The Great Wiener Debate

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I recently got involved in a discussion about circumcisions, as I am wont to do from time to time, being a lover of all things Naked Man and all. Each time this happens I find more reasons to support my belief that the circumcision of infants is one of the most deplorable and barbaric practices our society engages in. I mean, really, think about it. Cutting off a piece of a dude's wiener just seems like a pretty damn cold thing to do right after he's born, you know?

Before I go any further though, I want to say that, firstly, there's noting inherently wrong with body modification if that's what you choose to do. My problem here is choosing it for someone else who isn't old enough to make that choice for themselves. Secondly, if you do make that choice, as a parent, I do think it's a bad choice; however... no parent is perfect and no one bad choice makes you a Bad Parent. All the Bad Parents I know made lots and lots of bad choices before they earned that coveted title. (ProTip: Taking your child with you to the abortion clinic to be sure they don't become a big sister earns you big points.)

Part 1: Modern Day Pro-Circumcision Arguments
So during these discussions about circumcision, the same pro-circumcision arguments always come up, yet they amaze me every time. I mean it's not like I'm talking to morons here (usually)--it's smart, rational people who are making these easily-refutable arguments with straight faces. Just yesterday I brought this up with one of my best friends, and, in spite of being one of the most open-minded people I know, she got all squeamish and declared she'd totally get her son circumcised because a natural penis is "icky." It's enough to make me go cross-eyed.

Argument 1: It's cleaner.
The problem with this argument is that, here in America, we have this crazy thing called Indoor Plumbing. It's amazing and it allows you to wash your freaking wiener. It's not that complicated, people. Lady bits have all of these crazy folds and caverns, yet we're not shaving of the "useless" parts in order to shorten our shower time! In fact, we Americans kind of freak the heck out at countries who do practice female circumcision, regardless of their reasons or methods.

Argument 2: It looks nicer.
It looks nicer because that's what you're used to seeing here in America. Until recently, circumcision was extremely common, peaking in the 1950s and only really notably declining since the 1990s. If you were in a country where circumcision was not commonly practiced (as in, basically any other country anywhere), you probably would not feel this way. This is called cultural bias, and is no reason to bring scissors near your Little Man's little man.

Argument 3: I want my son to have a peenie like mine and/or do not want him to be made fun of. (Penn Jillette has a hilarious video rant about it here if you don't mind his potty mouth.)
Firstly, I just don't feel that teaching your children conformity just for the sake of conformity is a good lesson for them. This argument basically amounts to "everybody's doing it," which parents spend a lot of time teaching their teenagers is not a reason to do anything. And, in fact, not everybody is doing it. As I previously stated, the practice of circumcision has been in decline for several decades. Currently only just over 50% of males get their thingies snipped. It's not cool anymore. Sorry. Maybe we could teach our boys to smoke earlier; that'll help 'em fit in.

Arguement 4: He's a baby; it's not like he's going to remember that it hurts and he won't miss it.
I... Really?! This is seriously supposed to justify removing a significant portion of a child's penis??

I disapprove.

Part 2: Modern Day Anti-Circumcision Arguments
Now that we know that a penis is dishwasher safe and that conformity makes you a tool, there are very valid reasons as to let a young lad keep his foreskin.

To be brief, the penis head is very sensitive, and is naturaly a moist organ, much like the clitoris. Once the foreskin is removed, it becomes dry and sensitivity is decreased by a sometimes estimated 75%. As one unsuspecting and uncircumcised member said during the aforementioned discussion, "If I pull my foreskin back and try to do pretty much anything not related to sex, it's impossible. It's far too sensitive. The mere fact that circumcized guys are able to wear clothes is proof positive that it causes a serious loss of sensation."

This isn't to say that sex is necessarily four times better for men who are uncircumcised, but it does bring me to my next point.

Part 3: How Did Circumcision Become so Popular Among American Gentiles Anyway?
According to my research (found at the end of this post), circumcision began to be widely promoted during the Victorian era as a means to discourage masturbation. Isn't that fun? Throughout the years it has also been proven to cure wet dreams, bed wetting, urinary and rectal incontinence, tuberculosis, epilepsy, nervousness, abdominal neuralgia, "eye problems," blindness, deafness, dumbness/muteness, as well as prevent spinal paralysis or cuvature, clubfoot, black men from raping white women, urinary tract infections, penile and prostate cancer, tongue cancer, all STDs, cervical cancer, bladder and rectal cancer, and "immunity to nearly all physical and mental illness." This is science, people.

Or not. So basically all we're left with now is "it's pretty because it looks like Daddy's" and "I don't have to wash as thouroughly." It seems like people cling to these two reasons as though their very grip on reality depends on it.

Anyway, it feels good to have taken full inventory of my own thoughts on the matter. I just like to make informed decisions is all, and with all I know about the topic I know that my son(s) when I have him/them will have all natural ding-dongs.

Part 4: More Information
Where did I get this information? Many places, but I'll list my favorite and most readable ones here.
  • Mutilation Nation - This is the first article I read on the topic, and found it to be very well-written and interesting. Warning: The points are illustrated, and the topic is penises. Penises in the name of education, of course.
  • The Medicalization of Circumcision - This slideshow shows a timeline as well as a scale that shows the popularity of circumcision in the US, UK, and the world as they coincide with different "scientific" studies on the topic. There's one small drawing, but other than that it's weenie-free for the senstaive viewer.
  • Circumcision and HIV - The latest trend in circumcision propoganda is that it'll prevent the spread of HIV. I'm pretty sure a condom and/or monogomy will work better, but whatev.
  • Intact America - An organization dedicated to trying to figure out what these poor little weenies did to deserve being treated this way.
Note: I finally had an excuse to post pictures of weenies in my blog and I passed on the opportunity. I think that shows growth. I'm going to go do grown-up things like throw a dinner party or look at china patterns or something.


L said...

YEA!!!!!! I agree. We are NOT circumsizing Peanut. His 'little mister' is staying as God made it.

A said...

Yay for Peanut's peanut!!

Joel said...

How did you manage to be so humorous and so informative and on point all at the same time? :p

thank you SO MUCH for speaking out against infant circumcision. If circumcision is so great, im sure men will choose it for themselves when they're older - oh wait.. most of the world is has a foreskin and is freaking HAPPY about it.

The foreskin is healthy, sensitive, functional, erogenous genital tissue. It has value! Not to mention foreskin amputation is painful and permanent.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that painfully and permanently amputating healthy, valuable genital tissue without the consent of the individual undergoing the procedure is not ethical!

Unfortunately many of us, like your friend, have our cultural blinders on. That means we have been so conditioned to see something as normal, that to change our view throws all of our "accepted, but poorly thought out" views into question. It certainly isn't easy to retrain yourself to find something else attractive. I'm sure if one culture removed all the teeth from the gums of infants, that they'd all be horrified the first time they saw you giving them a toothy grin... even if you had the whitest, straightest teeth in the world.

Some might say, NO, there is no way anyone ever saw a foreskin the way we see perfect teeth.. but the ancient Greeks did! I'm sure they aren't the only culture to have done so either.

I have to say though, I've grown to really dislike the word uncircumcised. It normalizes circumcision. A circumcised penis in America is just a "penis".. but a penis with a foreskin is ALWAYS "uncircumcised". We literally have to mention circumcision in order to talk about a penis that hasn't undergone one. The LAST thing a guy wants to hear about when his penis is talked about is a procedure that cuts one of the most sensitive parts off! TOTALLY unfair. Actually, its the same tactic they use in cultures that cut women's genitals. You might think you just have a vagina, in America, but unless you've had valuable parts of your genitals cut off you would be called uncircumcised by everyone you know! I doubt that feels very good to hear, for most women. No one likes being called uncircumcised.. because it makes it sound like someone just forgot to circumcise you.. like its only a matter of time. Well. I dislike it. I think "intact" is a better solution, or perhaps "whole" or "natural" or "complete" as other suggestions. Pretty much anything but uncircumcised!

I have the tendency to leave giant comments no one reads, so I'll stop at this point, but ultimately.. THANK you for speaking out against this practice. Thats the key to stopping circumcision of healthy infants - making sure everyone KNOWS the information. we have to squash the myths before people get too attached to them. We'll never convince everyone, but everyone deserves the chance to know the correct information - if for no other reason than to make them accountable for the decision they made.

Please keep speaking out!

A said...

Thanks for the comment, Joel! You make a good point about the word "uncircumcised;" I simply had never considered that before. I see how annoying it must be! I'll put more effort into using "intact" from now on.

Joel said...

You're welcome, A. Thanks again for this post, I just read over it again, its something I wish everyone would read!

Have you showed it to your friends and family?

A said...

Some of them. Most of my friends and family aren't allowed to breed anyway.

Joel said...

haha! Well, I think its really great that you are making this an issue that you're willing to talk about and stand up against. Not enough people have the guts to do it.

A said...

Thanks, Joel.

Wesley said...

"Note: I finally had an excuse to post pictures of weenies in my blog and I passed on the opportunity. I think that shows growth. I'm going to go do grown-up things like throw a dinner party or look at china patterns or something. "

And calling penises "wieners" and "weenies."

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