It has recently come to my attention that a man in San Francisco is trying to get legislation passed banning circumcision. I find this to be incredibly interesting.
See, I really hate routine circumcision. I have not heard one single reason for circumcision that I find to be valid or reasonable in the face of the great deal of pain the child is put through. So one might assume I would be all for a law banning routine, non-medically necessary circumcision. Thing is, as much as I hate the practice I also kind of hate the idea of the government infringing on personal freedoms this way. Especially when such legislation could easily open the door for other choices being taken away from us.
I think it would be far more effective for someone to start some sort of initiative to really educate people about circumcision. Explain the anatomy of the infant penis, so that people understand that it’s not nearly as simple as just clipping off a little bit of extra skin. Maybe show them an actual circumcision being performed, so they can see the foreskin being torn away from the glans and hear the child screaming in a way they’ve never heard a baby cry before (or watch as to goes still because it’s slipped into shock). Explain the reason that some medical professionals recommend circumcision to help prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa, and the reason why that is a completely unnecessary precaution in developed nations such as ours. Point out how fucking creepy it is to make this kind of decision based on “wanting him to look like his father”. And show people data on the monetary cost of circumcision.
I truly believe that if more people were educated properly about this procedure, fewer of them would choose to have it done. We don’t need a ban, we need to educate people.