Will you have your infant boy circumcised? If not, do you think people should be able to retain the right for religious rituals, or should the practice be banned all together? What if male circumcision took place late in life instead of at infancy?
These are comments by Douglas Kirk, Jesus_Marley, katzentier and Julie Gillis on the post “Germany: Circumcision is ‘Bodily Harm’“.
Douglas Kirk said:
I’m entirely against making religious male circumcision illegal, however I’m entirely for making religious childhood male circumcision illegal. I think priority for cosmetically altering genitals goes person who owns the genitals > everybody f*cking else.
I’ve heard a lot of argument concerning the apparent qualitative differences between FGM and MGM and using the differences in “severity” as some kind of justification to allow MGM. In actuality the severity of the cut is irrelevant to the discussion. It is simply a diversionary tactic to steer away from the true argument. That argument is about choice and the absolute denial of choice for male infants. In terms of the act of circumcision, I have no dog in that fight. If you are of legal age, male or female, and able to consent, then I say do whatever you want to your body. whether it is for religious reasons or purely aesthetic. Where I absolutely draw the line is with the lack of consent. Infants and children are not legally able to consent. Therefore, unless in a medically necessary capacity, where their parents are given the rights to consent in their stead, the act of circumcision is nothing less than a physical and arguably a sexual assault on the person who is suffering the procedure. Any other argument falls flat in the face of this. Consent and bodily autonomy are of paramount importance. Just as with girls, her body, her choice, the same for boys, HIS body, HIS choice.
Julie Gillis said:
And I wonder if MGM was done at 9 years of age, if people would reject it viscerally as with FGM because many people seem to think that infants don’t experience pain or something. Like…well, it’s just a newborn, he won’t remember etc. I wonder, culturally if FGM is done at 9 so that the girl WILL remember it, like…look what we can do to you, and we love you, imagine what those who don’t love you could do, or something like that.
Because I think there are some other frames going on here and I don’t think any of them lead to anything good.
Actually doctors in germany were advised to not perform religious (or cultural) motivated circumcions on people, who lack the ability to consent (children), even before this courtruling, due to the unclear legal situation. Of course it’s a different case for medical/health related reasons (like the foreskin being too thight), and if the patient is able to consent.
So I think this ruling is great. There’s some debate left about wether reducing the risk of penile cancer should be a reason for widespread circumcision (I think the WHO advices this?), but penile cancer doesn’t occur very often, so I personally doubt if the benefits are worth the harm. And men should just decide this issue for themselves.
Nothing has really been decided yet though. Our supreme court has yet to look at the issue and they’re rather conservative when it comes to religious and parental rights. But on the other side … we’re not letting jehovas witnesses kill off their children by refusing bloodtranfusions either. Bodily harm for religious reasons is bodily harm for religious reasons, no matter how severe and no matter which religion, and should not be allowed.
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