Break the Chain!

TheBoyFromNorfolk of YouTube is from the UK; he is Jewish and was circumcised as an infant as per his religious mother's wishes.

Baring tattooed arms and standing before a wall emblazoned with the motto "KEEP CALM AND CARRT ON", he uses his own feelings and experiences to explain that the problem with circumcising a completely healthy child is that it takes away future choices from the adult the child will become—he explains that such genital cutting is morally wrong not because it's body modification, but because it's forcible body modification; he explains that it is a question of body autonomy.

(slightly modified)

Hello, YouTube!

I'm posting this video as a response to gotthatfunk's video on circumcision; [my video is] a response to some of the comments there from Curas1. They actually got me quite incensed, and [prompted] me to make this video. So, thanks Paul for doing this video on circumcision; that sort of kickstarted me on this. It's a subject I've wanted to talk about for a while, but it's rather personal and delicate, so… I've been iffy about it. So, thanks Paul. I appreciate it; it was a good video.

I just want to read out, first of all, the comment from Curas that got a response from me, [a response] which is quite incensed. [Curas1 wrote]:

Sexism aside I think there may be a very good reason for male circum­cision and not female and that is sensitivity.

I don't think circumcision in a man decreases the overall pleasure of intercourse in a man, it just makes him less sensitivie so that he will ejaculate later rather than sooner and at a certain point he will have the same [pre-climactic] sensations [an] uncircumcised man will have because male sexual pleasure is centered around the penis and except in rare cases ends in ejaculation. [NOTE: He's assuming this truth, because it is his experience as a circumcised man. This account of male sexuality is contradicted by men who have complete penises and who express many forms of pleasure during the whole sexual act, not just mainly at the point of ejaculation.]

to which my response was:

Or [circumcision] makes [sex] take so long that it hurts for one partner or another, the penis actually gets sores or injuries, the man finds he cannot achieve climax. Assuming your ‘it just takes men longer’ to be true, it still might reduce pleasure. Your usage of the term sensitivity is important, because sensitivity and total pleasure are linked, but not identical, and so even if your hypothesis of ‘it just takes longer to reach the same total pleasure’ were true, it'd not be the same.

And How Fucking Dare you say you have the right to decide that for anyone else!

Now, I'd like to go through Curas's [reply] to that admittedly angry response bit by bit and give my responses in this video. [Curas1 wrote]:

Oh you wanna go there, ok fine.

Yeah, I wanna go there, Curas. This is a subject that strikes close to my bone, so it's fucking important. [Curas continues]:

I'm all for what's best for a person health wise but leave my hoodless manhood out of the anti theist movement, forget that!

This is not part of the anti-theist movement; I've not yet seen anyone ask for the banning only of religious circumcision, only of forced circumcisions. The fact that most [circumcisions] in the UK are religious in nature doesn't change the fact that they're wrong. The fact that most [circumcisions] in the US appear not to be [religious in nature] doesn't change the fact that they're wrong. It's a question of body autonomy, not a question of anti-theism.

This bull is just another big finger to the church and while I'm not crying over a fundies hurt feeling don't try to call me a half unik [NOTE: That's probably supposed to be “eunuch”] because someone at college had another coffehouse brainfart!

That's a fine way to talk about peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals. Sounding more than a little like a fundy yourself there…

You wanna talk sexist, this is fast becoming misandry for anti theism!

Leave my junk the funk out of it!

How is it “misandrist” to stand up for the rights of infant males anymore than it's “mysogenist” to stand up for the rights of infant females? Is it because we're talking about problems that affect us as men? Bollocks to that, Curas!

I don't call you a “eunuch”—or even half of one! As one snipped bloke to another, I know we can have some damn fine sex, but [as for] the problems in my first comment: I have had them! That's why this is a personal video—that's why it was difficult for me to make, because as blokes, we don't talk about this very much, do we? It's not the sort of thing that's done; but, as part of this anecdote: Talking about this on the very few occasions that I have with other men, in the barracks room shower room, [who was the] only one without a bemused look on his face? The only Muslim in the unit! [NOTE: According to the WHO, roughly 30% of the world's men have been circumcised, and Muslims make up 68.8% of all circumcised men; Jewish men make up 0.8%; non-Muslim, non-Jewish citizens of the US make up 12.8%; various third-world, tribal cultures make up most of the remaining 17.6%.]

Now, as I freely admit, I was a bit hostile in that first comment, but this is really starting to get to me, so I do apologize for my tone, and your following comment to gotthatfunk was quite a bit better, so I want to respond to that with a bit of sympathy. You write:

You know you could be right but as a circumcised male you were told it was cleaner, it didn't decrease pleasure and it was more pleasurable for the woman.

Yeah. I was told the same, Curas, and I repeated the same myself, and when I saw studies that said “Oh… [Circumcision does] decrease pleasure”, I [also] just changed my tune and started saying it made the bloke last longer! I mean, I used to defend [circumcision] as a “hygiene” idea; [I said] it was a good idea if you were wandering around the desert 40 years not to have something [under which] sand could get stuck—as if that's relevant to someone living in the UK!

Frankly this is one time I'd like the lie over the truth, I mean what are you supposed to do now?

Break the chain!

Don't get it done to your sons just because it was done to you; don't let people mutilate their kids in ignorance—stand up for people's body autonomy.

As if guys didn't have enough performance anxiety issues, now we gotta worry that we were missing out too?

I understand you'd rather not think about it; I understand, because I feel that way, too! And, generally, I don't; I don't go around bemoaning the loss of my foreskin, and I try not to let it affect my love life, but I do get hung up about it when people try to defend it with bullshit.

I was circumcised because I'm Jewish, but I was more annoyed with my atheist dad than my religious mum; she's got a reason to do it—it's crazy, it's stupid, but it's a reason. My dad… let it [be] done for… peace in the household; he didn't think there was any harm to it.


People in those days didn't talk about it; people nowadays are only just starting to talk about it, so it's understandable—I didn't stay pissed off for long. But, one of the reasons I think we circumcised men don't want to talk about it—don't want to admit that it's a wrong thing to have done, don't want to talk about downsides of it (loss of pleasure, loss of sensitivity, any harm that we feel we've suffered)—is because if we do, we have to admit that people who honestly, truly love us very very much hurt us. Deliberately. They might not have thought they were hurting us; they might not have thought they were doing anything particularly wrong; they might have thought they were doing a good thing for us! But… they hurt us, and they took something from us that they shouldn't have.

Curas, I hope maybe you've changed your mind a little on circumcision. As you can probably tell [NOTE: He's pointing at his tattoos], I'm not opposed to body [modif­ications]. That's fine! In fact, I might have got it done myself at age 13—it would have livened up the bar mitzvah for sure! [That is], I might have chosen to get it done as an adult! [That is], if I had the option, I might choose to get it done as an adult. But, I don't have the option! That was taken away from me. That's why I think it's wrong; it's about a loss of choice.

So, Curas, I'll agree with your last comment on this situation, but before that, a joke to lighten the mood: Why does God need all these foreskins, anyway? He's making a wallet; when he rubs it, it will turn into a suitcase!

So, Curas, I'll agree with your last bit:

This sucks!