I have received an overwhelmingly positive response to my first real attempt to explain to my family and friends and the world my very negative feelings about the fact that as a newborn, I was subjected to male genital mutilation (MGM).
Oddly enough, the most push back I’ve received has been from my own family. Maybe this is the first time that they’ve come to grips with the fact that their sons may grow up to feel that they were violated by MGM.
I sure hope that no one grows up to feel like they were violated, but I am not the first to feel this way about the fact that I was subjected to MGM, and until the practice is stopped, I will not be the last.
I am a 33 year-old husband, father, student, and activist from the good ole’ US of A. I am your standard issue white male nothing special, however, I do abide by a set of values that go against our genital cutting culture. Make no mistake my fellow Americans, we live in a genital cutting culture. What may come to mind as you read these words are horrid images of young girls being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). When I was younger, the horrors of FGM were the only thing that came to mind when I heard the words genital cutting. But right here at home, we seem to have a giant blind spot for the plight of the newborn baby boy. While we decry FGM and rightly so, we routinely subject our baby boys to the same kind of treatment without most of us thinking twice. We routinely subject our boys to the euphemistically coined term “circumcision,” or in this case specifically Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC). That sounds a lot better than male genital mutilation (MGM) doesn’t it? With the use of this tidy euphemism, you can start to see how our culture bends and contorts itself around this very topic of MGM/RIC. Now I realize right off the bat that some are going to take offense to my comparing FGM to MGM, but hear me out.
This is the first post for the new blog stopthecutting.wordpress.com. Below is the information from the About page. Many more posts to come. Thanks for reading.
Here at stopthecutting, we are committed to ending Routine Infant Circumcision in the United States. We believe that amputating healthy genital tissue absent a pressing medical indication and without consent constitutes a breach of medical ethics and is a violation of human rights. In the U.S., females are protected by federal law against genital cutting, however, males are not. Sadly, males in the U.S. are still subject to routine and ritual genital cutting. At stopthecutting we will not rest until males are extended equal protection under the law.
None of the *purported* benefits of circumcision ever outweigh the *actual* risks of this unnecessary, elective surgery. The actual risks of circumcision include (but are certainly not limited to) infection, complete amputation, and death. The New York times recently published that our best estimates are that 117 baby boys die every year due to complications from circumcision. 117 baby boys die every year because in the U.S., we allow medical professionals and religious clergy to cut baby genitals.
ALL genital cutting needs to stop. It will stop. We will stop it.