But what about female circumcision? That's much worse.

I often get this comment from people. Here is an essay I wrote explaining why using that argument is faulty:

Comparing FGM and MGM (female or male genital mutilation) is actually a difficult comparison and intactivists tend to avoid using that as an argument for several reasons. There are different levels of FGM from just a tiny nick to full infibulation. The most often performed female circumcision, though, is removal of the clitoral hood and exposing that very sensitive little button permanently, which would be the equivalent to what is typically done to males in circumcision... so if you use that comparison since it's the most equal "level", the male version is actually worse because you're taking away thousands more nerve endings and the foreskin itself is a huge source of sexual pleasure for the man, whereas the woman's nerve endings are more located in the clit itself. Also, keep in mind... if you compare two intact individuals, one male, one female... the clit has about 8000 nerve endings for sexual pleasure... the male foreskin has 20,000.

This argument is usually avoided because no matter what, it's sexism. It's harder for people to accept that males can be discriminated against as well as females just for what gender they happen to be. That goes back to the attitude that men should just "suck it up", they are not allowed to have emotions, and god forbid if they cry or demonstrate anything that might hint they have any sort of weakness.

When it comes down to it, ALL genital mutilation is wrong when done without the individual's consent, and a child is just not capable of understanding what is going to be done and therefore it's impossible for them to give consent. Doctors are violating their oath to "do no harm" and forced circumcision (and yes it is forced when it's a child or infant) is basically abuse, molestation, and rape... sexual and physical assault at its most cruel. Abuse of power, one individual who is stronger is abusing his power over someone who is smaller and weaker.

And who decided it was wrong to do this to females yet it's still ok to continue this torture on male infants? That is without a doubt sexist and there is no way around that. As of 1997 it became ILLEGAL in the United States to do this to females (yet its still going on in some places such as NY state, but that's another story for another post), but laws that were attempted to protect boys have all been shot down. Why?

Men who allow this to go on and are not voting to outlaw male circumcision are continuing the cycle of abuse. Women who allow this to happen and do not support making it illegal are not protecting their children, ignoring their instincts, and are accessories to the crime of abuse.


Joseph said...

Actually, intactivists avoid this argument because they're not very educated.

A little scratching of the surface, and one would find that those making these claims aren't too educated on the subject either.

Male and female actually are quite comparable, not that "the less severe" of the two is more justifiable. No one justifies "rape lite" because it doesn't involve S and M.

Intactivists should become educated on the myths that are spread about in order to counter them.

For example; a satisfying and fulfilling sex life is actually quite possible without a clitoris, despite popular opinion that its excision "eliminates orgasm" in a woman.

In fact, orgasm is still possible in the worst form possible of FGM, studies confirm.

Intactivists need to become more enlightened on the forms of FGM that exist; which range from a "ritual nick" to infibulation.

Read more on how FGM is not as catastrophic as circumcision advocates would like you to believe here:


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why so many people are so quick to distance the 2. I've seen pictures of MGM resulting in fistulas as well as many complications supposedly unique to FGM. Males die to circumcision. Neither are actually required by any religion, and both are brutal and devastating in what they take. I've heard MGM being compared to FGM where the clitoris, clitoral hood and labia minora are cut off. To me, that seems the closest comparison, however this does not take into account that for a man the foreskin is the part that cleans a penis, and for women surgical restoration is possible, as the clitoris is mostly an internal organ with very little of it being visible, and other skin can be restored through cosmetic surgery, just as botched labiaplasty jobs can be "fixed" (although once broken the body can't really be healed properly usually, and this is no exception to the norm). But for men everything taken was either thrown into the bin, or sold for research, making medicines or to cosmetic companies. No hope of using their own bodies to surgically reverse what was taken. At least not yet.

Anonymous said...

although, having said that, I do feel compelled to say that in no way to I excuse or support FGM. It's horrifying to me. And equally horrifying is the fact that the EXACT SAME reasons are used to justify both - so the person would be more acceptable to the opposite sex, for cleanliness/hygiene, to enhance the cosmetic appearance of genitalia(!).

Genital cutting is genital cutting. And cutting is such a gentle word and masks what it actually involves so nicely. Mutilation doesn't cover it, because the definition is so clinical and simple - the removal of tissue. Genital mutilations are butchery on a whole other scale.