Those of us who have worked so hard to raise awareness of the insidiousness of routine infant circumcision watch the justified outrage at Penn State University related to abuse of underage boys by a former assistant football coach.  Yet, we shake our heads at the American hypocrisy for people to be offended by one kind of horrific abuse of the helpless and defenseless, but cannot see the utter sexual assault that is circumcision.  It both cases, something profound is taken away forever.

Wake up, folks.  If we think we should protect our children from adults’ dirty, stinking torturous ways with our youth and children, let’s be consistent.  Oh, you say, but circumcision has been around soooooo long and our prized, faultless doctors perform it at parents’ behest. And, oh, my gosh, it means a cleaner penis.  Says who?

C’mon, people, circumcision is assault.  Ordering the removal of a healthy, purposeful, sensitive body structure from someone else  — with all the bleeding, screaming, nerve-ripping diminishing of someone’s else’s genitals — it torturous and medically unethical.  Circumcision means less penis. Circumcision means the removal of richly erogenous penile shaft skin.  Circumcision means forever exposing the the penile head, or glans, to open air and clothing to dry out, to keratinize to desensitize. The glans is otherwise an internal, covered structure, kept moist and protected by the foreskin.  Circumcision means one person making a major decision about the body integrity of another that cannot be reversed.     You cannot replace the specialized nerves, the blood vessels and the other unique components of the foreskin, the only truly mobile part of erect penis.

Not the most well-meaning parent has the moral right to have a child’s body reduced to satisfy a cultural, religious or personal choice.  You can’t brand, tattoo, stretch or contort an offspring.  After all, there are universal human rights.  Why should males like I grow up to resent that I was violated — my body changed forever without my consent.  “Dad and Mom, why weren’t you there to protect me?”  “Oh, son, we just didn’t know any better at the time,” they ruefully note.  “There wasn’t any information for us.”

Where now there is and it says the foreskin is there for many purposes and should not be removed, especially for such shallow reasons as “it’s cleaner,” or “the other boys will laugh” or “women like the cut look.”  All tripe and drivel, and parents who buy into that nonsense are to be pitied.

The Penn State episode hits home in another way.   The recently ousted president of Penn State, Dr. Graham Spanier, was a good friend of mine in the mid-1960s when we both studied at Iowa State University.  He was my scholarship chairman when I was president of a men’s dormitory complex and its government called the Towers Residence Association (1967-68).  I occasionally gave Graham rides to downtown Ames where he was a newscaster for a radio station.  We were active in student politics, and we followed each other’s careers. We both later got advanced degrees from Northwestern University.  When Penn State came to the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe in 1997, we were going to get together, but my mother was on her death bed in Iowa and I went back there to see her. She died New Year’s Day and funeral followed. Graham and I never had the chance to reconnect in person.

What does it take to lead people to end cruel and embedded practices?  What does it take for self-evident facts to resonate with people? Why the blindness and ignorance and insistence on continuing to do to others that they would NOT choose for themselves?  The circumcision industry in America has been relentless in trying to make expectant parents believe cutting foreskins is no different than cutting hair or finger nails and that it is done so quickly.  Many suggest the trauma of circumcision leaves a lasting imprint in the mind, and we know how it disrupts breast-feeding.  The first violence visited upon a newborn boy surely raises issues of trust, security and where pain will come from next.

Why cannot parents understand self-determination? Why can’t parents take the time to explore why God put foreskins on all male mammals or that females have their counterpart protective, erogenous structure?  Why do parents think they can improve on God’s handiwork?  The Internet teems with web sites laying out the case against circumcision.  The pro-circumcision woefully try to drum up disease issues, but how many intact males do you know whose foreskins have brought them disease?   Invariably, we hear about someone’s cousin who had a “tight foreskin” that would not retract and caused pain.  Where was the help to inform him to using stretching techniques to make the skin loosen?

If you find Jerry Sandusky’s assault on children perverse and cruel, open your mind to other forms of abuse of the innocent.  Ask yourself: Why should adults use their position of dominance to forever alter the physiology of another person — a young male who wants to experience this wholeness.

Circumcision is a dirty little act that makes millions for the circumcisers.  In America, they get away with it because the public has been duped.  Most of the rest of the civilized world knows better and regards the American practice just more of  our sick, tormented struggles with our sexuality and our  shameful bodies.   Meanwhile, baby boys scream every minute in American hospitals and clinics, and the circumcisers nicely pocket $150 to $300. There is good money in abuse and assault on the helpless in America.  We’re not legally supposed to  perform cosmetic surgery on minors, so how does this sculpting of a child’s penis qualify?  Go figure. Oh, yeah, this is sexually conflicted America.

Go to the site: The Sexually Mutilated Child;  or to Intact America.org;  or NOCIRC.org  or the WholeNetwork.org  for more information.  Or google: “Lawn Griffiths” and “Circumcision” and see some of what I have been writing over the decades against the despicable practice.  Most of all, expectant parents, have the courage and good sense to choose wholeness and genital integrity for your sons.

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