The Second Version

26/06/07

Much Ado About Cocks

A blogspost by Andrew Sullivan ignited a new round of debate on circumcision - and, as it is abitual for the Internet, irrational arguments and prejudicial, bigoted positions abound.

Let's try to be reasonable for a minute here. I do not think that male circumcision is child abuse. Infants will quickly forget the pain, and won't remain emotionally scarred for their lives. I don't think that they will be sexually impaired either; studies on the amount of pleasure felt by men and women are too subjective and exposed to bias in both directions to be meaningful.

What about hygiene, then? I'll be blunt: accumulation of smegma is not the consequence of being uncut, but rather the consequence of the personal hygiene of a wild boar. Cleaning the penis' gland twice a day with warm water and soap is well within the basic skills of any normal man, and takes one minute per session, tops. So I wonder, are Yank boys too stupid to take care of their willy, or they don't have access to warm water and soap? I thought that was exclusive of the French. And do you honestly want to convince me that a cut but unwashed penis does actually smell like, say, lavender?

It is probably true that excision of small labia for females improves vulvar hygiene and reduces the risk of various infections; but curiously enough - outside the circle of body modders - it is generally regarded as a barbaric practice. Because it does actually leaves women sexually impaired.

The only factual argument in favor of circumcision is that apparently it reduces the risk of STDs, especially AIDS. I think this is likely enough to justify a prectice that has no other real contraindication. The fact that some women, somewhere, find foreskin gross is one of those cultural issues that makes nothing more than an emotional argument.

I did not think that the circumcision issue would expose the most extreme opinions, like abortion; creationism; extermination of the believers in other faiths; semiauto vs. revolver; Mac vs. PC; Ducati vs. Yamaha and blonde vs. brunette do.
What makes the issue so loaded is religion. You see, when you believe that god himself mandated a certain practice, it feels perfectly legit to treat those who disagree as lowly scum. On the other hand, people who don't like religion for their own reasons are ready to viciously attack anything related to it.

And everybody seems to forget that Islam mandates circumcision as well. But everything Moslems do is stupid and backward, don't you know? Even when it's the same that Jews do.

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