whatever faith that supports it?
RAF





Randy, as far as male circumcision is concerned, I think the answer to your question is obvious: because for believers, the same One who made people commanded that they (a subset of them, that is) should be circumcised . But you’re right, I can’t figure out why anyone would do it to females.





all due respect, rabbi, but i am not a believer.  i am a bit too reality based to believe in myths like that.  my understanding is that the original history of the jewish people was different than the current version of the abraham-isaac story.  even as a child, i questioned why there were two ‘covenants’ in one short part of the story about abraham - it sounded like a very sloppy editing job - and then i discovered that many jewish scholars are aware of the fact that jewish history was altered to include the circumcision covenant. 

i do believe that moses knew god, but if you remember, he did not circumcise his son.  moses’ superstitious midianite wife had to do the bloody deed when the boy was a teen to conform to her own tribe’s pagan god’s demands, which erupted one wild night into her frantic, fearful, perhaps even drunken, mind.  soon after that scene, moses sent her home to her midianite priest father, no?  moses was undoubtedly not charmed by her actions. 

no other scripture in all the world depicts a ‘god’ that would ask for blood… perhaps some primitive tribes in africa are believers of such things, but no legitimate scripture comes close.  the circumcision story is only one that brings the legitimacy of the entire system into question in my mind - the wars, the stealing, the spying - all this is not very holy or godlike. 

to cinch the deal, every other scripture in the world is in agreement that ‘god’ is pure energy:  light, the vibration of life, pure love, music, etc… and all that can be found within.  but not one civilized culture depicts god as a vicious demon that demands we cut our helpless babies—or anyone else, for that matter.  the abrahamic tradition is most unique in that regard. 

it is our work, i believe, to find that pure source of life inside ourselves, not to live in the past when someone, somewhere, once upon a time, knew god.  we are to know god now.  when we give up the blood sacrifice and embrace the beauty that we are, the world will be a far, far better place.  we will no longer distrust and fear one another.  we will feel peace within and know that all that truly exists is love.  we will have no need in the future for hatred, defenses, offenses, retaliation, competition, pre-emptive strikes, war, trickery, etc.  we will smile a genuine smile. 





I am happy that this discussion is still active. 

Regarding male circumcision, I find it unfortunate that religions still regard it as their right to perform it, and that governments still protect religions that do so.  I was in favor of the San Francisco measure that sought to make male circumcision illegal within the city limits, and I was disappointed that this measure was thrown out by the courts. 

It seems superficial and misguided to me that any religion would define circumcision as essential to belonging to their spiritual group.





@ Patricia: the Rabbi did answer Randy’s question fairly though, didn’t he?

“i do believe that moses knew god, ”—Oh, so you /do/ believe in part of the Bible. Can’t for the life of me figure out why (especially since you just said, “i am a bit too reality based to believe in myths like that.”)

“moses’ superstitious midianite wife had to do the bloody deed ... to conform to her own tribe’s pagan god’s demands, which erupted one wild night into her frantic, fearful, perhaps even drunken, mind.”—I enjoy your creativity.

“even as a child, i questioned why there were two ‘covenants’ in one short part of the story about abraham. It sounded like a very sloppy editing job”—Questioning is good. Accepting facile answers isn’t good.

“...i discovered that many jewish scholars are aware of the _fact_ that jewish history was altered to include the circumcision covenant. ” —I’m sure you also discovered that when you have two Jewish scholars, you have three opinions. Opinions, not facts.

“the circumcision story is only one that brings the legitimacy of the entire system into question in my mind - the wars, the stealing, the spying - all this is not very holy or godlike. ”— I think you should look deeper at this. If the Scripture was all about saying how righteous the Israelites were, you would accuse the Scripture of hiding their faults! The book’s advertising their stealing and spying ought to /increase/ the book’s legitimacy in your mind. (War’s a different matter.)

“perhaps some primitive tribes in africa are believers of such things, but no legitimate scripture comes close.”—Are you the arbiter who determines which scriptures are “legitimate”?

‘but not one civilized culture depicts god as a vicious demon ”—Sorry, Patricia, but the U.S. is a civilized culture in most people’s books. (More civilized than Calcutta, anyway, where Kali has an insatiable desire for blood, and where human sacrifice was quite common: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,322673,00.html )

“when we give up the blood sacrifice”—Circumcision is not a blood sacrifice.

“we will no longer distrust and fear one another. we will feel peace within and know that all that truly exists is love.”—Amen!





ronaldo, the “old testament” is primarily a history book and a bloody one at that.  i have little interest in bloody history.  no genuine scripture is a history book full of war, drunkeness, debauchery, cruelty.  god does not celebrate death and destruction.  god is not pleased when we kill and maim and capture slaves, rape and pillage.  i know jews who were horrified by the stories they were taught in hebrew school… so horrified that they ran as fast as they could from ‘the faith’.

some must think of the book as a manual, a training manual in how to wage war and control others.  “How to Charm Your Enemies and Annihilate Them”.  have you read “By Way of Deception” by ostrovsky?  fascinating.  i’ve been observing how the same biblical stories replay in modern times… boring.  keeping people off balance, killing, harming, making plagues.  it’s not very pretty, you have to admit. 

long story short, there are much better things to do with a human life than to fight, destroy and control… and yet i think that kind of behavior is totally in line with circumcision.  traumatize a child and s/he either grows up slugging or hides under a rock.  as you can tell, i am a fighter.  that’s what it did for me.  brought out the fight.  i don’t care for it.  i’d rather use my energy in more creative ways.  and i do that too…

you ask how i presume to judge which books (and which parts of the torah) are legitimate scriptures?  sorting out god from religion, love from fear, history from scripture, science from superstition, reality from wishful thinking, etc, is my life.  please read my book, “Kmowledge, The Essence of World Scriptures.”                                                                                                                 

i am sorry, ronaldo, but i don’t see your point… what does ritual blood sacrifice or murder have to do with civilized cultures?  if you cannot see how very primitive circumcision is, there is nothing i can do for you.  cutting flesh, drinking blood, etc.  if you could see outside your prejudices you would see that circumcision and murder have nothing to do with god.  nothing.  god is the heaven in your heart and blood ritual throws people into fear, terror, horror… in short, hell. 

circumcision is indeed sacrifice.  it is a form of child-sacrifice ‘lite’ that tests the loyalty of the parents to the tribe.  if the parents do not comply, they are threatened with ostracism, disowning.  i know.  i’ve observed how frantically grandparents talk about the subject.  i have heard some very sick things come out of people’s mouths when it comes to the subject of forcing circumcision on the next generation.  very sick.

i pray that every religious person will turn from rites and rituals and the externals of his ‘faith’ and devote his energies toward finding the Real Thing… not just be an expert in someone else’s story.  it’s not enough that we learn about someone else who once upon a time knew god - it is for me and you and everyone to live that ourselves.  it’s great fun.

“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” - Isaiah 11:9  

that’s the world i want to live in.





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