Because Sometimes More is More
Wow, that’s pretty impressive, and interesting! You could have potentially walked into a hornet’s nest by challenging your professor, but it looks like they were pretty knowledgeable on the issue, and acknowledged your point.
I watched this documentary on the oppression of women throughout the world and of course they brought of FGM specifically is Somalia. One of the reporters from the U.S. even said something to the effect of “you shouldn’t be able to cut off a part of someone’s genitals because of cultural reasons.” and never once did they bring up circumcision. I did the research and penile circumcision is just as popular in Somalia as FGM and penile mutilation is also really common. They believe that circumcising will make sperm move slower so that means that someone can’t impregnate someone else’s wife. They even cut so that semen comes out of the base of the penis instead of the head to insure that a person isn’t able to impregnate someone easily. I mean at the very least they could have brought this up as further proof that women are treated like property because they’ll go so far to make sure that they stay belonging to one man. I couldn’t find any information on how the penile circumcisions/mutilation was performed or the death rate but it would have been interesting to be able to compare. The FGM method most used there was completely removing all external genitalia and sewing up everything so there was only a tiny hole which is the most extreme and lethal version that causes infection, menstruation issues, and death during child birth but it would have been nice to at least mention the health risks of penile circumcision as well. I know that the documentary was supposed to focus on (cis) women, and we definitely need to address the oppression of anyone viewed as women including trans people (which were also absent from the documentary despite the fact that many of the countries they visited have a significant trans* community) but following you has definitely made me think about penile circumcision and it’s effect on society both regarding how we view sexuality and also gender politics. So thank you so much for making me think more.
You’re welcome, thank you too for sharing so many of my posts with your followers!
That’s really interesting, I didn’t know about the belief that it makes sperm move slower. Definitely one of the more ludicrous circumcision myths I’ve heard. I’d love to know the death rate, too.
I’ve done a bit of reading on FGM in Sudan, and it seems that the Horn of Africa region has it the worst in terms of severity. It’s also almost universally true that any culture that practices FGM also practices MGM
For those who think male circumcision is comparable to female “circumcision.”
I’ve written about this countless times before, and anyone who’s interested can search through the FGM tag on my site. The problem with this kind of logic is that it focuses on the worst examples of what we classify as FGM. It also ignores the less-than-ideal conditions in which male circumcision is performed both internationally and in the United States. This creates a contrived dichotomy that is both gendered and ethnocentric.
Yes, FGM tends be more damaging on average, but there are very common forms of FGM that are similarly damaging and traumatic — and in some cases less so — than male circumcision. The biggest issue with non-therapeutic genital alteration of children isn’t whether it’s done here or there, to males or females, or how much vs. how little is removed, but the fact that it’s still being allowed to happen.
Circumcised people who refer to it as “genital mutilation” are appropriating the experiences of those who’ve suffered FGM.
Yes, suffered. Circumcision is not the same, at all. FGM is not something gone through willingly, and not always something they go through as infants! Sometimes it’s done when they’re older. And that’s really all I know about it so I’m gonna shut up.
Get anecdotal evidence, speak to people who’ve had FGM done to them. Do every bit of research and in the meantime stop spreading misinformation.
Firstly, I’m not sure that this idea of “appropriation” makes sense even in a cursory way, given that many victims of FGM do not consider themselves mutilated, and often object to the term. Rather than us doing the appropriating, perhaps it is you who is doing the speaking over — speaking over the voices of those who feel genuinely mutilated by a genital excision that they did NOT go through willingly. And speaking over the voices of those who’ve done a lot more research on FGM than you have, as well as those who were subjected to it themselves.
You should also consider that, while you’re sitting here complaining about the way people discuss circumcision, there are infants getting parts of their genitals removed at a hospital near you — and if you pay taxes or health insurance premiums, it’s probably being paid for with your money. You should consider that, every year there are thousands of infants who get their bloody, freshly cut dicks sucked, and the politicians elected to represent you are doing nary a thing to stop it, but apparently the bigger problem in your view is that people who are calling this genital mutilation.
Genital mutilation in females is to prevent them from enjoying sex and having orgasms. Every circumcised guy I’ve been with so far has had no trouble with either enjoying sex or orgasms.
Circumcised males enjoy sex and orgasms (to the extent that that’s true) somewhat similarly to the way circumcised females enjoy sex and orgasm, even despite some of the most severe forms of FGM. Male circumcision removes a large quantity of specialized and highly innervated genital tissue, and causes marked decrease in touch sensitivity. The most likely reason why most circumcised males (and females) cannot complain about reduced sensation is because they have no awareness of what an genitally unaltered sexual experience feels like.
Male circumcision — or male genital mutilation, if you want to talk about it with the same seriousness as you afford to FGM — happens due to a complex variety of motivations. It represents an implicit usurpation of control over one’s genitals away from the owner. It was also frequently used as either a punishment or pre-emptive strike against adolescent masturbation in Victorian times.