San Francisco Circumcision Intactivist's Anti-Semitic Comix

Does support for San Francisco's circumcision ban make you anti-Semitic or just gay? 

This Foreskin Man comic book that PJ Tatler has uncorked on an innocent America seems to wrap that question up in one Röhmite package. 

The circumcision-fighting “intactivist,” whose adventures are published by one Matthew Hess of Male Genital Mutilation, even wears the same supercolors as Ace and Gary. And the rabbi caricatures are ripe enough that the whole thing feels like a hoax. 

Or not. There is a Matthew Hess on the MySpaces, the Twitters and at mgmbill.org. His reply to accusations of anti-Semitism is that he is an equal opportunity offender. 

Hess is wrong about that. Jack T. Chick, the greatest pamphleteer of our age, is an equal opportunity offender. This group shot of, from left to right, "The Rev. Dr. Green, Abdulla Ab-Du-La, Bishop O'Tool, Rabbi Ginsburg" and assorted homosexualists, shows the kind of ecumenical sweet spot a cartoonist can reach when he believes all souls are eligible for damnation: 

Hess is a supporter of the San Francisco initiative but is located in San Diego. The actual sponsor of the San Francisco ballot measure is one Lloyd Schofield of the informal Committee Opposing Forced Male Circumcision. Megyn Kelly fans may enjoy the Fox anchorwoman's Friars japery in this interview with Schofield. In the middle of another unenlightening discussion, a CNN news reader buries one interesting point: that Schofield's campaign, with its focus on the rights of infants, is analogous to the anti-abortion movement. 

Opponents of legalized abortion may begin their argument (in many or most cases) from religious belief, but they support it with the language of human rights. Schofield’s initiative tries to do the same, and after all the mohel jokes die in sorrow, there are real human rights questions – about the rights of the born, not just the unborn – in the infant circumcision debate. (Here’s an interesting think piece by Michelle Goldberg in The Tablet.) 

Schofield’s initiative is a goofball lacking even the, uh, fig leaf of a religious exemption that might have prevented an out-of-the-gate First Amendment challenge. But even if this iteration never becomes more than an itch in Babylon by the Bay's trousers, this is not a question that easily breaks along left or right lines. 

Related: Radley Balko asks who gets to keep your foreskin after you give ‘er up. 

Does anybody remember the commenter who used to denounce Reason as a collection of “Röhmites”? Life ran very high in those days!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Does anybody remember the commenter who used to denounce Reason as a collection of “Röhmites”?

    Never fear, Underzog is here!

  • Mr Whipple||

    correction

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • Jesse Walker||

    Underzog, the Lonewacko of Judaism, was last spotted identifying himself as an old friend of Lanny Friedlander. See him play the piano on his YouTube channel.

  • MNG||

    Jesse
    You've proven yourself highly knowledgable in the past about comics. What's your take on Foreskin Man?

    I argued on another thread that comics often deal in over-the-top archetypes and stereotypes and that given that fact, and the subject matter, it is hardly anti-Semitic to have a blonde, buff super-man battling an evil Jewish Mohel (Mohlel's come readily to mind when debating circumcision, see the Seinfeld episode "The Bris" [where, ironically, we are treated to another tale of a non-Jewish hero protecting a infant from a less-than-reputable Mohel]).

    Foreskinman number one has the same villian versus a goblin-like non-Jewish delivery room doctor called "Dr. Mutilator."

    It strikes me that a more charitable explanation for this is that the author, steeped in comic book convention, uses an archetypical hero against commonly conjured, over-the-top stereotypes of those that practice circumcision.

    What's your take?

    For the record-I'm opposed to banning circumcision, though I don't really have a dog in the fight considering 1. I don't live in the Bay area and 2. it is too late for me in the matter...

  • MNG||

    That should be "Foreskinman number one has the same HERO versus a goblin-like non-Jewish delivery room doctor called "Dr. Mutilator."

  • Jesse Walker||

    If you're against circumcision for reasons that aren't related to Judaism, then it's a bad idea to use a mohel as your villain.

  • MNG||

    Would'nt a mohel come up naturally though, like it did for Larry David?

    I mean, the first issue was a delivery doctor. The second a mohel. It just seems that the idea behind it is "targeting people who make a living doing circumcision" rather than "targeting Jews."

  • MNG||

    It seems to make perfect sense for the villian of a comic which has as its purpose the opposition of circumcision a person who has a specially carved out position of prominence and occupation performing, well, circumcisions...

    No?

  • ||

    a specially carved out position of prominence

    ::golf clap::

  • General Patton||

    What's that "N" stand for again mein Freund?

  • ||

    Look at it this way: it would make perfect sense for muggers to be portrayed as black, because a disproportionate number are, and yet for decades Hollywood has bent over backwards to show street crime committed by whites, men of mixed/unidentifiable ethnicity, or (my favorite) racially-balanced gangs. (We all know how common those are, right?) In this case, though, politically-correct sensibilities were set aside, so the offensiveness stands out.

  • Dixie||

    The 1970s were the heyday of the TV racially mixed gang. Now they are all(with rare exceptions) white.
    Remember "Year of the Dragon"? You would've thought they remade "Birth of a Nation" with Asians standing in for the Coloreds.

  • Untermensch||

    The problem with that take is that if you look through the full cartoon, the parallels to 1930s-era anti-Semitic depiction of Jews only get stronger. If it was just depicting a mohel, I wouldn't expect him to use some of the particular dehumanizing features from that era (e.g., depicting “Monster Mohel” as something other than human with no pupils—the one page reproduced at the Tatler blog is actually the least overdone part of the entire thing) and he recycles accusations of particularly perverse pedophilia against Jews in it as well (“Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy… the delicious metzitzah b’peh provides the icing on the cake”).

    So, no, this is going beyond just what you'd get because you happen to have a mohel. While he doesn't get blood libel in there, he's pretty much hitting on all the cylinders of classical anti-semitic literature.

    I find an irony that this movement is driven by a particularly “victim”-oriented subsegment of the San Fran gay community but they use images of pedophilia (and not just here: these guys really like to make sure that you know how the metzitzah b’peh is done anywhere they can fit it in, even though most Orthodox mohelim no longer do it). Given how prevalent accusations of pedophilia have appeared in anti-gay literature, you’d think they’d be a little more careful about using them in a case where there is even less plausible basis for making the accusation.

  • ||

    The vast majority of circumcisions are not performed by a mohel.

  • cynical||

    So, you don't see any unfortunate implications or historical parallels in the idea of Jewish priests kidnapping presumably non-Jewish children and mutilating them in religious ceremonies?

    Not even a little bit?

  • ||

    I hit him over the head with blood libel in the other thread.

    The depiction of Jewish people coming after people's children for use in their religious rites has been a staple of anti-semitism since the Middle Ages.

    I'm trying to imagine someone coming up with a plausible explanation for the other side... They're using the same blood libel situation and imagery that anti-semites have been using since the Middle Ages--completely by accident?!

    That's ridiculous.

    It's anti-semitic. Even if they really did do it by accident, they should still be ashamed of themselves.

  • ||

    presumably non-Jewish children

    That presumption appears to be wrong from the panels available at the link. The parents are clearly assisting with the circumcision.

  • MNG||

    As Tulpa points out, it is the hero that kidnaps the kid, the father wants the circumcision.

  • cynical||

    Ah, the cover makes it look like the kid is kidnapped, I assumed the woman being held was his mother.

  • ||

    OMFG NO. Is that really him? Is that really him playing the piano?

    Jesus Christ I love the Internet.

  • Trespassers W||

    Is he wearing makeup? If so, he should take it off.

    If not, he should put some on.

  • L4F||

    Well, it does sound like something Erns Rohm would approve.

    Circumcision has cultural and health benefits, if you're going to ban it, you might as well ban ear piercings for anyone under 18.

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • little 'frisco||

    SF, the gay volk's Singapore.

  • Old Salt||

    San Fran is a place that even Sailors are scared of!

    That being said, does anyone else notice that...snicker...Foreskin Man looks an awful lot like an Aryan poster child with his blond hair and blue eyes?

  • L4F||

    That's where the anti-semitism comes out. Notice how the rabbi has black ugly hair. This subliminal propaganda is intentional, the cute "Aryan" fighting the "evil" Jew. Classic. Goebels would be proud.

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • ||

    ... AND LIBERTY FOR ALL PENIS SKIN

  • ||

    Amazing that you failed to work gay marriage in there with abortion and circumcision to complete the trifecta of H&R thread fertilizer. Especially considering we're talking about SF.

  • Bradley||

    But he forgot Ron Paul and anthropogenic global warming.

  • MNG||

    What about evolution?

  • ||

    And dogs dying in SWAT raids?

  • yonemoto||

    IP!

  • Charlton Foreskin||

    You can take my foreskin from my cold, dead hands.

  • ||

    When foreskin is outlawed, only outlaws will have foreskin.

  • Amakudari||

    Erm, true? Wasn't that one of the methods used to determine whether someone was Jewish in Nazi Germany?

  • Old Salt||

    Wait...WTF?

    Did the SS just kick in your door and start demanding for everyone to line up and whip their cocks out for "inspection"?

    I think my little sister has that very same yaoi manga hidden under her mattress!

  • Amakudari||

    In many cases I bet it was unnecessary because religion was part of public records in Germany, but in cases where a person's Jewish heritage was in question, Nazis would indeed use a checklist of physical features -- including circumcision status -- to determine who was Jewish. Consider how they would root out Jews who fled to France.

  • Mr Whipple||

    In Soviet Russia, penis circumcise you.

  • ||

    What the sharia law in regards to foreskin?

  • ||

    As long as it's not a pig foreskin, I think it's OK.

  • jtuf||

    Sharia law commands Muslims to cut off their sons' foreskins before adulthood. The exact age varies by local tradition.

  • Zeb||

    Why do Jews and Muslims have such problems again? They are pretty much the same religion.

  • MNG||

    "one interesting point: that Schofield's campaign, with its focus on the rights of infants, is analogous to the anti-abortion movement."

    A very astute point. I'd throw animal rights in there too. All three movements (is anti-circumcision really 'a movement'?) couch themselves as pushing for rights for those with "no voice."

    Most of us, rightly I think, would be aghast and perhaps even support state intervention to stop animal cruelty or the circumcision of, say, an 8 year old child (see the abhorrent and perhaps analogous practice of female genital mutilation). How different for something similar done to an infant? And now to really rattle the cage, how different when something possibly painful is done to an unborn fetus?

    Something to think about, and it does indeed cut across ideological lines.

  • ||

    Something to think about, and it does indeed cut across ideological lines.

    Not when the ideologues cover their ears and shout "la la la not listening".

  • MNG||

    But de Joos is stealing our foreskins!

  • General Patton||

    Do you know who else didn't like Jews yet was for animal rights?

  • Amakudari||

    Most of us, rightly I think, would be aghast and perhaps even support state intervention to stop animal cruelty or the circumcision of, say, an 8 year old child (see the abhorrent and perhaps analogous practice of female genital mutilation). How different for something similar done to an infant?

    FGM removes part or all of the clitoris. The temporary pain here is irrelevant -- and the practice is just as bad under anesthesia -- as the point is to permanently remove almost all sexual sensation. This would be like removing the glans for men. As for animal cruelty, circumcision doesn't have to be painful, but those advocating for a ban probably consider that irrelevant.

    And now to really rattle the cage, how different when something possibly painful is done to an unborn fetus?

    Fetuses don't even begin to feel pain until somewhere in the mid-to-late second trimester, long after many abortions occur. In any case, I don't know anyone who's okay with a late-term abortion as long as the fetus is adequately anesthetized.

  • ||

    Do you know who else didn't feel pain until the somewhere in the mid-to-late second trimester?

  • Irresponsible Hater||

  • Mr Whipple||

    That's funny. I worked with a guy who was proud to let everyone know he was not circumcised. And yes, he called it "The Anteater".

  • rather||

    Well, we know you took a peek, WTH, did it look like?

  • Mr Whipple||

  • rather ||

    Why is a penis NSFW? I'll never understand it

  • rather ||

    I thought it was pretty for a penis

  • A. Snuffleupagus||

    *waves*

  • ||

    Shouldn't FM's costume include a cowl or hood or something?

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Check out the symbol on his chest.

  • Mensan||

    Or at least a turtleneck.

  • Jeff P.||

    His "kryptonite" could be a cold morning.

  • Old Salt||

    A cold shower?

  • Jeff P.||

    To hide his one eye...

  • ||

    Soooo...

    Does any one have an explanation as to why a shit load of my generation were circumcised?

  • ||

    Also who did the procedure?

    All these American infants did get circumcised...just about everyone born from 1965 to 1985 or so.

    Did a doctor do it? Was he a special doctor or just general practice?

  • ||

    I'm sure there's videos on YouTube if you want to cut to the bottom of this.

  • ||

    We did not know the gender of our first baby and when the doctor asked "if it's a boy, do you want me to circumcise him?" was when I found out that, generally, OBs are trained to perform circumcisions that are not religious in nature (we had a girl so it was a non-issue). My brother's boy was circumcised by the attending OB.

    As far as the "why" of circumcision, who knows? People argue it's about preventing disease, which I could understand being important to bronze-age goatherds who might not wash for months on end. But modern standards of cleanliness seem to negate the need to remove a part of your body.

    What if we suddenly decided pinkie-fingers were useless and caused disease, or that earlobes were ugly and should be removed? Why is it always genitalia that get cut up?

  • Brian D||

    "Did a doctor do it? Was he a special doctor or just general practice?"

    Usually a genital practitioner.

  • Mr Whipple||

    It was paid for by the health insurance companies?

  • ||

    I am not telling a joke.

    I really don't know.

    Was there a study that came out in 64?

    Was it a secret government program to stamp out antisemitism?

    Did a bunch of men get sick of cleaning it and decided "My son will never have to do this....plus he might not jerk off as much."?

    Why did America start lopping off foreskins?

  • ||

    It was considered hygenic.

  • Skinned Alive||

    Well, was it?

  • ||

    The (false) belief about hygiene was the ostensible purpose, but it was mainly done because masturbation without a foreskin is more difficult.

  • ||

    Another false belief.

  • ||

    They don't call the foreskin "nature's lubricant" for nothing. Or so I've heard.

  • db||

    Who the hell needs lubricant to masturbate?

  • cynical||

    Um.

  • Zeb||

    While I will personally never know if this is true or not, I have a hard time seeing how I could, as a teenager, have masturbated any more than I did, generally without lubrication.

  • Mensan||

    It really caught on in the U.S. in the early 1900s with the military forcing soldiers and sailors to have part of their penis cut off, because they thought it would reduce incidents of venereal disease.

  • Mr Whipple||

    It was done just in case they were to meet a nice Jewish girl. Wouldn't want to scare her off, or anything.

  • jtuf||

    Joshua corning. Victorian doctors made circumcision popular among American Christians. It was probably considered a way to reduce masturbation.

  • Mr Whipple||

    What did the Jewish woman say to the uncircumcised penis?

    http://www.shebrewmag.com/2006/05/uncut/

  • Colin||

    I bet Liberty Mike is scouring the shelves looking for this comic. Perhaps Ron Paul, too.

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    I can't make up my mind about circumcision. I get it cut off, I stretch it back out, I get it cut off again......

    I should be more decisive.

  • Mohel Six||

    Do that a few more times and you won't have to decide.

  • GSL||

    I don't know if this is the Hit & Run Tony (he sounds far too coherent), but I've been having an interesting back-and-forth on the human-rights angle of this debate on my blog with a commenter named Tony.

  • SIV||

  • rather||

  • Don Rickles||

    Foreskin Man? I heard he's a real dickhead.

  • Dr. Weird||

    GENTLEMEN! Who stole my Hairarium? I mean foreskin.

  • Old Salt||

    A "wizard" did it!

  • Jeff P.||

    Close to fifty posts and nobody makes a "he only took tips" joke.

    You people sicken me.

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    I hear he only took tips.

  • ||

    Ya know, call me crazy, but my cock is none of the state's business. It is between my parents and me. My parents chose to de-hooded and Ihaven't had any problems except for complaints about sore cervix's. ;)

  • rather||

    It is between my parents and me. My parents chose to de-hooded and Ihaven't had any problems except for complaints about sore cervix's. ;)

    Your dad has a cervix?

  • West Texas||

    You know, stupid cervix jokes aside, I actually agree with this. Why should it be anyone's business but mine? If the nice gay man wants more boys to keep their foreskins, he can just have some children of his own and refrain from circumcising them.

    I'm a gentile and I was circumcised and I wanted my boys circumcised when they were born and they were and so what? Why should the damn government care? It's not like I feel like I miss anything, I don't hate my parents, and I'll tell you, from what I know about intact penises, the whole thing (pun intended) does indeed seem kind of dirty and, uh, gross. So let's whack it off and keep it cleaner. I'm responsible for my child's health and dammit, I think it's healthier and cleaner to be circumcised. Where are my parental rights?

    And really, if you have nothing better to do than sit around and think about how oppressive circumcision is, you need to get out more.

    But as to the OP of the post, aside from the inanity of the cartoon itself, it is indeed pretty vile and bigoted. No question.

  • Applederry||

    How far do you take this though? To what extent can parents modify their children's bodies before they're violating their bodily integrity (if ever)?

    Is parental authority over their child's bodies absolute? Does it wane as they get older or does it last until they're 18?

    Can parents who have decided they don't like having a boy have them sex changed? Can blind or deaf parents damage their child's eyes or ears so they can be more like them?

  • ||

    How far do you take this? No farther than this. You have to draw the line somewhere and we have been drawing it here for a very long time and things seem okay.

    If you ban this, you effectively ban the practice of Islam and Judaism. I think freedom of religion is a bigger issue than people whining about losing their foreskins. And you can have the things reattached as an adult anyway.

  • rather||

    Wouldn't that just be cosmetic?

  • ||

    I am not sure rather. I have never looked into it. I will say this, most women I know find them distinctly unattractive. Maybe they are a big thing in the gay community. But among straight women, they are not preferred.

  • rather||

    The truth is a dick is not the prettiest part of any man

  • ||

    most women I know find them distinctly unattractive.

    I have no idea what the women I know think about foreskins, perhaps I should emulate you in bringing up the topic. Always been afraid it would turn out like this.

  • rather||

    lol

  • ||

    "Now Johnny, don't touch your little brother's foreskin container in the freezer."

  • Applederry||

    The "it's tradition" reason is hardly satisfactory. Chinese foot binding is an old tradition. Would you really not have seen a problem with it if the communists hadn't banned it? There has to be more to it. Also, the mere fact that we're talking about circumcision is evidence that "things" are not okay as you suggest.

    With regards to religion, it does present a problem, but religion isn't a free for all to ignore the law. We certainly wouldn't allow child sacrifices for religious reasons, but again it's a question of how far are we willing to let it go? A law that is designed to oppress one or a few religions is certainly unjust, but a law that only infringes coincidentally is less clear.

  • ||

    Circumcision doesn't interfere with normal human function in later life. Foot binding and (obviously) child sacrifice do.

  • Applederry||

    Unless, of course, the circumcision fails.

  • ||

    There is a medical debate about this. It really does reduce the incidence of VD transmission. I can't see how you can ban a practice with arguable medical benefits that essential to the practice of the religion of millions of Americans.

  • Applederry||

    The fact that the medical benefits are arguable is why is should probably be restricted to adults.

    Would you be okay with a circumcision ban that allowed it for religious reasons?

  • ||

    "Would you be okay with a circumcision ban that allowed it for religious reasons?"

    Sure. But the an would be effectively meaningless since it is impossible to tell if the parents are actually sincere or not. I think you have to make accommodation for religion or the 1st Amendment doesn't mean much anymore.

  • Applederry||

    As far as I know, Judaism and Islam are the only religions that really require circumcision and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out if they're really devout (just offer a free ham with every circumcision).

    Seriously though, I think such a ban would still have value as it would at least stop doctors from performing circumcisions as a matter of routine and hopefully over time reduce the number of people seeing it as a religious necessity.

    Regardless, if the only objection to such a ban is based on the religious strife it would cause I can certainly understand that.

  • ||

    The problem with a religious exception is that it gives special privileges to religious people and allows the government to ask all sorts of invasive questions about a person's beliefs. Fuck that. Just leave it up to the parents. If cut gay men are angry they can't get into the uncut scene, they can take it up with their parents.

  • Applederry||

    I agree it's problematic. I'm certainly not happy about an opinion that would lead to more government intrusion, but neither am I entirely comfortable with the idea that parents can permanently alter their children's bodies at will.

    The unfortunate reality is that kids are not autonomous individuals, but neither are they property. They exist in some in-between place which poses problems for all political philosophies, but libertarianism especially. It's a subject I wish got a little more discussion than it does in libertarian communities because I feel it's an especially weak link in our chain.

  • ||

    I think there is a case to be made that was should end all child endangerment laws and go back to the old Roman law where parents owned their children.

    I know that sounds crazy. But I am not sure those laws have done many children any good. And they have done tremendous damage to our civil liberties. At this point I think there is a pretty strong argument that state CPS do more harm than good. And if you can't enforce a law without creating more harm than you are solving, why have the law?

  • Applederry||

    CPS has undoubtedly ruined many families without cause, but I don't think that justifies relegating children to the legal status of property. That drawn line you mentioned earlier would be pushed back quite a bit I think.

    To say nothing of mutilating genitals or damaging sensory organs, just think of the rampant sexual exploitation that would occur.

  • ||

    I wouldn't support ending all child endangerment laws. But the argument is less crazy that it sounds. And making it illuminates the point that there better be a pretty compelling reason for the state to start telling people how to raise their children.

  • Mr. Clock||

    Don't you ever sleep?

  • ||

    Time zones are such a confusing thing for some. :-)

  • db||

    I have a good friend who is a social worker in a fairly rough area. He claims (i can't verify) that for CYS to take someone's kids away, they have to have documented evidence of serious abuse. He maintains it is very difficult to separate children from their parents. (note this is in New Castle, PA, notorious for taking newborns away from mothers based on flimsy drug test evidence).

  • Fluffy||

    As far as I know, Judaism and Islam are the only religions that really require circumcision and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out if they're really devout.

    But if I make up, this very moment, the Fluffy Church of Being a Douchebag and claim it requires circumcision, it would violate the first amendment to say that the members of my church can't practice circumcision and Jews and Muslims can.

    And there is no test of sincerity for membership in the Fluffy Church of Being a Douchebag. Merely claiming membership reflexively demonstrates conclusively that you are a member.

  • Zeb||

    This is a point that I always try to make about freedom of religion. The government defining what is and is not a religion itself must violate the First.

  • ||

    It's highly unlikely that any court would recognize a religion, started by the individual in question, with precisely one belief that just happens to enable one to evade a child protection law.

  • Fluffy||

    In that case, the court would be wrong, and the justices would deserve the death due to tyrants.

  • jtuf||

    The fact that the medical benefits are arguable is why is should probably be restricted to adults.

    By that logic, we should outlaw vaccination for HPP in minors. Many people loose their virginity before 18, making VD protection in necessary.

  • ||

    I would think that body changes that cause long-term damage to normal human capabilities and bodily functions are certainly off the table except in case of compelling medical necessity. This criterion would prevent most types of so-called "female circumcision" as well as sex changes and sensory organ destruction.

    The other end of the spectrum would be things like vaccinations and braces that are temporarily painful or annoying.

    Male circumcision would probably be comparable to nose or ear piercings, somewhere in the scale in between. The thing is of course, if a guy wants to get the circumcision done as an adult the procedure is more difficult...so it's not a simple matter of just waiting till he's old enough to decide. You actually do possibly make things worse by waiting.

  • Applederry||

    I don't see how circumcision is comparable to piercings, those can actually heal over time. Foreskin doesn't grow back.

    The medical value of circumcision for most people is also questionable at best. I don't see how you make things worse by waiting. A circumcision is not like getting the chicken pox.

  • ||

    "I don't see how you make things worse by waiting."

    Talk to someone who got one as an adult. It is very painful.

  • Applederry||

    Unless it was a medically necessary circumcision that could have been foreseen when they were children, I'm not sure why I should care what they have to say.

  • ||

    How many babies did you survey while they were being clipped?

  • ||

    The recovery time is much shorter for infants. Obviously it's unclear what the relative amount of pain during the procedure itself is.

  • ||

    actually, there are people in the deaf "culture" who believe that it is not a handicap or disability or whatever the PC term is. there is this whole movement. in fact, some of them have said if their child is born deaf AND there was a simple procedure to fix it, they wouldn't have it done, etc.

    few articles written on this back in the day

    militantly deaf, iow.

    and then of course there is a tie-in with "curing" gays and all the other stuff

    but yes, there are people - deaf- who believe that it is NOT a disability, and it should not be w/in the rights of parents to have deafness fixed via surgery w/o consent of the child (which of course is a non-issue when you are talking infants and little kids, since thye can't legally give consent)

  • ||

    There was an infamous puff piece in the Washington Post a few years ago about a insane lesbian couple at Gallaudet who found a sperm donor with the right genes to maximize the probability of their child being born deaf. It was some seriously sick shit.

    But being deaf is not the same as this.

  • jtuf||

    Applederry, we can take the argument in the other direction. Do you want to imprison parents for getting their daughters' ears pierced? Should we forbid underage tattoos? Underage body modification is fine as long as it doesn't significantly harm the child and the parents approve.

  • Mensan||

    Piercing ears is not permanent unless you put in those stupid tube earrings that stretch out the lobe. Underaged tattoos are usually sought by a teenager who needs parental consent. I see no issue with a teenager also deciding to get circumcised with parental consent. I would have a problem with tattooing a newborn.
    Circumcision is the permanent removal of a part of the genitals. It is not comparable to pierced ears except that they are both cosmetic.

  • Almanian||

    You know who else hated people who removed foreskins....

  • Zeb||

    Boy, this gets funnier every time I hear it. I hope someone makes this joke a few more times downthread.

  • Godwin||

    You know who else hates Godwin jokes...

  • Almanian||

    Also, you can have my foreskin when you can pry it from my cold, dead....hang on, I was circumcised when I was a baby. Never mind.

  • Almanian||

    You can have the REST of my penis when you can pry it from my cold, dead, etc. etc. etc.

  • ||

    Separating your hands from your penis does sound like a challenge.

  • ||

    "I got myself stuck to.........myself."

  • ||

    Mit einem Namen wie "Hess"...

  • BrokeBroker||

    This is one thing I'll never get to understand with Americans, Reason *DRINK* readers included. What is your fracking obsession with dick skin ? Seriously? Leave it alone for chris sake!

    Mostly comming from libertarians. Leave your kid's penis alone. He will decide if he wants it cut off or not when he gets older. He is not an extension of you. He is an individual. Each individual should get to choose by themself what is good for them. Haven't we've been playing that track enough yet?

    And go to hell with that hygiene thing. You wash behind your ears, well, same shit. To me, this argument just sound like confirmation bias.

    And for those who wonder, it's all that Kellogs guy fault. Ya, he wanted you to keep your hand away from that spot. That's why you got a part missing. To please control freaks aka statists.

  • PermaLurker||

    ^This^

  •  ||

    What is your fracking obsession with dick skin ?

    Also boobies.

    Oh, and anal sex with a farm implement, usually suggested in the form of a rebuttal.

  • Fluffy||

    He will decide if he wants it cut off or not when he gets older. He is not an extension of you. He is an individual. Each individual should get to choose by themself what is good for them.

    Honestly, this is really stupid.

    If we're going to obsess about making sure that parental choice doesn't supercede the individual choices of children, we have to ban the practice of bringing children to churches until they're old enough to "decide for themselves". And we also have to ban education. Shouldn't we wait until people are adults so they can decide for themselves if they want to read and write?

    When my parents taught me to read and write, that impacted my life about eleventy billion times more than when they had me circumcised. That "choice" was correspondingly eleventy billion times more important than whether or not I was circumcised.

    I am bringing my own kid up to be John Galt. That will change his life infinitely more than the fact that I refrained from having him circumcised. So please, spare me from the concern trolling over his choices.

    That's the thing that really is odd to me here. Who gives a shit about this? Why is this so significant?

    It really kind of feeds the stereotype that gay men are shallow, sensation-obsessed weirdos. Why are you obsessing over the trivial marginal change in sexual sensation of people you've never met? I don't know about you, but I've never had a problem with wanting to get laid. I didn't really require some group of weirdos to worry about my capacity for sexual sensation. In fact, I've kind of insulted by the idea that there are people out there so overwhelmed by the idea that I am personally somehow sexually deficient (because that's what you're saying and there's no way around it) that they need to have a political campaign to trample religious liberty and parental authority in order to make sure that no one in the future will have to suffer the horrible fate of, you know, being like me. Fuck you guys and your fucking patronizing concern.

  • ||

    ^^This^^

  • ||

    Fluffy, you've posted some pretty thought-provoking and intelligent stuff on here, but this is utterly, fucking...

    brilliant.

    +a whole bunch

  • ||

    Fluffy, you've posted some pretty thought-provoking and intelligent stuff on here, but this is utterly, fucking...

    moronic.

    FTFY

    Cutting off a body part is not the same as imparting information. If the information is something you decide you do not want, you can ignore it and go your own way. You can't get back the body part that was amputated.

    Why is it so hard to look at circumcision like any other elective surgery? You can't get your infant breast implamts, collagen injections, tummy tucks, face lifts, labioplasty or a whole host of other elective, cosmetic surgeries, why should you be allowed to get them this one?

    Why do you get to have someone cut off part of another person's body?

    Make it like all other cosmetic surgery--something that requires the consent of the person getting the surgery.

  • Applederry||

    I'm actually surprised it took this long for someone to bring up mental states. Yes, the ideas we are exposed to, or alternatively, have drilled into us, affect us far more than a small body modification.

    However, it's still not a very comparable situation. Except in cases of brainwashing or something, we, as adults, still have the ability to choose to believe all the stuff we were taught as children. Like small piercings, those "wounds" have chances to heal that circumcision does not allow for.

    Also note, I don't get the gay obsession with foreskin, nor am I one of those people who hold a grudge against their parents for circumcising me. I'm simply arguing from a bodily autonomy perspective.

  • ||

    If we're going to obsess about making sure that parental choice doesn't supercede the individual choices of children, we have to ban the practice of bringing children to churches until they're old enough to "decide for themselves". And we also have to ban education. Shouldn't we wait until people are adults so they can decide for themselves if they want to read and write?

    You keep ignoring the elephant in the room: We shouldn't bring children into this world until they're old enough to decide if they want to be born.

  • Old Salt||

    Ever listen to Sam Kinison?

  • BrokeBroker||

    Where did I said you're sexually deficient? Why take offense? Did they took away that much self confidence along with it?

    I just think having a part of your kid cut off for no good medical reason is just silly. And to me, there is no real difference between this and FGM. Except it is done when the kid is too young to remember the pain.

    I don't know for you, but I was interested in learning to read way before they forced me to go to school. Ever heard of unschooling? From what I read here, it works. So why force your choices on your kids? Why not let them be themselves? Even if they end up like crap, it's their lifes, not your.

    And if you're raising your kid to be John Galt, what is the big difference between you and those idiots raising their kid Storm to be non-gendered? You're just pushing your beliefs on the next generation. Quite a "laissez-faire" model...

    Now I don't have kids myself. So I don't know what I'm talking about. I might beat the crap out of them or do stuff I'll regret a few times. But cutting their left hand for estetic reason? That's just stupid. And the argument that says "I'm the parent, so I get to do whatever I want with you, suck it up kiddo!", well, replace "parent" with "mayor - deputy -governor - cop - president" and that's what some statist would say.

  • ||

    This and the other thread stands as forever proof that there is nothing MNG will not defend provided someone on the LEFT is doing it.

    In MNG world, a cartoon that even shows a chimp while there is a black President is racist (provided the Right drew it). But a cartoon showing a superhero saving babies from menacing religious Jews is in no way anti-Semitic.

    It is just astounding. I honestly never thought he would go full Joe Boyle. But he has.

  • ||

    MNG on the famous chimp cartoon.

    MNG|2.20.09 @ 10:24AM|#

    "I dunno guys...I mean, look again at the juxatiposition of the rather uncontroversial facts I mentioned above.

    Does anyone want to argue that it was not and is not common for racists to liken black people to monkeys?

    Does anyone want to argue that our President is not a black man?

    Does anyone want to argue that he is at the very least strongly associated with the stimulus bill (on NPR this very morning they referered to it as "his" bill)?

    OK, well there is a picture of a shot monkey and the caption balloon refers to the shot monkey as the author of the bill.

    So it seems pretty reasonable to me that someone could read this as having racist overtones."

    Amazing the difference in tone.

  • ||

  • MNG||

    It's funny you bring that one up, because you and your ilk are usually on the "racism charge is unfounded and made too quick" side, but of course the right goes through some overcompensation with Jews due in large part due to its noted anti-Semitism.

    In my very first post on Foreskin man I said I can see how someone can see it was anti-Semitic, especially if they are unfamilair with the conventions of comics and the other issue available. And in the monkey cartoon all I argued that it was "pretty reasonable to me that someone could read this as having racist overtones."

    So, no difference, even in tone!

  • MNG||

    From my first post on the issue:

    "I can see where someone might find it anti-Semitic, especially if they are the easy-to-outrage type...If you know a lot about comics and more about this topic in particular, a more careful approach is warranted."

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/06.....nt_2323158

  • ||

    Ape cartoon, "so it seems pretty reasonable to me that someone could read this as having racist overtones"

    Baby mutilating Jew cartoon. "I said I can see how someone can see it was anti-Semitic, especially if they are unfamilair with the conventions of comics and the other issue available"

    So one it is perfectly reasonable for anyone to think it is racist. The other it is reasonable to think it is anti-Semitic only if you don't understand it or comics.

    That is a huge difference in tone. The first one any reasonable person may hold the view it is racist. The second one, only those who are uninformed could think it was anti-Semitic.

    And it is "unfamiliar" douchbag. If you are going to put up posts about other people's spelling, you might want to make sure yours is perfect.

  • rather||

    Come on John, leave Herr MNG alone ;-)

  • ||

    They're not ordinary Jews -- they're Jews who perform a bris on a pool table.

  • rather||

    If Jews use a pool table, Catholics a bingo, what do Muslims use?

  • ||

    A hookah bong.

  • ||

    A snooker table.

  • ||

    Indonesians use a ping pong table.

  • Old Salt||

    I wonder if Jewish Goths would use a coffin?

  • JB||

    What's ironic is that many of the same people who think a little snipping is bad for the baby would have no problem with bashing in that same baby's brains and sucking them out through a tube a few weeks previous.

  • ||

    That too.

    Presumably, if circumcision could be done in utero, these folks would be left without any argument against it.

  • rather||

    Blah, blah, blah, abortion is not a male issue

  • ||

    are you parodying or not?

    frankly, i'm pro-choice in other words - on demand abortion in FIRST TRIMESTER

    however, what is common in the pro-choice world is that it's never about a woman, a fetus and her doctor.

    it's about a woman and HER body.

    there is nothing magical about passing outside of a birth canal that automatically transfers rights.. or at least there shouldn't be.

    a fetus 2 weeks short of delivery is completely fully developed. it is not a CHOICe any more than infanticide is.

    and, last i checked, the regulation of medicine, the protection of civil rights (and yes, that includes even babies that haven't left the birth canal) is everybody's issue... not just women

    abortion on demand in first trimester?

    fine

    taking a fully developed (or close to ) human being and sucking the brain from its head while it is still in the birth canal (so, that's ok?) is NOT solely a woman's issue, and doing it because the pregnant woman is severely depressed or other such crap is fucking insane

  • rather||

    since you don't have a vagina
    -fuck off

  • ||

    Sure I will gladly fuck off the day we ban all child support and admit that children are entirely the responsibility of the mother.

    Get your hand off my wallet and I will take mine out of your uterus.

  • rather ||

    you cannot compare the process of gestation, and childbirth to $ you have to shell out because of your inability to control fatherhood

    It's that simple. An autopsy will betray pregnancies but not support payments. Ergo, a woman's right to control the damage on her body outweighs your loss of income

  • ||

    you cannot compare the process of gestation, and childbirth.

    Since life begins at conception, I certainly can. I don't either the mother or the father have the right to murder unwanted off spring. But if we are going to allow that to happen, it shouldn't happen without the permission of both parents, unless women want to renounce all claims on the father's income.

  • rather ||

    By aborting, a woman is renouncing all claims to a father's income.

  • ||

    Not every father is a deadbeat. If the father wants to pay, the women should have to bear the child to term.

  • rather ||

    So a woman should be subject to physical and psychological complications because of a man's need to be a daddy?

  • rather ||

    Should she cook dinner because of your need to eat?

  • rather ||

    why not make her perform in porn movies for your sexual gratification?

  • rather ||

    while she is pregnant, do you propose to control her diet, sex life, exercise?

  • ||

    Within reason yes. If the woman is out drinking every night trying to kill the baby, yes.

  • ||

    If you don't like it, don't create a life with someone else. Absent rape, no one made you have sex. Once you create a life with another person, you have effectively given up control over you body to that person.

  • rather ||

    It is never black and white for women. Ejaculation ends a man's risk, and women have biology's game to play-out.

    Men will never understand the issue; it isn't in their nature

  • ||

    I would say it is pretty black and white. You can't be kind of pregnant.

  • rather ||

    Statistically a breastfed baby develops a higher IQ and less allergies, can you demand lactation?

  • ||

    Perhaps. Again, get your hand off my wallet and you can have all the freedom you want.

  • rather ||

    Your logic works to your disadvantage. A woman could subject a potential sperm donor to exercise, demanding abstinence from recreational drugs, junk food etc.

    Controlling another human, ain't so much fun when you're on the receiving end

  • ||

    Yes, a woman can demand whatever she wants from men in return for sex. That is the way it has worked. If you want to tell men "in order to have sex with me you must do X, Y and Z", you are perfectly free to do so.

  • rather ||

    Not as a demand for sex but for the healthiest sperm.

    In effect, even after conception, the control could be based on her psychological well-being.

    In fact, using your logic she should be able to control your fertility, and demand a 'snip' cause she said so

  • ||

    "In effect, even after conception, the control could be based on her psychological well-being."

    You have already conceived so your demand has no effect on the child. Pre conception, you can demand anything you like. Post conception, your body is now a joint running concern made up of you, the father and the child. If you don't like that, don't get pregnant.

  • Ben P.||

    By your arguments, ejaculation *doesn't* end a man's risk, because his livelihood is at least 18 years encumbered.

    I say this as a former child support enforcement case manager. I have seen how the sausages are made, and, frankly, anyone who spends 4+ years doing that job and doesn't end up becoming a libertarian as a reaction to it has no soul, no heart, and major brain damage.

  • Kant feel Pietzsche||

    Oh, Rather. You're so cute when y....wait, scratch that. You're never cute.

  • rather ||

    Sorry you're so bitchy Kant feel Pietzsche. I'd be bitter too if a girl or guy couldn't feel your Pietzsche

  • ||

    Blah, blah, blah, abortion is not a male issue

    Half of the time it actually is.

  • ||

    I mean, are women not allowed to have an opinion on rape because they "never have to make that decision"?

  • ||

    It should be acknowledged that the health benefits of circumcision is overrated. An uncircumcised male isn't much more likely to contract STDs or HIV than their cicrumcised counterparts.

    As far as the infant's rights are concerned (it's something to consider), I would stand up for their right to exist first, and worry about circumcision secondarily.

    It just kinda makes sense in that order.

  • ||

    As I said above, I can't see how you can ban a practice with at least some medical benefits that is essential to the practice of the religion of millions of Americans. This is not foot binding.

  • ||

    like so much in the law (and civil rights, etc.) it's a balancing test.

    fwiw, i would support a law, if there is not one already, that makes the use of reasonable analgesics mandatory. i don't believe in causing undue suffering to animals, let alone babies.

  • ||

    The anesthetics are more dangerous to the baby than the pain associated with the procedure. They avoid giving them to babies wherever possible. Sometimes the baby just has to suffer sadly.

  • ||

    It shouldn't be banned. It's an accepted practice in many, many, many non relgious societies.

    Unfortunately, this isn't a cause celebre for those usually not interested in the role of government. Many (socially conservative) Asians in SF will simply find doctors who will illegally perform the procedure or just skip town for a day to do it.

  • rather||

    If one does not consistently wear a condom, odds of contacting STDs increase, regardless of your penis' clothing

  • ||

    And it is totally reasonable to expect everyone to be a good little drone and always wear a condom. Wearing one may be a good idea. But it is hardly a good idea that seems good at the time.

  • rather ||

    yes, daddy ;-)

  • Zeb||

    "But it is hardly a good idea that seems good at the time."

    True. But it often seems like a really good idea in retrospect.

  • ||

    And it is totally reasonable to expect everyone to be a good little drone and always wear a condom.

    Saying you should cut off part of your body to prevent you from having to make the right choice in the future seems kind of extreme. Also of course, circumcision doesn't really replace condom use even if the most favorable studies are to be believed; only receptive-to-penetrative transmission is reduced, and then by a smaller degree than condom use. Penetrative to receptive transmission (which is far more common anyway) is totally unaffected, as are the multitude of other reasons you'd wear a condom like preventing pregnancy.

    I mean, going to the dentist is unpleasant when you actually have to do it, but that doesn't mean you have your teeth pulled and replaced with dentures to avoid it.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Dumbest fucking comic in human fucking history

  • rather ||

  • MNG's Ass||

    Those are just German nationalist cartoons Rather. There is nothing anti-Semitic about them. You are just being a sensitive right winger looking to be offended. Next you are going to tell me Little Black Sambo or Tin Tin on the Congo are racist.

  • rather ||

    The funniest part was referring to me as a 'right-winger'

    I loved MNG asking Jesse Walker for his opinion.

  • ||

    He really hit a new low.

  • rather ||

    I'm lost. Wasn't it a spoof?

  • ||

    I thought that. But it wasn't. He said on the next thread that he didn't see how it was anti-Semitic. He defends it above. So whatever posts were a spoof, it wasn't those.

  • rather ||

    'Someone' uses my name and blog all the time. Half the stuff on H&R isn't my posts, and I constantly read 'fuck off rather' over anon comments that aren't mine either

  • rather ||

    Hmm, maybe he's 12?

  • ||

    No one ever spoofs me. It would be impossible to get the right mix of clear though, improper spelling and invective. Any attempts at it turn out only obvious fakes.

  • ||

    I've never seen anyone spoofing me, either. I'm guessing the correct mix of dry wit, penetrating insight, and pithy bon mots is impossible to counterfeit.

    Or is it the right mix of arid pedantry, impenetrable narcissism, and elliptical obtuseness? Who can tell at this hour of the morning?

  • ||

    One of the odd things that occur when you become slightly more famous than normal are the decisions you have to make when people start impersonating you on the internet.

    Which ones to let slide (after all someone who uses a handle 'Lysander Spooner' isn't actually Lysander Spooner) and which ones you're forced to have to intervene on. In the half-dozen or so cases I've found, I've yet to feel the need to intervene though folks suggested I should.

  • jtuf||

    According the a recent book by a French scholar:


    "Smurfs society," writes Bueno by way of hypothesis in his work of spoof scholarship, "is an archetype of a totalitarian utopia" bearing the hallmarks of Stalinism and Nazism.
    It's an orderly, harmonious and male-dominated world in which Smurfs eat together, work together, apparently do not own their own homes, and never bicker over money because there is none.

    Not only is Papa Smurf "all-powerful and omniscient," writes Bueno, but his white beard gives him a curious resemblance to Josef Stalin or Karl Marx, with the bespectacled Brainy Smurf standing in for Leon Trotsky.

    As the Smurfs' sworn enemy, scheming sorcerer Gargamel -- a hunch-backed misanthropic loner with a cat called Azrael -- represents a perennial capitalist threat, in Bueno's opinion.

    "I am myself a child of the Smurfs, and I did not take it seriously when I compared Papa Smurf to Stalin," Bueno told AFP.


    The France 24 article is here.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't know about "recent".

    I was bitching about how the Smurfs were commie propaganda back in the late 80's.

  • Ben P.||

    That does cast in a new light the old Apple II-series Castle Wolfenstein parody, "Castle Smurfenstein", complete with the 8-bit opening theme music of the Smurfs theme music of melodic 'la' sounds being interrupted by gunfire and shrieks.

  • jtuf||

    It is obvious why the cartoonists chose to show a Jewish circumcision. If the cartoon in the pamphlet depicted Mohammed circumcising his son, the cartoonist would be in hiding and fearing for his life right now.

  • ||

    Notice nothing against cutting off duaghters' clitoris?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think that is much of an issue in the US. There are plenty of people making noise about it where it does happen.

  • ||

    Actually, circumcision opponents in the US like to equate it to FGM.

  • ||

    To answer the last question first, foreskins go to cosmetics companies to put in face cream. On other fronts, it seems that the link between circumcision and prevention of HIV and HPV is ignored completely here. In southern Africa, where I work, the demand for the procedure is coming from the ground up -- from men requesting it; mothers bringing their boys in...it seems the intactivists want to deliberately ignore the public health dimensions of the issue. Not to mention the First Amendment issue: Who's religious practice will be next on their agenda?

  • ||

    It is okay as long as they just do it to the Jews. Just ask MNG.

  • ||

    Wouldn't men in Africa want their foreskins for what they were designed for - to keep their dick-heads from being bitten by bugs and leeches?

    Stop having sex with those dirty whores if you don't want STD's.

  • ||

    And if anyone is expert in HIV prevention, it's subsaharan African guys who refuse to use condoms.

    Wasn't too long ago Americans were happily bringing their boys to get circumcised to prevent epilepsy.

  • ||

    And the studies that have shown any link between HIV and circumcision only find that receiving-to-penetrating transmission is affected (in heterosexual sex, this is from woman to man). This is not the primary mode of transmission.

  • Hancock||

    Does support for San Francisco's circumcision ban make you anti-Semitic or just gay?

    Homo.
    Homo in red.
    Norwegian homo.

  • Bill||

    I wonder if the lefty sponsors of this are even aware that Islam also practices ritual circumcision? Would they make the same comic with the Imams the villains? The alliance between the Radical Left and Radical Islam can only last so long. Like Hitler and Stalin, they will eventually turn on each other.
    It will be WONDERFULL!

  • Robert||

    Who doesn't love Chick Publications?

  • Sleeping Dog||

    I love to wipe my ass with them!

  • ||

    Should be interesting to see how that all turns out in the end.

    www.hide-your-ip.at.tc

  • ||

    The Circumcision issue is not an issue..just another anti semetic action
    from a "looney tune" group of people
    mostly left wing liberals who reside in SFO and Berkley.Shame on us as Americans.

  • ||

    Mr. Cavanough:

    Why don't you mock the current federal law that bans female circumcision, and for which there is no religious exception?

    And incidentally, take it from this lawyer, you know nothing about the First Amendment if you think that this law is a violation 'out of the gate.' Nothing.

  • Just another person commenting||

    Does anyone else think there is something slightly disturbing about the fact that the author of the comic seems to think kidnapping a child and handing the child off to people not his parents is an appropriate alternative to circumcision?

  • ||

    You are an anti-semitic piece of garbage if you think your comic is entertaining.

  • Bradley||

    I love it when people with no reading comprehension wander in.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    This proposal would make the practice of Judaism illegal. The comic book simply addresses the issue squarely and "outs" the bigotry of many of the promoters of the measure.

  • ||

    It cannot be overemphasised that no one wants to outlaw circumcision. What is at stake is a minimum age for performing a cosmetic or ritual circumcision as opposed to a therapeutic one. I strongly support deferring Jewish and Islamic circumcision until after the 21st birthday, thereby making it an informed adult choice of the foreskin owner. But I am very reluctant to require this by statute. My wish is for Jewish and Islamic religious leaders to see the light voluntarily.

    The Foreskin Man comic was bigoted and totally counterproductive. Its author is a sorry adult whose mind is tone deaf to historical and cultural sensitivities.

    It was utterly silly to propose to outlaw the circumcision of minors within the city limits of San Francisco and Santa Monica, because it is extremely easy to drive a baby boy a few miles to a neighbouring city. The appropriate level to regulate circumcision is the state legislature. However, the California legislature is not on the side of the angels in this matter, because it was almost unanimous when it enacted a statute forbidding cities and counties from regulating circumcision in any way. This despite the fact that the circumcision rate in California maternity wards is 20% and falling.

    The unspoken issue in California is a clash between two historically victimised minorities: gay men and Jews. Sophisticated gay men love foreskin.

    The vast majority of routine infant circumcisions performed in the USA and Canada have no religious basis whatsoever. They are performed because doctors feel compelled to humour parents enthralled by urban myths and outdated notions about the structure and function of the human penis. Millions of American parents worry that a son sporting a foreskin will be noticed and ridiculed in the loo and locker room, and will be rejected by the nicer cut of young ladies when he starts dating. The internet reveals that there are Americans who hold bigoted views about men whose penises retain all the factory installed moving parts. I have read many posts by anguished pregnant mothers saying that RIC offends them deeply, but the father fiercely insists that his son should be circumcised.

    Doctors in other countries that used to circumcise gradually came to discourage the practice strongly, and this made it much easier for parents to let go of their bald penis fetish. But American doctors and medical schools have failed to lead where they should, especially east of the continental divide.

    What should be outlawed is performing infant circumcision without anesthesia, which is intensely painful and is still quite common in the USA. Finally, the surest end to a human practice is not to outlaw it, but to have it perceived as uncool and out of date. The fate of the American foreskin will not be decided by doctors or legislators, but by whispered conversations among college women about what it's like to date an intact man. When young women decide that the foreskin is harmless in bed, or makes orgasm easier to achieve, RIC will be dead as the proverbial dodo. The bald penis will be seen as uncool.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement