Abbie J. Chessler: Justifying the Unjustifiable: Rite v. Wrong, Conclusion

Buffalo Law Review, Volume 45: Pages 612-613, 1997.

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The bifurcation of male circumcision from female circumcision can no longer be tolerated. Claims that the two cannot be linked perpetuates the continued legitimacy of one human rights abuse, male circumcision, through the condemnation of another.

An analogy must be made between the two; regardless of whether a child is male or female, neither should be subject to genital mutilation. The United States' criticism of other cultures and religions is self-righteous and ironic, especially since it continues to advocate its own abusive ritual based on unsound medical justifications. Physicians and parents must stop violating children's rights even if only a small percentage of children may develop a medical problem as a result of the procedure. Parents must stop being concerned that their son's penis looks like Daddy's or the other children's in the neighborhood or locker-room. More activist organizations such as DOC, NOCIRC, and NOHARMM must be formed. The efforts of these groups, like those at the grassroots level led by women in Africa, will be instrumental in the eradication of male circumcision in the United States and other countries. In this campaign, the medical community shoulders a responsibility for conducting research about circumcision and better informing parents of newborns about the procedure and its risks.

International or domestic legal measures are not enough to stop male circumcision. These measures must be combined with efforts to raise the level of consciousness of all peoples about the human rights abuse of male circumcision. People must be encouraged to ask questions about circumcision and then to question the answers they are given. The first and most instrumental step in the prevention of innocent suffering depends upon education and vocalization in an effort to gain public acknowledgment of male circumcision as a human rights abuse.

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