CIN (Circumcision Information Network) 1:8

Journal  Circumcision Information Network, Volume 1, Issue 8. Friday, 29 July 1994.

Richard Angell

Introduction
This weekly bulletin is a project of CIN, the Circumcision Information Network (formerly CIN CompuBulletin). The purpose of this weekly bulletin is to educate the public about and to protect children and other non-consenting persons from genital mutilation. Readers are encouraged to copy and redistribute it, and to contribute written material.
--Rich Angell, Editor.


ACTIVIST/SURVIVOR SPEAKS OUT
The New York Newsday published an article by Curtis Rist entitled "Reversing
Circumcisions:  A Flap Over Skin."  The article focused on "foreskin
crusader" Richard DeSeabra, complete with his photograph.  Following is an
edited-down version of the article:

 As an infant, Richard DeSeabra underwent surgery to have his foreskin removed
in what was considered a routine circumcision.  Now, 30 years later, he wants
it back.
 So every day, DeSeabra stretches what little remaining skin he has forward and
over the tip of his penis, which he secures in place with adhesive tape.  To
this he attaches a weight--a weight that began with 10 ounces, but has now
grown to a full pound--which he wears around during the day, the the hopes of
growing additional skin that will one day approximate the foreskin he lost at
birth.
 DeSeabra has found himself in the company of a number of men across the
country who are angry, troubled, or otherwise vexed by their circumcisions.
 They number in the thousands, as measured by sales of the group's
do-it-yourself bible, "The Joy of Uncircumcising," which has sold 5,000
copies and is now in its second printing.  The members of the New York [NORM,
National Organization of Restoring Men, formerly RECAP] are a diverse
group--straight, gay, Jewish, Christian, ranging in profession from United
Nations worker to a delivery man.
 What is it about a foreskin that attracts such devotion among those who ant
to restore it?  Enhanced sexual sensitivity, for one, say those who have
joined the program.  The head of the penis--known as the glans--becomes
hardened and callused through years of contact with underclothes.  Cover it
up with a flap of skin, and the calluses disappear--and the sensitivity
begins to reappear.
 For another thing, the idea that the circumcision involves "just a little
snip" of skin is a myth, said DeSeabra and others.  Although tiny at birth, the
foreskin--if left intact--ultimately grows to a swath of erogenous tissue
that can stretch to the size of an index card.  It's purpose is to facilitate
sexual intercourse.
 "It's always difficult to  have to explain to circumcised men that literally
the best part of their penis may have been amputated at birth, and tossed
into the trash can, said Marilyn Milos, a post-partum nurse who founded the
California-based NOCIRC, a group that is working to end routine circumcision
for newborns.
 The [foreskin restoration] movement burst into the open with the
organization of RECAP--as well as the publication of "The Joy of
Uncircumcising" by psychologist Jim Bigelow, published by Hourglass Book
Publishing of Aptos, Calif.

Editor's note:  a one pound weight is well above average, if not excessive.
 If there is discomfort, that indicates that something is being done
improperly.  It is advised that you read the aforementioned book and/or
contact NORM at (510) 827-4077 before beginning restoration techniques.

A FORESKIN RESTORATION DEVICE
There is a restoration device called Sensitip on the market.  Sensitip is a
comfortable, non-weighted, safe device, which helps pull skin over the glans
of the penis to create, over a period of time, a resemblance of a foreskin.
  This is an excellent alternative for men who are sensitive to adhesive tape
and for men just starting out.  For more information, call toll-free in the
U.S. 1-800-694-7546, or write IPI, Box 208, W Magnolia, Burbank, CA 91506.
 People outside the U.S. can call (818) 953-4746.  Tell Sensitip you heard
about it from the CIN CompuBulletin.

MOTHERING MAGAZINE
Dr. Jim Bigelow's article "Uncircumcising: Undoing the Effects of an Ancient
Practice in a Modern World" was published in the Summer 1994 issue of
Mothering magazine.  The article included a sub-article by Tim Hammond
(founder of NOHARM, the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine
Mutilation of Males), entitled "Not 'Just a Little Piece of Skin,'" and many
resources.  

HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL AVAILABLE
NOHARMM announces that the Health Care proposal, entitled "American Health
Insurers and Contraindicated Surgery: Routine Neonatal Circumcision," is
available for ordering.  It is full of information, including some harm
documentations.  It is to be used by individuals who want to lobby their HMO,
corporate Employer benefits department, local Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or
local legislators.  It's available from NOHARMM for $17.50 first copy and
$7.50 each additional copy (prices include tax & shipping).  Contact NOHARM
at PO Box 460795, San Francisco, CA 94114, (415) 826-9351.

REP PAT SCHROEDER ON MALE CIRCUMCISION
 From a form letter from Rep. Pat Schroeder to several opponents of
circumcision:
 "MGM [male genital mutilation] is no longer considered a medically necessary
procedure, and is painful for male infants.  It will require grassroots work
in your local area, however, to raise people's awareness of the problems
associated with MGM.  The struggle to draw attention to FGM and to create the
critical mass necessary to legislate against it was a long and difficult one.
 MGM will require similar efforts."

VIDEO AVAILABLE
DAD, Dads Against Discrimination made an hour-long video last fall starring
DAD President Victor Smith, Guardian Angell distributor Ron Fisher, and Dr.
Landon Smith.  Their interview is spiced with videos taken elsewhere.  Very
little is left unsaid about why babies should be left intact.  Contact Victor
Smith at PO Box 8525, Portland, OR 97207, (503) 222-1111.  Copies can be
obtained for $20 apiece.

BABY WATCHING
There is a documentary by Desmond Morris of England called "Baby Watching" whi
ch you won't want to miss.  It compares and contrasts the gentle home (water)
birth and the violent hospital birth, actually showing live births in
progress.  It stresses the importance of breast-feeding, and calls
circumcision what it is--mutilation.  It shows all intact babies and is
positive throughout.  The next showing will be 9 August on the Learning
Channel (cable) at 22:00 EDT, then repeated at 1:00 the morning of 10 August.
 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"So many parents today, especially in Utah, are so anxious to teach their
kids that they shouldn't smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, have sex, dress
certain ways, etc. etc. and that 'everyone else does it' is no excuse for the
kids to do it too.  Then those same parents take their baby boys and have
someone strap them down and cut off part of their healthy genitalia because
'everyone else does it'!"  Darillyn Starr, in a letter post marked 19 April
1994.
Citation:

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