CIN (Circumcision Information Network) 1:24

Journal  Circumcision Information Network, Volume 1, Issue 24. Wednesday, 28 December 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.

For yet another year, 1994 has seen the greatest progress ever for the
anti-genital mutilation movement.  The winds of change are blowing harder
every week, with more and more articles, documentaries, radio and TV shows
highlighting the issue.  The most exciting development of the year is the
widespread use of the internet by the general public and by activists.  The
internet, being the last bastion of free speech, ensures opponents of
circumcision that they are no longer shackled by the mainstream media, the
medical industry, or religious leaders.  Debates are raging like wildfire,
and proponents of the natural body inevitably win, for we have one weapon the
enemy doesn't have--the truth.  One phenomenon which is holding us back is,
ironically, mainstream opponents of female genital mutilation who stubbornly
refuse to see the connection, or who somehow feel that only girls have an
inherent right to an intact body, or that only boys are born imperfect and
need to be operated on to be made "normal."  But the overall proof that we
are winning is in the pudding.  The latest statistics show that circumcision
is in decline.  Following are ten of the most important events or
developments which took place during 1994.  The most exciting thing is the
fact that these are only highlights, the fact that so much more happened than
made the list.

JANUARY. The writers of the Oregon Health plan, recognizing that
circumcision, among other procedures, is a "non-essential" surgery, excluded
it from the plan.

MARCH. Six-year-old Shade and 5-year-old Lara, daughters of Lydia Olulora
made national headlines when an Oregon judge ruled that they would not be
deported to Lydia's homeland, Nigeria, where the girls would face genital
mutilation.  Still, the masses turned a blind eye to America's own shameful
obsession with male genital mutilation.

APRIL. The April issue of Pediatrics journal published a new study on pain
control for circumcision.  The study concluded that "circumcision of the
newborn causes severe and persistent pain," and that acetaminophen (Tylenol)
was not found to "ameliorate either the intraoperative or the immediate
postoperative pain of circumcision."  Many newspapers--thanks to Ganett News
Services' medical writer Elizabeth Neuss--twisted the facts, however, and
printed such captions as "A little Tylenol can take some painful sting out of

22 APRIL. NOCIRC of Utah hosted the world premiere of Barry Ellsworth's film
"Nurses of St. Vincent: Saying no to Circumcision."  Guest speaker Marilyn
Milos and several of the nurses were present.  The event was widely
publicized, and gained excellent media coverage.

MAY. Activists, doctors, nurses and other experts convened at the University
of Maryland at the month's end for the Third International Symposium on
Circumcision.  This event, like its predecessors, added to the impressive
pro-intact data base, united workers, and helped propel the movement forward
by reminding opponents of circumcision that we are the ones who are normal.
After the symposium, activists took to the streets in Washington, D.C. with
a protest in front of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine.

JUNE. The Circumcision Information Network (formerly NOCIRC of Palo Alto)
launched a weekly bulletin, the CIN CompuBulletin, similar to The Guardian
Angell, but designed for the general public over the internet.  Throughout
the year, the internet became more and more important as a medium for
activists all over the world who are speaking out, networking, and exchanging
information, helping to bring a swift end to genital mutilation.

JULY. Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, trying to outlaw female genital
mutilation, acknowledged male genital mutilation (which she referred to as 
MGM) in a form letter to several activists.

OCTOBER. The October issue of Reader's Digest, the "world's most widely read
magazine" reprinted a misguided article of Your Child's Wellness newsletter,
misrepresenting the AAP's stance on circumcision.

NOVEMBER. Activists from all over North America gathered in Seattle,
Washington.  Several of the Santa Fe Nurses were welcomed with fanfare at the
airport.  The film, documenting their pioneering stand as conscientious
objectors, was shown the same evening to a full house.  During the next two
days, the activists marched to Olympic Medical, which produces the
Circumstraint and planned future activities.  Media coverage was excellent.

DECEMBER. The National Center for Health Statistics released its 1993
statistics, marking the decline of circumcision.  The circumcision rate in
America is down to 59.5% nationwide and 35.5% in the western states,
indicating that our efforts to preserve children intact are paying off.

On PD1 of the 14 Dec. USA TODAY, there was an article by Tim Friend by the
above title.  Excerpts follow:

"Natural-born killers may be created when both nature and nurture conspire to
rob infants of two fundamental birthrights:  a loving mother and a normal

"Research in 'Archives of General Psychiatry'...shows:

"*Nature's contribution is a complicated birth...which can cause neurological

"*Nurture's contribution is early rejection by the mother.

"Add the two risk factors together and you have a person three times more
likely to rob, assault and kill than a person with one of the factors or

This supports the opinion of CIN, NOCIRC, and NOHARMM that circumcision, an
act of violence itself, may lead men to be more violent as adults.  In
particular, we need to examine the correlation between circumcision at
infancy and sexual violence against women.

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