Circumcison
 

Carl J. Schutt is the proud author, illustrator, and publisher of I Want My Foreskin For Giftmas. His book is a fully illustrated lyrical journey of a boy searching for the skin separated from him at birth, and after the unsuccessful confrontation with his parents, guided by the advice from his mutilated member, he darts to the mall and requests from Santa his foreskin for Giftmas. Carl is the founder of Inkus Imagination, and has won several awards for his artwork created solely from paper. He has a BA in Linguistics. Feel free to contact him at E-Mail.

Another loss
Circumvision
Everybody Deserves Better
Foreskin restoration: Does it make the cut?
Help ICGI
Is The World pro circ?
A Mother Decides
Q&A group about circumcision on the web
The Right to Sue

Q&A group about circumcision on the web


On the web, there is a group of individuals who converse freely about circumcision. Topics range from 'how to raise an intact child' to 'uses of the foreskin' to 'the unnecessary practice of circumcision. Here is an example of the ongoings. Their e-mail address: Wacky_World_of_Circumcision@yahoogroups.com

Situation:

I have two young sons ages (5 & 3) who My husband & I decided not to have circumcised upon birth (We just couldn't make big choices like that for them with out being able to ask them how they feel about it first.) and really it's their body right?

Well, our doctor has informed us that she thinks we should consider having them circumcised now due the fact that the penis won't retract all the way out, but I have also heard that sometimes it won't retract fully until they get much older??? This will cause infection she says.

Should I be stretching it down to help it? or not? I've been told both. Please advise!

Reply:

Best thing to do for your intact children is leave their foreskin alone. There is no reason at all to retract it. The foreskin is attached to the glans at birth (hence all the damage done during circumcision), and only your son should be touching it. It will retract naturally, and sometimes not until he is well into puberty.

See: www.circumstitions.com/Care.html or www.cirp.org/pages/parents/peron1/

I'd print those out and show your doctor, who obviously has little experience with uncut boys. That, and find another doctor who isn't so ready to cut your perfect children.

A Mother Decides


I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with a co-worker who is due to have her first child, a boy, this December: and why she will never let her child fall under the knife.

It seems that when I find a woman who is going to give birth, and after identifying the sex of the child, if a boy is in the works, my mind immediately focuses on ‘how am I going to educate her about circumcision and its harms.’ Luckily, I didn’t have to do much work. My co-worker’s heritage is Spanish, and her husband is from Mexico.

More so, she said that she didn’t want her baby to experience that much pain. “He’s going from my womb to a loud, noisy hospital room. The last night I want him to experience is an excruciating amount of pain. I love my baby, every part of him.” She went on to explain that there is no reason to do it, and that she thinks men who are circumcised look like they have weird penises (“no offense” she laughed).

Another co-worker overheard us talking and spat out, “Ew, how can you not have him circumcised, it’s so gross.” And of course, by the end of the short conversation, the woman admitted to her ignorance by stating, “Well, I have never seen one before, but I imagine it is.”

Enough said.

Another loss


The cases of male babies dying from infections from their circumcision are sparse, but they happen enough to raise red flags. Last November there were reported events where three Jewish male babies have become infected with herpes when the mohel sucked on the blood of their wounded penises with his mouth. One of the babies died.

Matthew Hess of San Diego based MGMbill.org now has three more cases supporting his bill, which when passed (fingers crossed) will protect infant males under law to not have circumcision performed on them until they are able to give consent. This bill will protect all males under the age of 18.

Criticism of male circumcision is growing across the Atlantic as well. An article by M. Fox and M. Thomson appearing in the August 2005 issue of the British Journal of Medical Ethics concludes that male circumcision is "a procedure in need of a justification", and that "it is ethically inappropriate to subject children -- male or female -- to the acknowledged risks of circumcision." The authors also contend that "there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful."

One has to wonder how many more male babies must suffer before the masses will wake up and protect their children. This miseducation in our country is still high, and one must hope that it won’t take more babies dying to wake the masses up.

Foreskin restoration: Does it make the cut?


For those of us who have had the displeasure of being cut without choice, or if for some reason have had to had our foreskin removed, there is some hope in restoring some of the feeling to our willies. There is process known as Foreskin Restoration, which involves attaching either a bought or makeshift pulling system onto the penises. The idea behind the process is that skin grows. There are plenty of groups online that one can join a restoration group that has members who share ideas and success stories with each other. One man has a question; another man has an answer. It is a flourishing community that is easy to become part of. Go to yahoo or google, type in “foreskin restoration”, and join one of the online community groups.

Here is a link to one group of men who are currently restoring. Some have tracked their progression, there are pictures of penises on this site, so if you are at work, you may want to check out these sites at home. You will be prompted to give your e-mail, then you can view. www.smartgroups.com/groups/TLCTuggerUsers

Is The World pro circ?


In a recent news program called The World, it was announced that a study was currently being conducted where three thousand men in Ugandan volunteered to be circumcised in order to see if there is a correlation between intact men having a higher frequency of contracting HIV.

The program was incredibly one sided. It delivered only the ?benefits? of what a circumcision entails, yet it did not convey all of the negative repercussions of the irreversible procedure. It failed to mention the loss of sensitivity, and the fact that the foreskin is meant to be where it is.

The entire idea of this study has total false pretense. Why wasn?t the focus on men using condoms? How many cut men have contracted and died from AIDS? What are the chances that these men who are ?clean? now believing they are immune to contracting the fatal disease?

The World also failed to report that no health organization in the world recommends circumcision. One has to wonder what the true motives behind the mass circumcisions are. Perhaps this is all a plot concocted by Oprah who was endorsing a new facial cream whose ingredients contained?you guessed it.

The Right to Sue


A recent article in the New York Post told the story of a woman who is suing her doctor for circumcising her son in 1997, after she gave consent for him to do so. She was given some information on circumcision, the benefits of it, yet she claims she was unaware of the negative aspects of circumcision. She feels as though she has done irreversible damage to her son, now age 5, and the truth of the matter is, she has.

In 2001, William Stowell brought his case to court because he claimed his sexual abilities are decreased because of his circumcision was interviewed on ABC News, armed with reports from the British Journal of Urology stating that a focus group of women agreed that intercourse with intact partners was more enjoyable. And more so, www.Intact.ca is a class action suit that any male in Canada can join if they have been circumcised for non-religious reasons, which means that any male whose circumcision was done at a religious ceremony cannot join the class suit. The main objective of Intact.ca is to end circumcision in Canada.

Beverly and Gary Sweet of Alaska were in a thirteen-year battle over a horrible event that occurred to their newborn son. He was routinely circumcised, and nine days later, his parents returned to the hospital where he was discovered to have complications with the infection that developed from the circumcision. He had become blind and was severely brain damaged.

In 1999, Shane Peterson of Perth, Australia had been rewarded over $230,000 for a botch job that left him with a deformed penis. Due to the psychological damage done to him, he took drastic measures to have skin removed from his upper thigh and grafted to his penis (which had to have electrolysis because of the leg hair that still continued to grow on the grafted skin, leaving him heavily scarred).

There are many other cases of men suing over their circumcisions. Being circumcised, I understand their motives and support their choice to actively have a voice in the community.

There is a slow decrease in circumcision being done in America with more and more insurance companies refusing to pay for the surgery. Hopefully, due to the increase of action suits, more doctors will hopefully think before they decide to perform an unnecessary surgery.

Parents hope to make the right decisions for their children. They dedicate massive amounts of their time and energy to raise and provide for healthy, well-adjusted children. So what happens when a male confronts his parents at a point in his life and asks, “Why am I circumcised?” My fathers answer was, “Because it helps with the love connection.” Five years later, my mother gave a genuine apology. Am I going to sue them or the doctors who have cut off my foreskin? No, I wrote a book about it.


Help ICGI


Because of the constant efforts of Intactivists, the journey to end routine circumcision in America is one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal. Granted, we are a long way away, but steps are being taken, small goals are being set, and attained.

Our current mission is this:

ICGI (International Coalition for Genital Integrity) plans to purchase an ad in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2005 Annual Meeting Program Guide. Their hopes are for the ad to be seen. The ad urges state legislators to eliminate Medicaid funding of infant circumcision.

You can find the ad ICGI plans to run (and make a donation) by following the link : www.intactivist.org/ncsl

Over 20,000 people are expected to attend the NCSL Annual Meeting. It is a chance to reach those unaware of what we stand for and believe in. It is a great opportunity to communicate with key decision makers from state legislatures throughout the country.

The proposed half page ad will cost $375. This is our time to support and help ICGI purchase this ad for the NCSL 2005 Annual Meeting Program Guide (August 16th- 20th).

You can contact Jeff Brown at the following email addresses: jeff.brown@prodigy.net or pledge@icgi.org.

Circumvision


Welcome to May. It’s a time of awakening, rebirth, and more so...birth. A quick note of advocacy, if you haven’t already electronically signed the bill to end genital mutilation, do so at MGMbill.com 

Alright, perhaps none of you are wondering who I am, where I come from, and why I am always dealing with anger issues related to my circumcision. A brief bio followed by outlandish rage is about to flow your way. Am I angry about my circumcision? I am. 

Do I boil with anger when I meet parents-to-be whom are a expecting baby boy and are refusing to leave him intact because they think it’s dirty and unnatural? Of course.

Since I am quite vocal about my disdain of circumcision, a question I am often asked is, “If you never had foreskin, how do you know what you’re missing, and why would I want it back?” 

Any my response is something sarcastic like, “Yeah, you’re right, foreskin is so high maintenance. If I had it, then I’d have to clean it when I showered and I’d have to...um...well...” 

When I was 19, I had the fortunate experience of a semester studying in Florence, Italy. A class session met at the Academia, and upon entering the building, what else do I see but those beautiful marble eyes of Michaelango’s David. The teacher begins her lecture, “This is his interpretation of the perfect man.” And as she explained the disproportioned forearms and calves, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Dang, why don’t I have foreskin? Am I not as perfect as I always believed I was?” 

And as I continued to stare at David’s foreskin, captured in stone, I kept thinking, Where in the world can I find my foreskin? Completely understanding that I never could (this was before I knew about foreskin restoration) be reunited with my foreskin, I began to wonder what my wanting it back represented. Is this the reason why I have always felt something in my life was missing?

I wrote my father an e-mail asking him why he had me circumcised and he responded, “All young lads are cut, it helps with the love connection.” I am assuming he was referring to the circumcised penis being more sensitive than an uncut man’s, yet, little does any man who believes circumcision is beneficial know is that from the many years of having the head of his penis constantly being exposed, the corona of the penis has formed a callous of skin, somewhat numbing the crown of his member.

There are the usual reasons as to why parents have their freshly born babies circumcised: the father is, the boys in the locker room will make fun of him, it’s dirty, it looks gross. All or any of these reasons flood them with reassurance that they are making the right decision. 

Nurses are constantly being fired for informing parents about the unnecessary act of circumcision, and many believe it is the job of the doctor to inform the parents about this. Yet, like almost everything in America, it boils down to the dollar. Circumcision is a billable procedure (usually paid for by insurance companies), and it takes a short amount of time. It doesn’t matter that babies can die from loss of blood or infections from their circumcision. 

There is a video available of a newborn undergoing the operation available through NoCic.org (If you can stomach it, I certainly can’t.) 

I imagine if someone with the power were to air just a minute segment during prime time TV hours, it would change the world. But considering the adverse reaction that Janet Jackson’s breast exposure created, we can only hope for a late night on-air spot sometime in 2040.

Everybody Deserves Better


Hurray! Because you are reading this, you now know that we are in the smack-dad middle of Genital Integrity Awareness Week (GIAW). What happens during GIAW you wonder? There are no presents given (unless parents choose to not slice the foreskin of their newborn son’s penis), nor are there magnetic ribbons distributed to plaster our SUVs. (That idea’s a total freebee. I say we make the ribbons red.)

There is a march on America’s. People hold huge signs proclaiming our rage and need to change the concept of cutting off part of a person’s body without their consent. These people are hardcore, and deserve all our respect and support.

If this is the first time you’re educating yourself about controversy against circumcision, then buckle in. There’s a ton of information on the Internet, right at your fingertips. I suggest going to the following site, then clicking on any of the organization’s links to read about why circumcision (aka infantile genital mutilation) is really wrong and should be stopped today. www.mgmbill.org/resources.htm  

I’m assuming you went, and visited several of the sites that state the horrors and implications that circumcision creates. You are now informed about why it is wrong and the benefits of being intact, and if you are circumcised (like I am) you’re steaming with anger and want to know what you can do to end the insanity.

Of course, all of the organizations proactively striving to end this heinous surgical ritual are nonprofit, so we know what that means. Along with kicking some fundage their way (and I mean any, I sent three dollars to NORM and NOCIRC), it is important to actively participate in the support. It won’t take you long. Trust me. It took less than ten minutes for me to join the revolution.

Here are four easy steps to actively do your part to help end infantile genital mutilation. Go to www.mgmbill.org Click on the Take Action link on the left sidebar.

There you will find several petitions to electronically sign, as well as the bills in their entirety that our vanguards are pushing to be made into law.

For the The Ashley Montagu Resolution whose mission is to end genital mutilation world wide, you only need to submit your first and last name, and a valid e-mail address (you can select whether you want your info public or private). It took me less than a minute, no lie, I just did it. 

Then there are steps two, three, and four. I imagine most of us will make it past step two at least. For it requires us to follow through with what we believe in, and all you need to do is follow some links. I found it helped to open another window of the MGMbill web site, for some cutting and pasting text comes into play.

Click on the House or Senate link (the format for either is similar). When it prompts you to the next page, type in your five digit zip code, and you’re House or Senate representative’s name will be produced. Click their name and you will be transferred to their web site or an e-mail form. If you’re transferred to their web site, find the Contact Us link, and just fill out your info. In the subject I chose Civil Rights, and in the body of the e-mail I wrote please support this bill, before pasting the MGMbill text (copied from the MGMbill web site I kept open in the other window).

This all took less than six minutes (three minutes for each, honestly, I just filled out both forms). Saying you’ll do it later because you’re at work is crap. If you can take the time to goof off and read this article, you can take another ten minutes and utilize your freedom to state your opinions to the officials whom matter.

Be proud for completing step two. You officially have used your voice. Give yourself a pat on the back or a cookie. 

If you don’t live in California, then you don’t even have to complete step three and step four doesn’t even need to be done until you receive a response from your representatives. You can forward their responses to comments@mgmbill.org (no need to remember this address, there is a link in step four that when clicked, opens up an already addressed e-mail, complete with subject heading.)

See, easy as one, two, three---literally. The best way to be an activist without exasperating yourself is to just be aware of the people you know giving birth to males. Guide them toward the information on the Internet (there are videos of the circumcision being done if you can stomach it) and let them know that if they do decide to go against their son’s rights and disregard all the logical reasons why they shouldn’t, then all they need to do is wait 18 years until their son is old enough to tell them they’ve done irreversible damage to his body and he will never forgive them.

There’s still half a week left of Genital Integrity Awareness Week! Get those ribbons made!!!

©2010, Carl Schutt

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