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Monday, June 16, 2008

Some quotes from blOUCH!

blOUCH is a blog for people to submit their stories of forced genital cutting: involuntary, neonatal, illegally, etc. You name it, people will talk about it.

I have it linked to the right in my link list, but here are some quotes I stumbled on lately that I found moving.

Physically, I haven’t known any different, but I suffered psychologically from the feelings that go with having a healthy part of my body cut off without my consent. I really feel violated by it. I also hate the fact that while discovering sexuality, like all guys do around puberty, involved me finding the scar and being bothered by the fact that I was cut. I don’t think discovering your own body should involve that kind of thing at all. A kid shouldn’t have to deal with that. It wasn’t done for any medical need but because my parents happened to think it was ‘cleaner’ or ‘healthier.’ I really don’t think I’d have had trouble having to spend an extra 5 seconds in the shower to clean it if it meant having my whole sex anatomy intact the way the male body is designed. I find it appalling that the medical community allows this to continue, whose body is it anyway? It still pisses me off to this day and can upset me because it brings up feeling violated and the physicality of it is permanent. I find the attitude some people still have around it a little disturbing like its business as usual. I’m not saying worse things don’t happen, but I don’t get how some people still to this day think that cutting off a part of a healthy child’s penis is normal. Cutting off body parts is supposed to be a last resort in medicine. I really do hope that the doctors will step up and do the right thing on this. Regardless of whatever slight possible medical benefits doctors should recognize that it is wrong to cut off healthy body parts from someone who can’t consent. It should be a individual choice not a parental one. Parents have to decide a lot of things, but permanently removing part of their kid’s penis, when he’ll be able to decide for himself later, shouldn’t be one of them.
http://www.genitalintegrity.net/blouch/2008/06/07/untitled/#more-148

Ever since I was seven I felt something was missing. Fortunately, I was one of few who was always able to pull the skin up over the head when flaccid and most of it (very tightly) when erect. I came into my mom’s and her boy friend’s bedroom and said, “I enjoy my peepee’s blanket,” because I enjoyed the sensation of the skin closed over my glands and they thought that was hilarious. Come to find out, God created the penis with a full “blanket.” ........... I watched circumcision and foreskin restoring videos over the past few days. They filled me with rage and I bawled my eyes out from the baby’s screams. According to my research when a baby is circumcised, the skin is originally “fused” to the glands, so the glans is actually skinned alive… come on people… where are your damn f**king brains? Doing that to a helpless healthy happy baby?
http://www.genitalintegrity.net/blouch/2008/06/10/a-mutilated-man/#more-149

My role as a nursing student was to just stand there and observe. Now I am not somebody who gets squeamish or grossed out or anything, and I wouldn’t describe the procedure as gross, I would describe it as torture. It was a life changing experience for me and I need to tell you what it meant to me. I couldn’t believe what I was bearing witness to. This perfect new baby, his legs strapped down to a white plastic board called a circumstraint, betadine splashed on his genitals as the doctor jabbed him with a couple shots of lidocaine. The baby was screaming and as I watched the doctor quickly get to work with her tools a rush of weird sensations came over me. Every intuition in my body was screaming NO! It was like I was frozen and couldn’t move or speak. I didn’t want to look but I couldn’t look away. I watched the doctor repeatedly jam an instrument under the baby’s foreskin to separate it from the glans (which I later learned feels comparable to separating a fingernail from the finger by carving under it with a knife) After she separated it, she was able to cut around circmference of the penis and remove the foreskin. And then she tossed it in the trash like it was a worthless piece of skin. ............ I hate feeling sad when I hear someone is having a boy just because I’m sure they’ll circumcise him. I hate feeling that because as the mother of two little boys, I know that little boys are amazing little people with or without intact genitals. I’m not some “crazy hippy” and parents who don’t circumcise their boys aren’t part of some “tree-hugging cult” or bizzare stuff that pro-circumcision people sometimes spout off because the truth is too painful to fully comprehend.
http://www.genitalintegrity.net/blouch/2008/05/22/my-mothers-day-gift/

Pretty serious stuff. There are a lot of uncomfortable people around about this.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Torgo Ξ said...

Oh man, just reading bits of that stuff is like seeing a horror movie– and I'm a wuss, so I have to just look away.

If someone I knew were pregnant and maybe/definitely going to have a boy, I don't have the confidence to argue coherently against circumcision. There's a thousand reasons not to circumcise, but I'd just get so flustered trying to explain even one. But I'd have to do something:

Maybe for wusses like me, I guess we should just write "nocirc.org" on a slip of paper and say "promise me you'll have a look at this site, okay? it's pretty serious health stuff."

Or maybe I could just barely manage to add: "my friend's baby boy got a botched circumcision and his penis is permanently really screwed up. I'm practically ashamed that I was too shy to tell my friend to look at this web site."
(And this really happened with my friend Eric's boy; I had to stop Eric from telling me any details because it freaked me out so much, and I just have to hope the kid ended up sort of okay.)

(Incidentally, rates of "botchings" must be vastly higher than actually reported. Any doctor trying to cover their ass (= all of them, because that's just how the biz works) would either just figure "uh, um, uuuuh, good enough!", or would mark it in the records as "the procedure was difficult", and move on. So, take the reported rate for "botchings" and multiply it by, what? ten? twenty? And that's not even counting when, years later, the boy finds out that he was "cut too tight", when get erections and the skin is so taut that it hurts.)


There's been a time or two in the past when I think "maybe I should have told that pregnant woman...", especially once when a guy was already telling this far-along pregnant woman how he's glad that his mom got him circumcised. I was dumbstruck.

But: 1) There's always a next time, and next time I'll snap out of it and say something.

2) Maybe she just saw how appalled I looked, and took that as a pretty convincing argument on its own.

3) This was in New Mexico, where circumcision rates are already low; and the woman was Latina, and Latina mothers are even less likely to get the kids circumcised. So I bet she thought about circumcision for barely a second, then said to herself "ay, pero what the hell for? es loco!"

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:(

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