Wednesday, April 3, 2019

ITALY: Yet Another Circumcision Death


Last year, a circumcision death in Italy made headlines in December. After a long hiatus of posting nothing but my poems for filler, I thought I'd write a blog post to address it, but I never quite got around to it.

A 2nd death has just been reported in Italy, and now I feel I must write a post.

Especially since there was another death in Italy back in 2016.

I hate doing these.

How many more children have to be lost to circumcision before people think it's a problem?

In both cases, the circumcisions were conducted at home, creating an excuse for circumcision advocates to minimize the deaths.

"The child was circumcised at home," goes the excuse.

"Of course if the child were circumcised at a hospital by a trained professional, this wouldn't have happened."

This dismissal of the latest deaths in Italy is problematic in more ways than one.

First off, a great deal of circumcisions are carried out in homes, especially in the case of babies whose parents are Jewish, where a traditional circumciser called a "mohel" is invited to a home to conduct the cutting ritual.

Andrew Freedman, one of the members of the Circumcision Task-force at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who released their policy statement on circumcision in 2012, openly bragged about having circumcised his own son on a kitchen table.

"I circumcised [my son] myself on my parents’ kitchen table on the eighth day of his life. But I did it for religious, not medical reasons. I did it because I had 3,000 years of ancestors looking over my shoulder." ~Andrew Freedman

No conflict of interest there, right...

Second, children dying from complications isn't limited to circumcisions performed at home; the death of a child circumcised at a hospital in Canada made headlines not too long ago.

And he wouldn't be the first. Circumcision deaths at hospitals make headlines every once in a while, but circumcision advocates are always ready to make excuses for the deaths, either because the child may have been too old, or because the doctor was "incompetent." (This is fallacious; complications happen whether or not doctors are "competent" or not.)

An excuse for circumcision deaths at the hands of doctors I hear quite often is that "children need to be circumcised on the 8th day by a mohel." Of course, deaths happen at the hands of mohels too. Amitai Moshe comes to mind. In this case, as always, a factor excluding circumcision was to blame. The baby was pronounced to have died of "natural causes"; it was hemorrhage that killed him (not the circumcision which caused the hemorrhage of course).

Another baby died in Israel, not too long ago. In this case too, a "pre-existing condition" was to blame.


"It should have been at a hospital."

"It should have been a trained professional."

"It should have been on the 8th day of life."

"It should have been by a mohel."

"The mohel should have been better trained."

"The doctor was incompetent."

"The baby should have been tested for pre-existing conditions."

"It was the baby's fault. He shouldn't have died; the circumcision was a success."

Excuse, after excuse as to why circumcision must be exonerated and thus allowed to continue despite all the deaths.

When did people fight as hard to excuse female infant genital mutilation?

When did we ever say about deaths caused by FGM "It needed to be done at a hospital by a trained professional when she is an infant?"

Why the instant condemnation FGM when girls die, but the long list of excuses and explanations as to why male infant circumcision should continue?

The Circumcision Policy Statement put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012 was a non-committal, wishy-washy hodgepodge of nonsense that, aside from failing to culminate in any kind of recommendation, for or against, is resulting in the untimely deaths of infants around the world.

In their 2012 Circumcision Policy Statement, the AAP repeated over and over:


"The benefits [of male infant #circumcision] outweigh the risks."

In conclusion, however the statement says:


"The benefits[of circumcision] are not great enough to recommend [it]."



Within the same statement are written these words:



"The true incidence of complications after newborn circumcision is unknown."

So the AAP 2012 Circumcision Policy Statement can be summarized as follows:


"The benefits, which are not great enough to recommend, outweigh the risks, which are unknown."

The AAP conducted an extensive review of all the literature up until 2012, and concluded that the benefits were not great enough to recommend circumcision. But somehow, lay parents are expected to arrive at a more reasonable conclusion.

The 2012 was nonsense, which is why 38 pediatricians, urologists, epidemiologists, and professors, representing 20 medical organizations and 15 universities and hospitals in 17 countries published an article in the AAP Pediatrics publication, which rejected and thoroughly dismantled it, and most likely why the AAP has allowed the policy statement to expire.
 
Yes, few people seem to be aware of this, but the 2012 Circumcision Policy Statement has been allowed to expire, and thus has no current standing policy statement on male infant circumcision.


This from the official AAP website:

"All policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics automatically expire 5 years after publication unless reaffirmed, revised, or retired at or before that time."

It is now 2019, the statement hasn't been reaffirmed or revised, and so far not a peep from the AAP.


Questions arise:
If the complications of circumcision are "unknown," what efforts are being done to document them so that they *are* known?

If the complications of circumcision are "unknown," how can it be said that "the benefits outweigh the risks?"

Has the AAP been recording all the deaths and complications since 2012?

Is there an "acceptable" number of deaths and/or complications for male infant circumcision?

If so, what is it?

Is there an "acceptable" number of deaths and/or complications for female circumcision?

If so, what is it?

If circumcision is purely elective surgery, how are any deaths or complications above zero conscionable?


I hope it is clear by now that, whether people would like to admit it or not, death is a complication of male infant circumcision.

And for those ready to argue that this was an isolated incident, feel free to peruse the long list of deaths and complications documented on this blog. (Scroll down.)

The risks of male infant circumcision are infection, partial or full ablation of the penis, hemorrhage and even death.

Death is a risk of male infant circumcision.

It cannot be repeated enough.

Death is a risk of circumcision.

How many times do we have to say it?

Death is a risk of circumcision.

How many more boys must die until it is recognized?

Death is a risk of circumcision.

And, just for good measure, death is a risk of circumcision.





Related Posts:

OUT OF LINE: AAP Circumcision Policy Statement Formally Rejected

Related News Links:
AP News: Another Infant Boy in Italy Dies after Home Circumcision

BBC: Italy Circumcision Kills Toddler, with One Man Charged

National Post: Ontario Boy Bleeds to Death after a Family Doctor Persuadess Parents to Have Him Circumcised

Telegraph: Police Investigate Baby's Death after Circumcision 

List of Deaths and Complications Documented on This Blog:
Another Circumcision Death - Wound Would Not Stop Bleeding

FACEBOOK: Another Baby Fighting For His Life Post Circumcision

MADERA, CA: Another Circumcision Complication

CIRCUMCISION BOTCH: Another Post-Circumcision Hemorrhage Case Surfaces on Facebook

LAW SUIT: Child Loses "Significant Portion" of Penis During Circumcision

CIRCUMCISION BOTCHES: Colombia and Malaysia

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: This Time in Russia

FACEBOOK: KENTUCKY - Botched Circumcision Gives Newborn Severe UTI

FACEBOOK: Circumcision Sends Another Child to NICU - This Time in LA

GEORGIA: Circumcision Sends a Baby to the NICU

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: This Time in Italy

FACEBOOK NEWS FEED: A Complication and a Death

INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves

MALE INFANT CIRCUMCISION: Another Baby Boy Dies

CIRCUMCISION: Another Baby Dies

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Yet Another One (I Hate Writing These)

Another Circumcision Death Comes to Light

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Yes, Another One - This Time in Israel

FACEBOOK: Two Botches and a Death

CIRCUMCISION DEATH: Child Dies After Doctor Convinces Ontario Couple to Circumcise

ONTARIO CIRCUMCISION DEATH: The Plot Thickens

Joseph4GI: The Circumcision Blame Game

Phony Phimosis: How American Doctors Get Away With Medical Fraud

FACEBOOK: Two More Babies Nearly Succumb to Post Circumcision Hemorrhage

FACEBOOK: Another Circumcision Mishap - Baby Hemorrhaging After Circumcision

What Your Dr. Doesn't Know Could Hurt Your Child

FACEBOOK: Child in NICU After Lung Collapses During Circumcision

EMIRATES: Circumcision Claims Another Life

BabyCenter Keeping US Parents In the Dark About Circumcision

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Circumcision Claims Another Life

TEXAS: 'Nother Circumcision Botch

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Poetry Corner - To Me

 

This is the sixth in a series of poems and song parodies that I wrote for a contest that centered around male infant circumcision. The contest encouraged original songs and poems, as well as parodies of other works. For my last Poetry Corner entry, I posted a poem inspired by the Japanese song "Akatonbo."

This time around, I'm posting a parody based on poetry written by American circumcision mogul Edgar Schoen.

Actually, this was the first poem I ever wrote concerning circumcision. It was a reaction to poetry I heard recited by Edgar Schoen on the circumcision episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit.

It's a great work of art like the statue of Venus,
if you're wearing a hat on the head of your penis.
When you gaze through a looking glass, don't think of Alice;
don't rue that you suffered a rape of your phallus.
~Edgar Schoen on Penn and Teller

That's what I heard Edgar Schoen recite on Penn and Teller. Hearing this horrendous monster recite poetry to praise his own goddamn work made me so angry I couldn't stop thinking about it. First he mutilates children, and then he writes poetry about it. It made me fucking sick. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Until finally I came up with my own poetry to help me cope. The following was the best I could do:


To Me
Some people liken the circumcised penis
To beautiful art, like the statue of Venus.
Reducing their subjects to art in a palace,
They care not that men rue the rape of their phallus.

But To me, such a penis just looks very sad,
regretfully mourning the sheath it once had;
Crushed in a clamp and sliced off at birth,
or soon after waiting 8 days in a bris;
Fixed in a state of perpetual despair,
with its tender and vulnerable glans
forever exposed to the air.


When I first heard Schoen's poem, it wasn't clear to me that the first two lines were actually a backhanded compliment to anatomically correct male genitals. In fact, after reading the whole work, which can be found here, I realized the whole poem was bemoaning the fact that male infant circumcision was a dying trend. He was desperately attempting to label having a foreskin a "passing fad," which makes no sense when you consider that the foreskin is a normal, healthy body part found in all male infants at birth, just like ears, lips and eyelids.

It's interesting he compares having a foreskin to the Venus of Milo, which is *missing* her arms. Rather delusional if you asked me. Boys aren't born "missing" anything; circumcised boys and men are the ones whose foreskin has been sliced off.

Perhaps the most damning part of Schoen's poem is this:

When you gaze through a looking glass, don't think of Alice;
don't rue that you suffered a rape of your phallus.

He appears to be admitting in broad daylight what male infant circumcision is. His own words say it; circumcision is a "rape of [the] phallus."

I'm not sure what is worse; the fact that this despicable excuse for a human being actually wrote poetry for his sick, disgusting obsession, or the fact that he actually managed to get not one, but TWO POEMS published in what is/was supposed to be a respected medical journal, the American Journal of Diseases in Children. (Both poems readable here.) As if writing poetry glorifying male infant genital mutilation weren't enough, the editors of the journal didn't see a problem with publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal. Posting poetry expressing profanity against the human body in what is supposed to be a professional medical journal makes a mockery of science and modern medicine, like graffiti tarnishing an important building. What were the editors thinking?

Anyway, this is the poem that started it all.

I really do think it is disgusting that circumcisors see themselves as "artists," and helpless children their unwitting subjects. I explore this idea on a separate post about ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement.

"My body, my choice."

May this one day apply to boys and men also.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Poetry Corner - Circumcision Scar






This is the fifth in a series of poems and song parodies that I wrote for a contest that centered around male infant circumcision. The contest encouraged original songs and poems, as well as parodies of other works. For my last Poetry Corner entry, I posted an original poem, trying to encapsulate the feeling of helplessness that I feel at not being able to do anything to stop the mutilation and abuse of children unable to fend for themselves.

This time, I'm posting a poem, inspired by the melody of the Japanese children's song, "Akatonbo."

The word "akatonbo" means "red dragon flies" in Japanese, and in this song, they serve as a reminder of the singer's long-lost childhood.

When I first heard this song, I thought the melody was rather sad, as if looking back at a traumatic memory wishing it would have been different. I had to find out what the lyrics were, and sure enough, they reflected the melody perfectly.

Here are the original Japanese lyrics in both Japanese script and English translation:

赤とんぼ
夕焼け小焼けの赤とんぼ
負われてみたのはいつの日か

山の畑の桑の実を
小籠に摘んだはまぼろしか

十五で姐やは嫁に行き
お里の便りも絶え果てた

夕焼け小焼けの赤とんぼ
止まっているよ竿の先

Red dragonflies
Red dragonflies
In the red sunset
When was it that
I watched them
On someone's back last?

In mountain fields
We gathered mulberries
In small baskets
Or was it just
An illusion?

At fifteen
My big sister left home
To get married
Her letters have
Long since ceased to come

Red dragonflies
In the red sunset
Look, one has stopped there
On the tip
Of a bamboo pole

Having seen what the song was about, I was inspired to write lyrics that may reflect what a grown man who resents having been circumcised might feel now that he is older, aware of what has happened to him, and unable to change the past. Rather than reflect the Japanese translation, I wrote them to fit the rhythm of the original song. In my version of the song, a circumcision scar replaces the dragonflies, both serving the same function of taking the singer back to a time when things were different.

Circumcision Scar
Back when I was in my mother's womb,
Back when I was born
Intact and whole,
There at her breast I'd suckle
Mindless of what was to come

Sleeping blissfully rocked in her arms
Long ago it seems
Oh that life
Had been that way forever
Was it only just a dream?

Then a stranger took me from her breast
Oh so suddenly
Behind closed doors
There on a table
Men with scalpels had their way with me

Time has passed, I've yet to understand
Now that I am grown
Now when I see
My circumcision scar
Tears are always sure to come.

"How can you remember?" ask those who wish to belittle a resentful man's feelings.

An intactivist friend of mine once said something along the lines of:

"A circumcised man is reminded of his circumcision every time he urinates, showers, masturbates or makes love. The question is, how could he forget?"

Even if you can't remember, even if you don't; the scar is there day in and day out to remind you, for the rest of your life.


Related Posts:
Poetry Corner - Song Parody: "My Foreskin Home"

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Poetry Corner - Lullaby For the Damned




This is the fourth in a series of poems and song parodies that I wrote for a contest that centered around male infant circumcision. The contest encouraged original songs and poems, as well as parodies of other works. For my last Poetry Corner entry, I posted a song parody based on a song called "Greenfields" by an older American folk-singing group called "The Brothers Four;" and an explanation as to why I chose this song.

This time around I'm posting an original poem I wrote, called "Lullaby for the Damned."

When I wrote this poem, I wrote it from a feeling of helplessness, powerlessness; first, for the child, who is in an unescapable predicament, and second from me as an onlooker unable to do anything about it.

This is how I felt the first time I ever saw a video of an infant circumcision, with a poor child strapped down to a cutting-board, unable to move, unable to escape, and this is how I continue to feel today.

Short of getting on my knees and begging parents not to put their child through this, short of beseeching doctors to adhere to that dictum of medicine, "First do no harm," what else can I do?

Nothing.

And what else can a child do?

They say that victims of abuse, whether it be sexual, emotional or physical, have a coping mechanism to deal with the pain. As a way to escape what's going on, the victim will imagine him or herself outside of his or her body, in order to detach themselves from what's going on; they imagine their souls escaping their bodies and that they are floating above the room as they look down and watch what's going on. This coping mechanism is known as "dissociation."

Witnesses of male infant circumcision report that as the child's penis is being filleted, the child lets out shrieks and screams unlike any other cries they've heard. The child often blows his lungs out, unable to scream any more, and eventually passes out. He goes into a state of "shock," often called "sleeping" by unsympathetic doctors. What is happening is that, this is how the child is coping with what is going on; this is their escape.

What are doctors thinking as they do this?

Are they actually there, in the moment?

Or have the souls of the doctors too left the very room?

In order to escape the shrieks and screams?

Or in the case of male doctors, away coping with that same familiar pain they experienced decades ago?

As they crush and dice, are they reliving the whole thing?

Trying to get away still?

Is cutting other children a continued attempt to escape that which, for the rest of their lives, will haunt them whenever they urinate, masturbate, take a shower or have sex?

As I stand there, helpless, powerless, all I can do is say this prayer in my head...


Lullaby for the Damned
By Joseph Lewis

Sleep on, oh little one,
And pray that you don't wake.
Escape the tethered body
That a knife will soon come rake.


Drift away to slumberland,
Your struggle is in vain.
Only there can you be safe,
and never know the pain.

Related Posts:

Poetry Corner - Song Parody: "My Foreskin Home"

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Circumcision Documentary Twitter Storm Continues


Almost as soon as the circumcision documentary American Circumcision was featured on Netflix, the film moved onto the "Popular on Netflix" category, prompting a Twitterstorm which continues today.

People's reaction tweets are being posted every day, and the reactions range from "eye-opening" and "informative" to "dumb" and "horrible." When challenging the status quo, it's to be expected that there is going to be backlash, that's why negative reactions aren't too surprising.

The negative responses are what people would expect; there is no shortage of people defending their "parental choice," tired attempts at male infant circumcision humor, body shaming men with anatomically correct male genitals and accusations of "one-sidedness" and "anti-semitism."

Still, in spite of nay-saying Twitter users, the responses to the film on Twitter have been overwhelmingly positive and favorable. Dissenters may try and minimize the film, but the fact is that the film did win three awards, and, for better or for worse, it is trending on Netflix, and like it or not, people are talking about it. The ongoing tweetstorm and the effect this film is already having on Americans is simply undeniable. Readers can check out tweet responses to American Circumcision on their timeline shared below. (Scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Some have responded with the effect of "I started watching it but I had to turn it off because it was ridiculous." Or "I don't see what the big deal is."

At this point, Americans watching the film have got two choices; acknowledge the truth, or keep denying while the rest of the country wakes up. They have the option to turn off the video and watch something else. People can only hide from the truth and feign ignorance for so long though.

You can lead a man to knowledge but you can't make him think.
~Unknown

"Three things cannot be long hidden the sun the moon and the truth."~Attributed to the Buddha
"After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more"
~Morpheus, The Matrix



Where is American Circumcision available for viewing?
In addition to Netflix, American Circumcision is also available at iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu, Vimeo, Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Comcast, Spectrum, DirectTV, Dish Network, Verizon FIOS, Frontier, SuddenLink, Media com, Wow, EastlinkTV, Shaw, Telus, Bakers & Taylor, Alliance Entertainment and Midwest Tape.

If you haven't already, watch the film and post your own reaction @circmovie on Twitter!

Relevant Posts:
Circumcision Documentary Making Waves on Netflix, Twitter

American Circumcision: A Reaction to a Documentary on Circumcision in America

"American Circumcision" Wins Best Documentary Film Award at the Lone Star Film Festival

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Circumcision Documentary Making Waves on Netflix, Twitter




Since its release, the circumcision documentary film "American Circumcision" has been causing a stir. Not only has this film appeared in the Lone Star Film Festival, Social Justice Film Festival and the Outer Docs Film Festival, it has also received awards in all three festivals. It received the Best Documentary award at the Lone Star Film Festival and the Silver Jury Prize at the Social Justice Film Festival last year, and received the Best Documentary Feature at the Outer Docs Film Festival this year.

 

The film is making new waves. The film has only just been released on Netflix a few days ago, and it's already causing a Twitterstorm. It has been endorsed by organizations such as APPAH and blogs such as Towleroad.




It has only been the second day since its debut on Netflix, and it's ALREADY moved into the "Popular on Netflix" category.



Tweets of people's reactions are pouring in, and they range from complete "I never knew!" moments, to expected reactions from people who "don't see what the big deal is." (But thought it important enough to tweet about anyway.)

I don't want to post any on here that will result in having those comments removed, thus resulting in an empty space on my blog, so I'll let Twitter users verify for themselves. Just follow the film's Twitter account @circmovie and read the reactions for yourself.

The Netflix version of the film apparently blurs out the parts of the procedure shown, which should tell people something about it. Female circumcision is supposed to be "worse" than male infant circumcision as people in the West would like to imagine it, yet Netflix found male infant circumcision to be grotesque enough to warrant having it blurred out. Perhaps it's not the "little snip" people would like to believe it is after all.

In addition to Netflix, American Circumcision is also available at iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu, Vimeo, Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Comcast, Spectrum, DirectTV, Dish Network, Verizon FIOS, Frontier, SuddenLink, Media com, Wow, EastlinkTV, Shaw, Telus, Bakers & Taylor, Alliance Entertainment and Midwest Tape.

 However you might feel about the procedure, one thing is for sure; cat's out of the bag. Male infant circumcision is no longer the taboo subject it once was. The conversation is happening, so you might as well become aware and informed on the topic. American Circumcision is a good start.

Related Posts:
American Circumcision: A Reaction to a Documentary on Circumcision in America

"American Circumcision" Wins Best Documentary Film Award at the Lone Star Film Festival

External Links:
Official American Circumcision Film Website

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DETROIT: Federal Ban on FGM Declared Unconstitutional


Intactivists had been watching this case closely. We knew that what was riding on this case, what the possible outcomes, and what their implications were. We knew that whatever the outcome would be, it would be a landmark decision, and progress in the fight for basic human rights.

A year ago on June 2, 2017, I asked the question:

How far can "religious freedom" and "parental choice" justify the needless cutting of flesh in healthy, non-consenting minors?
This was it; the one case that would finally address this question.

Either "religious freedom" and "parental choice" could be used to justify the needless cutting of flesh in healthy, non-consenting minors, or it could not.

You cannot have it both ways.

Recapitulation
In March, 2017, one Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged with performing female genital cutting on two girls from Minnesota on February 3rd, 2017, at a Livonia clinic owned by one Dr. Fakhruddin Attar. She had been doing this for 12 years, and if found guilty, would have faced life in prison for violating the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996.

This was, unless, the doctor could prove that what she did wasn't "mutilation," but "benign religious procedure," which she and her defense lawyers were already trying to allege, or unless the federal ban could somehow be thwarted, since, under the ban, all cutting of female genitals, great or small, constitutes "mutilation."

The outcome of this case would have far-reaching implications, particularly in the case of another alleged "benign religious procedure."

Readers know what I'm talking about; male infant genital cutting.

Who was on the case, and why would it matter?
Who the doctor's defense lawyers were is important to note because it would appear that they had personal stake in the matter.

Famed constitutional law scholar and attorney Alan Dershowitz and prominent Birmingham defense attorney Mayer Morganroth were hired by Dawat-e-Hadiyah, an international religious organization overseeing a small sect of Shia Muslim mosques around the world.

According to Morganroth, they were hired "to protect the people charged and to represent the religious organization."

Morganroth had represented numerous high-profile clients, including ex-Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, auto executive John DeLorean and Jack Kevorkian.

Dershowitz is a retired Harvard Law School professor and lawyer who defended celebrity clients in some of the country's highest profile criminal cases, including O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson and British socialite Claus von Bulow.

Alan Dershowitz is Orthodox Jewish, and Morganroth is a Jewish surname.

This is important because male infant circumcision is seen as divine commandment in Judaism, and it has been a highly contested practice for the past two millennia.

A negative outcome in a case against a physician performing non-medical genital cutting in children at the request of religious parents would mean the legality of Jewish circumcision would be put in question.

Of course, the defense of a client is the duty of any lawyer, but for these lawyers, the outcome would mean a bit more, and so they would see to it that it would result in a favorable one for them.

Religious Freedom or Basic Human Rights?
A year ago, I said that the outcome of this decision would be a landmark decision either way.

On the one hand, upholding the federal ban on FGM would mean a loss for this doctor, and it would mean not only that what she did was illegal, it also meant that the legality of Jewish circumcision would be brought into question.

It would mean that parents couldn't just do abusive things to their children and get away with it under the cloak of "religious freedom."

On the other hand, a landmark win would mean  a win for "religious freedom," and the legality of Jewish circumcision would remain unquestioned.

A year ago, I also warned that such an outcome might result in the Federal FGM Ban of 1996 being struck down, opening the door for other forms of FGM, and possibly other abusive practices, to be legally performed in the US.


Today, we read about the outcome of this case.

History Made
So what was it going to be?

The protection of "religious freedom?"

Or the protection of basic human rights?

For all people?

The powers have decided "religious freedom" must be protected at all costs.

On November 10 of this year (2018), the charges against Dr. Jumana Nagarwala were dismissed, precisely because the judged declared the federal ban against FGM "unconstitutional."

The judge deciding this was none other than US District Judge Bernard Friedman.

US District Judge Bernard Friedman

I must say, with a name like "Friedman," I'm really not surprised.

There is not a doubt in my mind that the unstated reasons the judge ruled this was precisely to protect male infant circumcision.

Intactivists would have wanted the federal ban on female genital mutilation to be struck down on the grounds that it violated the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, but it was struck down on the grounds that genital mutilation is said to lie outside the scope of federally regulated interstate commerce instead. 

But to me, it really doesn't really matter; those who wanted to prevent a legal precedent that would invalidate "religious freedom" and thus place male infant circumcision under scrutiny from occurring, found a way to invalidate the Female Genital Mutilation Act, just as I predicted they would do a year ago.

I have always said, and continue to say this; either religious freedom and parental choice can be used to justified the forced cutting of genitals of children, or it cannot. It can't be had both ways.


The Ramifications of This Decision
I don't know about other intactivists, but I for one, welcome this decision.

Either decision would have been progress for our movement, because either decision would result in questioning "religious freedom" and "parental choice" sooner or later. However, I believe we couldn't have wished for a better outcome.

Had the judge upheld the federal FGM ban, it would have merely prolonged the grace period for male infant circumcision. The fact is that most, including activists against female genital mutilation, would laud the decision as the "correct" one, and life would have continued business as usual.

The fact is that striking the federal ban against FGM down is going to get people's attention; I don't think campaigners against FGM are going to be happy. There is going to be hell to pay.

Perhaps this judge inadvertently gave this conversation a push in the right direction.

The topic of the extent of "religious freedom" and "parental choice" is going to be a lightning rod for conversation.

In the past, activists against FGM and advocates of male infant circumcision alike were able to dismiss the topic "because they're not the same." Still others would hem and haw and hoped that the conversation would just go away.

Dismissing and ignoring is no longer a choice.

Sitting on the fence
is no longer an option.

We intactivists have been saying for years that laws against FGM would not stand unless male infant circumcision were addressed. We were attacked by FGM activists for it. Now, exactly what I and others have predicted has come to pass.

This decision has propelled this topic from its usual position as the elephant in the room, to the forefront of conversation.

It can no longer be said that "male and female are not the same," because thanks to this legal precedent, male and female forced genital cutting are on the same tier.

The firewall between male and female forced genital cutting has been officially knocked down.

Anti-FGM groups will now have a decision to make; either recognize basic human rights for both boys and girls, or watch their movement crash and burn.

The conversation can no longer be dismissed on the grounds that the forced cutting of one sex is more or less "severe" than the other, because that's neither here nor there.

Either "religious freedom" and/or "parental choice" justifies the forced cutting of the genitals of healthy, non-consenting children or it does not.

Ultimately the question is this:

What is more important?
"Religious freedom and/or "parental choice?"

Or basic human rights?

You cannot have it both ways.

We are going to have to choose once and for all which it will be.

What's it going to be, FGM activists?

What's it going to be, world?

Knock-knock!

Reality is here.

Related Posts:

Politically Correct Research: When Science, Morals and Political Agendas Collide

DETROIT: Woman Doctor Faces Charges For FGM

COURTROOM SHOWDOWN: Religious Freedom on Trial

INTACTIVISTS: Why We Concern Ourselves

Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay

External Link:
Detroit Free Press: Judge dismisses female genital mutilation charges in historic case