CIN (Circumcision Information Network) 1:18

Journal  Circumcision Information Network, Volume 1, Issue 18. Friday, 4 November 1994.

Richard Angell

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.

CIN has such an overabundance of material, that reader's response has been
neglected.  Here is an example of correspondence from around the world, an
exchange between Canadian reader R.B. and CIN CompuBulletin
distributor Al Fields.

RB:  Why would anyone have such interest in circumcision?

AF:  I've wondered that myself on many occassions, why we even bother with

RB:  In B.C., they have decided not to pay for them anymore, but I doubt that
it stems from a moral or ethical bias.

AF:  It was considered a medical issue. There was no concrete proof that
routine infant circumcision cured/prevented anything. Perhaps in their
judgement it was considered that the risks did not outweigh the "proposed"

RB:  I don't understand your crusade at all.

AF:  It is a complex issue, one not easily understood at first or second
glance. It took me seven months to come to grips with the issues through
reading and sharing with men who were physically and/or psychologically
harmed by their infant circumcisions. I wish it were just a few.....  Social
custom has prevented men from speaking out on this issue. Now that is
changing.  Your country is much more progressive in the area of human rights
than the United States on this issue.

RB:  I think that I should have liked to have my son circumcised as I expect
that he (as his father and his father before him) will have problems and may
have to undergo an adult circumcision.

AF:  Expectations...It is a medical fact that there are more problems, both
physical and psychological, associated with infant circ than with leaving the
infant intact.  It is interesting to note that the phys/ med establishment in
Canada has contributed more to exposing the myth of circ than the phys/med
establishment here in the U.S. Your concerns/expectations are very real, but
for the wrong reason.

RB:  It's no more a mutilation than an appendectomy.

AF:  An appendectomy is medically necessary when one contracts appendicitis.
Removal of a healthy, functioning organ for no medical reason is mutilation.
Did you wish to have an appendectomy for your son at birth?  Did you ask the
physician? What did he say? (If you did ask him, did he laugh?) 

RB:  I wonder if your internet crusade will do more harm than good.

AF:  Until now, men have been asleep on this issue. Routine infant
circumcision is not a medical issue, but a human rights issue. It is the
right of every male to form his own opinion. It is the right of every male to
a whole, complete body. It is the right of every male to make his own choices
over his own body.  A good source of adjunct reading with regard Human
Rights/Mens Rights is: "The Warrior's Journey Home: Healing Men, Healing the
Planet" by Jed Diamond.

RB:  I should hate for my son to suffer from infections as I did.  So far
he's been unaffected, (perhaps pricks on his mother's side ar more robust,)
but I will be worrying about it for some time I'll wager.

AF:  Simple hygiene is all it takes. If you must worry, worry about being
sure your son is properly strapped in his car seat when you travel. 

RB:  Your crusade leaves me with the feeling that I should think less of
myself, because of my circ.

AF:  Self-image is determined by more than circ status.  This whole
cause/campaign is made up of men, with a few exceptions, who were circ'd as
infants, thus without their consent.  We focus in more on the moral issue
than the physical issue. Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, author of the 1989 account of
female genital circ in Africa "Prisoners of Ritual", notes:  "The reasons
given for female circumcision in Africa and for routine male circumcision in
the United States are essentially the same".

RB:  A sorry day that would be when all I did was sat around and worried
about the shape of my cock.

AF:  I agree..... the goal of our organization is to work for the day when
men can feel comfortable acknowledging their whole sexuality. Men don't have
this problem in Europe or Asia, nor do they practice routine infant
circumcision in these countries.  

RB:  Is it not nobler of the spirit to worry more about one's penis' travels?

AF:  Is it not nobler to reach out to your fellow man in the spirit of
understanding and respect for his body and his physique?

RB:  Wierd.

AF:  Sorry, I can't agree. There is nothing "weird" about human rights.

Al Fields, husband, father, educator

The Northwest Premier:  The Nurses of St Vincent Saying No To Circumcision, a
powerful documentary film showing why these women have challenged the
prevailing logic and medical ethics of infant circumcision.  

Thursday, 10 November 1994, 19:00 at the Mountaineers Building, Skagit Room,
300 Third Avenue West, Seattle,WA. 98119.  $10 Donation proceeds go directly
to the nurses.  

Furthermore, there will be a rally at the company which manufactures
Circumstraint (the "torture rack" used to strap down infants undergoing
circumcision) and other activities.

Contact NOCIRC of Washington for information and reservations, (206)

Due to the above events, CIN editor Rich Angell will be in the Seattle area
from 5 to 15 November.  The CIN CompuBulletin will be temporarily
discontinued during that time. 

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